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ebbf members view on Greek financial crisis / 5. Irina Bourilkova-Kashefi

Irina Bourilkova-Kashefi is both an employee in the Department Regulations at the European Banking Authority and a Baha’i economist and she has also lived for  some years in Greece.

As an EU employee, and a Baha’i, I was deeply touched when I realised that indeed the new economic world order foreseen so many years ago by Bahaullah is unfolding in front of our eyes – whether we are active participants in its establishment (yes, each one of us, the mortal humans) or not. God’s Divine Plan will happen-sooner, rather than later. The Greek crisis brought many thoughts to my mind and made me reflect on what my role can be as a single human being and as a member of my family to help eradicate the cause of this type of crisis, which I have personally lived through in Bulgaria in the 1990s.”

Irina reminds us that one of the EU’s main goals is to promote human rights both internally and around the world. Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights: these are the core values of the EU. Yet despite all the ideals described above, there is something missing – what is the power or magic wand which will make each citizen of the 28 EU nations feel and consider himself first as a European, and then as a Bulgarian, for instance? Can I live well and not care that my neighbour has nothing to put on the table? Or that people die of hunger in Somalia? How can we make sure world’s riches are justly distributed to abolish the extremes of wealth and poverty? Can political or economic pressure do this? How is this conscience developed? That the super-national interests prevail the national ones? Even if it can, can each country apply equal pressure on others? And if yes, how can this be controlled and measure and applied with justice?

The Universal House of Justice in 1998 wrote: “Central to the task of re-conceptualizing the organization of human affairs is arriving at a proper understanding of the role of economics. The failure to place economics into the broader context of humanity’s social and spiritual existence has led to a corrosive materialism in the world’s more economically advantaged regions, and persistent conditions of deprivation among the masses of the world’s peoples. Economics should serve people’s needs; …

The ultimate function of economic systems should be to equip the peoples and institutions of the world with the means to achieve the real purpose of development: that is, the cultivation of the limitless potentialities latent in human consciousness. Society must develop new economic models shaped by insights that arise from a sympathetic understanding of shared experience, from viewing human beings in relation one to another, and from recognition of the central role that family and community play in social and spiritual well being.Resources must be directed away from those agencies and programs that are damaging to the individual, societies and the environment, and directed toward those most germane to furthering a dynamic, just and thriving social order. Such economic systems will be strongly altruistic and cooperative in nature; they will provide meaningful employment and will help to eradicate poverty in the world.

What it is all about is the fact that whenever there is no justice, there cannot be any Union of any kind: we have witnessed it in the past, are witnessing it now with the Greek crisis: when there is no justice and the dealings and treatment between the different country-members is not based on the basic human values: transparency, honesty, genuine desire to collaborate together for achieving the common well-being of all nations (not just ours), high morale, love and respect – then of course we cannot expect any prosperity, but instead downfall and destruction. “There is a very accurate Bulgarian saying, which comes to mind: there is no free lunch. The latter means that if one does not uphold the above social and economic values, they should be aware there will be the consequences, rather than ask the other member states pay for them.Of course it is all one very complicated mechanism of corrupted politicians, brainwashed people, criminality increase and mafia metastasis and one combined with the other leads to disaster and destruction.While Bahaullah reminds us that: All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.”

After recalling the words of the Writings (“The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded.This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of mankind, ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations, and will enact such laws as shall be required to regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust the relationships of all races and peoples. […]”), she concludes: “What is our task? To spread the word of hope, of vision, of spirituality and healing message we carry to the ailing and desperate body of mankind. It all requires a shift of thinking, attitude to life, justice and consideration of others, accepting the different ones as one of our own, humility, love ancontentment. All simple things in life, which will produce immense joy in our hearts conducive to progress– should we only realize and practice them. Everyone can make a difference, each family can make a difference – and then it is the snowball effect. And trust in God’s Divine Plan. Trust and action!

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