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Are European Authorities Trying to Force Regime Change in Greece?


#1

Are European Authorities Trying to Force Regime Change in Greece?

Mark Weisbrot

It’s ironic but not surprising that the European Central Bank decided Sunday to limit its credit to Greece by enough to force the Greek banking system to close.

This has pushed Greece closer to a more serious financial crisis than the country has had in the past five years of austerity-induced depression. Why did the ECB decide to take this harsh, unnecessary and dangerous measure now?


#2

Nothing frightens the oligarchy like referendums (democracy).


#3

Obviously, Northern Europe does not get the "Union", like in the EU, thing. It is easy for some in any political scene to do well. For instance, in the US, we had two Presidents early on with the last name "Adams", from Massachusetts. Well before the Civil War, the "south" was a place of economic malaise. Slavery was just bad business. If you want customers, you need to make sure that everyone has money to be customers, because you cannot survive for long by making and selling things to folks with no cash. Profits made by slavery tended to pop up elsewhere, like London. Plantation owners sold cotton for almost nothing, and bought cotton shirts from Europe for a high price. The US south smoldered in deep decay until President Roosevelt (the good president with that name) invested heavily in Southern infrastructure and people. (Think of this: in 1930 only about 5% of the "farms" in the "south" had electricity. By 1950 only about 5% of the farms did not have electricity.) True, many of the US black citizens did not get much of a piece of that pie. However almost all of the other southerners, the poor "white trash", had neither an education or a dollar, or much promise. But things have changed. Lots of public money has been invested in the Southern Part of the US, and life has changed. Germany, France, etc., invented lots of ways to get wealthy from Greece. Cash flowed north. The corrupt bankers showed up and did the unregulated scams. It is necessary for those running any "union" to carefully balance the cash flows so that nobody gets too much or too little. There is only one way out of the present Greek problem: massive public investments (yes, money derived from taxes from folks who have wealth) to build schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, agriculture, airports..... all those things that generate wealth in any country. This is not "good money after bad". It is a transfusion into a corporate body that is very short of blood. Seems like the EU needs to do some firing and new hiring. Their leadership has failed miserably. Certainly there is an essential need for accountability. Competent management needs to be vigilant to make sure that the Northern Europeans don't just steal again the investments. (It is hard to steal an airport or a bridge, unlike stealing an IPO.) The more the EU "leadership" sucks wealth out of Greece, the deeper the despair and ruin. Call it a 5-year plan. Make government work again.


#4

I'm surprised you didn't link what's happening in Greece to Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine." After all, the same basic modus operandi was used on Russia, South Africa, Poland... whereas nations like Argentina and Iceland managed to escape its controls. In fact, the protocol that sees banks bailed out (added to war debt) as a pretext for reducing or closing (Head Start) social programs is hardly a stranger to current U.S. domestic policies. In all of these instances, it's Big Money calling the shots. And when huge sums of wealth end up concentrated (reversing the distribution that occurred after The New Deal's reforms became widely Incorporated and a Middle Class grew after W. W. II); by the nature of its political gravity, there can be no meaningful Democracy. THAT problem is impacting many more nations than Greece, alone.


#5

I should think that those who voted for Syriza thought that it probably would come to this and default would be a strong possibility. Of course it is different than dealing with a hypothetical when one is directly facing the prospect.


#6

Oops, the oligarchy has shown its hand. The yellow streak down its leg is quite visible. Interesting times, indeed...


#7

Agreed. Everyone should read "Shock Doctrine." You will never look at economic crises in the same way again. I don't know how this reply got into this position. It was meant as a reply to siouxrose.


#8

Thank you for the comment. It is rather amazing when evident Shock Doctrine tactics show up... again and again, and some otherwise astute writers pretend there's no pattern: that the same austerity clamps aren't being used to tighten other nations' economies and through control of their monetary systems, implement policies that are painful for everyday citizens. There's no sadism, apparently, like that which has been practiced by bankers/big money for centuries!


#9

Yes, austerity is a very old and stable system, Naomi Klein is in a quick modern writer in very long line of people who have analyzed serfdom and austerity from many angles.