maanantai 3. tammikuuta 2022

Viulusta ja soittamisen taidosta

Markka takaisin?

Reino Helismaan tunnetussa metsäkämppäiskelmässä jätkä haikailee tavantakaa toiveellaan:"Voi kun olis viulu". Kun sitten porukalla päätetään hankkia kaverille viulu, hän haikailee;"voi kun osais soittaa".

Helsingin Sanomat pohdiskelee 2.1.2022 kirjoituksessaan taloustieteilijäiden suhdetta markkaan ja sitä, oliko euroon siirtyminen Suomelle viisasratkaisu.

Euro on tekninen ratkaisu vaihdon välineeksi ja tässä suhteessa se on rinnastetttavissa muihin vastaaviin, myös kansallisiin välineisiin. Laaja pohja eurooppalaisena maksuvälineenä on sekä tuonut turvallisuutta ja pysyvyyttä (esimerkiksi eläkkeet), mutta myös epävarmuutta, joka näkyy mm. Suomenkin vastuuna n. 60 miljardin valtionvelkakirjoina EKP:n taseissa. Likviditeettiä on mahdollisimman kilpailukykyiselle markkinalle meilläkin tullut, mutta toiveissa olleet investoinnit ovat jääneet puuttumaan. Ero Euroopan Valuuttaunionista tai Euroopan Unionista kokonaisuudessaan johtaisi ilmeisesti siihen että nämäkin velkakirjat tulisivat todellisuudessa lunastettaviksi.

Ainakin tätä osaa eurooppalaisesta taloustaseesta voi pitää sinä hintana, jonka olemme vaadittaessa velvolisia maksamaan eurooppalaisesta valuuttayhteistyöstä. Vika ei ole kuitenkaan "viulussa", vaan siinä miten sillä osataan soittaa. Se että raha- ja finanssipolitiikka ovat vain rajoitetusti käytössä, on osoitus makrotaloudellisesta soittotaidon puutteesta. EU:n konsolidoidun perussopimuksen mukaisesti jäsenvaltioita ei voida tukea ja 'mahdollisimmn kilpailukykyisen markkinan' doktriiniin perustuen on yritysmaailmaa tuettu Suomenkin osalta määrällisellä elvytyksellä pelkästään vuoden 2014 jälkeen vähintään yhden vuoden valtion budjetin verran eli n. 60 miljardilla eurolla. Euroon perustuva rahapolitiikka elää siten suhteessa eurovaltioihin edelleenkin 'saivarin asteella' eli mahdollista se olisi jos peruskirja sen sallisi. Toinen makrotaloudellisen viulun soiton oppimista rajoittava tekijä on - Korona-pandemiaan liittyvää "Next Generation" laina- ja tukipakettia lukuunottamatta - dynaamisen finanssipolitiikan loistaminen poissaolollaan. Velalla ei elvytetä eikä rakenneta uutta edes koko maailmaa uhkavan ilmastokatastrofin edessä. Tätä voisi verrata jätkän viulu-analogiaa käytääkseni siihen, että uutta musiikkia ei enää sävelletä koska jo olemassaolevankin soittaminen on niin vaikeaa.

Niillä velkataakoilla, joita mm. Italialla ja Ranskalla on suhteessa EU:n kasvu- ja vakaussopimukseen, uusia ratkaisuja on löydyttävä. Omana käsityksenäni totean että Italia ja Ranska näyttäisivät ymmärtävän että nykyinen valtavirtainen makrotalouspolitiikka tarkoittaa keskeisten mahdollisuuksien käyttämättä jättämistä. Moderni raha- ja finanssipolitiikkaa pitää sisällään uusia, toistaiseksi käyttämättömiä mahdollisuuksia.

Tässäkin yhteydessä on kiinnitettävä huomiota myös taloudelliseen demokratiaan. Talouden yhteydessä siitä harvemmin puhutaan. Markan palauttaminen merkitsisi myös välttämättä eroa Euroopan Valuuttaunionista ja oman Suomen Pankin perustamista keskuspankkina - nykyinen Suomen Pankkihan on Euroopan Keskuspankille alisteinen  kansallinen toimija. Oman raha- ja finanssipolitiikan mahdollistaminen avaisi ainakin teoriassa tietä moderniin monetaristiseen makrotalouteen. Omalla keskuspankilla varustettu valtio ei voi koskaan ajautua  konkurssiin, koska se voi aina omilla päätöksillään luoda resursseja eikä sen välttämättä tarvitse velkaantua vieraassa valuutassa. Euro on tässä suhteessa Suomelle ja muillekin valuuttaunionin jäsenmaille vieras valuutta siinä mielessä, että rahapoliittiset päätökset tehdään Euroopan Keskuspankissa ja Suomen valtion on periaatteessa vastattava kaikista tekemistään velkasitoumuksista kuten valtion velkakirjojen lunastamisesta niiden maturiteetin eli lainaajan päättymisen koittaessa.

Taloudellisen demokratian käsite on mukana ainakin Suomen Sosialidemokraattisen Puolueen ohjelmissa ja perinteessä. Valtiollisen demokratian lisäksi demokratian käsite ulotetaan sen ohjelmissa myös sosiaaliseen, sivistykselliseen ja taloudellisen demokratiaan. Sen keskeisiä piirteitä ovat demokratian muiden ulottuvuuksien mahdollistaminen juuri taloudellisen demokratian avulla. Näitä toteuttava hyvinvointivaltio on se väline, jolla kansanvaltaa vahvistavia elementtejä luodaan.

Euroopan Unionissa valtio ei ole kuitenkaan keskeisessä asemassa taloudellisia arvoja luotaessa, vaan se tehtävä on peruskirjoissa osoitettu 'mahdollisimman kilpailukykyiselle markkinalle' (vrt. Lissabonin sopimus, artikla 2, kohta 3). Euroopan Unionin konsolidoidun perussopimuksen mukaan Unioni ei myöskään ota vastatakseen jäsenvaltioiden  sitoumuksista,joita jäsenvaltioiden keskushallinnoilla, alueellisilla, paikallisilla tai muilla viranomaisilla, muilla julkisoikeudellisilla laitoksilla tai julkisilla yrityksillä on, vastavuoroisten takuiden antamista lukuunottamatta. Euroopan Unionin kasvu- ja vakaussopimus rajaa velanoton tunnetusti 60 prosenttiin BKT:sta ja vuosittaisen kasvun kolmeen prosenttiin. Ylväät puheet kansanvallasta ja oikeusvaltiosta ovat jäänet alisteisiksi tälle markkinaehtoiselle toimintaperiaatteelle, jota Euroopan neuvosto ja Komissio systemaattisesti ja tarvittaessa sanktioilla valvovat. Sosialidemokratian - Euroopan yhden keskeisen poliittisen suuntauksen - arvopohja on poliittisen toiminnan ohjenuorana sekä kysenalaistettu että todellisuudessa rajattu pois todellisena mahdollisuutena myös vaihtoehtoista politiikkaa harjoitettaessa. Tästä pitää huolen peruskirjan säännösten noudattamista valvova Euroopan Komission edellyttämä korjausmekanismi. Politiikan vaihtoehtojen on pysyttävä Euroopan Unionin konsolidoidun peruskirjan puitteissa. Vahvan, kansanvaltaisen valtion asettaminen etusijalle suhteessa 'erittäin kilpailukykyiseen markkinaan' ei tule kysymykseen.

Taloudellisen demokratian ja oikeusvaltiomekanismin kannalta sosialidemokraattinen, kansanvaltaiseen valtioon ja sen varaan rakentuva yhteinen hyvinvointi ei ole ensisijaista eikä peruskirjan mukaan ole vaihtoehtona mahdollista. Euroopan Unioni ei myöskään tue mielipiteenmuodostusta tukevia kansalaisjärjestöjä. Mm. kansainvälisten ympäristöinternationaalien tuki on käytännössä lopetettu ja korvattu yrityspohjaisilla toimintamekanismeilla. Täten myöskään poliittisella demokratialla ei ole  yhteyttä laajaan kansalaistoimintaan. Tunnetusti myös poliittisten puolueiden taloudellionen tuki kyseenalaistetaan. Sama koskee suhtautumista ammattiyhdistystoimintaan. Euroopan tasolla ei ole juuri mitään vuorovaikutteiseen sopimustoimintaan liittyviä elementtejä - yritysmaailman lobbausta lukuunottamatta. Siitä onkin tullut lähes ainoa vaikuttamisen muoto parlamenttiovaalien ulkopuolella. Lobbareita on sen sijaan Euroopan Unionin päätöksenteon liepeillä on tuhansia.

Kun Euroopan Unioni kyseenalaistaa Kiinan vahvan valtion autorisoidun politiikan, voisi kuvitella Kiinan puolestaan kysyvän, miksi Euroopan Unioni perussäännöissään todellisuudessa kieltää poliittisen vasemmiston  ja erityisesti poliitista demokratiaa edellyttävän sosialidemokratian yhteiskunnallisen toimintapohjan? Kun Venäjä torjuu kansalaisjärjestöjen toiminnan järjestelmälleen vaarallisena, eikö Euroopan Unionin vastaavanlainen toiminta ole yhtä tuomittavaa? 

Euroopan Unioni on ottanut tehtäväkseen autoritaarisen hallinnon ja toimintatapojen arvostelemisen, sanktiot ja  aseelliseen puolustautumiseen ja jopa tarvittaessa hyökkäykseen liittyvät toimenpidearsenaalin. Uskon edellä kuvaamani perusteella olevan suhteellisen helppo ymmärtää, että myös Euroopan Unioni kantaa rakenteissaan ja toimintatavoissaan epäproduktiivista autoritaarisuuden syndroomaa, oireryhmää joka estää rationaalisen vastaamisen niin Unionin toiminnassa kuin epävarmuuksien leimaamassa maailmassakin. 

En myöskään usko että sosialidemokraattiseen arvomaailmaan rakentava henkilö voi toimia puhtaalla omallatunnolla vastuullisissa johtotehtävissä nykyisenkaltaisessa Euroopan Unionissa. 




tiistai 21. joulukuuta 2021

Media ja tappamisen meininki

 Päättymässä olevan vuoden aikana olen joutunut useampaan kertaan arvostelemaan kaupallisella pohjalla toimivan median ja sen teollisella muodolla, mainonnalla elävän tiedottamisen tapaa suhtautua poliittiseen demokratiaan ja moniarvoiseen yhteiskuntaan. Viimeksi 20.12. 2021 kirjoitin seuraavan tekstin "Sosialidemokratia Suomessa" -Facebooksivulle  siellä käytyyn keskusteluun tästä ilmiöstä: median jatkuva hallituksen politiikan painaminen lillukanvarsiksi luonnehdittavilla perusteluilla poliittisen vedenpinnan alapuolelle keskellä hallituksen hoidettavaksi siunaantunutta mitä vaikeinta maailmanlaajuista pandemiaa osoittaa, että kaupallisen ideologian teollisella muodolla eli ilmoituksilla elävä media pyrkii moniarvoisen tiedonvälityksen sijasta hallituksen kaatajaksi ja kuninkaantekijäksi. Näissä tunnelmissa hiljennymme siis joulun viettoon..."

Lehdistö ja sähköinenkin media on keskittynyt nykyisen hallituksen toimikauden aikana triviaalisten, usein täysin toisarvoisten pikkuseikkojen nostamiseen keskeisiksi aiheiksi yhteiskuntakeskustelussa. Kohteiksi ovat joutuneet ennenkaikkea päähallituspuolueen keskeiset hahmot, pääministeri Sanna Marin ja peruspalveluministeri Krista Kiuru. Aamiaiskohut, pukeutuminen, esiintyminen kansainvälisissä julkaisuissa, kulttuuriväen tilaisuuden järjestäminen pääministerin virka-asunnolla tai viimeksi yökerhokäynti vain yksi puhelin mukanaan ja kaupallisen käytännön mukaisen ilmeisen pakollisen yhden drinkin juonti on nostattanut viikkokausien keskustelun mediassa. Krista Kiurun kohdalla epäasiallisen kritiikin kohteeksi on joutunut hänen tapaansa johtaa hallitusohjelman ulkopuolelta tehtäväksi noussutta Korona-panmdemiaa. Tällaisena muistetaan Pietarista jalkapalloturisteina alkusyksystä palanneiden nuorten humalaisten miesten alapääsävytteinen haistattelu. Suomen menestyminen tässä vaikeassa haasteessa on maailman parhaita, mutta se ei ole estänyt hänen joutumistaan maalittamisen kohteeksi jopa eduskuntaan tuodun ja siellä käsitellyn henkilökohtaisen epäluottamuslauseen muodossa. Onneksi eduskunnan päätöksellä ministeri Kiuru sai luottamuslauseen muodossa kunniansa takaisin tässäkin asiassa onnistuneeseen toimintaansa.

Huomio on siis kiinnittynyt varsinaisen yhteiskuntapolitiikan ulkopuolelta tuleviin nostoihin, demokratian ja lehdistönvapauden nimissä. Huomiota on kuitenkin kiinnitettävä myös median varsin yksiulotteiseen arvopohjaan, kaupallisuuteen ja sen ehdoilla toimimiseen. Frankfurtin koulukunnan kuuluisan sosiaalipsykologin Erich Frommin mukaan kaupallisuus asennoitumistapana ja luonteenpiirteistön keskeisenä vaikuttajana on yksi epäproduktiivisen asennoitumistavan muodoista. Autoritaarisuuden, väkivaltaiseen voimankäyttöön pyrkivän, rajoittamattomaan kahmimiseen ja omistamiseen tähtäävän asennoitumisen rinnalla tämä kaavautumistila on yksi keskeisistä epäproduktiivisuuden muodoista. Fromm menee analyysissaan jopa niin pitkälle, että hän väittää kaupallisuuden pahanlaatuiseen puoleen liittyvän viehtymystä elottoman rakastamiseen, toimimattomaksi tekemiseen, sanalla tappamiseen ja kohteen aktiivisuuden nujertamiseen. Kysymys ei ole pelkästään mielipiteenvaihdosta, vaan tähän yhteiskuntaluonteeseen liittyvästä halusta kohteen toiminnan täydelliseen pysäytämiseen, elottomaksi tekemiseen. Fromm käyttääkin kaupallisuuden tästä puolesta Sigmund Freudin kuuluisaa nekrofilia- käsitettä, ei kuitenkaan sanan sukupuolisessa, libido-pohjaisessa merkityksessä, vaan yhteiskunnallisesti motivoituneena kaavautuneena suuntautumisena.

Toimittajakunta ilmeisesti ymmärtää työnantajansa kaupallisen luonteen ja jo pelkän työpaikan säilymisen vuoksi on taipuvainen hahmottamaan samaistumisen hengessä työhön liittyviä toiveita. Markkina ei sinänsä koe olevansa erityisen poliittista vaan pikemminkin sen ylä- ja ulkopuolella, oman logiikkansa mukaan toimiva kansantaloudellinen välttämättömyys. Pyrkimyksenä on kiihdyttää mm. kulutusta ja siinä kaupallisuus on onnistunutkin ihan oikean kuluttajaluonteen aikaansaamisessa.Yhteisvastuun tai yleisten perustuslaillisten tarpeiden tunnistaminen on alisteista kaupalliselle päämäärälle, voiton tavoittelulle ja sen maksimoimiselle. Yhteiseen hyvään kuuluvat maksut ja palvelut ovat markkinalle voiton maksimointia rajoittava ja pahimmillaan voiton saamisen estävä menoerä. Tämä on perusteena mm. pyrkimisessä paikalliseen, yrityskohtaiseen sopimiseen tai koko sopimustoiminnan sivuuttamiseen. Markkinan ilmoitustulojen ehdoilla toimiva media pyrkii luonnollisesti aktiivisesti sopeutumaan tämänkaltaiseen ajatteluun ja "tunnustamaan väriä" sisältötuotannossa ja toimitustavassa. Suurten ohjelmallisten tavoitteiden ja sisältöjen sivuuttaminen ja henkilökohtaisten heikkouksien ja epäonnistumisten kaivaminen sopii hyvin nekrofiiliksi materiaaliksi tämänkaltaiseen toimittamiseen.

Ajatus median epäproduktiivisesta toimitustavasta tai jopa sisältöjen nekrofiilista, elotonta rakastavasta ja sille vastakkaisia arvoja edustavan toimimattomaksi tekemisestä sopii siis hyvin toimituksen toiminnalliseksi motiiviksi kaupallisessa mediassa. Onnistumista mitataan hyvillä alasampumisilla. Yhdessä sosiaalisessa mediassa kasvavan vihapuheen kanssa tästä lähetymistavasta saattaa kuitenkin muodostua ihan oikeasti tappava ja vaarallisia muotoja saava poliittinen suuntaus. Esimerkkejä löytyy historiasta kaikilta vuosisadoilta aivan tähän päivään saakka. 1930-luvun kansallissosialismin pogromit ja viimeksi väkijoukkojen hyökkääminen Yhdysvaltain kongressiin vaaliprosessin pysäyttämiseksi presidentti Trumpin kauden päättyessä ovat kouriintuntuvia esimerkkejä valloilleen ryöpsähtäneestä vihasta ja sen mukaisista teoista. Se voi pahimmillaan saada berserkkimäisiä piirteitä.

