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25 November 2013
Enough is enough, the Greek government has finally told the triad (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) that is seeking to impose further public spending cuts and public sector redundancies on an economy that has been in recession for six years, thanks largely to earlier cutbacks imposed by that same triad in exchange for emergency bail-out loans to offset the country’s public debt mountain.
According to an article in French daily Le Monde on 23 November 2013, the rightwing government led by Antonis Samaras, which clings to power with a wafer-thin majority of only four votes in parliament, is threatening behind the scenes to plump for the nuclear option if the triad persists in demanding further belt-tightening in exchange for the latest batch of bail-out funds that Greece desperately needs in order to plug a black hole in its 2014 budget.
And what is that nuclear option?
It is none other, according to Le Monde, than “the threat of snap parliamentary elections”.
For the one thing most feared above anything by the banksters and technocrats of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund is – democracy!
The idea that the people of Greece should be consulted on whether they are happy that their living standards continue to plummet towards levels last experienced under the Ottomans – real disposable income has fallen by 40 % in the past six years and unemployment now nudges 28 % – is anathema to the trio of inky-fingered bean-counters from Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington.
Democracy? No thanks! And this in that European country where, 2 500 years ago, democracy was first introduced!
It is not as if the European Union in particular does not bear a heavy share of responsibility for Greece’s indebtedness by cheer-leading it in 2001 into the strait-jacket of a high-rolling low-interest eurozone at a time when the unmodernised uncompetitive Greek economy needed the brakes of tight monetary and fiscal restraint.
In any case, it seems likely that the Greek government’s threat will work.
An early parliamentary election would almost certainly bring to power the left-leaning opposition party, Syriza, which has vowed to reject externally imposed austerity and renegotiate the triad’s entire bail-out package.
For the banksters, that is the worst-case scenario. Better to fudge the issue and cave in to the current government’s demands for a let-up in the pace of belt-tightening.
As we have consistently pointed out – see our archives on Europe, Greece and Italy – the European Union has a problem with democracy. It suffers from a – hopefully terminal – illness known as the democratic deficit.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.