August 2016        

Payback time for the boys and girls of the EU

The former president of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso, has been given a plum job for being a good handmaiden to global finance, European finance houses and banks with his appointment to the investment bank Goldman Sachs. He follows in a long line of those who came through the revolving door between the political servants of big business, politicians, top civil servants and bureaucrats and the more open public lobbying for corporate interests. They can drop the pretence that in office they were looking after all interests equally.
     Barroso, as president of the EU Commission from 2004 to 2014, was the person at the top during the global financial crisis and helped to shape the EU’s austerity policies imposed on the people of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain and now spreading from the peripheral countries to the core countries, with devastating effects on workers. These policies were also imposed by the EU on countries it did business with, devastating the lives of billions of people.
     Barroso secured this lucrative gig barely eighteen months after he left his job as president of the EU Commission—from one plum job into another one.
     Goldman Sachs admitted to defrauding investors between 2005 and 2007. The US Department of Justice fined it $5 billion (loose change for a finance house like Goldman Sachs) for its role in the global financial crisis.
     This is just one more in a long line of examples of the links between political institutions, the state, and big corporations and global finance. Workers need to be aware of this interconnected relationship between global institutions and corporate power. They are indistinguishable. Governments are but committees for administering, looking after and promoting the interests of the rich and economically powerful.

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