WITH FRIENDS LIKE THE EU, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?
No Surprise There: Brussels 2015 Like Versailles 1919?
One week ago today, the Greeks were celebrating the power of democracy. On July 5, the OXI (NO) voters sent a resounding message to the global and European bankers’ ultimatums. They won the referendum 61% to 39%.
The next day, July 6, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras signaled that he was already preparing the ground for betrayal of the voters who brought him to power. He dumped his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, the man who ferociously defended the Greek sovereignty against the international banker cartel and their political stooges.
The same day, I figured the Greeks were done for. I put that in writing in the July 10 Truth in Media editorial QUO VADIS, GREECE? (Where to, Greece?).
Well, today, July 13, that has become a fact. Tsipras and his new Oxford-educated finance minister have surrendered Greece’s fiscal sovereignty to the international bankers and their EU lackeys. They have submitted to draconian economic reforms that the Greek people had rejected in a referendum barely a week before.
New “Versailles Treaty?”
Echoing widespread views on social media, one financial analyst claimed the deal was worse than the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that crushed Weimar Germany with debt and paved the way for Hitler and World War II.
Marc Ostwald, of ADM Investor Services, argued that the eurozone creditor countries wanted “to completely destroy Greece”.
Except that Greece was not the enemy of the European Union. It is a full-fledged member of it. But with friends like that, the Greek people should now ask themselves, who needs enemies?
This writer said a month ago that USURY & TREATIES BASED ON HUMILIATION DON’T WORK.
“This has nothing to do with economics. It has nothing to do with putting Greece back on the rails towards recovery,” former finance minister Varoufakis told Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC, on Monday.
“This is a new Versailles treaty that is haunting Europe again, and the prime minister [Alexis Tsipras] knows it. He knows he’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t.”
Varoufakis (left) also said he “jumped more than he was pushed” when he resigned from the ministry.
Prime minister Alexis Tsipras “didn’t have what it took, sentimentally, emotionally, at that moment, to carry that no vote to Europe and use it as a weapon,” said Varoufakis.
In other words, Tsipras is a wuss. Which does not bode well for his political future even as an EU doormat.
In return for a bailout plan that could be worth up to €86B ($95B), Greece has promised to pass laws introducing controversial economic reforms by Wednesday. These include reforming the VAT system, overhauling pensions and signing up to plans that ensure immediate spending cuts in the event of breaching creditor-mandated budget targets.
Tsipras and Tsakalatos have also agreed to sell off state assets worth €50B, with the proceeds earmarked for a trust fund supervised by its creditors. Half the fund will be used to recapitalize Greek banks, while the remaining €25B will pay down Greek debts.
In another humiliating climbdown, Athens could be forced to reverse measures it passed upon assuming power that are deemed to run counter to the bailout philosophy.
Paul Krugman, the Nobel-prize winning economist and prominent critic of austerity in Greece, said the creditors’ demands on Greece “went beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, [leading to the] complete destruction of national sovereignty [with] no hope of relief”.
“It’s a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for,” he wrote several hours before the final deal emerged.
“The world is watching what is being done to Greece in the name of euro stability,” she wrote in her today’s column. “It sees a nation stripped of its dignity, its sovereignty, its future.”
Not content with taking away Greece’s financial sovereignty, the three institutions – the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank – have also asked Athens to come up with a plan to “de-politicize” its civil service by next Monday.
Which means they are trying to strip away Greece’s political sovereignty, too.
“The euro family has been exposed as a loan-sharking conglomerate that cares nothing for democracy,” writes Moore. “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.”
When the banks are in trouble, the governments forgive the debt (e.g. US 2008 bailout). When a government (country) is in trouble, the banks bring out enforcers with baseball bats (Greece 2015 bailout).
That’s about the gist of it.
The main reason the bankers were so harsh with Greece is because they want to make it an example of what happens with a bad debtor. It’s like the Mafia or loan sharks kneecapping or cutting off fingers of a someone who owes them money but can’t pay.
