Οι τακτικοί αναγνώστες του ιστολογίου θυμούνται ασφαλώς το δημοσίευμα των Financial Times για τους ευρωβουλευτές του ΚΚΕ Τούσσα και Αγγουράκη και όσα το ακολούθησαν (1, 2, 3, 4).
Κάποιοι πιθανώς να θυμούνται και το ότι στις 5 Ιουλίου έθεσα στον συγγραφέα του άρθρου Alex Barker τα κάτωθι ερωτήματα μέσω twitter:
"According to the minutes of the Europarliament, Toussas and Angourakis voted "yes" on A7-0125/2013-- Sven Giegold://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bPV%2b20130703%2bRES-RCV%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEL …, pp. 70-71.
They voted "no" on Sven Giegold - Am 1 pc (Article 14b § 1, after point j) (same document, pp. 72-73), but Mr. Toussas is noted in the minutes under correction of vote as having corrected this second vote to "yes." None of this is referred to in your article for FT, nor is there any reference to AKEL MEPs voting "no" or abstaining from both votes. Your comments?
Additionally, votes for the two proposals were: Vote #1 Yes: 335 No: 351 Abstention: 8; That's -24 for "yes" Vote#2: Yes: 341 No: 348 Abstention: 6. That's - 13 for "yes". Could you then kindly explain why you say that "the 2 Greek Stalinists accounted for half the swing in eu parl vote"?
'Οπως βλέπετε στο παραπάνω screenshot, μιλάω μόνος μου, καθώς ο εξαιρετικός κύριος Alex Barker όχι απλώς δεν μου έδωσε καμία απάντηση, αλλά ηξηφανίσθη από το twitter χωρίς περαιτέρω ίχνος ζωής, όπως μπορείτε να διαπιστώσετε από την "timeline" του:
Πάνω όμως που, μετά από μια εβδομάδα εξαφάνισης, άρχισα να θεωρώ ότι ο κύριος Barker Barkerε για Βαλπαραϊζο και μην τον είδατε, μην τον απαντήσατε τον Κίτσο τον λεβέντη, ο εξαιρετικός κύριος και δημοσιογράφος Barker επανενεφανίσθη με νέο άρθρο για τους "σταλινιστές βουλευτές του ΚΚΕ" στους Financial Times:
Σας το αντιγράφω, άνευ μεταφράσεως, μιας και αναμένω ότι όλο και καμιά Ζούγκλα, κανένα Πρώτο Θέμα, κανένα ethnikismos, ποιος ξέρει, ίσως και κάποιος αριστερότερος χωρίς χρυσή στην Αυγή του, θα το μεταφράσει στα ελληνικά. Η φωτογραφία είναι από το άρθρο:
Stalinists, bonus caps and the miracle of turning a no vote into a yes
Politics in Brussels can verge on the absurd. As a case in point, we bring you the bizarre tale of how Greek Stalinists seemingly helped rescue European fund managers from a bonus cap, then deployed a form of Brussels magic that lets you vote against something, then for it.
Before we start, it is worth mentioning that this blog is partly intended as a way to fully lay out the evidence and address accusations that the FT launched a “sycophantic attack” on the Greek Communist party.
Last week we ran a story — which still stands — that two Greek communist MEPs voted against including a bonus cap in reforms of a popular retail investment product called Ucits. It was a big deal at the time. The majority in the European parliament was slim — just seven votes — so the Greek communists accounted for half the swing required to change the result. Fund managers were delighted.
My colleague Michael Paterakis attempted to contact the MEPs and the party to understand why the party was against pay restraint. He received no response. Only after the story was published did the Greek communist party release a statement:
The deliberate distortion of the newspaper “Financial Times” and its sycophantic attack against KKE’s MEPs, accusing them of voting to block an amendment in favour of placing bonus caps to fund managers, has nothing to do with reality as it can be proved by the voting registry of the European Parliament on the relative amendment.
It reads like a pretty definitive rebuttal. Indeed some readers of the Greek press concluded that the FT made it all up. The MEPs involved — Georgios Toussas and Charalampos Angourakis — today wrote to the FT requesting a correction. Yet there is no error to correct.
The roll call for the vote is clear. Toussas and Angourakis, under the GUE/NGL grouping, voted against the bonus cap, as you can see from this document. The relevant amendment vote is on p72. Voting against meant not endorsing the text adopted by ECON committee on the bonus cap. A simple way to understand the vote: the Greek MEPs voted a different way from the bonus cap supporting Socialist group.
Now for the magic. In Brussels MEPs are able to correct their vote after the fact. It is supposed to offer a means to alter mistakes or omissions. This is apparently common. It may be that the Greek MEPs didn’t mean to vote against the bonus cap; in any event, they asked for the record to be amended (see below).
Outside the parliament, few people know that votes can be “corrected” by MEPs. To be clear, this is not a full correction. It is only symbolic. The vote tally does not change. The outcome of the vote always stays the same. The MEPs can make clear that they intended to vote the opposite way, but it makes no difference to the result. When fund manager bonuses were in the balance, the Greek communist party weighed in against pay restraint.
The Stalinist MEPs have not said whether they made a mistake, changed their minds after the vote, or were victims of a voting machine malfunction. After seeing the roll call, Sven Giegold, the Green MEP who masterminded the bonus cap proposal in the Ucits reforms, presumed the Communists voted against the bonus cap on the grounds that it was a measure that “stabilised capitalism”.
While their contribution was certainly eye-catching, the vote did not hinge on the Stalinists. As the “corrections” show, four MEPs actually voted for the bonus cap, before changing their votes to oppose it. And the Stalinists were a marginal part of a bigger political shift. In Giegold’s words:
“The large majority of the centre-right voted down the position of the Econ committee to limit the bonus culture. That two Greek Stalinists supported them in this is a rather comical side story.”