How the European Union disregards the interests of its citizens
Article 41.3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU mentions that “every person has the right to have the Community make good any damage caused by the institutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties,in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the member-states.”
On January 12,2019 I invoked this article and the invocation letter was attached to a letter that I addressed to the President of the European Commission.I requested indemnization for the reduction of my pension by 60%.
The European Commission received my registered letter on January 17,2019.On February 27,I sent an email to Michael Schotter,member of the Cabinet of the president,responsible for the Charter,with all the previous correspondence,asking for a reply.
Seeing that the European Commission was ignoring an official request for the implementation of Article 41.3 of the Charter,I decided to go public with my unanswered letter on May 8,2019 in most member states of the EU.The effects of my going public,obliged the European Commission to reply to me on the night of May 8,explaining to me that the Commission ensures that no violation of human rights takes place when financial programs are being implemented.I replied on May 10,in the letter that is included below and the Commission replied on August 21 .This letter is also included below and it is stated in it that “it is for Greece to ensure that its own obligations on fundamental rights are respected.” So if the EU troika obliges Greece to slash the health budget by 45%,the only way that Greece can respect its obligations on fundamental rights is by refusing to reduce the budget,which it did not.
In conclusion, a country has been destroyed,Greece.The EU is not responsible and neither are the Greek authorities..So who will pay for the damage done? Presumably nobody.The treatment given to an official request by a national of a Member-state to enforce an article of the Charter of Fundamental Rights was totally unacceptable and it is probable that had I not gone public there would have never been any reply.These are some aspects of the EU of 2019.And do we need such an EU that violates its own Treaties and destroys its member States? I don’t think so.
Ambassador ad honorem
Dear Mr Chrysanthopoulos,
On behalf of the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, let me, first, thank you very much for your letter and apologise for the delay in replying to you. We have taken good note of your additional comments, which underscore the views you had already expressed in your previous letter.
Therefore, as stressed in our reply of 8 May 2019, let us assure you that the European Commission is committed to ensure that, when implementing EU law, Member States respect the rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It is for Greece to ensure that its own obligations on fundamental rights are respected. Finally, it is also noted that the Commission takes its task to ensure compliance of financial assistance programmes with EU law seriously. In this respect, the Commission is fully subject to the CJEU’s jurisdiction under the non-contractual liablity regime set out in the Treaties.
Head of Unit
Thank you for your reply dated 8.5.19 that came after four months from my official request and only after I was obliged to go public with my letter to you dated 12 January 2019.I do not find it respectable for an Institution of the EU to treat its citizens in such a demeaning way.
Allow me to make some remarks concerning the contents of your letter.
I was impressed by the fact that the mention of article 41.3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights has been omitted from your letter. It is stated in the letter that I have the right to apply to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an action against the Commission to claim compensation from the Union. That I knew and I mentioned it in my letter that such would be your reply. Also article 41.3 does not mention that the Court has jurisdiction, but I will not make an issue of that. I proposed an out of court settlement, because I lack the financial means to apply to it. Consequently, article 41.3 cannot be implemented for people without financial means.
In your letter, mention is made that “Greece has been receiving financial support from its euro area partners and the IMF to cope with its financial difficulties and economic challenges since May 2010…….Greece succesfully completed its ESM programme in August 2018 and economic
growth is taking hold,though vulnerabilities remain.” It should be reminded that only about 20% of the funds allocated to Greece actually arrive in the country,the remaining 80% going directly to the lenders.The disastrous mistakes made by the EU on Greece are openly acknowledged by the Commissioner of Economic and Financial Affairs Mr.Pierre Moscovisi who,to his credit assumes his share of responsibility, wrote in his blog of 20 August 2018 that:”We underestimated the disastrous state that Greece was in, when this started.What appeared to be a single budgetary crisis was really a deep crisis of the Greek State and economy.So deep it took several years even to properly assess it. As a result the design of the three consecutive financial assistance programs was imperfect………….led the Eurogroup to adopt decisions that-in my opinion -in many cases were too harsh, particularly those on pensions…Eight years of crisis is far too long.Politicians bear some responsibility and i will accept my share.”Consequently what is mentioned in your letter contradicts,in a way,what the Commissioner is saying..
It is also mentioned in your letter that “Solid economic growth in combination with low borrowing needs and high primary fiscal surpluses should help significantly reduce Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio in the coming years.” How can this happen the moment that this ratio was about 126% in 2010 and is today about 186%. Furthermore we all know that primary fiscal surpluses consist of funds that would have been otherwise used for the people of Greece.
While it is the right of the Commission not to agree that the decrease of my pension violates article 2 TEU and article 1 of the Charter on the respect of human dignity,it is also my right to think otherwise.It is not only I whose dignity has been violated,it is all those other pensioners who I see every day going through garbage bins to eat or to wait in food lines and those who are dying from the dismantlement of the health system.It is not only the pensioners but also a large part of the Greek population which is struggling to survive.Not to mention those who are committing suicide because their dignity has been violated. Around 4 million people are not able to pay their taxes,because they cannot, and they are considered as strategic tax evaders. From this number 8,129 individuals owe to the State over one million euros and it is they,according to my view, that should be considered as strategic tax evaders. We had never had such a tragic situation in Greece before,with the exception of the period of the German occupation from 1941-1944.
While my request to implement article 41.3 of the Charter of Fundamental rights concerns the European Commission,I will briefly comment on what is mentioned about the Greek Government.In the letter it is mentioned that” Moreover,in all discussions with the Greek authorities,the Commission fully respected the rulings of the Greek courts regarding pension reforms,while striving at the same time to ensure that measures taken by the Greek Government were in line with the Constitution,the Charter of Fundamental Rights and of a proportional nature.” It is public knowledge that the Greek Constitution has been violated to such a degree that its influence has become marginal.Even the Memorandum of May 2010 is not legal by Greek legal standards since it was never ratified and the President of Greece never signed the Decree.
In conclusion I can summarize that article 41.3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights cannot be invoked by citizens not having financial means,that mistakes on the Greek programs acknowledged by Commissioner Moscovisi and others that have devastated Greece are not taken into account for indemnization of citizens and that the three programs were a failure since they did not reduce Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio but on the contrary increased it during the last nine years.It should be recalled that the reduction of the public debt of Greece was officially the main reason that the Memoranda were created.
This is not the EU that Greece joined in 1981 when the citizen and social issues were given priority over everything else,when the Treaties were being implemented and Member-States were not being destroyed by the Institutions.Much has to be done to create a new Institution that would respect the sovereignty of its Members and the dignity and well being of its people.
I do hope that in the forthcoming elections for European parliament,the voters will bring in political parties that have never been before represented there so that they bring about the necessary changes that could make a positive difference to the people of Europe.
Please accept,Mr President the assurances of my highest consideration
Ambassador ad honorem
Agioi Apostoloi 45,