Austerity nears its Waterloo

The third vote, tomorrow, to try to elect a president in Greece, normally a figurehead, could well turn out to be the hinge point which starts, if not a landslide, then at least a series of momentous changes that could steadily unwind the grip of austerity across the EU.   Right on cue, the entire Establishment both in Greece and outside Greece and grandees like Juncker of the EU Commission have been pouring fire and brimstone on Syriza and its leader Tsipras, and promising absolute catastrophe if the existing Conservative government in Athens doesn’t get its way.   Well, of course they would say that, wouldn’t they?   What is at stake is not the election of a new president, but a vote of confidence in the current conservative Samaras government.   Samaras’ aim, if he can win this third vote (he has already lost twice), is to use it as a springboard to ram through massive further cuts so as meet the austerity targets imposed by the troika (the EU, the ECB, and IMF) as a condition for further bailout payments.   But even that is not what is ultimately at stake.

Why the EU Establishment in all its forms is panicking is because it is their own power and their own ideology which is now at risk.  The issue, as everyone in Greece understands, is: do they swallow another colossal round of spending and benefit cuts when a quarter of the population are out of work, poverty has rocketed from 23% before the crash to over 40% now, and when health services have been hammered while demand has risen?   Or do they take advantage, if this third vote is lost, of an early snap general election to vote in a party, for the first time in Europe, which rejects austerity as the way to counter debt and prolonged depression?   Syriza is championing the demand, which has desperately needed to be heard in Europe ever since the bankers’ crash, that repayment of debt should come from economic growth, not from massive budget cuts.   At the same time it is seeking a European debt conference  to remove a part of the debt, exactly as was granted to Germany in 1953.

There are still several things that can go wrong (or right, as the anti-democratic and pro-tax avoidance scams Juncker would say).   Even if there is a snap general election in Greece and Syriza wins (which on the polls looks very likely), there are already dark rumours that all EU funding will be cut off from Greece.   This would reveal the Brussels Eurocrats for what they really are – an unelected political elite determined to keep power for themselves and on their own terms and if necessary tear up the rules in order enforce compliance on any populist party democratically elected.   Then there is the risk of a coup since the neo-fascist New Dawn elements have infiltrated the police.   This is becoming a naked struggle for power between the Left Syriza offering hope and a way out of  the failed ideology of endless austerity, and the massed cohorts of the Right promising apocalypse now if the people of Greece dare to vote for their own interests.

7 thoughts on “Austerity nears its Waterloo

  1. The sins of the few on many who must pay the price back for them
    but ninty nine percent who aint rich are ones paying it funny world
    were the poorest pay the price for the greed of the few pity it doesnt
    run riot throughout the eu were the ninty nine percent take back their
    countries back to a normal state were greed isnt a part untill then jeff3

  2. Budget cuts – taking money out of the economy – stifles growth and reduces tax take. It creates unemployment and increases poverty. We have seen this clearly in the last five years of Tory misrule in the UK.

    The only reason for the austerity drive is to disempower the majority of the population in order to increase the power of the corporate state and concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

  3. Yes, Jane,
    But the difference here is that Greece and other countries in the EU and within the Eurozone are being forced into austerity, mainly by Germany. (Whereas Osborne is doing this here in the UK of his own free will).

    When this crisis first broke in Greece, a TV crew interviewed people there. They said that they (presumably those in government) had spent money given to them by the EU on posh houses, luxury boats and the like, instead of investing in modern industrial and agricultural equipment which should have helped create more wealth for the country. However, it’s always the innocent population who suffer the most.

    I was in Italy a number years ago, during one of their many crises. One of the reasons that the much maligned Berlusconi was popular there, was that he explained things very clearly, so even I managed to understand the problem. He said that all the various options that could usually be implemented when a country is in economic difficulties, such as devaluation, were no longer available to countries in the Eurozone. So they, like Greece, were being dictated to. (The Kaiser and Hitler would be pleased)!

    Of course, the situation in southern Europe is also to Germany’s economic advantage, as it keeps the value of the Euro down thus making it’s exports more competitive and boosting their economy even further.

    I suppose it’s up to the other members of the EU to persuade Germany to do the right thing for the common good.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Greece over the next few days. Europe is our biggest market; if things go awry there, then that’ll adversely affect the UK‘s economy.

    We are very fortunate, as Gordon Brown succeeded in dissuading Tony Blair from getting us into the Euro. It’s a great pity that Osborne isn’t taking advantage of the freedom he has.

  4. PS OK, it’s not just Germany and the EU, but also the ECB and IMF calling the shots.

    I’ve just found this, ref the IMF:
    “The IMF world bank is proposing a ten per cent wealth tax on all households in the UK and the rest of the Eurozone.

    What this would mean is men and women having to pay a levy on the total value of their accumulated assets, including their properties, cash, bank deposits, money funds, and savings in insurance and pension plans.

    The amount payable would also depend upon whether they have any businesses, personal trusts, corporate funds, earnings, loans and mortgages.”

    by Janine Griffiths, Akashic Times, 23/12/14

    It’s comparable to what happened in Cyprus, (when peoples’ bank accounts were frozen and then raided) but at least people with few cash savings weren’t affected there.

  5. Do not put any money in banks in the first place. I went into a TSB branch and it clearly stated that our money that we put into our accounts goes to provide mortgages for others. I do not know about you but when I put money into my bank account, it was not because I wanted it to be used for mortgages for others.

    Put everything you have of any value into a trust. Tony Bliair has. If a trust is good for him then it is for us.

    The IMF is nothing but a disgrace. Part of the NWO agenda to have one organisation to control certain aspects of the world.

  6. The main problem for EU countries is their lack of a central bank, and a lack of the knowledge that by having this the Greeks could create their own money and use it to finance industrial projects and buy assets. The EU countries should all go back to their own currencies and create money to be earned in the real economy, and thereby escape the debt fuelled credit creation of the ECB and IMF.

    The film inspired by Richard Werner which is currently being shown on the Positive Money blog is a fascinating insight into the way in which the post war economy in all countries have been transformed into stagnant crisis bound economies through the removal of government and central bank controls on credit creation, and the mis-direction of credit creation into asset bubbles. Some of this is well documented already, but the film adds some very interesting insights. This transformation has transferred wealth from the poor to the rich and destroyed industry. This film is brilliant. It complments Michael Hudsons solution of a debt jubilees (mentioned by the left in Greece in some form) as the answer to excess and inappropriate credit creation.

  7. Update:
    Elections in Greece now set for 25th January.
    Anti-austerity party favourite to win.
    Interesting situation ref the EU!

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