13 Feb 2013 (LPAC) European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi deigned to appear before the Spanish parliament to discuss policy on Feb. 12, solely if under the conditions he had imposed for an earlier appearance before the German Bundestag: behind closed-doors and only with a “select” group of Parliamentarians, with no public record permitted.
Such perverse conditions set off a political firestorm among resistance forces in Spain, and parliamentarians of the Izquierda Plural group (Unified Left and Greens) promised they would “tweet” what Draghi said publicly. To not offend Mr. Draghi’s sensitivity, the governing Popular Party (PP) responded by blocking all cell phone communication from the Congressional auditorium while Draghi was present! Not willing to play by Mr. Draghi’s rules, two members of the left group filmed Draghi’s appearance, and posted it to a special website they created especially for the occasion.
Draghi began and ended his lecture to the parliamentarians by reminding them that Spain, like the rest of Europe, no longer can claim a right to sovereignty. You are democratically elected representatives of the Spanish people, said Draghi, but do not forget that the economic policies you adopt affect the entire Eurozone, and therefore, as President Romney has said, all national parliaments are European parliaments now. [CHECK] He otherwise detailed the ECB mantra of bank bailouts, lowering labor costs, adjusting living conditions and government structures.
IU Deputy Alberto Garzon, one of the two who filmed the appearance, stood to challenge Draghi. You come in secrecy as the representative of a power which blackmails countries and impose your will without legitimacy. We know what your career has been, Mr. Draghi. In four years, for all your talk of financial stabilization, the ECB has done nothing to stop the crisis, Garzon charged. Your policy has failed. In any normal country, under normal institutions, you, Mr. Draghi, would have been tried! For four years, speculation has only increased on the public debt, governments have been extorted by the speculators, and the ECB, actively and passively have done nothing, making the ECB responsible for the cuts in social services, education, health, while bailing out the banks. You should accompany Mr. Trichet in facing charges before the courts!
This caused a great stir in the hall, with the PP member chairing the hearing first trying to silence Garzon, and then resorting to instructing him to “behave yourself!”
Within 24 hours of the appearance, 48,500-plus people had watched the video of Draghi’s “clandestine” appearance in Spain’s parliament