JEF, a youth political organisation with the aim of creating a more united campaign, today held another part of their campaign ‘Building Bridges’; a discussion regarding the future of the Eurozone. With guest speakers Dr. Alfred Sant (S&D), Dr. Arnold Cassolla (AD), Kearon Bruno (FZL), Ryan Farrugia (ESO), Michael R. Piccinino (MZPN) and Nizar Hingari (ADZ), the debate offered a mixture of interesting point of views, made even more enticing with the rather different method of a fishbowl discussion, allowing the listeners to join the panel and input their views.
The start of the discussion revolved around the cause of the 2008 Financial Crisis, with alternative reasons suggested by the panel, ranging from structures which failed to reach an economic level, regulations which promised equality to countries but not justice, the liberal concept resulting in tax avoidance, the hunger for money, the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers, to the mentality of banks and governments being “too big to fail”.
When discussing what should happen with regards to the future of Greece, the majority of the panel agreed that showing solidarity is a must. Considering that the rescue plan failed miserably, the weight of the recession is being borne by the Greek population. It makes no sense to carry on with a failing plan, and thus it’s imperative for the formulation of a new plan and for a more liberal EU to give them time to lessen the pressure. More points included taxing those who can actually afford it, and eventually recuperate the money lost by corruption. Dr. Roberta Metsola, who could not be present, still managed to pass a message stating that tax evasion needs to be tackled, as well as ensuring the protection of the lower class.
Students who attended the debate pitched in their ideas as well, some stating that we should not let the Greek population starve, considering that the Maltese population was in a similar state around 50 years ago, while others questioned the stability of the Euro and wondered whether it’s such a wise move to continue basing our economic future on a ‘failed project’.
With so many valid points laid public, it is no doubt that such a debate was fruitful in discussing and debating what has happened, what needs to be done and, more importantly, what we need to learn. We must not only look at the short-term situation of the Greek recession, but also delve deeper and discuss a plan of the long-term future of the Euro Zone, a project which some consider a failure and which some believe won’t be present in twenty years’ time, when compared to the American dollar or the British pound. Whatever the action taken, it is essential to remember that solidarity needs to be shown to the people in need if wishing the same action is taken against us, should the need arise.