Ajatus nekrofiliasta normaaliin elämänpiiriin kuuluvana latenttina piirteenä on Erich Frommin mukaan huonosti tiedostettu mutta todellinen ilmiö normaalissakin arkipäivässä. Turvakodit, väkivaltarikokset ja mm. USA:ssa lisääntyneet, pienestäkin syystä aseella tehdyt henkirikokset osoittavat, että yhteiskuntaluonteeseemme kuuluu myös ratkaisujen hakeminen vastapuoleksi koetun aktiivisuuden ja toimintamahdollisuuksien pysäyttäminen "lopullisella ratkaisulla" eli tappamalla. Normaalioloissa se ei ole tietenkään hyväksyttävää ja siksi latentti pysäyttäjä, elottoman rakastaja ja toiminnan tyhjäksi tekijä ei itsekään tule tietoiseksi omista epäproduktiivisista viehtymyksistään. Tiedetään kuitenkin, että jo  "katsekin voi tappaa".

Onko median toiminta hallituksen toiminnan pysäyttäjänä normaaliin demokratiaan kuuluva ilmiö vai nousemassa oleva nekrofilisen, poliittiseksi vastustajaksi koetun täydelliseen  pysäyttämiseen tähtäävä epäproduktiivisen asennoitumistavan ilmaus?

torstai 9. joulukuuta 2021

A last-resort employer - viimekätinen työllistäjä

Menossa on työllisyyden kuntakokeilu. Se on hallituksen hanke, jonka mukaan "Työllisyyden kuntakokeilussa osa tiettyjä asiakasryhmiä koskevista TE-toimiston tehtävistä siirretään lainsäädännöllä työllisyyden kuntakokeiluun kuuluvan kunnan tehtäviksi. Alueelliset kokeilut käynnistyvät 1.3.2021. Kaikki kuntakokeilut päättyvät 30.6.2023.

Kuntakokeilun käynnistymisen jälkeen osa työnhakija-asiakkaista siirtyy kuntien asiakkaiksi ja osa jää TE-toimistoon. Kun asiakas siirtyy kuntakokeiluun, hänen palveluistaan vastaa pääasiallisesti hänen kotikuntansa. 

Kuntakokeilun aikana työnantaja-asiakkaille tarjotaan edelleen työnantaja- ja yrityspalveluita TE-toimistosta. Työnantajien kannattaa kuitenkin huomioida kuntakokeilun vaikutukset asiointiin mm. palkkatuen hakemisen osalta."  

Tuleeko tämä kokeilu kuinkakin kalliiksi? Kannattaako yrittää työllistää vajaakykyisiä ja sellaisia jotka eivät syystä tai toisesta sovi työelämään?

Haluaisin tässä kokeilussa kiinnittää huomiota työllistämisen kannattavuuden toiseen puoleen, jossa kaikki työllistettävät ovat yhtä arvokkaita ja merkittäviä toimijoita, paitsi keskenään, myös suhteessa normaalisti työllistyviin ja työelämässä mukana oleviin. Kysymys on kansalaisen roolista kuluttajana, kysyntää luovana voimana ja erityisesti julkiseen sektoriin - kuntaan ja valtioon - liittyvien moninkertaistajien (multipliers) käynnistäjänä. Tässä suhteessa olemme kaikki vähintäänkin tasavertaisia. Syystä tai toisesta ilman palkkaa olevat ovat kuitenkin heikommassa asemassa, koska he eivät kykene tyydyttämään kulutusnälkäänsä eivätkä pääse rakentamaan omaa elämäänsä samalla tavoin kuin jo työelämässä, vakituisessa työsuhteessa ja enimmäkseen kokopäivätyössä olevat kansalaiset.

Tärkeää on siis palkka ja sen kautta toimeentulon ja jokapäiväisten tarpeiden tyydyttäminen kuluttajana ja kansalaisena. Tässä vaiheessa astuvat kuvaan mukaan edellämainitsemani moninkertaistajat. Työstä maksetaan veroja sekä valtiolle, kunnalle että seurakunnalle. Verotulot palaavat heti takaisin kiertoon (velocity) ja ovat kunnan, työllisyyden kuntakokeilussa nimenomaan myös kunnan käytettävissä. Amerikkalaisen tutkijan mukaan maksettu palkka kiertää vuoden aikana jopa yhdeksän "lompakon" kautta silloin kun on kulutusnälkää ja tyydyttämättömiä tarpeita. Kun verojen kautta tapahtuva tulonmuodostus julkisella sektorilla on välittömien ja välillisten verojen muodossa 50 %:n luokkaa, merkitsee nopea kierto samojen resurssien tuoton moninkertaistumista. Juuri tähän nopean kiertoon (velocity) saattaa liittyä se että julkisen sektori muodostaa dynaamisen kasvun mahdollistajan.

Julkisen sektorin keskeinen piirre ovat kunnossaolevat työehdot ja palkkasopimukset. Suurin osa julkisella sektorilla työskentelevistä on mukana taulukkopalkoissa, jotka takaavat - siis pitäisi taata - sekä työn vaativuuden mukaisen korvauksen että palkkatyön edellyttämän toimeentulon tasa-arvoisena työntekijänä. Tällä on suuri merkitys sekä kulutusmahdollisuuksien että verokertymän kannalta. Samalla palkan kautta kertyy myös vanhuuden varaa, työeläkettä. Tästäkin syystä pysyvä työsuhde on  lähes jokaiselle välttämätön tulevaisuuden turvan kannalta. 

Julkiset tehtävät kunnissa suuntautuvat julkisten, valtuustoissa ja muissa päätävissä elimissä tehtyihin päätöksiin. Tätä kautta taataan että työn tulokset suuntautuvat palvelemaan kuntalaisten tarpeita sekä määrän että laadun suhteen. Kuntakokeilussa luotavat työpaikat näyttäisivät ainakin sormituntumalla palvelevan erityisesti elämän laatua. Tätä kautta syntyviä työsuhteita voidaan suunnata sinne missä apua ja tukea tarvitaan kaikkein eniten. Samoin  kuntakokeilun avulla voidaan luoda uusia ulottuvuuksia kulttuurin, taiteen ja kansalaisjärjestöjen toimintamahdollisuuksien aktivoinnin suuntaan. Tulosta syntyy siis aina ja pysyvänä järjestelmänä se tuottaa vääjäämättömästi myös produktiivista tulosta.

On myös muista toimijoista johtuvia, julkisen sektorin hyväksi ja eduksi painottuvia tekijöitä. Julkisen sektorin ei tarvitse keskittyä erityisesti voiton tekemiseen, vaan kaikki varat ovat käytössä varsinaisen projektin, tässä tapauksessa toimeentulopohjan tarjoavan työn luomiseen. 

Julkisten - varsinkaan kunnallisten tehtävien - siirtymistä pois paikkakunnalta tai peräti maasta ei juurikaan tarvitse pelätä. Verotulot kertyvät aina ja pääsääntöisesti omaan kuntaan. Lisäksi on vielä mainittava kunta - ja jatkossa maakunta - suurena paikallisena ja alueellisena työnantajana. Tästä seuraa tiettyjä skaalaetuja hallinnossa, töiden teknisessä toteutuksessa ja materiaalisessa perustassa, joihin varsinkaan pienet yritykset eivät yllä.

Tässä perusteluja sille, miksi kunnan kannattaa toimia jokaisen kansalaisen suhteen viimekätisenä työllistäjänä, "as a last resort employer" hakeakseni vertailua keskuspankkipolitiikan käsitteistöstä ja keskuspankin toiminnasta "viimekätisenä lainaajana". 

torstai 25. marraskuuta 2021

Samanmielisten yhteistyö Euroopan Unionissa

Italia ja Ranska: miten rahoittaa suuria yhteisiä hankkeita?

Helsingin Sanomat kirjoittaa pääkirjoituksessaan siitä, kuinka Italia ja sen pääministeri Mario Draghi 'ottaa kiinni ohjaustangosta' Draghin ja Ranskan presidentin Emmanuele Macronin tavatessa yhteisten neuvottelujen merkeissä. Italian nykyinen pääministeri Mario Draghi oli ensimmäinen, joka pääjohtajakautenaan EKP:n keskuspankissa otti käyttöön poikkeustoimet euron arvon ja aseman säilyttämiseksi "mitä se sitten vaatiikin" hengessä.

 Vuodesta 2014 on seitsemän vuoden aikana toteutettu määrällistä elvytystä ostamalla pankkien kautta EKP:n taseisiin jäsenvaltioiden velkakirjoja niin, että Suomenkin markkinaan on tullut suurin piirtein yhden vuosibudjetin verran määrällistä elvytystä (QE) eli runsaat 60 mrd euroa. Tämä ohjelma jatkuu edelleen. 

Tässä pääjohtaja Draghi otti käyttöön modernin monetaristisen rahapolitiikan, johon sillä EU:n konsolidoidun peruskirjan mukaan on täysi valtuutus, koska EKP ei ota vastaan eikä anna poliittisia ohjeita toiminnassaan. Saman peruskirjan mukaan EKP:n rahapolitiikka eikä myöskään Euroopan Komission finanssipolitiikka saa tukea jäsenvaltioita suoraan kuin poikkeusoloissa - tähän lähestymistapaan perustuu nyt käynnissä oleva ja 'nuukan nelikon' vaatimuksesta kertaluonteiseksi  tarkoitettu "Next Generation" tuki- ja lainaohjelma. 

Sekä Italia että Ranska ovat velkaantuneet suuresti yli EU:n kasvu- ja vakaussopimuksen asettamien rajojen. Siksi on ymmärrettävää että nämä suuret jäsenmaat yrittävät löytää keinoja taloutensa rakentamiseksi eurooppalaisessa viitekehyksessä niin, että suuria hankkeita voidaan rahoittaa rasittamatta enää kansallista julkista taloudenpitoa. Tien tähän tarjoaa mm. taloustieteilijä Thomas Pikettyn mainitsema konsensusvaatimuksen ohittava "samanmielisten yhteistyö" Euroopan Unionin sisällä,  jolta pohjalta Ranska ja Saksa ovat jo solmineet yhteistyösopimuksen ja jonka yksi suurista ensimmäisistä hankkeista on yhteistyö Eurofighter-hävittäjän korvaamisesta ranskalaisen Rafale-hävittäjän ympärille rakennettavan "taistelupilven" muodossa. 

EKP:n määrällinen elvytys on oivallinen taustavoima tällaisen uutta ja jopa salaista innovaatiota tarjoavan valtavan hankkeen toteuttamisessa. Uskon Ranskan ja Italian tavoittelevan jotakin vastaavanlaista omalla "samanmielisten" yhteistyösopimuksellaan.

Kuten edellä totesin, "samanmielisten yhteistyön " avasivat Saksa ja Ranska jo vuonna 2020 yhteistyösopimuksellaan. Sen ensimmäisiä suuria hankkeita on ylläkuvattu  "Taistelupilven" rakentaminen osana näiden Euroopan Unionin keskeisimpien maiden yhteistä puolustusta. Hanke on niin merkittävä ja taloudellisesti niin painava, että ei voida kuvitella sellaista polkaistavan pystyyn jo nyt Euroopan kasvu- ja vakaussopimuksen reunaehdot reippaasti ylittävissä maissa, ei sen enempää Saksassa kuin Ranskassakaan. 

Saksan vaalien jälkeen liittovaltion valtionvarainmin isteriksi tulee Saksan vapaixden demokraattien - siis liberaalipuolueen - puheenjohtaja Christian Lindner. Hän ja hänen puolueensa ovat edellyttäneet jo hallitussopimuksessa tiukkaa kiinnipitämistä Saksan perustuslakiin perustuvasta velkajarrusta. Saksan perustuslakituomioistuinhan on kyseenalaistanut sekä Euroopan Unionin "Next Generation" tuki- ja velkaohjelman sekä EKP:n jo seitsemän vuotta toteuttaman määrällisen elvytyksen (QE). Mukana ollaan vain sillä ehdolla, että Europan Unioni eikä EKP puutu Saksan suvereeniin oikeuteen päättää omasta taloudestaan. 

Kieli tässä kellossa saattaa muuttua, kun havaitaan, että itsenäisiä rahapoliittisia päätöksiä tekevä EKP voi tukea markkinaa sekä sen likviditeettiongelmissa että innovatiivisten uusien teollisten ja teknologisten ratkaisujen toteuttamisessa. Yrityspohjaiseksi (Unternehmen) rakennettu  "Taistelupilvi" näyttäisi sopivan ihanteellisesti tällaiseksi tuettavaksi hankkeeksi. Olisikohan liian ennenaikaista uskoa, että juuri samanmielisten yhteistyö voisi rakentua yksimielisyystraumasta kärsivän Euroopan Unionin monetaariseksi ja yritystasolle piilotetuksi hallitusten  finanssipoliittiseksi työkaluksi?

maanantai 8. marraskuuta 2021

Kuinka tästä eteenpäin?

 Hallituskausi on puolivälissä ja nyt varmankin aletaan pohtia, mitä voidaan ja mitäolisi tehtävä loppuhallituskaudella. Aivan varmaan aloitetaan pohdiskella myös sitä, mitkä olisivat niitä keskeisiä strategisia tehtäviä, joihin olisi panostettava seuraavalla nelivuotiskaudella. Mitä tehdään taloudessa? Aletaanko säästämään ja maksamaan velkoja takaisin? Vai tavoittelemmeko uutta ja vahvempaa taloudellista roolia koko Euroopalle? Mitä tehdä yhä pirstalöeisemmaksi ja rikkonaisemmaksi käyvälle poliittiselle keskustelulle sosiaalisessa mediassa. Miten kehittää mediaa ja julkista sanaa moniarvoiseen, demokrattiseen suuntaan. Miten herättää valistunut kansalaisuus ja usko demokratiaan tästä eteenpäin?

Mitä tulee makrotalouteen ja talouteen ylipäätään, olen rehtori Väinö Liukkosen ajan Työväen Akatemian kasvatti. Ensimmäinen ensi  kertaa hänen luentojensa pohjalta ymmärsin, että vahva kansanvaltainen valtio on se voima jonka varaan sosialidemokratian "demokraattinen sosialismi" rakentuu. Nykyhallituksen työhön olen vahvemman valtion puolestapuhujana ja toteuttajana monella tapaa tyytyväinen. Tämän hallituskauden aika on "historiallinen akkuna" hyvinvointiuudistuksille avautunut uudelleen sitten 1970-luvun ja tässä tämä hallitus jää historiaan suurena kansanvaltaisen hyvinvointivaltion kehittäjänä. Vastaavaa uutta harppausta ei taida elinaikanani enää tapahtua, joten toivon, että tämä hallituspohja voisi viedä tämän hallituskauden ohjelmakauden loppuun asti ja saisi edelleen jatkokauden lisää. Nämä historialliset jaksot tuppaavat jäämään lyhyiksi opposition ja median painostuksen alla. varmasti tätä paineet keskeytetään, ja uusia ohjelmallisia voidaan valita.

Sitten muutama kommentti hallituskauden lopun ja seuraavan hallituskauden strategiasta.

 Keskeisin kysymys liittyy loppukauden hyvinvointiuudistusten toteuttamiseen ja rahoittamiseen. Kun Euroopan keskuspankki on sitoutunut keskeisesti inflaation ja korkojen kurissapitämiseen ja  on siinä myös onnistunut, paluuta 2010-luvun alun kurjistavaan, austeristiseen politiikkaan ei ole odotettavissa.  Sosialidemokratia voi mielestäni tässä suhteessa luottaa Euroopan Keskuspankin  rahapolitiikkaan. Korot eivät lähivuosina nouse ja siksi velkaa on rohjettava ottaa. Keskeisenä perusteena voidaan pitää hallituksen lisämenoarvion yhteydessä annettua valtioneuvoston tiedotetta, jonka mukaan jo tämän vuoden loppuun mennessä valtion velka suhteessa BKT:hen asettuu 55 prosenttiyksikön tasolle. Tämä on suorastaan hurja, dramaattinen saavutus. Olen odottanut että näin tulee tapahtumaan tämän hallituskauden aikana. Se että se tapahtuu näin nopeasti, kertoo valtion ja ylipäätään julkisen sektorin talouteen liittyvistä moninkertaistajista (multiplliers). Tämä tilanne vie käytännössä opposition talouspolitiikalta - etukäteissäästämiseltä ja velanoton välttämiseltä - jalat kokonaan alta.

Perusteena, endogeeniselle (omapäätöksiselle) talouspolitiikalle voidaan pitää myös Euroopan makrotalouspolitiikassa tapahtumassa olevaa muutosta. EKP:n määrällinen elvytys - joka on jatkunut jo seitsemän vuotta - on monetaarinen, rahapoliittinen ulottuvuus ja samalla osa tätä modernia monetaarista lähestymistapaa. Finanssipolitiikassa se tarkoittaa Euroopan Komission valtuuksien laajentamista suurten hankkeiden toteuttamisessa, joita ovat tunnetusti Ilmasto, digitalisaatio ja näihin liittyvä murtautuminen uudelle sähkötekniselle tasolle teollisuudessa, kaupassa, logistiikassa ja liikenteessä. Europpan Unionin on kyettävä vastaamaan myös Kiinan "Belt and Road" makrotalouspolitikkaan erityisesti suhteessa Afrikkaan, koska valtavista massamuuttoaalloista on päästävä eroon.

