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'The People Will Not Be Blackmailed': Thousands March in Athens Against Austerity


'The People Will Not Be Blackmailed': Thousands March in Athens Against Austerity

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Throngs flocked to Athens on Sunday to call on the ruling Syriza party to stand up to international creditors and reject austerity measures.

In the second mass demonstration this week alone, thousands of protesters chanted "No to the euro" and "The people will not be blackmailed."


Exit, Greece. Print your own money. Or find another way. These organizations that want to bankrupt you are bullies. Maybe Iceland can help with logistics of standing up to the bullies. Go, Greece!


The whole EURO idea was poorly thought thru 20 yrs. ago. Greece and other Euro countries are now paying the price ( literally) for this bad planning. The Greeks don’t need the EURO they do need their dignity though.


Don’t pay the vultures!


Austerity sounds so much nicer than cutting pensions, food for the hungry and heath care.

The Incredibly Malicious Fatcats should be stripped of their wealth and forced to live in countries they’ve decimated with their economic policies.


Austerity policies lead to less spending/purchasing in a country, which leads to fewer jobs/profits and less taxes paid to the government, which creates the need for more austerity which leads to…

It’s an economic death spiral that ends with the destruction of unions, the middle class and the social safety net.

The only ones who benefit are those who then buy up the country at bargain basement prices.

You’re blaming the victims of the IMF when you should be looking at the policies the IMF forces on countries in distress - and what the after-effects are.


There are a number of players here including the European Commission the ECB and the IMF.

According to a German newspaper negotiaters for the Government of Germany and France had struck a compromise deal with Greece.

This deal would see Greece cut 400 Million in Military spending rather then in pensions and social spending programs.

The IMF apparently vetoed this proposal.

Meanwhile in the Ukraine the IMF has indicated it would be able to keep lending the Ukraine money even if the Ukraine defaults , this with the Ukraine spending billions on its Civil war in the East and having lost billions in revenues in trade with Russia. In return for the Ukraine privatizing all of its resources and in particular its farmland which Monsanto buys up , the IMF will keep that war going with loans.


OMG!!! Got a link for that?


Ah, but if I obtained loans in your name, and used it to give special deals to my super rich friends who gleefully rushed in to take advantage of the windfall, and those rich friends looked after me quite well, but left you with the debt, would you grow a set of balls?

Your post does not question:-

  • Who obtained the loans?
  • and spend them on what?
  • and who profits?
  • and who got saddled with the debt?

Your post assumes there is one answer to all of those questions, whereas I am sure that there are different answers to each of those questions.

This is nothing new. Especially anywhere the IMF is involved. For example, the Philippinos saw little benefit for Marcos’s loans. But they now pay 70% of all government income to service the interest on them. Enter a village of those who saw no benefit. Be generous to one. Then let so many tell the story of poor nutrition, ill health and rotten teeth. In my wife’s village the ocean has already taken half the village, while those who released the carbon offer no compensation.


Right. 'Cause national economic policy is just like your home budget. How’s that road you’re building coming along?


The euro was a lousy idea. They just assumed that all nationalistic thoughts would simply vanish and all the countries would sing kumbaya and be one happy family. Unfortunatly the world does not work like that. The reason that no one can tell what greece did with the money from this debt is that Greece is a closed mouth about their finances as a night clerk at a hooker hotel. It has not gone into infrastructure as far as anyone can tell. Other than that who knows? I have read that corruption is a huge problem, as well rampant tax evasion and a bloated military budget, but that is just heresay so no one seems to know what happened. The IMF has their head up their ass as usual, but they are in quite a fix too. If they pour more money into Greece (already approaching 500 Billion Euros) without any reforms, the money will simply disappear down whatever unknown rathole sucked down the last 2 tranches. If they don’t bail out Greece the economy will collapse. I’m afraid they are going to end up like a couple that locks out their wayward son after coming home drunk, only to have him arrested by the cops. The IMF should just take their lumps and force country bondholders of Greece to take a 90% discount haircut on principal (hell, theyre junk rated anyway) they should cover new deposits to Greek banks with some type of Eurozone style of FDIC to calm depositors and get their stratospheric interest rates under control, and they should underwrite letters of credit to encourage foreign trade, After that Greece should be left to straighten out their own finances, with the understanding that the bailouts are over.


Of course the troika don’t want any cuts in military spending. Half of what started Greece’s problems was when French and German arms manufacturers “helped” to arrange (with bribes, fear-mongering against Turkey etc.) so-called loans so Greece could buy their weapons, knowing all the time that Greece could never pay but with a hope to own the country by default. And here this morning (see “Ekathemerini”) are the German businessmen urging the EU to hold a hard line and keep the death-spiral of austerity going. Nope—not one cent of reduction in spending for war and death. They want the cuts to come out of the people’s very flesh. And that’s who these parasitic creeps really are.


“I simply said, I don’t have enough information to know what is going on. But I do assume Greece borrowed money and can not afford to pay it back. I that happened to me, personally, the consequences would be bad.”

What happen is the IMF, the ECB and the European commission stepped in paid off Greece’s creditors, the German, French and US banks, not one penny of that money,( the $300 billion dollars) every went any near the people of Greece. They did not benefit from at all!
What should have happened is that like any situation when creditor lends money and the borrow can’t pay back , they should have worked out payment plan in the court system. Because as far as the courts are concerned the responsibility lays with both parties. Why, because if a borrow ends not being able to pay back the money, then that is a sign that creditor did not their homework and lent to someone that could very likely not pay it back. That is their problem and they to need work out with borrow. But instead as I said before the IMF,ECB and European Commission stepped in and made sure the banks got their money and hung the people of Greece with the debt, when some kind of payback plan should have been worked out between the parties.
A little back round this is that when Greece was first trying to join the EU Goldman Sachs helped them hide their debt so they would look more solvent then fact they were…
Goldman Sachs was paid quite handsomely for that little bit of accounting trickery.


Yes it was on numerous sources and was a translation of a German newspaper article. Note that the IMF denies the claims.


"The IMF and Greece’s other creditors have assumed that massive fiscal contraction has only a temporary effect on economic activity, employment and taxes, and that slashing wages, pensions and public jobs has a magical effect on growth. This has proved false. Indeed, Greece’s post-2010 adjustment led to economic disaster – and the IMF’s worst predictive failure ever.

[IMF chief economist] Blanchard should know better than to persist with this fiasco. Once the link between “reform” and growth is broken – as it has been in Greece – his argument collapses. With no path to growth, the creditors’ demand for an eventual 3.5 percent-of-GDP primary surplus is actually a call for more contraction, beginning with another deep slump this year.

…Blanchard insists that now is the time for “tough choices, and tough commitments to be made on both sides.” Indeed it is. But the Greeks have already made tough choices. Now it is the IMF’s turn, beginning with the decision to admit that the policies it has imposed for five long years created a disaster." James K. Galbraith

You “…freely admit I don’t know the facts here.”

That was already obvious.


Greece suffered many wartime deaths of innocent citizens, destruction of infrastructure and the loss of moneys “loaned” to Nazi invaders. They were awarded sizable damages from the German government after the war which remain as unpaid and ignored since that time. Questionable loans taken out by the previous administration are the basis for their present crisis.

Anything to correct?


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


I prefer the term “fat cats”. “Mad dogs” is a spigot (species bigot) stereotype based on rabies, which is the bane of many species, not just dogs. On the other hand one can hardly enter a grandmother’s home without tripping across a pampered, overly indulged fat cat. Not that I’m biased.