That’s so no other countries in a similar or worse position than Greece would even think of walking away from their debts (Spain, Italy and yes, even the U.S., by the way – our debt per capita is 66% higher than Greece’s!).
The more things change, the more they stay the same (Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1808-1890)
History Repeating Itself
It never feels good to be right when predicting someone’s betrayal. Unfortunately, I’ve been there before.
It did not feel good, either, when I predicted in July 1990 that the then widely popular Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic would eventually betray his people. It took a few years. But by 1994, in the midst of the Bosnian war, that became clear for all to see.
That’s when Milosevic imposed an embargo on the Bosnian Serbs, whom he had set up in power in the first place. Milosevic was hoping to appease and earn some brownie points from the international thugs who incited the Balkan wars in the first place.
And Milosevic did it again in Dayton in November 1995. The Dayton Accords paved the way for NATO to occupy Bosnia under the guise of a peacekeeping force.
All the former Serbian president got in return was scorn and imprisonment at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal, where he eventually died in 2006 under suspicious circumstances, allegedly of a heart ailment (see “Put the UN Justice on Trial: Who Says There Is No Death Penalty at the Hague?,” March 2006).
GREECE: WHAT NOW? WHO AND WHEN WILL REPLACE TSIPRAS?
The political, and sometimes physical, life span of an appeaser is rather short. That’s certainly one of the lessons we can learn from history.
Another is that USURY AND TREATIES BASED ON HUMILIATION DON’T WORK (JUNE 13, 2015), as this writer put it in an editorial exactly one month ago. The Versailles Treaty is a case in point.
So what can we expect will happen now in Greece?
Either way, someone even more radical is likely to replace them. And if so, how will then the bankers and the European Union react? Send the troops to occupy the country as Hitler did?
Or, as is more likely, will the European Union itself split up along the North-South continental divide which the all-night negotiating session in Brussels revealed on July 12-13?
Either way, the Greek tragedy isn’t over yet. We are in for more interesting times ahead, I am afraid.
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UPDATE, JULY 14, 2015
GREECE GOES ON STRIKE OVER BAILOUT DEAL WITH EURO LOANSHARKS, SYRIZA FLAG BURNED
Greek civil service workers have announced a 24-hour strike in the wake of today’s bailout deal amid insider claims that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was ‘crucified’ during marathon overnight talks.
Greeks have reacted to the news of the bailout deal with fury, saying the tough reforms agreed to by their Prime Minister condemned the country to ‘misery, humiliation and slavery’.
Following lengthy overnight talks between 19 eurozone leaders, Greece caved in and accepted a range of reforms to secure a deal worth up to €86 billion – the country’s third bailout in five years.
The hard left Athens leader – who was elected on an anti-austerity platform – faced an immediate backlash over the deal, with many Greeks furious at Tsipras’ reluctantly accepting even tougher reforms than those categorically rejected by citizens at last week’s bailout referendum.
Some have already taken to social media using #thisisacoup to decry the terms of the deal, with many attacking the creditors terms as unfair. Users even accused Germany of ‘destroying Europe once again’, adding they ‘could not do it with tanks so now they try it with banks’.
Haralambos Rouliskos, a 60-year-old economist who was out walking in Athens, described the deal as ‘misery, humiliation and slavery’.
Katerina Katsaba, a 52-year-old working for a pharmaceutical company, said: ‘I am not in favour of this deal. I know they [the eurozone creditors] are trying to blackmail us.’
Another woman burned the flag of Tsipras’ ruling Syria party as journalists took pictures.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3159710/Greek-civil-service-workers-announce-24-hour-strike-government-gives-creditors-insider-reveals-leaders-furious-rows-says-Tsipras-crucified.html
- QUO VADIS, GREECE? (Where to, Greece?)
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- USURY AND TREATIES BASED ON HUMILIATION DON’T WORK, JUNE 13, 2015
- TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES OF TAX OPPRESSION IN AMERICA, APRIL 20, 2015