Euroopan Unionin konsolidoitu peruskirja on rakenteeltaan ideologinen konsepti, joka strategiassaan antaa etusijan 'mahdollisimman kilpailukykyiselle markkinalle' ja samalla toissijaistaa ja syrjii demokraattista julkista rakennetta. Peruskirjan muuttaminen siten, että kansavaltainen hyvinvointivaltio nousisi sille kuuluvaan asemaan johtavana kehittämisen ja muutoksen voimana, ei ole mahdollista, koska konsolidoidun peruskirjan muuttaminen vaatii konsensuspäätöstä, siis täydellistä yksimielisyyttä. Tällaista tilannetta ei ole syntymässä eikä peruskirjan muuttaminen siten ole mahdollista.  Euroopan Unionissa on siksi valittava muita keinoja valtiollisen rahoituksen vahvistamiseen. Siihen näyttää mielikuvitusta ainakin jossakin määrin riittävän. Surullista on että suuriin globaaleihin haasteisiin joudutaan Euroopan Unionissa vastaamaan poikkeusoloja koskevan artiklan antamissa ahtaissa rajoissa. 

Hallituksemme tulisi tukea rohkeasti Euroopan Unionissa niitä voimia, jotka näkevät tärkeänä vapautumisen valtavirtaisesta, uuskeynesiläisestä - siis uusliberaalista -  ulkovaikutteisesta (eksogeenisesta) talousajattelusta. Euroopan Unionin on saatava mahdollisuus kaikkien tärkeiden projektien rahoittamiseen. Tämä tarkoittaa sitä, että oman keskuspankin omaava ja sen tukeen tarvittaessa luottava  Euroopan Komissio saa luvan rahoittaa kaikkia hankkeita käytettävissä olevien luonnollisten resurssien (kuten työvoima, ilmasto, luonnonmateriaalit) puitteissa. Mahdollisia ylilyöntejä voidaan säädellä veropoliittisilla ratkaisuilla. Tämä tarkoittaa EU:n kasvu- ja vakaussopimuksen rajoitteista luopumista myös vuoden 2023 jälkeen. Tärkeänä perusteena tälle on nähtävä Euroopan Unionin avoin pyrkimys taloudelliseen demokratiaan, jonka tärkeä väline endogeeninen, moderni monetaarinen makrotalouspolitiikka on. Saksaa on rohkaistava uuteen johtajuuteen Olaf Scholzen tullessa liittokansleriksi. 

Viimeisenä kohtana ottaisin esille valmistautumisen jo nyt seuraavaan hallituskauteen. Tärkeitä on rohkea ja Euroopan Unionin talous alan luottava ja sitä vahvistava politiikka. Ilmasto- ja digihankkeet sekä teollisuuden muutos askelta konkreettisemmiksi visioiksi. Ja sosialidemattina toivoisin, demokraattista osallistumista, jotta osallista kokonaan uudentyyppisellä "misen valtatien" ohjelmalla, jolla järjestäytyneelle kansalaisten osallistumiselle luodaan vahva työllistäutta, yhte. Äänestäminen vaaleissa on välillistä osallistumista, toiminta kansalaisjärjestöissä, puolueissa ja yhteiskunnallisissa elimissä on välitöntä vaikuttamista, demokratian vahvistamista. Rahaa ei kärsi julkisessa taloudessa hyvinvointi- ja democratiaankkeissa säästää. Tutkijaprofessori Marianna Mazzucaton noudattaen minua tarvitsemme nykyistä vahvemman valtion. Se tarjoaa myös todella ja asiaa terveen pohjan myös yritystoiminnalle.

torstai 4. marraskuuta 2021

Rationaalista vai irrationaalista talouspolitiikkaa?

 Tänään keskustellaan YLE:n A-studiossa taas Euroopan taloudesta ja haasteista, kehityksen esteistä ja mahdollisuuksista. Kirjoitan jo etukäteen muistiin joitakin ajatuksia joiden toivon nousevan esiin tulevissa keskusteluissa.

Eurooppa - kuten muutkin maaonosat - on suurten haasteiden edessä. Sellaisia ovat ilmasto, digitalisasaatio, näiden aikaansaama tarve uuteen teolliseen vallankumoukseen - puolustuksellisista tarpeista puhumattakaan. Kuinka kapitalistinen kilpailutalous tulee selviytymään näistä haasteista? Evatko Euroopan Unionin rakenteet sellaisessa kunnossa että ne kykynevät ratkaisemaan edessä olevia ongelmia? Onko Eurooppa perussopimuksineen niin kiinni menneessä, että se ei kykene muuttuman ja muuntautumaan?

Minua on viime vuosina kiehtonut makrotaloudellisessa ajattelussa tapahtunut muutos. Makrotaloudellisiksi yksiköiksi lasken sellaiset valtiot ja yhteisöt, joilla on käytössään oma, itsenäinen keskuspankki. Kun kultakannasta irrottiin jo lähes 50 vuotta sitten eikä uutta, sitovaa perustaa rahan arvolle ja sen säilymiselle ole olemassa, muutokset perustuvat johonkin muuhun. Suuret valuutat - kuten dollari, euro, punta ja jeni - ovat säilyttäneet uskottavuutensa kadonneesta kultakannasta huolimatta. Tietenkin kultavarannoilla on edelleen merkitystä, mutta niiden arvo perustuu myös keskeisten valuuttojen nauttimaan luottamukseen.

On tullut mukaan uusia ilmiöitä, jotka näyttävät muuttavan myös rahan luonnetta vaihdon välineenä. Enää rahatalous ei välttämättä ohjaudukaan ulkoapäin tuntemattoman voiman, Smithin "näkymättömän käden" voimasta. Mukaan on tullut omaehtoisuutta, omiin päätöksiin perustuvaa, endogeenista ohjautuvuutta. Nämä uudet piirteet tarjoavat pitkästä aikaan uusi mahdollisuuksia myös taloudelliselle demokratialle.  Rahaa luodaan tyhjästä, keskuspankin rahapoliittisilla päätöksillä tai hallituksen finanssipoliittisilla päätöksillä. Euroopan keskuspankin määrällinen elvytys  tuhansine miljardeine euroineen on tästä rahapolitiikkaa edustava "tekninen" esimerkki. Rajan hankkeiden toteuttamiselle muodostavat vain käytettävissä olevat resurssit kuten työvoima, raaka-aineet ja ympäristön ja ilmaston asettamat reunaehdot. Keskuspankki edustaa tässä muodollisesti pelkästään tekniikkaa ja hallitus/komissio poliittista tahtotilaa. Keskuspankki on sääntöpohjaisestikin poliittisista päätöksistä ja poliittisesta vaikutuksesta riippumaton, ulkopuolinen ja itsenäinen toimija. On kuitenkin aivan ilmeistä, että tiukan paikan tullen keskuspankki ja hallitus - Euroopan Unionissa EKP ja Komissio - löytävät yhteisen linjan, jos tarve sitä vaatii. 

Voidaan kysyä, onko Euroopan Unionin, USA:n tai Kiinan raha- ja finanssipolitiikka rationaalista, järkevää, tarkoituksenmukaista ja tarpeeksi välineitä antavaa edellämainmittujen suurten taloudellisten haasteiden ratkaisemiseen? 

Kiinan talousjärjestelmää pidetään autoritaarisena yhden puolueen sanelupolitiikkana, vaikka jo 1980-luvun alussa Deng Xiao Pingin aikana alettiin puhua "sosialismista kiinalaisin erityispiirtein", mikä tarkoitti yritystoiminnan hyväksymistä ja tukemista keskusvallan hyväksymissä puitteissa. Tekisi mieli käyttää ilmaisua valtion ja Kommunistisen puolueen roolista "rationaalisena autoriteettina"; tunnusomaista sille on ei ainoastaan valitun linjan hyväksyminen, vaan myös laajojen kansankerrosten samaistuminen asetettuihin tavoitteisiin.

USA pitää itseään länsimaisiin arvoihin nojautuvana demokraattisena maana, mutta monet merkit viittaavat siihen että autoritaariset rakenteet ovat palaamassa. Republikaanienm vaaliuudistukset tähtäävät siihen, että äänioikeuden saaminen, rekisteröityminen äänestäjäksi ja monet vastaavat hankkeet tekevät äänestämisestä "herrojen herkkua". Kaiken lisäksi Demokraattien enemmistö on sekä senaatissa että kongressissa hiuskarvan varassa eikä ole kirkossa kuulutettua että Joe Biden saisi todella suuren ja sinänsä valtiota yhteisenä rakenteena arvostavan infrastruktuurihankkeensa läpi presidenttikautensa aikana. Presidentti Trumpin hallintotyyli lisäsi lukuisia autoritaarisia piirteitä USA:n politiikkaan. Jos republikaanien onnistuu kesken presidenttikauden kääntää valtasuhteet edukseen ja toteuttaa rikkaita suosivaa ja köyhyyttä mitä ilmeisimmin lisäävää, polarisoivaa politiikkaa, voitaneen kuvata tätä hallintotapaa kansan kannalta "irrationaaliksi autoriteetiksi".

Euroopan Unioni? Vallitsevan käsityksen mukaan Euroopan Unioni on länsimaisen demokratian vahvimpia ja itsetuntoisimpia toteuttajia, vaikka se peruskirjassaan asettuu väheksymään demokraattista valtiota keskeisenä taloudellisena toimijana ja rakentaa toimintaansa johdonmukaisesti Lissabonin sopimuksen mukaisesti "mahdollisimman kilpailukykyisen markkinan" (Artikla 2, kohta 3 Lissabonin sopimuksessa)  varaan. Tässä suhteessa Euroopan Unioni muistuttaa yksipuoluejärjestelmää, jossa valtaa keskeisesti  ja peruskirjaan nojaten annetaan demokratian ulottumattomissa olevalle markkinalle. Usko toiminnan rationaalisuuteen on koko ajan koetuksella ja Euroopan Unionia voisi suhteessa autoriteettiin kutsua "peruskirjapohjaiseksi autoriteetiksi". Esimerkiksi EKP:n määrällisen elvytyksen suuntautumisesta ja tuloksista ei kahdeksan vuoden rahankylvön jälkeen ole näkyviä merkkejä esimerkiksi investointien muodossa juurikaan nähtävissä. Kaiken lisäksi avoin keskustelu ja kirjanpito näyttää puuttuvan tästä suuresta, vuosikausia kestäneestä monetaarisesta hankkeesta.

Makrotalouden kannalta sekä USA että Euroopan Unioni ovat sisäisten ongelmiensa ja vastakohtaisuuksiensa vuoksi mannerlaattojen välisessä taloudellisessa voimainkoetuksessa osoittautumassa pikemminkin epävarmuutta luoviksi, kilpailutalouden ja kansallisen protektionismin pohjalta toimiviksi omia etuja yksipuolisesti tavoittelisiksi instituutioiksi. Sen sijaan näyttää siltä, että Kiina on onnistumassa luoda globaali finanssipoliittinen ja yhteistyöhön perustuva "Belt and Road" konsepti, jonka alaisuudessa toteutetaan mitä moninaisimpia taloudellisia hankkeita. Tottakai Kiina hakee näistä hankkeista hyötyä ja uusia mahdollisuuksia myös itselleen, mutta pelkkinä riistoon ja taloudellisten ja henkisten resurssien tyhjentämiseen niillä ei ilmeisestikään pyritä.

Kiina on vapaa noudattamaan omiin päätöksiinsä, siis valtion ja sen keskuspankin toimiin perustuvaa endogeenistta makrotalouspolitiikkaa, mikä näkyy sekä pohjattomina taloudellisina resursseina että jatkuvana valmiutena osallistua sekä monenkeskisiin että kahdenvälisiin hankkeisiin. Euroopan Unioni voi toteuttaa tällaista politiikkaa vain "kertaluonteisesti" ja perussopimuksen poikkeustilannetta tarkoittavan artiklan puitteissa. USA:n hankkeet ovat olleet tyypillisesti "America first" tyyppisiä, mikä näkyy myös onnistuneena digitaalisen globaalin vallan tavoitteluna ja myös saavuttamisena. Myös vapaakauppasopimukset ovat kehitysmaiden kannalta osoittautuneet ennenkaikkea USA:n etuja suojaaviksi juriidisiksi, monimutkaisiksi spaghettiorganisaatioiksi, joissa valta - ja ansaintamahdollisuudet - ovat viimekädessä juristeilla. 

Kuka voittaa taloudellisen kilpajuoksun globaalilla tasolla? Minkä talousmahdin autoriteetti ja uskottavuus on rationaalista ja kenen ei? 

Sitä sopii itsekunkin aika-ajoin mietiskellä.



maanantai 1. marraskuuta 2021

My IFM-SEI Story

 IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (1)

Toward international activities...

The world situation in the beginning of 70ees

In Austria had on the spring 1973 broken out a pathological epidemy in the cattle, called foot- and mouth decease. Because of that there was asked to avoid traveling in the country without special reason, but in spite of that it was not directly forbidden. This disease widened rapidly with the travelling people and cars from the place to another - the cars were moving on all the same places where the cattle was hold outdoor. Outside of the villages were asphalt been cut about 5 metres length and the phe open place were filled with disinfectant sawdust so that even the wheels of the cars were disinfected. In may there was the best time of cherry fruits and of course there was a great temptation to drive outside Vienna on the countryside and watch beautiful cherry trees - in Finland such a kind of experience was not possible. The second reason to stay in Vienna was the fact, that I  prepared to start the most exciting job in the headquarters of Austrian Kinderfreunde as a secretary general of the International Falcon Movement, called that time already the Socialist Educational International. Also the capital of Austria, Vienna was for me and my family rather unknown fenomen - I had visited the Austrian capital only two or three times before this crucial start in the new duty.

Simultaneously with my start as a Secretary General in the IFM-SEI begann the OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, to restrict the production of Petroleum and raised heavily  the petroleum prices in the western world. OPEC is an oil cartel whose mission is to coordinate the policies of the oil-producing countries. Principally its task is is to secure a steady income to the member states and to secure supply of oil to the consumers. This maneuver led to the well known "Oil crises" (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_Oil_Crisis ) in Europa and to some extent all over the world. The political decision makers reacted really like the petroleum in the world would finish at once. In Germany and in Austria was taken a decision, according to it was allowed to drive with the own car only every second day. The cars were divided into two groups either with the register number having paired or uneven ending and the driving allowance were directed to the responding days in the month. The rapid raising  the price of petroleum launched really serious inflation spiral, which was for the international like IFM-SEI extremely disastrous - the organisation lived with the very modest membership fees performed  by national member organisations. The membership fees were decided in the congress of the international - that was held every third year, and the former congress had taken place in Helsinki in April same year. The membership fee was a real burden for many of the member organisations and therefore the payments were dragged for years, the member organisations were not able to hold the time limits and deadlines decided. Knowing the world situation and the extra problems with the oil crisis one may understand the poor situation of the international.


The oil crisis led to the several economical consequences. When in the autumn 1973 was the Jom Kippur war between the Israel and arab countries was bursten, the OPEC countries tried with the oil delievering cuts to extort the USA and its allies to stop their support to Israel, who had humbled the arab countries in the several wars. In order to put the end for the oil crisis USA threatened  the arab countries and thouse often supported Sovjet Union with cutting the grain supplies.

The oil shock reduced economical crowd, fastened the inflation and launched an economical regression in several countries. As a consequence Great Britain and Norway started wide oil searches on the North Sea and on the coast of Norway with the known results today. USA reacted to the lessons of the oil crisis by getting allowances and fastening the construction of nuclear power plants. In Finland was invested to the black coal energy import and also the nuclear power plants were fastened. Finland made an agreement with the Soviet Union to begin the deliveries of natural gas through the pipeline, in order to diminish the dependence from the arab oil. France and Germany handled the situation through the same way, in spite of the resistance of USA. France began the massive nuclear power plant constructions with the result that over 80% from the electricity is produced by nuclear power. OECD countries founded the International Energy Agency in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis, the IEA's initial role was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks. Anyhow, on the highest level the oil price was toward the end of -70ees.


The oil crisis had several and serious consequences in the everyday life of the people. Saving the energy became an obligation and in Finland, for instance, were citizens threatened with  the penalty or even prison if the given orders  did not been followed. In the connection of orders were announced that in the case the orders will not been followed the forced rationing will be released. Anyhow, no single sentence was executed. The following orders were under the given sentence:


The highest temperature in the living- and office rooms was 20 degrees C

The highest temperature in the shops and working premises was 18 degrees C

The highest temperature in the storages and industrial warehouses was 16 degrees C

Warming of the garages was forbidden

The warming the water in the private swimming pool was forbidden, warming common pools was allowed

The smelting the snow from the streets with the warm water was not allowed

The warming the car from the electric network was forbidden temperature being over - 10 degrees C

The lighting of the shop windows was allowed only during the opening times

The lighting of the highways (Autobahn) was not allowed

The general highest driving speed 80 km/in hour

The limitation of driving speed was kept in some extent also after the crisis.


