All eyes seem to be glued to the US Presidential Elections, certainly those of our media are, when I think they should be looking at Greece.
OK America is a more puissant nation but let’s say what most of us feel – it hardly matters who wins in America because, as am American comedian noted the other day, the candidates are just the same model just in two different colours. Either way Wall Street gets its man in the Presidency. For what it’s worth I think Wall Street, by and large, prefers Obama to win because his presence in the White House will do far more to contain public anger and particularly Black anger at the on-going lootting of the nation’s saving s and coffers than Romney’s would.
Romney has served his purpose which was, I suggest, to pull the debate as far to the right as possible and to help ensure that whoever wins does so without any mandate from the people. No large majority – no power to stand up to the juggernaught of special interests and Wall Street policies.
But Greece on the other hand stands at a cross roads not just for itself but for Democracy in Europe as a whole. Greece is in disarray but no more so than the rest of EUrope just more visibly so.What ails them is what is eating at us – the creeping failure of Democracy.
This morning, according to my friends there is already a large Police pressence on the Streets in Greece’s main cities. When the parliament votes on imposing the Austerity measures which the Greek peeople already rejected once, there will be trouble.
If the parliament sides with the Austerity Troika and its plan to put banks before people then there will be serious unrest. Not least because many Greeks no longer believe their parliament or their democracy work for them. They are increasingly seen as the mouth-piece of an occupying power.
It is no sure thing the measures will pass. PASOK, the main coalition partner, is in complete disarray. Already one MP and a senior party official have quit over the austerity measures. 17 members of PASOK refused to support the draft bill which contains the austerity measures and Privatizations of state assets. The Party leader was forced to call an emergency party meeting from which journalists were barred.
Quoted in the Greek paper Ekathimerini,
Cretan MP Nikos Sifounakis. “If we continue like this, the measures won’t pass. The government and PASOK will collapse.”
Why would the government collapse if it refused to vote for the Troika’s austerity measures? Why does following the will of a sovereign people inevitably lead to the collapse of a government?
Of course the financial world has also being applying its own pressure. Last Wednesday the Greek stock exchange dropped 5%. The reason according to another Ekathimerini article a few days ago,
It appears that investors are not just worried about the successful recapitalization of the country’s banks but also about the very question of whether the austerity package will survive next week’s parliamentary vote.
Greece’s insolvent banks shuddered to their rotten cores.
Piraeus giving up 16.11 percent, Bank of Cyprus 13.19 percent and National 11.73 percent.
Worth noting the news about Cyprus from a German Intelligence report leaked to Der Spiegel that a bail out for Cyprus’s banks will be largely if not exclusively ear-marked for Russian Oligarchs who are the ones whose money is ‘at risk’ in any Cyprus Bank collapse.
So bank, bourse, politicians, Oligarchs and their media all singing from the same press release. Good to know. And as if that wasn’t enough to scare people into the ‘right’ decision, thugs of every description have, of course, crawled out of their crevices to show people the face of ‘anarchy’ should they refuse to accept what their masters have planned for them.
Two days ago a group of thugs attacked and set fire to the Turkish Consulate in Thessaloniki. Who they represent beyond themselves, who they might work for, be paid by or simply whose agenda they further is a mystery.
In my opinion the Greek people should not accept the austerity programme nor the fire sale of their assets. The austerity will not solve Greece’s problems nor rid it of its debts. The measures are not designed for that purpose. A plan to help Greece would be a plan to put Greece back to work and invest in Greece for the Greeks. Rather than loot Greece for foreign banks.
I think the Greeks should insist on a Debt Commission and sort out which debts they will pay and which they will not. A debt commission has international legal standing and has worked elsewhere . I wrote about it in Ireland, Greece and Portugal should default as well as in How to Destroy the Web of Debt. and A people’s Debt Jubilee.
The Greek people shouldalso force their judicial system to bring to justice the wealthy tax evaders and those in government who aided and abetted their fraud. For those of you who are interested here is the Lagarde list of Greek Tax evaders. What the list doesn’t tell us – though we could find out – is which banks helped them evade their taxes.
Greece isn’t where our resolve to ‘solve’ the financial crisis is being tested. No one is trying to ‘solve’ it. At least not for our benefit. What they are trying to do is save their own wealth and the banking system which contains it.
What is being tested in Greece is our democracy. Either it is government by the people FOR THE PEOPLE or it is government by technocrats for their wealthy friend. It’s not a complicated choice. Just one that takes courage.