The first steps on the way to today’s foreign tutelage appeared to be quite harmless. Starting point was Austria’s wish to become even better embedded in the economy of western Europe – and to achieve full political sovereignty, as was claimed at that time. In reality the opposite took place.
The breaking up of the Soviet empire facilitated the departure from the “ID”, Austria had acquired after 1945 – an identity as an equilibrist between two world powers. Concurrent with the demise of the Soviet Union she headed for full membership of what was to become the European Union.
In 1989, when the republic filed its membership application, the eastern bloc began to crumble. 1991 the Soviet Union was dissolved, and in no time at all Yugoslavia followed suit. It was understandable for everybody, that two communist entities had fallen, but nobody wanted to account for the fact that the fatalities had been multiethnic conglomerates as well.
So what happened in eastern Europe did not serve as a warning – on the contrary. It heightened the determination of Austria’s political class to take refuge in the lap of another multiethnic and (eventually) centrally planned political structure.
Up to 1992 today’s union was little more than a free trade zone which had set out to become a single market. Vienna’s solicitation actually refered to the status quo before 1992. But in 1994, when the citizens had to decide, the characteristics of the whole project had changed dramatically. Most voters were not aware of this fact and the political class did nothing to correct this line of thinking.
The electorate thought to be voting on the the old charter of the EEC, but in fact they voted on plans, that had been put up in 1992 by EU leaders (who themselves followed the Delors commission blindly). In a sense one could see it as an approval of every and any international treaty, the political leaders were going to impose on their nations during the next 15 years. At least this is the way, today’s politicians like to think about the 1994 event.
The referendum in its own right was an uneven fight. It was a classic example of a vote being held in a “managed democracy”. But all in all it can be regarded as legitimate.
As early as 1989, three years in advance of Maastricht, the long standing plans for introducing a common european currency had entered their critical stage. They became (somewhat) public. Jacques Delors, the commission’s president, formed a committee of central bankers to devise a blue print of what was going to become the Euro. It resulted in the so called Delors report, which seems to have been nodded through by european governments – without perceptible changes or at least some discussions taking place.
The paper was designed in Basel under the guidance of the BIS, the so called “central bank of central banks”, a front organisation of an all powerful financial cartel in the United States and Western Europe. Its offspring, the European Central Bank, is committed to the aims and goals of those banking interests – and not at all to the needs of ordinary european citizens.
Chapter 10, “Der Weg in die Unfreiheit” will be available for download sunday evening in “Volltext”.
Foto: Hugo Gerard Ströhl, Wikimedia Commons