Military coup in Chile and the Yom Kippur war

It was agreed already in the IFM-EI Congress, held in April 1973 in Helsinki, that the first meeting of the new international executive committee of the IFM-SEI will take place in Israel. The political situation in the middle East was still very tense after the Six-Days War 1967 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War). That time the Israeli army had with a tremendous speed occupied the Golan Heights, part of the West Bank and even the whole Sinai Peninsula. On the international discussion it was insisted, that Israel has to withdraw its troops  and to give up  from the conquered regions. From the strategic point of view Israel judged the Golan Hills so important areal that the nation was not willing to give up from that region. This discussion played certain role also in the IFM-SEI; the German SJD-Die Falken had taken a very strict approach to this question with the information, that the IFM-SEI Commitee should not visit during its stay in Israel the gonquered regions.In Finland wi did'nt have such a kind of standpoint to the Carelian question, stemming from the World War II,  in spite of the fact that the Soviet army had taken the whole Easten Carelia with the second biggest city of Finland, called Viborg among others. Following the famous maxim of Karl Marx, "nothing human is alien to me" I was not ready to take so strict and restrictive approach to this initiative.

Our meeting started the 13. September; two days earlier was the Chilean president Salvador Allende,  democratically elected head of the country, dethroned in  the military coup by the Chilean Generals, led by the Augusto Pinochet.  Among the first decisions of the new committee was the resolution directed against the military coup of Chile and the demand to reconstitute the democratic order although detailed information from the course of incidents was not available. Behind the development  was the leftist political approach of Salvador Allende and already two years continued political and economical pressure of USA and especially the economical  activity of the “Chicago school” attempting to adapt the monetary approach of Milton Friedman - Chile was aimed to be the first Latin American country starting the monetary neoliberal structures. The  The Chilean coup d'état 1973 was seemingly connected to these political and economical strivings (See for instance Naomi Klein and her book “Shock Doktrine).

 In the actual situation was yet not possible to see, what a tremendous influence the commercialization and privatization of the public activities on the decades coming was going to reach later.

President Salvador Allende were killed by the occupants and immediately followed a bloody time of political terror against the supporters of mr. Allende and leftist political ideas in general. The time after the The Chilean coup d'état 1973 including killed civilians, captured and tortured political activists and the huge amount of refugees can be considered as a most cruel, arrogant and bloody period in Latin America and may be in the whole world toward end of 1970es.


Another theme of the meeting was the discussion how to react to the Israeli  occupation of conquered regions after the Six Days War 1967. It was planned to make a rather wide excursion in Israel after of two days meeting. The was planned that the IFM-SEI committee was going to visit and study the history and present of the Israel and "The Holy Land" as it was habit of describe. As told, the German committee member made a proposal, that the committee will not perform such a kind of excursion, which will cross also the occupied territories. The decision taken was to implement the planned program of the master, Hanoar Haomed Velomed. So it was performed and the German member of committee travelled back to home immediately after the meeting.


The Israeli prime minister Golda Meir invited the members of committee to visit her in the reception rooms of national government. The old lady made a sympathetic and friendly  impression while smoking heavily all the time. We discussed about an half an hour the political situation  in Israel and in the world. No decisions were taken. She wished us a pleasant stay and study trip in the country. She seemed not to anticipate that the Yom Kippur war was waiting her and us; part of the committee member remained in the country when the borders were closed after the sudden start of the hostilities.

Our study excursion reached the Dead Sea, Jericho, Massada Hill,  kibbutzies and also the Golan Heights near the town of Capernaum. It was surprising to see the fact, that the old town layed like on plate in a valley below us, very easy to reach with the gun fire or other military means.


Yom Kippur war

Yom Kippur War took place 6-24.10. 1973 between Israel, Syria and Egypt. Other names for this war are the 1973 War, October War and the War of Ramadan - the Ramadan period took place during the same time.

Yom Kippur is one of the holiest days in the Jewish tradition and it means "the Day of Atonement" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur ). According the tradition it is a strict day of the rest; it is not allowed to make a fire, use the electricity,  open the radio or TV, not speaking about a phone calls. Everybody is asked to stay at home, no work is performed so far it is possible. The day before Yom Kippur is dedicated for the relatives with common meals. Several days "messianic peace" precedes  the Yom Kippur itself. The whole country was settled to the general silence; our trip was scheduled so that the hosts would have an opportunity to spend this holy period in peace, equilibrium and harmony.

When my own departure from the airport of Tel Aviv happened, were in Austrian tv and radio reported about the attack against Israel performed by the certain arab countries. I suppose it was one of the last civil flights that took place after the break of the war. I heard from the beginning of the war just I arrived to home in Vienna. My wife was understandably really anxious concerning our fate on that crucial situation. 


The course of the war

“On October 6, 1973, hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, in 1967, Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Taking the Israeli Defense Forces by surprise, Egyptian troops swept deep into the Sinai Peninsula, while Syria struggled to throw occupying Israeli troops out of the Golan Heights. Israel counterattacked and recaptured the Golan Heights. A ceace-fire went into effect on October 25, 1973.

Israel's stunning victory in the Six-Day War of 1967 left the Jewish nation in control of territory four times its previous size. Egypt lost the 23,500-square-mile Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, Jordan lost the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Syria lost the strategic Golan Heights. When Anwar el-Sadat (1918-81) became president of Egypt in 1970, he found himself leader of an economically troubled nation that could ill afford to continue its endless crusade against Israel. He wanted to make peace and thereby achieve stability and recovery of the Sinai, but after Israel's 1967 victory it was unlikely that Israel's peace terms would be favorable to Egypt. So Sadat conceived of a daring plan to attack Israel again, which, even if unsuccessful, might convince the Israelis that peace with Egypt was necessary.

When the fourth Arab-Israeli war began on October 6, 1973, many of Israel's soldiers were away from their posts observing Yom Kippur (or Day of Atonement), and the Arab armies made impressive advances with their up-to-date Soviet weaponry. Iraqi forces soon joined the war, and Syria received support from Jordan. After several days, Israel was fully mobilized, and the Israel Defense Forces began beating back the Arab gains at a heavy cost to soldiers and equipment. A U.S. airlift of arms aided Israel's cause, but President Richard Nixon (1913-94) delayed the emergency military aid for a week as a tacit signal of U.S. sympathy for Egypt. On October 25, an Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire was secured by the United Nations.

Israel’s victory came at the cost of heavy casualties, and Israelis criticized the government’s lack of preparedness. In April 1974, the nation’s prime minister, Golda Meir (1898-1978), stepped down.

Although Egypt had again suffered military defeat at the hands of its Jewish neighbor, the initial Egyptian successes greatly enhanced Sadat's prestige in the Middle East and gave him an opportunity to seek peace. In 1974, the first of two Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreements providing for the return of portions of the Sinai to Egypt were signed, and in 1979 Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1913-92) signed the first peace agreement between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors. In 1982, Israel fulfilled the 1979 peace treaty by returning the last segment of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.

For Syria, the Yom Kippur War was a disaster. The unexpected Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire exposed Syria to military defeat, and Israel seized even more territory in the Golan Heights. In 1979, Syria voted with other Arab states to expel Egypt from the Arab League.

” (Wikipedia, the history of Yom Kippur war)



IFM-SEI Resolution on Chile

"The International Committee of the IFM-SEI, representing all memberorganisations of the Internatinal Falcon Movement - Socialist Educational International,

was deeply chocked by tyhe forceful and brutal removal of the social democratic governement of Chile that brought to an end a model for peaceful and just developement, the first and only democratic alternative to the present political situation in Latin America;

declares its sympathy with the victims of the coup d'Etat in Chile;

and assures all the social andf democratic forces in the country of its fraternal and unbroken solidarity.

The IFM-SEI will contribute, to the best of its abilities, to the establishment and re-institution of social democratic power in the countries of Latin America,

and pledges its support to all efforts for democratic and socialist education, the indispensible prerequisit for a peaceful evolution.


(This resolution was published immediately after the coup d'état  in Chile by IFM-SEI Committee held in Tel Aviv, September 1973)



IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (2)



From Helsinki to Vienna

I was elected to the Secretary General of the IFM-SEI in the Congress of the international; the two days meeting was held in April 1973 in Helsinki.


Political background information

I had already beforehand rather much of information concerning the IFM-SEI; as a secretary General of the Finnish member organisation called Nuoret Kotkat, ( Young Eagles) I had participated number of years to the different activities and meetings of the international. Nuoret Kotkat aimed to be a real active and participating member in spite of the language barrier and rather isolated, overseas looked organisation in the nordic corner of Europe - the Union of Soviet  Socialist Republics was seen that time as a country leading Marxist-Leninist  directed and supervised socialist block of East-European countries and leading the special  Marxist-Leninist.ideological and strategic struggle against the capitalistic world and also against social democracy, which was considered as a malign and difficult rival in striving to the goal full of traditions and interpretations, socialism. Even in Finland this struggle had been very heavy and painful. 

I expected to get some political briefing  from the leading social democratic politicians and in aiming to have a contact with the chairman of The Finnish social democratic party and its chairman, Kalevi Sorsa I wanted to have an appointment and to discuss the international problems. He was that time of course active on the international level, especially  in the Socialist International. The attempt showed to be a failure if I had waited strong support and good advices in my coming activities. He didn’t have time at all and instead I discussed a short time with the general secretary of the party, Ulf Sundqvist. He listened carefully my approach to the coming work, but he didn’t give real comments to the contents. I had to be satisfied with the “good luck in the coming work” wishes. Also pressure, no ideas, no expectations. In the secretariat was working that time also my friend Aimo Kairamo as a secretary for political strategy of the party. We had a short discussion and he asked, whether I had informed the Russian Embassy concerning my future tasks on the international level. It was not a request and not even a proposal, but he underlined that such a kind information would play a role in my coming work. I had not planned to take such a kind of initiative, because I was already a committed fellow as a social democrat  from the earlier connections. 

The politican situation in the Middle-East was also that time tensed up. The IFM-SEI representative of Noar Oved Vehalomed, Assaf Agin had organized for the new leadership of IFM-SEI an invitation to the Embassy of Israel in Helsinki; the social democratic government of Israel was interested in, what a kind of personalities would take the responsibility in the socialist educational international. During the visit we were happy to inform, that the next meeting of the international committee of the IFM-SEI was going to  take a place in Israel already in September 1973. I was well informed from the fact that among the member organizations of International there was opposite opinions in opinions concerned to the six days war from the 1967.- Especially the German organisation Die Sozialistische Jugend -  Die Falken insisted, that the delegation of the IFM-SEI should not visit any of the occupied territories like the Golan Heights, the West Bank or the Sinai Peninsula. SJD-Die Falken condemned very clearly these occupations in spite of the fact that the neighboring countries had started the war with their attempt to push the hatred State of Israel to the Mediterranean Sea. There was still some tension between Germany and Israel as a remnant from Second World War and in these circumstances it should shown rather peculiar, if the International as such would taken a strict position against Israel in this question. I expressed my loyalty toward Israeli situation which position was taken also by International Committee of the IFM-SEI when the meeting took place later in Tel Aviv. My pragmatic approach to the visit was based to my conviction that for me “no human should not be alien” and in spite of the fact that I was not very happy with the one sided combination of religion and the state on the area where plurality and the free and secular religious approach on the level of state should dominate the politics. Even the Labour Party and its international departement - closely leaded with the strong personality of prime minister Golda Meir - spoke openly for Zionist approach, also binding the religious jewish approach to the soil and blood in the country of honey and milk. Because of extreme hatred standpoints it seemed not to be possible. Instead of too ideological standpoint a pragmatic approach was that time - and seems still to be - the only correct way to tackle the matter. Behind these standpoints were of course the extreme sufferings and more or less executed extinction of the jewish population, religion and their boundless worthy religious heritage for mankind.


From Helsinki to Vienna...

We had as a family  a Volkswagen delivery van in our charge  and it seemed to be a good vehicle to bring us from Helsinki to Vienna. I had already constructed a sleeping places for our two children and us - me and my wife - and a small gas cooker to make coffee and warm drinks and even  soups during the rather long journey - Finland was that time  like an island in Europe: the only possible way to the Central-European countries was over the Baltic Sea to Sweden and further to Denmark, Germany and Austria.   A good friend constructed for us a big and strong wooden box for our clothes and other necessary belongings. The trip was going to take several days if not more or less one week. According the current standards and orders concerning the security the trip would not be allowed to perform a similar way.  Anyhow, it was practical but probably dangerous - that time nobody questioned our way to move from Finland to Austria.

During the journey we made a couple of days stay in southern Sweden in order to visit my younger brother - he was living in Sweden and worked with his wife in the Volvo-factory in the city of Olofström. The trip was continued via Malmö with the ferries  to Denmark and Germany.

 

Actually we had waited the good highways of Germany and expected a rapid journey further toward south; it became a tremendous frustration - on the Sunday evening the highways were overcrowded,  full of cars and families returning from the weekend.  There was not move at all, the cars were staying and the people were staying on the side of cars smoking, eating their provisions or discussing from the situation lifting hands and shoulders.. So took we also a forced pause on the side of the highway and slept about one hour in our recreational vehicle. After that  our  surprise the way was totally free from the cars and we could continue over northern Germany further. The night we spent on a parking place by the Autobahn somewhere near the city Kassel. 

The southern Germany offered us new experiences and surprises. The countryside of Bayern lived still rather peaceful country life having cattle also middle of the old villages and small cities. Our next stay happened to be in a small town where a big piggery was situating more or less in the centre the village. The smell was unbelievable and amount of flies  near the piggery was worth to experience. Our girls were anyhow really interested for hundred of wild boars - this was something new for the children living urbanic life in the capital of Finland.


First time we found a cosy place to overnight -  under the label  “Zimmer Frei” it was always possible to find accommodation and evening meal with reasonable costs. Germany proved to be a good country with comfortable rooms for traveller.

In the southern Germany it was possible already to see the tremendous silhouettes the Alps and soon passed we the border between Germany and Austria. The real adventure was waiting us in entering to the Vienna areal. We didn’t have a real conception about the size, traffic system and amount of cars being in motion, which meant that the driving trough the Austrian capital from the west to the east side was a real  adventure. The “Gürtels” and the “Ring” - the central streets surrounding the centrum of Vienna were us unknown orientation dimensions. We pushed straight away through the centrum of the big capital toward the east side situated suburb, named Bezirk 21 Donaustadt, one of the suburbs on the earlier Russian zone during the occupation time of the Allies.


To the 8 persons household 

From the very beginning, by our arrival to the flat on the Rugierstrasse waited us a astonishing surprise. It became clear, that my predecessor Miguel Martinez did not yet found a  residence for his family, not in Belgium or anywhere else. We were obliged to encroach - with the correct and on the both sides acknowledged reason, of course - to the flat with a kitchen and three rooms, The were already living four persons: Myriam, the egyptian wife of Miguel Martinez and their two children, Magdi and Magali. Moreover, Miguels spanish mother who didn’t speak other language than spanish, her own mother tongue was also living there together the Miguels family. It was a necessity to to live for the time being together and in the harmony - and it was accepted. 


The first problem was the warm water. We had used to consume for the whole district aimed warm eater us much we needed, but in Vienna we had for daily use only one boiler amounting sixty liter for all the purposes of the eight person household. We couldn’t wash ourselves after the  long and stressful travelling through the Europe. We must thus gravitate to sleep washing us just with the cold water - one stressing element more in the very beginning.  The agreement was anyhow achieved that we got one room. The most necessary dayly clothes and bedclothes could we bring inside from the car to one of the bedrooms, but we must sleep in the living room, my wife Ritva and I on the couch and the children on the floor.

Miguel Martinez did not come at all to show himself in Vienna, not in the beginning and neither during the coming months. This meant that it was not possible to get any kind of introduction from my predecessor to the tasks awaiting me  in the new job. I didn’t get any kind of explanation to this behaviour, but I anticipated that there had been serious problems between the leadership of the  IFM-SEI-hosting organisation Kinderfreunde and Miguel.  


On the next morning Miriam went to the work and took the children with her to the school. So stayed we together with Miguels spanish speaking mother Adele from the very beginning in order to make breakfast for us, five persons. It was impossible to understand the expressions of Adele - she spoke spanish with her own dialect. It followed a an extra short crash course in robust Spanish with the pieces of paper and gestures of hands.We decided to start with going to the near situated cooperative market “Konsum” and by foodstuff needed in the very beginning. We both spoke in certain amount of german so that we had courage enough to try find out what we needed. The co-operative was that time still alive in Austria and especially in Vienna and that was founded from our side a positive and encouraging situation. By pointing with finger - there was not that time a self service in the markets - and then trying to understand what the female seller was speaking with her original Vienna dialect. It was soon realised that the capital of Austria was an international city and the sellers in the markets and shops were accustomed to handle with foreigners. After pointing some foodstuff followed a loudly expression in Viennese german what foodstuff wa in question. It became cleared that meat, sausages or other per kilo sold foodstuffs were sold not per kilo or grams but per decagrams. Zehn Deca? It means 100 grams asked foodstuff.



IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (2)



From Helsinki to Vienna

I was elected to the Secretary General of the IFM-SEI in the Congress of the international; the two days meeting was held in April 1973 in Helsinki.


Political backgroun information?

I had already beforehand rather much of information concerning the IFM-SEI; as a secretary General of the Finnish member organisation called Nuoret Kotkat, ( Young Eagles) I had participated number of years to the different activities and meetings of the international. Nuoret Kotkat aimed to be a real active and participating member in spite of the language barrier and rather isolated, overseas looked organisation in the nordic corner of Europe - the Union of Soviet  Socialist Republics was seen that time as a country leading Marxist-Leninist  directed and supervised socialist block of East-European countries and leading the special  Marxist-Leninist.ideological and strategic struggle against the capitalistic world and also against social democracy, which was considered as a malign and difficult rival in striving to the goal full of traditions and interpretations, socialism. Even in Finland this struggle had been very heavy and painful. 

