Greece finally succumbed to euro pressures and signed up on a bailout agreement. It is apparent that it is an unequal agreement between unequal parties. You don’t argue with your school teacher because, right or wrong, the school teacher wins. It’s the same with the EU (led by Germany and France) vis-à-vis Greece.
Financial institutions view countries as mere fodder to inflict humiliation and follow that up with media propaganda to get the public thinking that the benevolent rich have unfettered the shackles of debt and ruin from the benefactor. Bailouts are never like that. Avaricious donor countries, private financiers and corporate entities within them, collude with the government by devising plans to exacerbate class divisions. This sounds crude but it the harsh truth. When it comes to profit, the capitalists unleash the worst of their exploitative instincts. They are seen in public wringing their hands acting as if they are genuinely troubled. Surreptitiously, they go into back rooms to make deals. It’s a case of manufacturing profit out of misery. In the case of the Greek bailout, the entire EU as a body has colluded rendering the EU as a non-family despite its tall claims!
Hard Truths encourages you to read and disseminate this article written by Suzanne Moore an award-winning columnist for the Guardian. She describes the EU plan as evidence that the EU is “capable of cruelty”. She exposes the EU agenda arguing that “the world is watching what is being done to Greece in the name of euro stability. It sees a nation stripped of its dignity, its sovereignty, its future”. Moore concludes on a harsh note: “The euro family has been exposed as a loan-sharking conglomerate that cares nothing for democracy. This family is abusive. This “bailout”, which will be sold as being a cruel-to-be-kind deal, is nothing of the sort. It is simply being cruel to be cruel”.
Economist, Joseph Stiglitz in an article “How I would vote in the Greek referendum” opines that a successful structural adjustment programme requires strong country ownership. He believes that it is Greek people who must be convinced that the deal will go in their favour. For reforms to take hold, the Greek government and its electorate must believe in them.
The troika of creditors – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European commission – simply does not have the leverage over Greece that they desire. Little wonder that the previous interventions have fallen through. This is not rocket science but the simple and irreversible fact that a country must take ownership of its reform programme is not a new lesson.
Leftwing ideologues have long viewed structural-reform programmes with deep suspicion, accusing international lenders such as the IMF and the World Bank of being captured by neoliberal market fundamentalists.
The lessons from Greece and other unsuccessful bailout programmes are sobering. If a debt bailout programme requires a wholesale change in a country’s economic, social, and political model, the best course of action might be to write off the private losses, rather than pour in public money to cover them. The vast majority of Greeks want to stay in the EU. In place of further loans, humanitarian aid may be a better strategy. This would decrease the risk of indebtedness and a new crisis returning soon.
Please read and disseminate this article by Susanne Moore.
The euro ‘family’ has shown it is capable of real cruelty
for reforms to take hold, the Greek government and its electorate must believe in them.
The seemingly indestructible Angela Merkel can go without sleep, and still manage a half smile and speak about Greece’s wish to remain in “the euro family”. This may sound reasonable and pleasant. All families have their little local difficulties, don’t they? But they work through them. People see reason. When they are forced to.
By infantilizing Greece, Germany resembles a child who closes its own eyes and thinks we can not see it. We can. The world is watching what is being done to Greece in the name of euro stability. It sees a nation stripped of its dignity, its sovereignty, its future. Analysts believe Alexis Tsipras could lose power amid the backlash over the deep economic reforms, and asset sales, he agreed to in Brussels
What kind of family, we might ask, does this to one of its own members? Even Der Spiegel online described the conditions that have been outlined as “a catalogue of cruelties”, but perhaps we should now put it another way, given Jean-Claude Juncker has denied that the Greek people have been humiliated. Juncker instead says that this deal is a typical “European” compromise. Yes, we see.
The machinations of financial institutions (the troika) have been exposed as much as the institutions themselves. Who runs these banks, and for whom? Twitter slogans talk of the three world wars: the first waged with guns, the second with tanks and this third world war waged by banks. Extreme? Well, there clearly is more than one way to take over a country.
The eurozone and Gemany want regime change in Greece, or at least to split Syriza. Alexis Tsipras has fought tooth and nail for something resembling the debt restructuring that even the International Monetary Fund acknowledges is needed. The incompetence of a succession of Greek governments and tax evasion within Greece is not in doubt. But the creditors of the euro family knew this as they upped their loans, and must now delude themselves that everything they have done has been for the best. It hasn’t, and now that same family will go in and asset-strip in broad daylight a country that can no longer afford basic medicines. In three days Greece is supposed to push through heaps of legislation on privatisation, tax and pensions so it can be even poorer.
There is to be no debt forgiveness in this family. Tsipras has to sell this to his people so the banks can reopen. His endurance has been remarkable, and more will be needed. The unsustainability of Greek debt, even if the country could achieve growth, remains. The words trust and confidence keep being used but by the wrong people. Trust is gone in this European project. François Hollande, ever the pseudo–mediator, may rattle on about the history and culture of Greece. Its value has actually been shown. Its value is purely symbolic. It is worth nothing.
The euro family has been exposed as a loan-sharking conglomerate that cares nothing for democracy. This family is abusive. This “bailout”, which will be sold as being a cruel-to-be-kind deal is nothing of the sort. It is simply being cruel to be cruel.