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Will Sunday’s Greek vote Signal the end of Monnet’s Dream?

Jul. 3, 2015
by Bob Adelmann

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that Sunday’s vote is only about accepting or rejecting the troika’s terms to restart the flow of bailout funds that has been keeping the Greek economy from tanking. He said that a “no” vote “does not mean rupture with Europe but a return to Europe with values.”

Most assuredly Sunday’s vote is likely to, in hindsight, turn out to be much more than that. Historians might write that Sunday, July 5, 2015, ended Monnet’s dream.

Monnet was the architect, the primary driving force, behind the failing experiment in Europe called the European Union. He was head of the first genuine European executive body, the European Coal and Steel Community. Wikipedia got it right:

Never elected to public office, Monnet worked behind the scenes as a well-connected pragmatic internationalist…

[Monnet] was connected to the Wallenberg family in Sweden, the Bosch family in Germany, the Solvays and Boels in Belgium, and John Foster Dulles, Andre Meyer, and the Rockefeller family in the United States.

He was considered among the most connected persons of his time.

So well-connected and highly regarded was Monnet in creating the European Union that in 1963 he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Special Distinction, by then-president Lyndon Johnson.

At the end of the First World War Monnet presented his plan for a united Europe at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, proposing a “new economic order.” The Allies rejected his plan in April, but Monnet, president of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community, was undaunted.

In 1943 Monnet spoke to the French National Liberation Committee, pushing his plan:

There will be no peace in Europe if the states are reconstituted [after the war] on the basis of national sovereignty …

The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation….

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