I expected to get some political briefing  from the leading social democratic politicians and in aiming to have a contact with the chairman of The Finnish social democratic party and its chairman, Kalevi Sorsa I wanted to have an appointment and to discuss the international problems. He was that time of course active on the international level, especially  in the Socialist International. The attempt showed to be a failure if I had waited strong support and good advices in my coming activities. He didn’t have time at all and instead I discussed a short time with the general secretary of the party, Ulf Sundqvist. He listened carefully my approach to the coming work, but he didn’t give real comments to the contents. I had to be satisfied with the “good luck in the coming work” wishes. Also pressure, no ideas, no expectations. In the secretariat was working that time also my friend Aimo Kairamo as a secretary for political strategy of the party. We had a short discussion and he asked, whether I had informed the Russian Embassy concerning my future tasks on the international level. It was not a request and not even a proposal, but he underlined that such a kind information would play a role in my coming work. I had not planned to take such a kind of initiative, because I was already a committed fellow as a social democrat  from the earlier connections. 

The politican situation in the Middle-East was also that time tensed up. The IFM-SEI representative of Noar Oved Vehalomed, Assaf Agin had organized for the new leadership of IFM-SEI an invitation to the Embassy of Israel in Helsinki; the social democratic government of Israel was interested in, what a kind of personalities would take the responsibility in the socialist educational international. During the visit we were happy to inform, that the next meeting of the international committee of the IFM-SEI was going to  take a place in Israel already in September 1973. I was well informed from the fact that among the member organizations of International there was opposite opinions in opinions concerned to the six days war from the 1967.- Especially the German organisation Die Sozialistische Jugend -  Die Falken insisted, that the delegation of the IFM-SEI should not visit any of the occupied territories like the Golan Heights, the West Bank or the Sinai Peninsula. SJD-Die Falken condemned very clearly these occupations in spite of the fact that the neighboring countries had started the war with their attempt to push the hatred State of Israel to the Mediterranean Sea. There was still some tension between Germany and Israel as a remnant from Second World War and in these circumstances it should shown rather peculiar, if the International as such would taken a strict position against Israel in this question. I expressed my loyalty toward Israeli situation which position was taken also by International Committee of the IFM-SEI when the meeting took place later in Tel Aviv. My pragmatic approach to the visit was based to my conviction that for me “no human should not be alien” and in spite of the fact that I was not very happy with the one sided combination of religion and the state on the area where plurality and the free and secular religious approach on the level of state should dominate the politics. Even the Labour Party and its international departement - closely leaded with the strong personality of prime minister Golda Meir - spoke openly for Zionist approach, also binding the religious jewish approach to the soil and blood in the country of honey and milk. Because of extreme hatred standpoints it seemed not to be possible. Instead of too ideological standpoint a pragmatic approach was that time - and seems still to be - the only correct way to tackle the matter. Behind these standpoints were of course the extreme sufferings and more or less executed extinction of the jewish population, religion and their boundless worthy religious heritage for mankind.


From Helsinki to Vienna...

We had as a family  a Volkswagen delivery van in our charge  and it seemed to be a good vehicle to bring us from Helsinki to Vienna. I had already constructed a sleeping places for our two children and us - me and my wife - and a small gas cooker to make coffee and warm drinks and even  soups during the rather long journey - Finland was that time  like an island in Europe: the only possible way to the Central-European countries was over the Baltic Sea to Sweden and further to Denmark, Germany and Austria.   A good friend constructed for us a big and strong wooden box for our clothes and other necessary belongings. The trip was going to take several days if not more or less one week. According the current standards and orders concerning the security the trip would not be allowed to perform a similar way.  Anyhow, it was practical but probably dangerous - that time nobody questioned our way to move from Finland to Austria.

During the journey we made a couple of days stay in southern Sweden in order to visit my younger brother - he was living in Sweden and worked with his wife in the Volvo-factory in the city of Olofström. The trip was continued via Malmö with the ferries  to Denmark and Germany.

 

Actually we had waited the good highways of Germany and expected a rapid journey further toward south; it became a tremendous frustration - on the Sunday evening the highways were overcrowded,  full of cars and families returning from the weekend.  There was not move at all, the cars were staying and the people were staying on the side of cars smoking, eating their provisions or discussing from the situation lifting hands and shoulders.. So took we also a forced pause on the side of the highway and slept about one hour in our recreational vehicle. After that  our  surprise the way was totally free from the cars and we could continue over northern Germany further. The night we spent on a parking place by the Autobahn somewhere near the city Kassel. 

The southern Germany offered us new experiences and surprises. The countryside of Bayern lived still rather peaceful country life having cattle also middle of the old villages and small cities. Our next stay happened to be in a small town where a big piggery was situating more or less in the centre the village. The smell was unbelievable and amount of flies  near the piggery was worth to experience. Our girls were anyhow really interested for hundred of wild boars - this was something new for the children living urbanic life in the capital of Finland.


First time we found a cosy place to overnight -  under the label  “Zimmer Frei” it was always possible to find accommodation and evening meal with reasonable costs. Germany proved to be a good country with comfortable rooms for traveller.

In the southern Germany it was possible already to see the tremendous silhouettes the Alps and soon passed we the border between Germany and Austria. The real adventure was waiting us in entering to the Vienna areal. We didn’t have a real conception about the size, traffic system and amount of cars being in motion, which meant that the driving trough the Austrian capital from the west to the east side was a real  adventure. The “Gürtels” and the “Ring” - the central streets surrounding the centrum of Vienna were us unknown orientation dimensions. We pushed straight away through the centrum of the big capital toward the east side situated suburb, named Bezirk 21 Donaustadt, one of the suburbs on the earlier Russian zone during the occupation time of the Allies.


To the 8 persons household 

From the very beginning, by our arrival to the flat on the Rugierstrasse waited us a astonishing surprise. It became clear, that my predecessor Miguel Martinez did not yet found a  residence for his family, not in Belgium or anywhere else. We were obliged to encroach - with the correct and on the both sides acknowledged reason, of course - to the flat with a kitchen and three rooms, The were already living four persons: Myriam, the egyptian wife of Miguel Martinez and their two children, Magdi and Magali. Moreover, Miguels spanish mother who didn’t speak other language than spanish, her own mother tongue was also living there together the Miguels family. It was a necessity to to live for the time being together and in the harmony - and it was accepted. 


The first problem was the warm water. We had used to consume for the whole district aimed warm eater us much we needed, but in Vienna we had for daily use only one boiler amounting sixty liter for all the purposes of the eight person household. We couldn’t wash ourselves after the  long and stressful travelling through the Europe. We must thus gravitate to sleep washing us just with the cold water - one stressing element more in the very beginning.  The agreement was anyhow achieved that we got one room. The most necessary dayly clothes and bedclothes could we bring inside from the car to one of the bedrooms, but we must sleep in the living room, my wife Ritva and I on the couch and the children on the floor.

Miguel Martinez did not come at all to show himself in Vienna, not in the beginning and neither during the coming months. This meant that it was not possible to get any kind of introduction from my predecessor to the tasks awaiting me  in the new job. I didn’t get any kind of explanation to this behaviour, but I anticipated that there had been serious problems between the leadership of the  IFM-SEI-hosting organisation Kinderfreunde and Miguel.  


On the next morning Miriam went to the work and took the children with her to the school. So stayed we together with Miguels spanish speaking mother Adele from the very beginning in order to make breakfast for us, five persons. It was impossible to understand the expressions of Adele - she spoke spanish with her own dialect. It followed a an extra short crash course in robust Spanish with the pieces of paper and gestures of hands.We decided to start with going to the near situated cooperative market “Konsum” and by foodstuff needed in the very beginning. We both spoke in certain amount of german so that we had courage enough to try find out what we needed. The co-operative was that time still alive in Austria and especially in Vienna and that was founded from our side a positive and encouraging situation. By pointing with finger - there was not that time a self service in the markets - and then trying to understand what the female seller was speaking with her original Vienna dialect. It was soon realised that the capital of Austria was an international city and the sellers in the markets and shops were accustomed to handle with foreigners. After pointing some foodstuff followed a loudly expression in Viennese german what foodstuff wa in question. It became cleared that meat, sausages or other per kilo sold foodstuffs were sold not per kilo or grams but per decagrams. Zehn Deca? It means 100 grams asked foodstuff.



IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (4)


IFM-SEI as an organisation


IFM-SEI (International Falcon Movement - Socialist Educational International) had a headquarter in Vienna, Austria and overmore, at least formally three regional offices : the European Office, as a head Wolf Harranth, South American regional secretariat lead by Luis Armando Carello. The European office worked together with the headquarter and the Latin American  office in the city Rosario, Argentina,as a part of the  home of its secretary, Luis Carello. The Asian office worked together with our Indian member affiliate Rashtra Seva Dal. To the creation the connection between Rashtra Seva Dal and the IFM-SEI participated during my time from Finland Pertti Paasio, the active member of the board of Nuorten Kotkain Keskusliitto,  the Finnish member organisation of the IFM-SEI. That time took I the responsibility from the organisation as  in which I took the responsibility as  secretary general. The Stipendium for Perti Paasio was served by the IFM-SEI (IFM, the International Falcon Movement that time). The strongest children organisations in Latin America were working in Peru and in Uruguay, in certain extent also in Paraguay and Argentina. To create these connections was based to the work of Miguel Angel Martinez and his journey to that continent.


The background organisations of the member organisations of the IFM-SEI had thjeir roots in the different organisations of the labour movement. The Chicos Apristas Peruanos was the educational children organisation of the Labour Party of Peru, called APRA. The same organisational basis were found also in Finland and also in Germany, where the children organisation “Die Falken” worked together with the social democratic youth movement “Sozialistische Jugend”.”Unga Örnar” the Swedish children organisation was founded to the connection of ABF, the educational  organisation of Labour movement, formally unpolitical but practically deeply connected with the Swedish social democracy. The Woodcraft Folk, the British child educational movement found its supporters in the cooperatives like with the Indian Rashtra Seva Dal. Noar Omed Vehalomed made its activities under the flag of the Trade Union Movement of Israel, Histatrud.  It had already that time lot of cooperation also with the Israeli army, defence forces. They made common camps on the border areas of the country monitoring and spending time similarly with the troops. It was obvious that the younger member organisations  were looser connected  with the labour movement organisational roots than the older ones.


IFM-SEI had the own bulletin, that was released in six languages: in english, german, french, swedish, finnish and spanish. One of the important tasks of the secretary general was to produce information about what was going on in the European and World wide level, in the institutions and in political turn of events. That time came into the markets a small “mini-recorder” and learned soon to use it in producing texts and contents. With the typewriter it wouldn’t be possible to become clear with the job. Fortunately there was a very capable lady in our office, Waltraud Stockhammer, who showed to be reliant, punctual and independent personality. She was fully fed up  with the bureaucracy of Austrian Kinderfreunde, which didn’t put very much acknowledge and respect to the work of Waltraud. I from my side make special efforts to reach the trust and confidence with her. We succeeded in my opinion to produce and release a good bulletin several times yearly. The great practical help was taken by Sepp Steiner who performed the mailing the IFM-SEI Bulletin. Being used to produce contents I can only mention that there wasn’t shortage of the items!

My secretary for the European affairs, Wolf Harranth was an extremely effective writer and technical executor. He translated children books from Czech to German. No wonder that he got later an Austrian Writer Price as a writer and translator of children books. He took responsibility also some tasks as translator and employee in the printing house “Verlag Jungbrunnen”, which was a one important part of the Austrian Kinderfreunde. He was also a eager radio amateur, who immediately mounted a radio amateur station on the international children camps. Being so capable and creative included also an special character in his personality, not always very easy to understand or to manage in the practical situations. For me, coming from different kind of culture I just to close my mouth in facing the arguing or the typical gentle irony in viennese, for the outsiders totally not understable Viennese  dialect. Also the Austrian colleaques had several times the hands in the fist, in spite of the practical comradeship or friendship.

Very descriptive and characteristic for the know-how of Wolf Harranth was, that he wrote in the extra ordinary congress of IFM-SEI the protocol simultaneously so, that in the end of the congress, about half an hour later, the delegates of the congress got a signed protocol in their hands… I had never before  seen such a kind miraculous performance, and not even later.



IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (5)


5 Israel and the moon pointing finger

The israeli state and its justification


Already in autumn 1973 there was discussions with Assaf Agin, the secretary general of Noar Vehalomed, that I should come again to Israel in order to make closer connection youth activities of  the natiopnal trade union movement, Histatrud. I was thankful - of course such a kind of opportunity, especially because the invitation organisation promised to pay the travel costs. This was an important aspect, I had no intention to waste money of the IFM-SEI to the personal studies. After the Yom Kippur war was anyhow important to get information concerning  the situation in the country, thinking the military aspect in the youth education, relationship between the Palestinian people and Jewish mainstream.

I supposet it was clear that one of the grounds was to give personal information and motivation for me as a secretary general of one social democratic international. I understood that for the Israel as a nation it was  important find also a ideabounded, intellectual connections to the European continent and that the social democracy was already traditionally very close connected to the jewish tradition. To that point I shall come later. Based on the social psychological approach of  so called “Frankfurt School”  I had already internalized a certain picture concerning judaism and Zionism,  although it was not so far analytical than what it is by writing this essay. I respect very much the idea of nameless God, who express himself as a cloud or as a burning bush. I find a principle of sabbath a direct outcome from this idea, so that instead serving the name, thing or idol the religious task is to strive toward harmony between, people, nations, work and consumption - and to spend one day in a week in the spirit of this harmony. I consider the strivings of labour movement being an expression of this Idea with the social language of our time. I couldn’t combine the Zionism to valuesof labour movement tradition, although I very well understand the feverish need for the foundation  of the “Holy Land” after the Holocaust and the terrible European inheritance having its roots in the persecution of the witches, inquisition and authoritarian, even necropfilic behavior, which got a new appearance on the threshold of second World war. The bondage to the blood and soil had led already in the Hitlers Germany - and also in my country, Finland - to the daydreaming of lebensraum and great Germany or Great Finland collecting together all the German or the Fenno-Ugrian tribes or nationalities whereever they may have their location. I feel the Zionism may be confronted with this problemacy also in the Holy Land and its sacred places. It would be tragical if the bondage with the blood and soil would lead the Jewish tribes to the same situation which they had met in the racial hostilities in Middle-Europe in the 30:ees and 40:ees ending to the mass destruction. As a socialist I favored a secular country with the freedom of religion according the principles expressed in the Human Rights Universal Declaration of United Nations.

So I took a pragmatic approach to the Nation of Israel on the basis described here before. The borders, souvereingty, and the ground itself had its historical and political background and thinking the prevalent situation I found it acceptable to defend the existence State of Israel. True is the fact too, that there was a Palestinian tradition, living more or less in the virginal relationship to the ground and to the tradition, broken several times by the colonial occupation and exploitation, still not having any kind of  recognized nationhood.

These were the trains of thoughts: the fight and contradictions between the history and recent, religion and secularity, unproductive social characterology and the productive development, unpredictable rulers and striving toward democratic governing. 

I am not a jew and may be my conceptions are too far from the reality, how the people think and how they find the adaption of political ideas and religious principles in the everyday life. The leadership of Noar Oved Vehalomed and the Histadrud felt it important to introduce their approach to this special world of ideas and strivings. 


IFM-SEI member Noar Oved Vehalomed


As told before, the member organisation if the IFM-SEI is doing its activities abder the trade union umbrella. Even this fact means that the activities have a some extent a different character. The members are a bit older than in the youth falcon organisations in general. The co-operation with the Israeli army means a strong motivation based on the national independency and historical, even religious tradition. This includes activities on the border regions and army connected services with the idea to safeguard the nation. Because of the spanned situation such a kind of tasks were seen a part of everyday life. For instance, in the Kibbutz where I was accommodated in march 1974 there was a quardin with the machine pistols day and night. The soldier in charge moved on the areal all the time.

The second special activity were the long, several days lasting  marches through the places bounded to the jewish tradition and ending to the big welcome ceremony . I had opportynity to watch the young people when they came in to the Tel Aviv from the long and seemingly hard effort but with very happy mind related to the succeeded effort. I had the feeling that such a kind of emotional and physical experiences  left an  everlasting imprint to the minds of participants, mixed by euphoria and joy. There is no reason to underestimate the educational weight of this memorable happening.


Trip to Eilat and Sinai desert 


When staying ten days in the country there was of course one weekend available to the more inofficial activities. Histadrut ordered one of the functionaries to companionship and guide for that time. What should we do? What about to take a look with the Sinai desert? I was hesitating. It must cost a lot of money to take such a kind of adventure. Not at all, I was the guest and the trip was possible to organise. The flights from Tel Aviv were reserved as well the Hotel rooms on the famous tourist resort with all its attractions. 

Starting from the flight the trip was an experience. North from Sinai desert opened a huge Negev desert, without settlements. It looked like a place where sometimes may rain heavily; in the desert sand one could see signs of rivers, may be rather heavy water falls, which left riverbeds to the dry and empty desert scenery.

In Eilat after the booking we made a small ship tour with  small, glass bottom vessel. It was possible to see the rich and colourful  life in the sea and its total contrast to the dry and almost violet coloured rocks and mountains.

