The Guest Blog

By Savvas Poulos


To: Chairman of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy
Chairman of the European Committee, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso
Chairman of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz

Athens, March 19th, 2013

Honorable Gentlemen,

The befalling privatization of the Greek Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) reveals the deadlock into which the European Union is heading based on its policy on the issue. This policy proves that a united European strategy does not exist and exposes the underlying lack of vision rendered by the European Union Political leadership.

According to the obligations resulting from the memorandum recently signed, Greece is required to proceed with the privatization of public companies. One of these companies is DEPA together with his affiliated company DESFA(DESFA being the Administrator of the Natural Gas System).

Following the required publication and invitation of tenders, expression of interest was declared, among others, from certain Russian groups. Therefore, it is possible that the winner is one of these companies.

It is no surprise that articles began to appear in the press stating the obvious. That is to say that the possibility of the acquisition of the DEPA and DESFA by a Russian Group is contrary to the decisions of European Committee on safeguarding the supply of natural gas to the European Union.

At this point the lack of lateral thinking becomes apparent because of the following:

  • Troika presses the Greek Political leadership for the rapid privatization of DEPA and DESFA.
  • The Russian offers will be substantial to outbid the competition and Greece will have to consider their bids earnestly.
  • The European Committee would not wish the dominance of Russians, but the Troika insists.

It is obvious that the sale of DEPA and DESFA is a political matter and not a financial one and does not only concern Greece but European Union as well since it affects its foreign policy. It is therefore only natural for European Union citizens to be concerned because it is apparent that decisions that affect them can be made by non democratically elected parties, such Troika, without endorsement by the European Committee that was appointed through a democratic electoral process in which the European Union citizens participated.

It is therefore essential for the European Union citizens to be informed as to who will take the responsibility, in the case the Troika adopted strategy fails. Will it be the European Committee or Troika?

Unfortunately, it appears that the current European Union strategy is contrary to the European Union ideal established François Mitterrand, Jacques Delors, Helmut Schmidt, Konstantinos Karamanlis and many others.

I am a European Union citizen who considers that the future of my family and myself is connected with that of the European Union and would suggest that, should the Troika strategy fail, the repercussions will in the end burden the European Committee, not Troika. Further, it is my view that the moment numbers replace the European Union citizens that will mark the beginning of the dissolution of European Union.

Because I believe that today the European Union is precisely one step before this critical point, I ask you to take responsibility and oblige Troika members to study the rights of the citizens of the European Union declared in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of Treaty of Lisbon, give us European Union citizens back our vision and our dreams and simply ask us to follow you. Such are the actions the great leaders who remain in history.

Yours faithfully,

Savvas Poulos

A European Citizen – A Greek Citizen

8, Gravias str, 17235
Athens, Greece

CC: Released to the Media, Requested to be read in European Parliament

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  1. We, in Europe, we are not to understand what is going on! It has nothing to do with the economic liberalization of markets, with neoliberalism and the good and bad policies. The issue is much broader and deeper and has to do with something seemingly very simple – the transfer of the ‘prevailing market’. We need only look at history to see if it’s right!
    The predominant markets have changed places, for several reasons: first was the Mediterranean and Eastern routes, then the Atlantic and Eastern routes (sea) and the Americas, and now is the routes of the Pacific, where everything is changing too fast and where is born (to grow) a new mainstream market. We, in Europe, even if we manage to keep Europe as the world’s largest economy, we stopped (in general) to be the predominant market, and we have become one of the external suppliers of this new big market, without expression, despite all numbers. This means that we are not involved in this growth, we are only helping them to grow even more. Therefore, small business trade, industry and everything else is in decline (no return) which does not mean that large firms can grow more and more.
    The point is that for each percentage point increase in Europe they, on the other hand, grow tenfold. And if Europe persists in the idea of keeping the world’s largest economy, at the expense of the growth of others, will only accelerate this process and will only destroy and degrade herself, inevitably. The Europe of the future, we can hope, is like an abandoned harbor with shops closed, abandoned factories, dilapidated houses and everything else in the destruction process. Moreover, in relation to population, the people, can we expect a scenario identical to the big cities that have lost the vigor of the past: people neglect, poverty, misery and social degradation. Solutions? Unfortunately, as the story goes, there is none! Only by a miracle we could reverse this trend (historical) and many have tried in the past and failed.
    What we can recommend to our rulers? Do not want to be the world’s largest economy, forget the goals of competitiveness, the numbers and statistics – cannot fight the inevitable! Focus on a Europe inwards, reducing the ambitions, and try to minimize the effects of this transformation, which is inevitable but not necessarily fateful.
    Jose Catalao (sociologist – PhD Student – Portugal)

  2. To argue that “It is obvious that the sale of DEPA and DESFA is a political matter and not a financial one” you should provide information about the total debt of these companies, since it is a burden for the public national debt. Do they run on deficit? Are they profitable?

  3. Oh ! these gentlemen who do not have any power… and look like the African wise monkeys.
    The only one we saw acting or reacting was the Chairman of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz. The two other ones just follow the Council, headquarter of all the selfish nationalisms.
    Please Mr Schultz, push the E.Parliament and lead us to true federalism.

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