Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Greek tragedy

A few observations about the toppling of Greece's sovereign funds. One, it has exposed a systemic weakness of the European Union [EU]. Its constitution has no mechanism to treat a member's default, thereby putting in peril the single EU currency the Euro.
Two, the role of the US banking house Goldman Sachs in advising in an Enron manoeuvre, hidding the growing Greek debt as long as 5 years at least.
Three, the scrambling of Germany and France to strong arm the newly elected Socialist government in Athens, to accept draconian measures, before bailing out Greece.
Four, the crisis has already drawn the social forces more tightly to a point they might explode, by sharpening extremes on the right and strengthening the small, but effective Greek Communist party. Already an odour of civil war prevades Greece. The open attack on foreigners and illegal immigrants encouraged the not so latent fascistic right, by playing the anti foreign card, and accusing the immigrants of taking Greek jobs from Greeks. The implication is that 'they' are feeding off the fat our Hellenic land whilst we the Greeks are starving. Eyewash. The waves of emigration fill those meanial jobs which the Greeks themselves won't do.
On the left, the strong arming of the Germans and the French whose banks have the lion share of at least US$100 bn in debt, will impoverish Greece. Greece's debt makes up close to 13 per cent of its GDP, the big sticks of the EU are demanding that it be brought down to at least 3 per cent in 3 to 4 years, to meet EU rules.
Translation: a break to any economic activity in Greece. A slash in salaries from the bottom to the top, yes, including CEO's; an attack on education and a comprehensive health systems; impoverishment of the average Greek citizen; a tightening of the tax laws in a country which is notorious for tax evasion, and where yacht owners outnumber those who declare falsely their wealth.
Greece has become a tinderbox which can ignite a 'prairie fire' in the world's hugest economy, the EU, and lead to dire consequences politically, economically, and socially.
Greece is the EU's weakest link!

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