There was time just to take a rest, try to combine the experiences of my earlier life, the special feeling of contradictions and the expectations what I had concerning my work and life. There were left a bit time and space for something new striving to the consciousness. I climber to the neighboring mountain in order to absorb crafts from this historical landscape. Suddenly there I took a piece of paper and wrote few lines; the draft of my coming essay collection was born! I still wonder the blessing influence of this weekend. A strong feeling of the power and clearness  took place. Striving to the human harmony, to the liberation of human activity, to practice the daily meditation, to reach a spiritual freedom... I shall remember this awakening to the end of my days. The finger that points the moon, is not the moon - but just the finger. This Zen Buddhist wisdom opened me in order to guide me my coming activities. Democracy and the humanist religious feeling took place during this liberating trip. Thank you Ziegel, thank you Histadtrut, thank you the productive powers  in the chaotic world! In the coming weeks and months I started to write so that in the beginning of 80+:ees I was capable to release my first essay collection, in finnish and in Finland.


Water in the desert


 When staying in the city of  Eilat, wire hired cross country car in order to watch the landscape outside of the city. First took we look on the valley of Kings some kilometers north from Eilat and wondered the purple coloured rocks and mountains. From there we took the way toward Sinai peninsula, which  was moved to the Israeli administration already in the 6 days war 1967  and  on the old border there was a guard station. Immediately after the station to the west direction opened a vast desert landscape and the road further the inner area  of Sinai. Such a kind of desert has its own cratefulness and its was completed with the memories from the Bible, when the Jewish tribe wandered forty years from the slavehood from Egypt toward “promised land”, Israel. I remembered that the “Land of Moab” was situated more or lesson that area where we were on our excursion.

We visited also the bedouin family, which had its shelter in a valley with shadowing bushes. The head of the family was sitting on the small fire making coffee. We were invited to join around  the fire and coup of strong coffee with sugar was served. The sheeps were vailing on the sight distance, sun was shining and the morning weather was still rather cool. It was told that toward afternoon it will be warmer if not even hot. I was advised to protect my head - the sunshine was very intensive in the desert. My guide Ziegel spoke in some extent the bedouin language and the conversation succeeded - everyday matters were discussed.

Coffee needs water as well the household and the cattle, where was the water taken. The nomads knowed actually several places where the water was available. Ziegel showed me one of the sources during the trip: it was a deep hole direct on the street, covered with the iron deck. It appeared that the old road took place via wells and fountains - this was obviously one and well motivated justification for the location of the road. 


The rocks on that area in the Sinai  sind mainly hardened sand forming harder and softer levels. The harder bed preserves the water while the softer sheets allow the water  move. The water also accumulated and formed often vast bowl formed underground water supplies. On the other hand the area where we were driving belongs to the long from east Africa to Turkey extending tectonic plate area. The Dead Sea is one part in this continuity. One could see the deep fractures  that had broken the the earth apart and. Ziegel wanted to show me one special fracture which began near the road and lead finally about twenty meter deep ending to the water spring. It was possible to see how the sand layers were broken and how the water had run away to bottom of gulley. May be even the bottom was staying on the such a kind of level. I could imagine the prophet Moses standing here with his nomade stock, pushing the stock through the sand layer to the vast water bowl, and allowing the water run  through the sand layer…


In the stone wall was ancient drawings and astonishing was to find the drawings about dromedaries, nomad poles and even  the drawing about Menorah, a seven-branched lampstand used in the ancient tabernacle, a temporary hut in the desert. I had a very poor and simple camera with me, but I decided anyhow to take pictures from those drawings, which reminded me from the biblical desert migration of the jewish tribe in the Sinai desert. I decided to let  produce some pictures from those ancient drawings and after the trip I actually  hanged those to on the wall in the iFM-SEI office. When the IFM-SEI office were moved after my period from Vienna to Brussel  I left those pictures for the Secretariat, but the pictures arrived never to Brussels - they were stolen either already in Vienna or later in Brussels. I had the negatives still by me and a couple of those pictures are still decorating my home. They reminds me from the historical roots of the jewish tribes, there migration, everlasting diaspora and the lifestyle striving toward harmony, combining the jewish people and the whole mankind together... 

This occasion became in the spiritual sense of the word very important experience during my short period as a leader of IFM-SEI secretariat.

Now this region belongs again to Egypt and as far as I understand, the approach from the Israelian site of border may be very difficult if not totally impossible. 





IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (6)


6 The central tasks in the IFM-SEI


Central tasks


The balancing the IFM-SEI economy

So blending personality as Miguel Angel Martinez had  been already that time, and later as a parliamentarian and international activist  on the whole his lifetime, there was one item on  his activity which he did not succeed to keep in order. It was the finances of the IFM-SEI. The situation of the socialist children international had never been easy to manage and the persons in charge must be all the time extremely cearefull and conscious in performing the work. The money available forms of course an absolute border for  the amount of activities and  for the framework of household of secretariat.


This matter was several times discussed in the nordic co-operative committee of falcon organisations of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and the difficult economical situation was considered as a one important task to be balanced. It was also the question to restore the trust to the proper and conscious work of the secretariat. The Austrian Kinderfreunde had allowed the debts to grow over the frames of IFM-SEI budget, which on the other side put the secretariat to dependency toward the hosting organisation. Especially Unga Örnar with its vigorous secretary general, Alvar Lindqvist was insisting determined work toward balanced economy. Other European member organisations didn’t have so much standing cooperation and their situation toward international was often an opposite one: they had debts to be paid toward international, which hold  them quite a quiet  when the finances were discussed. I made an agreement with Alvar Lindqvist, that his son, working professionally on the financial tasks would come to Vienna in order to look what can be done. This was also performed.


The debts of the iFM-SEI were that time over 200 000 Austrian Shillings, which was approximately the sum paid for the secretary general in one year. It was a very big sum during the time when the oil crisis raised the prices and inflation was  galloping. The membership fees remained on the same level as earlier and the difficult global financial crisis handled the national organisations brutally as well. 

Already in the first international Committee meeting 18-21.9. 1973 we had the notice, that the European Council had dropped the financial its assistance in the case of IFM-SEi to the lower level, “second category” compared to political youth internationals, European trade union youth framework and CENYC, the co-ordination organisation of national youth representations having different kind of structures. No special activity bounded reason was expressed, the dropping was directed to the administrative costs, in spite of the fact that those costs were more or less the same in all internationals and moreover, the administration was extremely invulnerable and most suffered because of  the financial global chaos caused by oil crisis. IFM-SEI criticised the big financial support of CENYC, which as an organisation didn’t have principally more than coordinating task on the European level. No of its member structures - whatever they may be  - didn’t have the right to represent the political or social ideas of the national youth organisations - they had on European and World wide level their own representative structures, ie. internationals. The international committee hold the situation as scandalous. As a starting point these news from the European level were of course extremely alarming  and weakened remarkably my possibilities to balance the household of the IFM-SEI. Thus, there was no reason to start play a big leader of mass movement, but try to find a realistic and executable way to stabilize the economical situation of the international.


According the financial situation I had to note from the very beginning, that travelling all over the world without a special and concrete aim was out of the question from very beginning. In the nordic cooperation committee was noted, that it was much more economical to invite representatives and delegations outside of Europe to make a study tours among the member organisations on our continent. The falcon organisations had plenty of  traditions and interesting activities, clubs, centers, camping palaces and even more, the work was very often supported by the municipalities or public finances in general. Our experiences may help also the beginning organisations on the other continents to find an opportunity to start the children activities directly or - and this was my vision - tu built a broad political structure with all the professional people who already worked among the children in the schools, nurseries, social structures or in ideal, orientation based organisations.



The rights of children and the tradition of labour movement


In beginning the work in the IFM-SEI there were two items to which I thought to concentrate my activity. The first one was the attempt to deepening the educational content in the spirit of UN children human rights. When looking the world it still was authoritarian, humiliating and in great extent  the place dominated with physical and mental suffering. The universal human rights expelled in the UN-declaration were not followed and the same was with the rights with the children. My task was to show that the human rights and the tradition  of labour movement were with firm chains connected together. This tradition of values would confirm and guarantee the realisation even the rights of children.


Having my background  in the Finnish Labour Movement I was naturally interested in the roots and original idea of social democracy. I became that time very  attached to the Marx’ economical and  philosophical Manuscripts and especially to the Thomas Bottomores English translation of this earlier works. The introduction was written by Erich Fromm, a great representative of the “Frankfurter Schule”, not so very far from the austro marxist social democracy. I found these ideas a great praise of creativity, self liberation and new revolutionary, conscious practice toward fulfilling the personality. It was a first translation in english, the german version was earlier made in the Soviet Union and was transformed to the propagandist purposes of the marxism-leninism as it was called that time. This book with the name “Marx’ concept of Man” has still an honored place in my bookshelf. From these bases opened in my mind the way to respect and to cultivate the creativity and spontaneity connected with the practices which could be a common bases to the socialist education around the world.


Transmission of values and attitudes

The second starting point to the socialist education could be found in those values and attitudes, which worked in the minds of everyday educators living among the the children and forming with their lifestyle the circumstances of the younger people. I had an intuition that the organisational work could not start in  such a form what it had reached in the European Falcon organisations. On should accept a larger humanistic base having its expression in the different cultures and circumstances. I had developed already in my former occupation as a leader of Finnish Falcon movement a special child political approach binding the voluntary and professional educators together in order to transmit the socialist attitudes through the own personality and trying to avoid the most immanent errors like authoritarian, possessive, violent, commercialized or even more destructive character orientation as an educative principle. No need to state that the Austrian Kinderfreunde was for me an outstanding example from the organisation  performing such a kind of work and creating for that purpose may be the first tradition, structures and working forms  in the whole mankind.



IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (7)



Powerful Kinderfreunde


Starting from the poor economical situation of the IFM-SEI, the question artises: how it was possible to make so remarkable debts without falling totally down as an organisation? The reason that the IFM-SEI didn’t make bankruptcy during the Miguel Martinez time in the steering, seemed to have its logic in the strong position of the  Kinderfreunde in the Austrian labour movement. 

The Austrian social democracy had succeeded in several ways in its work. The result were invisible everywhere in the country, even in the capital Vienna itself. The kindergarten, nurseries were taken by the Kinderfreunde - it wa the biggest structure in the town taking responsibility of the day care of children. also our children spent a part of the day either in a nursery or  “in Hort” as it was called.  “Rote Falken with their blue skirts and red neckers were just one part of the huge organisation. In the Hort the children became the “Jause” which means a snack, there they had an opportunity to read and make the home tasks from the school. There was toys and plays and even guided afternoon  activities in different forms. The Hort supported very well the educational work of the parents at home. 

In all states of Austria was the development not reached the level of Vienna, which was and still is a special tour de force as far as European social democracy is spoken. The Socialist had a majority in the capital the massive work of socialist structures had started already on the 20:ees. This work were broken and destructed by the Nazi power in  the 1930es and in the second world war. The influence of the labour movement was visible in the city culture; the streets were named after a socialist leaders beginning from Karl Marx and Ferdinand Lasalle. Even one of the a beaches for swimmers were named for workers with the label “Arbeiter Strandbad”. The public transport was already that time in a excellent condition, the capital performed a massive building of hired houses and block of flats. Wien was a real display window of an Austrian socialists - and in my opinion still is. Kinderfreunde and the Rote Falken as a part of the concern organizes very imposing mass activities like "Herz für Deine Kinder", the heart for your children”, “Osterhase” “easter rabbit” or in the june "Welttag des Kindes" (the world day of the child) - a supershow for the kids in Prater, in Danube island or somewhere else on the beautiful place in the capital.  


The Vienna city parliament - working simultaneously as a parliament of the Vienna state supported and supports through various ways also the child political work of Kinderfreunde. So was born a model for the whole country. Several other form of work was organized; in the framework of Kinderfreunde there was a printing house “Verlag Jungbrunnen. Wolf Harranth, my secretary for European matters worked also in Verlag Jungbrunnen translating books and writing also by himself. This printing house kept contacts with the writers and artists. There was also a special toy shop selling carefully selected toys for the children, called “Spielzeugschachtel” - a toy box. This shop was really active against military- and war toys, which played already that time a remarkable role among the children toys. The motivation came - of course - from the hard experiences from second world war. “Never again war” was guiding the spirit of the Austrian labour movement and its political work in the educational framework - everywhere. There was only fifteen years from the occupation time of allies, from the time when the capital Vienna was divided sectors ruled by the allied forces. 

Austrian Kinderfreunde is - when compared to the other social democratic children organisations a massive ensemble of activities - an example of  the succes. Thio this entity belongs also an international SOS - children village organisation with numerous orphan houses and social entities. Kinderfreunde can thus enjoy an excellent prestige among the professional educators and specialists. The practical work is directed to the ordinary people, but not only directed - it is work among and with the people. That time Kinderfreunde had also the own educational periodical, called “Sozialistische Erziehung” (Socialist education) led by Sepp Steiner, educational activist and specialist in the same person. 

The international work and relations of Kinderfreunde were organized via International Falcon Movement .- Socialist Educational International. The international worked actually as an international department of the Kinderfreunde, in the same headquarter and the finances synchronized to the Kinderfreunde office. This was a huge help and support to the international, which didn’t have real possibilities to do the technical work, bounded to the Austrian way to organize the matters. Kinderfreunde functioned thus as hosting organisation and a employer toward the officials and trade unions. For instance, I became in Vienna immediately member in the appropriate trade union with all the responsibilities and benefits. Now, as a retired person I can receive every month a small piece of my pension from Austria, based on my work in the IFM-SEI. Book keeping, invoicing, cash, all these practical matters were performed by the hosting organisation. The balancing of the finances was a follow up activity - and this made it possible to run the costs over the planned amounts. Also, for Miguel was reimbursed travel costs and per diems much  over the budget foreseen. As a result Kinderfreunde executive leadership  took over and got an opportunity to dictate everyday life of the international. I suppose this situation also spoiled the relations of the former secretary general and executive forces of Kinderfreunde to the border of tolerance.


In the congres in Helsinki in April 1973 Hans Matzenauer, the executive leader of Kinderfreunde was elected as IFM-SEI president. In my point of view he represented an Austrian manager generation, well educated and very representative person with business approach - and so he also looked out. In my country was in the end of sixties happened a certain kind of new era in the form of less formal dressing and presentation wirth T-shirts and farmer trousers, long hair as a fashion. For Hans this seemed to be out out the question, the suit and the tie belonged to the work fashion. I understand that the the Kinderfreunde as a whole land covering entity and with numerous amount of personal was like a big business. Anyhow we - the young alternatives if not revolutionaries - used to held the bourgeois habits as a symbol of bourgeousy and its way to be active. Anyhow, the Kinderfreunde had as an organisation the strong support of the Austrian social democracy lead by Bruno Kreisky and the leadership of city Vienna.


Concerning the IFM-SEI the authority of Hans Matzenauer was transmitted via two channels; first as his role of the iFM-SEI president it was natural that we worked together. I considered also as self-evident that I listened carefully what the president thought about the contents in discussion and of course, my way to be active in the international. When the international worked because of practical reasons as a department of the Kinderfreunde, had he also in my opinion the right and privilege to give an advise how the practical matters should be performed. Joining to an Austrian social- healthy- and pension systems were in my case as a employee fulfilled via Kinderfreunde, which functioned also in my case as a employer. I joined also to the appropriate trade union and became obligatory member of Austrian Chamber of Labour. This membership was obliged for all working people on the Austrian soil.


No doubt Hans Matzenauer also used his position as a boss of the headquarter and one could remark this, especially in the manners of the personal. The power of the big organisation got also sometimes its expression  in the daily routines in the form of obedience, alienation and humiliation. The atmosphere was for me different from that I was experienced at home in Finland. Of course, I was coming from the smaller organisational framework. 


Hans participated sparsely in the quality of IFM-SEI president to the international meetings. One of the reasons was his aerophobia. Even for the long trips he favoured to take the train. To the IFM-SEI committee meeting in London he travelled from Vienna by train and ship, which took time several days more than the same trip by flight.





 


IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (8)


Comrades and tomatoes

I had time only two days in Vienna before my first trip abroad; in the frst day to the centrum of Vienna, Rauhensteingasse just in the neighborhood of the famous church St. Stephan. Being may be second or third time in Vienna it was spanning to take a tram and start to study how the capital of Austria works. The trip with tram took its way over the Danube via “Reichsbrücke” the famous bridge and the main street from the ost to west, to the city centre, district nr 1. Waltraud Stockhammer, the lady working in the IFM-SEI Secretariat was tensed too, she didn’t know what a kind of foreman she is going to get in  the office. During the time of the change there was some unconducted items to be performed. Technically he existing basis for the further work was there, Walltraud knew all the necessary practical approaches. I should come familiar with the life of the secretariat on the course of the time. There was from the beginning a lot of the personal and organisational matters to be performed.


Allready in the coming weekend there was an important meeting in sight; the German member organisation SFD-Die Falken had its congress in Gelsengirchen. It was expected that the new secratary general shoes himself in the meeting and also expresses some ideas concerning the world and European political situation, from the standpoint of the youth and educational perspectives. The panel discussionfor the representatives of congress was planned for sunday morning and the place was a big sports hall in the town.  Ritva and ur two children must stay in Vienna and become clear from the first weekend after our arrival. I didn’t even have a time to help in providing dood for the weekend. May be  Miriam Martinez could help in the very beginning in such s kind of everyday items?


