The Encyclopaedia Treccani states that PIIGS, the acronym coined by the Anglo-Saxon economic press since 2007, indicated the five European Union’s Member States deemed to be the weakest ones economically, namely Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Due to precarious public accounts, poor competitiveness of national economies and high unemployment levels, PIIGS were struggling to repay their high sovereign debts and consequently risked exiting the Eurozone and contributing to deepening the international economic crisis that began in 2008. First of all, it is strange to see from where the sermon came: concern was raised about a crisis in the European Union, feared by the very people that exacerbated it with Brexit.
Reverting to the acronym, it was deemed offensive by many Portuguese, Italian, Greek and Spanish observers, and also from other countries: “pigs” in English literally means the animals but it is also a derogatory word, an insult. The second strange thing is that the epithet “pigs” was not given to us poor wretched people and inferior races by the Americans, Russians or Chinese, but came precisely from within the EU, i.e. from a body composed of officials playing a leading role both by census and racial self-esteem, not elected by the European peoples.
Later things got even worse as, since 2010, the acronym PIIGS has been partly replaced by its anagram GIPSI which – apart from the final “y” replaced by the “i” – is equally derogatory as in English “gipsy” means rover, vagrant in the very worst and racist sense of the word. The aforementioned final “y” replaced by the “i” stood for Ireland – we can recall the Irish Great Famine (1845-1849) which, caused by the British economic policy, resulted in the death of a million citizens and the emigration of as many people.
Considering that contempt and consequently racism arise especially from language details – how is it possible to trust a kind of organisation that is only good at expressing the worst pacifism, i.e. the one which does not equip itself with an army, precisely to have no decision-making influence in international policy and foreign affairs so as to avoid war within its borders, but which exports weapons so that conflicts take place elsewhere? For the time being I confine myself to underlining this aspect, which is the most severe.
I am sometimes asked whether the so-called European Union will succeed in achieving a federated Continent based on the US model? I answer in the negative! The US model was born out of a unitary project of colonies subjected to a vexatious motherland, namely England (now the fifty-first and resigned little star outside the US flag). Instead, the original Thirteen Stars had an interest in uniting into a State that would expand westwards: the US experience started without its own history behind it. On the contrary Europe has a common history based on Roman law, and Christianity. Ultra-millenary histories have originated from there, thus creating as many nations and as many insurmountable rivalries and hatred, almost as many as the current European States (just think of the Balkans), and nations cannot recognise others – be they unelected elites or superior race-leading countries – to serve as first-class leaders for second-class macro-regions (former States) (i.e. “pigs” and “gypsies”’).
After all, can you imagine a US citizen from Oregon calling a person from Kansas a pig, or a Californian calling a fellow New Englander a gypsy? It would be inconceivable: there is only one flag and it is always hoisted. Here in Italy, until yesterday, anyone who waved the national flag was considered a fascist. Before President Ciampi’s heartfelt appeal, our flag could only be waved at the stadium – without running the risk of being politically branded.
As long as the so-called European Union has no military independence and is always under the dictates of third-party foreign policies, and its own self-referential leaders are not elected by peoples, the role it can play in future geopolitical frameworks will be equal to zero, while its own arms dealers will get rich. At the most, the so-called European Union will only be able to stand out with Kantian, meta-political, do-gooder or politically correct statements as long as the game of the European politicians and ruling classes is sustained by the patience of their respective peoples.
Few words are now appropriate on the environmental issue often shouted by European summits.
The peoples would like the environment to improve. We would all like to reach this goals. This, however, does not depend on the will of individuals, but on the ability – and rather on the intelligence – of governments. When developing countries are required to stop their production pathways – the same ones that placed the powers at the top, from the Industrial Revolution to imperialism, colonialism and racism – because they pollute (so that they must therefore remain in their own tribal-naïve situation of underdevelopment and war), this means making a mockery not only of those peoples but also of the citizens of the so-called European Union.
Giancarlo Elia Valori