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By Alex Newman
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – The Western world’s march toward socialism took a symbolic step forward when communist-led Cyprus, which is seeking a bailout from the European Union and Russia, assumed the rotating Council of the EU presidency.
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, educated in Moscow, hails from the openly communist Progressive Party of Working People, the AKEL. The party keeps a bust of infamous tyrant and mass-murderer Vladimir Lenin at its headquarters.
Last month, Christofias’ administration took the helm of the EU for a six-month term. It marked the first time a nation led by a self-identified communist has held the position and the first time a government seeking a bailout from the region has been in charge.
Christofias, nevertheless, has big plans for the EU.
Speaking to the European Parliament – not quite a legislature in the true sense of the term – Christofias emphasized that “produced wealth should be distributed in a more fair way.”
“More social Europe, that is what we need,” he said.
The Council of the European Union presidency, which is held by a government not an individual, is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU’s legislature. The presidency chairs meetings of the Council, sets its agendas and work program and facilitates dialogue at Council meetings and with other EU institutions.
Officials in the Christofias administration told WND that the Cyprus presidency is focused on hammering out two budget deals: the annual EU budget and a more long-term “multi-annual financial framework” that sets caps on spending over seven years.
Like the trend among most Western governments in recent decades, the proposed EU budget for next year calls for a surge in spending of almost 7 percent, even amid an economic crisis of monumental proportions.
Other areas of focus for the Cyprus presidency include enhancing what European integration proponents refer to as “economic governance” while pushing the EU’s so-called “Cohesion Policy” – essentially an ongoing mass redistribution of wealth throughout the region.
“In particular, Cohesion Policy is a major tool for growth and investment,” presidency spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told WND without offering specifics.
It was not immediately clear how wealth redistribution would lead to either growth or investment.
Another area of emphasis for the Cyprus presidency is “strengthening of the financial services regulatory framework,” Christodoulides added.
He also stressed that jobs were important.
“Inclusive and equitable green growth shall be promoted through the sustainable and efficient management of Europe’s resources,” the spokesman continued, using multiple terms that often set alarm bells ringing among liberty-minded Europeans and Americans.
To get elected in his homeland, the communist Cypriot president promised four years ago to respect what remained of his country’s market system. While he did not collectivize farms, the already-bloated welfare system promptly ballooned under his administration.
WikiLeaks cables show he praised communist despot Fidel Castro. And the AKEL party still openly espouses Marxism-Leninism, though its chief economist recently said it was “selective” about what elements of the notoriously deadly ideology to pursue.
Cyprus also joined the controversial euro currency under Christofias, contributing to the fact that the nation’s economy is now in such dire straits that it is begging for bailouts even after taking a massive loan from Russia last year.
“The president remains loyal to his personal political origins, hailing from the left and the leftist party of Cyprus,” the spokesman continued. “In any case, the fundamental beliefs of this government revolve around Social Cohesion, social justice and solidarity – the very foundations of the EU itself.”
Can a self-styled “proud” communist support the EU? Apparently, yes.
“The Cyprus presidency remains determined to promote European integration and the European agenda,” Christodoulides said.
Christofias is hardly the only communist who backs the EU. Even amid the upper echelons of the sprawling body, there are more than a few current and former communists who love the idea of centralizing ever more power at the regional level under the guise of “free trade.”
One of the top officials in the EU apparatus, for example, is Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Before becoming a politician and being forced to restrain his wild rhetoric, he was the leader of an underground group of Maoists inspired by Chairman Mao – one of the worst mass-murderers in history, who exterminated tens of millions of innocents while enslaving China.
Numerous other top figures in the EU, meanwhile, have served barbaric communist dictatorships and been members of communist parties even in recent decades.
“What they did is they recreated the very evil system that the people in Eastern Europe had lived under before, but the incredible thing was that many of the new [EU] bosses had also worked for that same evil system before,” observed U.K. Independence Party leader and popular MEP Nigel Farage, referring to the Soviet-backed regimes ruling much of the region slightly more than 20 years ago.
Farage also suggested that the people of Europe might even have to “resort to violence” if they hope to restore freedom in the face of the gangsters and communists currently in charge of the increasingly powerful EU.
More than three fourths of all the laws and regulations in Europe now originate with the largely unelected and unaccountable Brussels-based entity, not national governments.
“The common denominator with the (EU) Commission is the sheer number of them that were communists or were very close to communism,” Farage said in a separate speech before the European Parliament, pointing to commission chief Barroso and other known current or former communists in power at the EU. “We have at least 10 communists in this commission, and it must feel like a return to the good old days.”
In the United States, liberty-minded lawmakers and activists are concerned about a similar trend. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., stirred controversy after a town hall meeting in April in which he charged the U.S. House of Representatives has communists in its midst, pointing to the more than 70 members the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Even under intense pressure, West – a tea party favorite – hasn’t backed down. At the time, more than a few analysts noted that the U.S. already has government schools, a central bank, progressive income taxes and other key measures called for in Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
Researcher Vincenzo Scarpetta with the “euro-skeptic” think tank Open Europe downplayed the significance of the Cypriot government taking over the rotating EU presidency, telling WND that the supranational body now has its own permanent, unelected president of the European Council.
“The actual room for maneuvering by this rotating presidency is diminishing over the years,” Scarpetta noted, saying its role is to chair and coordinate meetings of the Council of Ministers to help reach agreements among member governments on policy issues.
The spokesman for the Cyprus presidency, however, pointed out that the EU leadership position does have some significance.
“The agenda of the Council is formulated by the presidency and gives the opportunity to the presiding member state to give its own political touch on the agenda,” he told WND.