SJD- Die Falken and Herbert Wehner

To participate to this meeting in Gelsenkirchen was for me important therefor, because our latin American secretary was still after the IFM-SEI Congresson his study tour in Europe and was going to participate as a guest of German Falcons to the congress. My task was  try to to find Luis in Gelsenkirchen. Finally it happened very easily - Luis was waiting me on the railwaystation.


In the meeting itself was a tight two front situation - the audience was divided to the right wing and left wing fractions which was manifested by the relations to the DDR, German Demoratic Republic, for favour or against this form of “socialism”. The right wing mainstream represented a traditional social democratic approach speaking for “democratic socialism” , the left wing symhatisized the forms and maybe ideas getting its expression the eastern part of Germany. The situation culminated to the panel discussion on that sunday morning by the fact, that the German Social Democratic party had sent as a representant of the party person called Herbert Wehner, who was one of the most disputed but a charismatic personality in the party having his personal history experiences as well communist as social democratic side, fighting that time vigorously for the social democratic values. I had in some extent exiting and even frightening opportunity to sit in the panel on the left side of Herbert Wehner. It was clear that the night before meeting was spent by discussing and trinking beer. The atmosphere was restless and noisy when the tired and may be the whole night awaken stayed young people were cathered to the hall. It was not prone to diminish the aggressivity of the audience, on the contrary, the hulabaloo was increasing all the time. The panel was opened by the juat elected Chairman and he gotrigorous applauses after his address. After him was in turn Herbert Wehner, the peer of Willy Brandt with his different own history, a radical socialist  during his youth. He spoke by reading the text from the paper in front of him. It began to fly different kind of material on the air, paper and plastic bags, rest of the tomatoes, apple seed cases, rest of the trip provisions etc; the voices were risingd among the audience; the organizers tried to calm the people but seemingly without result.  

What a kind of meeting it was where I was first time as a secretary general of an international? The speaker, Herbert Wehner seemed not at all to be bothered from the situation, he spoke reading his papers with his glasses for reading without any reaction toward to audience. He had also his pipe on the table waiting the time of discussion coming later. He dominated the situation and his voice and argumentations came clearly out from the loudspeakers.

May be the provisions and their covers were already  casted out when the time came for me to the floor to spoke. I spoke already that time rather well Germany, but this case I preferred to speak in English, which then was translated in Germany. I spoke of course about the socialst education and - thinking the radical side of the audience - I praised also the Marx’ concept of man - the the natural spontaneity of man in the meaning of self expression and the starting point of self consciousness. The interpreter made a good job, that neither left or right wing from the audience had no reason to continue the rather aggressive expression of their attendance. The reception of my speech was at least neutral one, which was afterwards  politely  convinced our Latin American secretary  Luis Carello. So actually happened and my relations to the SJD-Die Falken were formed practical and working. This fact was getting a very  important role in the coming months, thinking the drastic events in latin America and in Paraguay one and half years later. 


Luis and Ilpo - familiar friends



A funny coincidence made from us, Luis and me good friends at once and from the very beginning. We didn’t have travel provision in the form of food and not very much money either. Also after the meeting we were seeking an appropriate place to find something to eat, if not a hamburger - something connected with the city of Gelsenkirchen. Rather soon we did found a cafeteria or pub when seeing the green neon light inviting us with the name “Hot Dog”. We were pleased to find a place to stop our hunger. Thus walked we in and the waiter welcomed us to take a seat. What would you like to take?’

Accoedin the name of the place we decided order hot dogs - and our order was received politely but may be a bit astonishing way. Of course ordered also two beers - in Germany this may be a very common and traditional way to dump down the thirst. By drinking the beer and waiting the hot dogs we had time to take a look  around, the other customers - there were several quests by the bar desk. The atmosphere was very familiar; the man hold  his hand on the waist of his neighboring man - and and reached out and kissed him. What was that? Looking nearer we realized there was several couples of men - women there was not at all. So, we realiozed we were harboured to the meeting pace of the gays in the town! The name “Hopt dog” didn’t refer to the food or to the menu of the bar, but was simultaneously a symbol of homo erotic attitude of the meeting place. 

To keep the poker face in that situation was a rather hard task, but afterwards we were laughing joyfully for this happening. This unconventional occurrence made us closer friends - but not in the sense of the visited place…






IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (9)



The turning point

One day on the spring 1974 I received a message from Hans Matzenauer, the president of the international. He wanted to have a meeting with me by lunch. Also Wolf Harranth, the IFM-SEI European secretary will participate. Of course the meeting was invited in order to discuss the IFM-SEI items. The activity of the president was certainly a good signal. It was important to discuss together and the new thoughts and ideas were very welcome, thinking the oil crisis and the debts that were born during the former congress periods. The borders for an action were absolutely very limited.

The subject of the meeting was the improving of the IFM_SEI finances. It was already possible to realise, that those few means that were available pointed to the right direction. President Matzenauer insisted from me new means how the financial situation would be balanced. I repeated the line of my actions. I shall travel on the cost of the secretariat so little as possible. My representations in the European institutions made it possible to participate on the European level, in the European Youth Centre, European Youth Foundation and in  the connection of European Coordination Committee of Youth Internationals. There were no plans to make visits to other continents, in spite of the fact that we had  regional secretariats in latin America and in the South Asia, in India. It has succeeded to us to organize the participation to our international seminars from South Asia and also some new countries like from Cyprus which planned to start the work with the socialist education. Moreover, following the plan of Luis Carello there was coming a delegation of four persons to our seminars and to familiarize with the Falcon organisations in the several European countries. Other sources for the incomes for the international I didn’t have discovered. Neither the members of the international committee didn’t make any proposals in this connection. Anyhow, I was rather confident that the situation was going to the right direction.

Anyhow, our president had new thoughts, may be not only alone by himself developed - I assumed that Wolof Harranth were connected to this introductory work  of visions. Thye idea was to organize more seminars in the cooperation with the European youth institutions and via that way create new possibilities to improve the economy of the IFM-SEI.

As a first reaction I could really understand how could it be possible. The international schooling that was supported by those institutions must be organize without striving to create profit and following the tight principles of saving of resources. Also the European institutions were all faced with the consequences of the oil crisis. The price of petroleum was very high - higher what it is today when compared to the common level of salaries. The support was reduced only by the administration - as it was happened in the case of the IFM-SEI, also the amount of the activities had to reduced according the budgets available. We had also got our plan of activities to be realized with the help of those institutions so far as expected.  The problem was rather to raise the participation in the member organisations. Also their economies had severally suffered from, the oil crisis on the global level. I also expressed this fact in the discussion. 


The question concerned finally not the seminars and our activities but to the economy of the international. The idea was not to organize more training. The main idea was to build up themes and programs, to which then we should seek financial support. There would be enough ways to find expenses and receipts, not necessarily bounded with the rel activities. This work would result financial means for the international.  


It took a certain time to crasp  for me that such a kind of apparent quasi activity in seeking financial support was a rather common element on the European level. It has proved to be especially common toward European institutions - the financial collapse of some member countries of the European Union can be seen as a result of more or less corruptive way to handle with the finances. The manufacturing the receipts was possible, because the controlling of the work in the sense of the realized activities was accidental. In spite of that it was not without of the risks. The good and useful themes would be consumed without of real participation. It was also apparent that there would be wild problems with the reports, especially thinking the member organisations. As a secretary general of Nuoret Kotkat in Finland I had heard such a kind of work and I had always rejected the striving to the ideals with the methods which didn’t hold the daylight. On the international level and as a secretary general, the responsible person concerning the orientation of the organisation I considered such a kind of work really dangerous. I couldn’t manage to explain such a kind of work in my home country, not to mention the nordic cooperation among the falcon organisations. We had used to perform our work through democratic manner and in truthful way.


Little by little it became me clear what kind of work was expected from side of my  president Hans Matzenauer. No question, concrete proposals were waited. Directly I couldn’t propose anything, as a matter of fact I was rather appalled. So much understanding was in any case shown that I got few days time to think the proposed strategy. The meeting with the lunch was closed from my side in confused feelings.


The dream

I had not prepared myself to this kind of situation, in which from me was anticipated only a poor technical know how in order to the clarify the finances of the international. I undersdtan that some people can orientate themselves without conscious problems to such a kind of work. In some extent also in Finland the technical work in organizing money behind the open scene was understood and even hold as a natural way to come out from the financial difficulties. With my character such a kind of work was not possible and at least in Finland it had come very clear, I stayed outside of making money with all means in charge. Now I was facing the same conflict on the international level. I worked the the way of the things trying to find a reasonable way ahead - but without result.


On the second night after our meeting I had a following dream: I was climbing with ladder on the very big mountain - maybe it was like a globe - in order to reach the top and find a balanced, stable position. Suddenly the ladder starts to turn back and I have a feeling to fall down. I waked up from this nightmare sweating - and understanding that this dream had a task to tell me something important,.

To understand the symbolic of dreams is not very common and it happens all the more seldom that somebody use the dream as a keepoint to solve the actual problem. I had already years earlier in the connection of my social psychological studies  and humanistic psychoanalysis confronted with this item. My master  was erich fromm, who had learner how to use “the free association” as a mean to solve emotionally difficult problems and situations. If you interested about this theme I recommend to read book of  Erich Fromm“The forgotten language”. 

I realized that the dream had an important message for me to tell from, the state of the recent problems. I realized that the accepting the proposals of our my president in the international would mean the total collapse of my values and standing points. It would not be possible to become clear with the results created by the proposed pure technical approach to the matter. The wasting the ideas and themes, the technical work with the receipts and reports, an unfair approach toward financing bodies. In a critical situation I couldn’t have any kind of support from my president or from the international committee, to which I in any case was responsible concerning my way to work. I was the first Finnish social democrat who was elected to the full time as a  secretary general in an international social democratic organisation. Even if my work would be stopped on the next day. I should not approve the proposed way to go ahead. The economy of the international must be taken seriously and to guide to the expected goal, but the means to be used must be clean and transparent. It was not my fault that the Kinderfreunde had allowed my predecessor Miguel Martinez to go over the borders of the budget. On the other side I understood that the administrative bodies of Kinderfreunde expected from Hans Matzenauer the quick and rabid balancing the accounts toward the IFM-SEI.




The last cup of coffee

The meeting concerning the plans was organized already on the following week after the lunch meeting. It took place in the rather big facilities of the executive director of Austrian Kinderfreunde, Hans Matzenauer. There was coffee and magnific Austrian cakes, “Appfelstrudel” available. I had an assumption that it was waited a positive answer from my side to the proposed approach in the IFM-SEI affairs. At least the atmosphere was built into that direction. 

I was aware that my answer to the proposed approach would lead my work and relationship toward the president of IFM-SEI to the serious crisis. It was not easy to state straightaway that I never would accept the way and the means expected by him concerning my future work in the international. By drinking coffee I announced that I was not used to run my work in that manner. It would make the situation even more severe. My answer did not amuse Hans Matzenauer, his face was getting grayer after my answer. He felt remarkably injured, he took a tensioned position and announced that the situation will not remain to this point. Second cup of coffee was not served and didn’t remain to wait it. By living the room I knew that there will be consequences.


Anyhow, concerning the line of international will not be decided by the president or secretary general alone. For me the support from the side of nordic member organisations was an important one. I knew that in the nordic countries where the reporting moral was absolutely high and any kind of manipulation was out of the question. 


This was the last time when I drank coffee with the president during my time as a secretary general. Already the same day I phoned to the secretary of Unga Örnar in Sweden, Alvar Lindqvist and informed him about the financial discussion I had with Matzenauer. It was agreed that this item will be discussed in the nordic cooperation committee of the IFM-SEI member organisations. The next meeting will anyhow to be held in september. In order to be sure with the economical situation of the international Alvar promised to send his son who was studying finances in the commercial high school on the costs of Unga Örnar to Vienna.  He came and during two days we worked properly out the accounts of the IFM-SEI in order to be clear concerning the development.  It became clear that we were without any doubt on the way of progress. The saving program had started to work and I could continue on the same line.


Of course, I have asked that time and several times later, if it was taken too tough position to common discussion concerning the policy of IFM-SEI with Hans Matzenauer. The situation was appearing paradoxical, because I saw the model of Austrian Kinderfreunde, ie. the broader  child political approach the way how to get further in the IFM-SEI. Also not only work like the traditional falcon organisations used to perform, but connecting all the progressive forces being in charge of the social and educational welfare of the younger generation to create a new mainstream. This would be realised as a part of our normal work as a socialist education. I felt me too wounded after the very specific approach described here. I understand that Hans Matzenauer had very similar feelings but from the different reasons. The turning point was there.






IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (9)



The turning point

One day on the spring 1974 I received a message from Hans Matzenauer, the president of the international. He wanted to have a meeting with me by lunch. Also Wolf Harranth, the IFM-SEI European secretary will participate. Of course the meeting was invited in order to discuss the IFM-SEI items. The activity of the president was certainly a good signal. It was important to discuss together and the new thoughts and ideas were very welcome, thinking the oil crisis and the debts that were born during the former congress periods. The borders for an action were absolutely very limited.

The subject of the meeting was the improving of the IFM_SEI finances. It was already possible to realise, that those few means that were available pointed to the right direction. President Matzenauer insisted from me new means how the financial situation would be balanced. I repeated the line of my actions. I shall travel on the cost of the secretariat so little as possible. My representations in the European institutions made it possible to participate on the European level, in the European Youth Centre, European Youth Foundation and in  the connection of European Coordination Committee of Youth Internationals. There were no plans to make visits to other continents, in spite of the fact that we had  regional secretariats in latin America and in the South Asia, in India. It has succeeded to us to organize the participation to our international seminars from South Asia and also some new countries like from Cyprus which planned to start the work with the socialist education. Moreover, following the plan of Luis Carello there was coming a delegation of four persons to our seminars and to familiarize with the Falcon organisations in the several European countries. Other sources for the incomes for the international I didn’t have discovered. Neither the members of the international committee didn’t make any proposals in this connection. Anyhow, I was rather confident that the situation was going to the right direction.

Anyhow, our president had new thoughts, may be not only alone by himself developed - I assumed that Wolof Harranth were connected to this introductory work  of visions. Thye idea was to organize more seminars in the cooperation with the European youth institutions and via that way create new possibilities to improve the economy of the IFM-SEI.

As a first reaction I could really understand how could it be possible. The international schooling that was supported by those institutions must be organize without striving to create profit and following the tight principles of saving of resources. Also the European institutions were all faced with the consequences of the oil crisis. The price of petroleum was very high - higher what it is today when compared to the common level of salaries. The support was reduced only by the administration - as it was happened in the case of the IFM-SEI, also the amount of the activities had to reduced according the budgets available. We had also got our plan of activities to be realized with the help of those institutions so far as expected.  The problem was rather to raise the participation in the member organisations. Also their economies had severally suffered from, the oil crisis on the global level. I also expressed this fact in the discussion. 


The question concerned finally not the seminars and our activities but to the economy of the international. The idea was not to organize more training. The main idea was to build up themes and programs, to which then we should seek financial support. There would be enough ways to find expenses and receipts, not necessarily bounded with the rel activities. This work would result financial means for the international.  


It took a certain time to crasp  for me that such a kind of apparent quasi activity in seeking financial support was a rather common element on the European level. It has proved to be especially common toward European institutions - the financial collapse of some member countries of the European Union can be seen as a result of more or less corruptive way to handle with the finances. The manufacturing the receipts was possible, because the controlling of the work in the sense of the realized activities was accidental. In spite of that it was not without of the risks. The good and useful themes would be consumed without of real participation. It was also apparent that there would be wild problems with the reports, especially thinking the member organisations. As a secretary general of Nuoret Kotkat in Finland I had heard such a kind of work and I had always rejected the striving to the ideals with the methods which didn’t hold the daylight. On the international level and as a secretary general, the responsible person concerning the orientation of the organisation I considered such a kind of work really dangerous. I couldn’t manage to explain such a kind of work in my home country, not to mention the nordic cooperation among the falcon organisations. We had used to perform our work through democratic manner and in truthful way.


Little by little it became me clear what kind of work was expected from side of my  president Hans Matzenauer. No question, concrete proposals were waited. Directly I couldn’t propose anything, as a matter of fact I was rather appalled. So much understanding was in any case shown that I got few days time to think the proposed strategy. The meeting with the lunch was closed from my side in confused feelings.


The dream

I had not prepared myself to this kind of situation, in which from me was anticipated only a poor technical know how in order to the clarify the finances of the international. I undersdtan that some people can orientate themselves without conscious problems to such a kind of work. In some extent also in Finland the technical work in organizing money behind the open scene was understood and even hold as a natural way to come out from the financial difficulties. With my character such a kind of work was not possible and at least in Finland it had come very clear, I stayed outside of making money with all means in charge. Now I was facing the same conflict on the international level. I worked the the way of the things trying to find a reasonable way ahead - but without result.


On the second night after our meeting I had a following dream: I was climbing with ladder on the very big mountain - maybe it was like a globe - in order to reach the top and find a balanced, stable position. Suddenly the ladder starts to turn back and I have a feeling to fall down. I waked up from this nightmare sweating - and understanding that this dream had a task to tell me something important,.

To understand the symbolic of dreams is not very common and it happens all the more seldom that somebody use the dream as a keepoint to solve the actual problem. I had already years earlier in the connection of my social psychological studies  and humanistic psychoanalysis confronted with this item. My master  was erich fromm, who had learner how to use “the free association” as a mean to solve emotionally difficult problems and situations. If you interested about this theme I recommend to read book of  Erich Fromm“The forgotten language”. 

I realized that the dream had an important message for me to tell from, the state of the recent problems. I realized that the accepting the proposals of our my president in the international would mean the total collapse of my values and standing points. It would not be possible to become clear with the results created by the proposed pure technical approach to the matter. The wasting the ideas and themes, the technical work with the receipts and reports, an unfair approach toward financing bodies. In a critical situation I couldn’t have any kind of support from my president or from the international committee, to which I in any case was responsible concerning my way to work. I was the first Finnish social democrat who was elected to the full time as a  secretary general in an international social democratic organisation. Even if my work would be stopped on the next day. I should not approve the proposed way to go ahead. The economy of the international must be taken seriously and to guide to the expected goal, but the means to be used must be clean and transparent. It was not my fault that the Kinderfreunde had allowed my predecessor Miguel Martinez to go over the borders of the budget. On the other side I understood that the administrative bodies of Kinderfreunde expected from Hans Matzenauer the quick and rabid balancing the accounts toward the IFM-SEI.




The last cup of coffee

The meeting concerning the plans was organized already on the following week after the lunch meeting. It took place in the rather big facilities of the executive director of Austrian Kinderfreunde, Hans Matzenauer. There was coffee and magnific Austrian cakes, “Appfelstrudel” available. I had an assumption that it was waited a positive answer from my side to the proposed approach in the IFM-SEI affairs. At least the atmosphere was built into that direction. 

I was aware that my answer to the proposed approach would lead my work and relationship toward the president of IFM-SEI to the serious crisis. It was not easy to state straightaway that I never would accept the way and the means expected by him concerning my future work in the international. By drinking coffee I announced that I was not used to run my work in that manner. It would make the situation even more severe. My answer did not amuse Hans Matzenauer, his face was getting grayer after my answer. He felt remarkably injured, he took a tensioned position and announced that the situation will not remain to this point. Second cup of coffee was not served and didn’t remain to wait it. By living the room I knew that there will be consequences.


Anyhow, concerning the line of international will not be decided by the president or secretary general alone. For me the support from the side of nordic member organisations was an important one. I knew that in the nordic countries where the reporting moral was absolutely high and any kind of manipulation was out of the question. 


This was the last time when I drank coffee with the president during my time as a secretary general. Already the same day I phoned to the secretary of Unga Örnar in Sweden, Alvar Lindqvist and informed him about the financial discussion I had with Matzenauer. It was agreed that this item will be discussed in the nordic cooperation committee of the IFM-SEI member organisations. The next meeting will anyhow to be held in september. In order to be sure with the economical situation of the international Alvar promised to send his son who was studying finances in the commercial high school on the costs of Unga Örnar to Vienna.  He came and during two days we worked properly out the accounts of the IFM-SEI in order to be clear concerning the development.  It became clear that we were without any doubt on the way of progress. The saving program had started to work and I could continue on the same line.


Of course, I have asked that time and several times later, if it was taken too tough position to common discussion concerning the policy of IFM-SEI with Hans Matzenauer. The situation was appearing paradoxical, because I saw the model of Austrian Kinderfreunde, ie. the broader  child political approach the way how to get further in the IFM-SEI. Also not only work like the traditional falcon organisations used to perform, but connecting all the progressive forces being in charge of the social and educational welfare of the younger generation to create a new mainstream. This would be realised as a part of our normal work as a socialist education. I felt me too wounded after the very specific approach described here. I understand that Hans Matzenauer had very similar feelings but from the different reasons. The turning point was there.






IFM-SEI histories by Ilpo Rossi… (11)



The solution


After getting free the political prisoners of IFM-SEI we hold a special seminar in European Youth Centre working through  experiences and material we had got in the course of happenings in this drama. This time it was rather easy to get participants and the item was drastic. To find vigorous ways to rescue victims from hands of terrorist and even authoritarian regimes was our case. Simultaneuóusly we were aware that the means of NGO:s were fragile and weak. The government of Willy Brandt had taken an action and founded a special unit for such a kind of special incidents. It was officially established on April 17, 1973 as a part of Germany's federal police agency, also less than one year before the case in Paraguay. This would be a certain kind of training toward future, when the special commando troop of Schmidt’s government under leadership of Hans Jürgen Wischnewsky would will release 80 passengers in Mogadishu, Somalia. The name of Wischnewsky remained thus to history fighting against terrorists and other undemocratic forces by sacrificing human lives with special methods developed in the course of work.

Anyhow, the European Youth Centre had received a letter from the president of IFM-SEI, in which was announced from the broken cooperation between me and the president, the executive manager of Kinderfreunde.  I wasn’t seen the letter - it was not meant for my eyes or remarks. From the letter told me Jack Zapashnik, the tutor of our seminar. The incident had of course awaken discussion among the personnel of the Centre and guesswork around the future course of developments. After such a kind of turning point my situation as a secretary of IFM-SEI was questioned and my prestige on the personal markets  among the youth leaders was surely not high. I remembered the words of my predecessor Miguel Martinez: I have learned the svim in muck - but I have never learned to like it…This kind of stabbing on the back was,  needless to say,  a dirty way of handling also he may  have received and neither I was prone to love such a kind of working methods. Who was written that letter I didn’t know but Matzenauer had in any case signed it and took thus the responsibility. It was surely expected that this letter would totally stop my possibilities to do serious work among the internationals. My reaction to this turn was necessary, not only because of my personal honours but also thinking the work of international.

On the long way - it took by train the whole one day - the personal decision ripened. I decided that immediately on the next day I take phonecall to two vice presidents of IFM-SEI and inform what has happened. I felt the situation being threatening because there was no kind of help or support to be expected in Vienna. What may be the next step? I didn’t get contact with Nic Nilson, our vice president  in Sweden but I took the phone call to secretary of Unga Örnar and described the matter to him. I told him that the the circumstances in Vienna had got such a kind turn of  events that I couldn’t any more continue as secretary general. The only way was to organise a extra ordinary congress, in which at least the secretary general must be replaced. Alvar expressed his doubts in form that this most probably would not be enough. The next secretary General who the person may be would meet the same problem than I and my predecessor. Concerning the extraordinary congress he had same opinion with me. It must be organised as soon as possible.

I phoned also to vice president Peit Kempenaars, who was recovering from the tribulations of his South American tour and from the first experiences in jail during his life. He understood the situation and hold the extraordinary congress needed and important in this situation. He had a couple of concrete proposals to the item discussed. The congress could be organised in Belgium; concerning the location of the IFM-SEI secretariat he had an astonishing proposal.





Astonishing proposal

The city Brussels had started a campaign in order to get more international actors to Belgian capital. The city administration had realized in the course of growing European Community that the cooperation with European institutions draw well paid people not only from the member countries, but via various international organisations and institutions into the city. They were very good taxpayers. New offices were also badly needed and all the big organisations were looking where locate their headquarters. Therefore it was more than understable that city Brussels had decided as a part of its municipal policy to offer rooms for newcomers without any costs. The decision was freshly adopted. Thus the secretariat of IFM-SEI could get  rooms for its work free of charge in Brussels. This was an offer from which even in normal situation was difficult to reject, not speaking from IFM-SEI and the situation into which we had been forced. Also the partners in the European Youth framework were already there. The information of Piet Kempenaars and the idea move the secretariat from Vienna sounded  rather promising.

Once again the lucky coincidence worked for the IFM-SEI. I asked Piet to take contact with Swedish Unga Örnar organisation and tell further his concrete proposals. Concerning me, I supported his proposals straight away. 

The events around the international started to go further with rigorous speed. The nordic Falcon organisations and the Belgium made a demand to invite an extraordinary congress. The items to take into discussion and decision making were the selection of secretary general and the location of the IFM-SEI headquarter. I had also a short discussion with Hans Matzenauer and Wolf Harranth. The invitation extra ordinary congress was accepted also by them. However, I didn’t tell them from the letter which was delivered from the president to the European Youth Centre. I wouldn’t like to hamper the situation on Jack  Zapashnik in European Youth Centre - he was an excellent and frank tutor in his work.

The thought to move IFM-SEI secretariat was not according the visions of Hans Matzenauer this was seeable in his face. He had not prepared himself to the case, that the the secretariat will leave Vienna simultaneously with me.  Annoyed made he the statement, that if the secretariat will leave Vienna, he will not continue as a president of IFM-SEI. 


The package was ready, only the practical arrangements to fulfil the task had to be foreseen.



Extra ordinary Congress of IFM-SEI

The congress in this case took just one day, it was organised in Liége in Belgium in May 1975. One day meeting indicated also to the fact that the international must organize its work still as sparing as possible. The fiscal and activity reports from my period were dealt and adopted. 

The period was very stormy in the real meaning of the  word: oil crisis had several, drastic consequences in the world. The military coup d’etát  in Chile strengthened the right wing dictatorships in whole Latin America. It also weakened our possibilities to the further actions. We were harboured as international committee  to the eye of the storm in Yom Kippur war and were compelled in some extent to take position to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians by visiting occupied areas. We had succeeded to found a new member organisation in Cyprus. This new organisation started with important child political and educational principles and was pushed forward by the socialist teachers in the country. Katya Hadidemitriou, who visited our seminar in Strasbourg was a teacher also herself. After two years the organisation had collected a huge amount of socialist teacher to its work.  Thus the birth of the organisation in Cyprus followed the comprehensive approach in the political meaning   of the word. 


Writing this I still keep this model a rationalistic and functional way to approach  social and democratic activity on the  circumstances of growing generation. Some months before the extra ordinary congress we had performed a hard and succeeded effort to release political prisoners in South America without any kind of material resources. The practical work of the secretariat had succeeded in my opinion very well. Waltraud Stockhammer was a loyal cooperator in all meanings of the word. I never must feel me troubled with the items on her responsibility.  She announced to move also to Brussels to translating work in the framework of European Community. At the same time she could be nearer Jean Jack Polpaepep, the chief of European Coordination Committee of Youth internationals - their relationship seemed to blossom further…


IFM-SEI finances - balanced!


Positive surprise in the extra ordinary congress were the finances of IFM-SEI. My extremely sparing line with the money of IFM-SEI had lead to the result which was wished. The accounts of the international were on the time of eo. congress more or less balanced. Only the additional costs moving the secretariat from Vienna to Brussels remained straining the IFM-SEI economics in year 1975. This meant that IFM-SEI was free also economically from the management of Kinderfreunde.  

The meeting of the day was runned after the plans, The secretariat was decided unanimously - with financial motives -  to move from Vienna to Brussels. My work in the international was finished and as a new secretary general started Ulrich Andersen from Sweden. I didn’t know the fellow from earlier activities, for me he was unwritten page concerning IFM-SEI work. For the new president came Piet Kempenaars from Belgium. Thus, leadership was replaced and the secretariat became fully new circumstances for its work. Rather hard task in Vienna was performed.  The new beginning was waiting IFM-SEI.

After the meeting we went, Pertti Paasio and I, to the bar on the next corner in order to drink couple of beer and  make some kind of summary from the congcress and from the congress period in general. Pertti, faithful supporter and activist in Nuoret Kotkat, with whom we together leaded the IFM-SEI camp in Finland 1972,  could only notice the course of the happenings. After 12 years from the IFM-SEI congress Pertti was elected to chairman of Finnish Social Democratic Party.

The Austrian delegation participants travelled even in the same evening back for Vienna.


Transfer


After coming back to Vienna we had to start the removal of secretariat to Brussels. Waltraud Stockhammer ordered lorry for transport. The boxes for materials were there in the beginning of July. So started we the work, little by little. step by step. 

Very much help for our work did we get from the preparing work made by my wife, Ritva. Archives were in good order following the language groups and years. Office machines had the secretariat only few, writing machines, printer and some dictaphones. Tables and chairs there was no need to take to Brussels - such a kind of practical items was very easy to provide in Brussels..


My task was to make a list from the materials which we were sending to the new secretariat. In the next autumn I still visited Brussels in order to check  that everything was arrived. We also did together with new secretary general the list of practical matters to be performed in his new job. At same time I could make it for a granted that IFM-SEI had accustomed well in the new circumstances.


Pictures

On the wall of the office in Vienna there was some pictures, two from them were  provided by me. I had been in Sinai desert and those pictures were - in my opinion - fascinating. They were from the desert of Moab where - it was told in the old testament - Moses had strikt water from the rock. In the picture there was such a rock resembling a timber wall with different layers harder and smoother sandstone. In the picture there was also very old drawings - for instance a nomad stock - telling about importance of the place. There was darker colours showing that water had really flowed from the smoother sandleyers. I have already earlier described the place where it is. I also felt that I had strikt  water for the international in the desert like circumstances.

There was also an another picture from the same canyon in the desert, taken toward sky which was visible between the rock walls. The bright and beautiful sky, between hard rocky circumstances - a symbol of the circumstances it, too. The same feeling I got in approaching Helsinki in August 1975; the sky was bright blue after the Middle European grey sky views. 

I packed the class covered pictures carefully, thinking them as certain kind of heritage from my period as a head of IFM-SEI secretariat. After the transport I wanted to check whether the pictures were arrived in the  transport, I got an answer: what pictures? I described carefully the pictures. There was non. They were not among the transported material. They had disappeared probably already in Vienna, may be they were stolen.

At home in Helsinki I took the negatives of the pictures and let photo store put the enlargements of the pictures under the glass and again on wall in our living room - as a reminder from the demanding and teaching time as a secretary general in the international called IFM-SEI, Socialist Educational International - International Falcon Movement.


In empty office


In order to take responsibility from my work to the very end I asked Hans Matzenauer to write letter of reference from my employee time. I should pick it up as a last task and simultaneously to say farewell to rather silent Kinderfreunde staff. The letter was on his table. As a person Hans was not that time available. The testimonial was written following good manners and habits. The content of testimonial and the practice in the work were of course in the strict contradiction. I never used that paper  in my coming needs of CV. 

Rather soon after the IFM-SEI extra ordinary congress Hans Matzenauer became a high chief position in the Austrian school administration. His good secretary followed him to new tasks and obligations on his career.  Three or four years later I was visiting Austria with the trade union group and in that opportunity I phoned to Hans Matzenauer in order to see him once again. It was accepted and I was warmly  invited to his office where we three, Hans, his secretary Christel and I drank cup of coffee with very good Austrian cake. I understood and hope that my time in Vienna didn’t leave too deep scars, neither for him or me.


So I walked from the Kinderfreunde office three floor down to former IFM-SEI secretariat. The rooms were empty except some furnitures. The international of Falcon movements was not any more in Vienna. The task in Vienna was performed. 











Self evaluation


I suppose that everybody understand that the descriptions I have made from my time as a secretary general in IFM-SEI are in some extent coloured by my experiences and feelings from that time. It is the task of others to evaluate from own viewpoint whether I succeeded or not in this important work. Concerning the efforts and the way how I was active, in this sense I  don’t  have anything to regret. I believe I hold my temple clean and I did what was possible on the limits given. May be I wasn’t properly prepared to the cultural differences which predominate between Finland and Austria. lets’s take an example, the times of vocations. In Finland the working people have their holidays in July, in Austria - and in German speaking countries in deneral -  they use to have holidays  in August. Because of this difference I didn’t see Kinderfreunde people during summertime. From the other side to be prepared to autumn and meetings in September the papers had to be worked already in the beginning of summer, at latest in June.


The another cultural difference concerned working times. I was used to be in office between from 8-00 to 16.00. This timetable was inportant thinking also familylife, w had used to have our dinner about six o’clock. In Austria it seemed to be very common to stay in the office until six or seven o’clock. Thus I was at home about 5 or 6 o’clock. After dinner, anyhow I continued to work to the late evening dictating letters, reading materials arrived and planning the future. In spite of rather tight timetable in office I believe that I gave my full contribution to work.    

Concerning social relations I tried to follow rather tightly “democracy as a life stile”, not only in the work but also in the family life. It seems to be so that this kind of practice will very often be interpreted as certain kind of weakness, also in the labour movement. Unconsciously will be expected an authoritarian, determined personalities with the character to e leader or boss. Because my tejecting attitude toward authoritarian, violent, commercial or even destructive way of handling I believe I suffered in some extent from the lack of reliability. Also here I would still like to keep my principal approach in social relations in spite of the assumed weakness. In my opinion the labour movement - social democratic character included - suffers from the unanalytic and weak social psychology in the human relations. The everyday approach, common to culture in question dominates personal and social relations. From the educational point of view, this exactly the area were the socialist character should show its strength.   

I find it regrettable and sorrowful that the great tradition of values and activity forms of Kinderfreunde, the approach which earned to be noticed in the world,  be activated as a working form missioned via international secretary to the world, remained passive and unperformed. I was in any case prepared to work to that direction already during my secretary period in Finland.There was just one exception, Cyprus. Katja Hadidemitriu was became inspired from this “child political” educational  idea when participating to our seminar in Strasbourg. In very short time she succeeded together with his husband who was secretary of Cyprus Socialist Party, to launch such organisation based to cooperation with teachers trade union. I had an opprtunity to paticipate to IFM-SEI seminar in Cyprus about one year after I concluded my work in the i ternational. It was great to see the enthusiasm of teachers developing ideas and planning the future work, being motivated and optimistic. This sight in the mind symbolizes with best possible way the vision which still is useful and practical way to race socialist education in our countries and everywhere in the world.




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