The fires in Greece are an EU/euro Dresden: a direct result of requiring the Greek government to end its brush-clearing program and slash government employment and infrastructure. The EU always puts banks ...more
Greek journalist Michael Nevradakis and US investigative journalist Greg Palast have a different take on the Greek – No’ vote against Europe’s cruel austerity demands.
By Michael Nevradakis in Athens with Greg Palast in New York | Oped-News
Not surprisingly, by nearly two-to-one, Greeks have overwhelmingly rejected the cruel, economically bonkers “austerity” program required by the European Central Bank in return for an ECB loan to pay Greece’s creditors. In doing so, the Greek people overcame an unprecedented campaign of fear from the Greek and international media, the European Union (EU), and most of our political parties.
What’s simply whack-o is that, while voting “No” to austerity, many Greeks wish to remain shackled to the euro, the very cause of our miseries.
Resistance, not Crisis
Before we explain how the euro is the cause of this horror show, let’s clear up one thing right away. All week, worldwide media was filled with news of the Greek “crisis.” Yes, the economy stinks, with one in four Greeks unemployed. But two other euro nations, Spain and Cyprus, also are suffering this depression level of unemployment. Indeed, more than 11% of workers in seven euro nations, including Portugal and Italy, are out of work.
But unlike Greece, these other suffering nations have quietly acquiesced to their “austerity” punishments. Spaniards now accept that they are fated forevermore to be low-paid servants to beer-barfing British tourists. Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who has enacted a draconian protest ban at home to keep his own suffering masses at bay, has joined in the jackal-pack rejecting anything but the harshest of austerity terms for Greece.
The difference between these quiescent nations and Greece is that the Greeks won’t take it anymore.
What the media calls the Greek “crisis” is, in fact, resistance.
Resistance to nowhere
But it’s a resistance whose leaders are leading them nowhere.
For decades, Greeks have suffered governments that are both corrupt and dishonest. The election of SYRIZA changed all that: the government is now merely dishonest.
Our new SYRIZA Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, correctly called the austerity plan “blackmail.” However, before Sunday’s vote, Tsipras told the nation …more
From Greg Palast’s investigative reports for Greek and US news
Europe is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece.
Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy.
“To me, Greece is a crime scene,” said Palast. “Greece is dying, and austerity is one of the things that killed it.” He rebuked the recent proclamations made by Greek and EU officials deeming Greece an economic “success story,” describing them as “nonsense.”
Here’s what we’re told: Greece’s economy blew apart because a bunch of olive-spitting, ouzo-guzzling, lazy-ass Greeks refuse to put in a full day’s work, retire while they’re still teenagers, pocket pensions fit for a pasha; and they’ve gone on a social-services spending spree using borrowed money. Now that the bill has come due and the Greeks have to pay with higher taxes and cuts in their big fat welfare state, they run riot, screaming in the streets, busting windows and burning banks.
I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it because …more
For Ï„Î¿ Ï‡Ï‰Î½Î¯ (Greece)
[updated January 26, 2015]
Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy.
Oddly, Syriza also promises that it will remain in the leper colony. That is, Syriza wants to rid Greece of the cruelty of austerity imposed by the European Central Bank but insists on staying in the euro zone.
The problem is, austerity run wild is merely a symptom of an illness. The underlying disease is the euro itself.
For the last five years, Greeks have been told that, if you cure your disease – that is, if you dump the euro – the sky will fall. I guess Greeks haven’t noticed, the sky has fallen already. With unemployment at 25%, with doctors and teachers eating out of garbage cans, there is no further to fall.
In 2010, when unemployment was a terrible 10%, a year into the crisis, the “Troika” (the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) told the Greeks that brutal austerity measures would restore their economy by 2012.
Ask yourself, Was the Troika right?
There is a saying in America: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Can Greece survive without the euro? Greece is already dead, but the Germans won’t even bother to bury …more
I mean, what’s the bloody point? Why pretend to declare your independence only to chain yourself to a coin with a British snout on it and simultaneously beg to become a colony of Angela Merkel’s Fifth Reich, aka the European Union?
I realize that, …more
By Michael Nevradakis for Truthout
In his career as an investigative journalist, economist, and bestselling author –Vultures’ Picnic, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – Greg Palast has not been afraid to tackle some of the most powerful names in politics and finance.
From uncovering Katherine Harris’ purge of African-American voters from Florida’s voter rolls in the year 2000 to revealing the truth behind the “assistance” provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ailing economies, Palast has not held back in revealing the corruption and criminal actions of the wealthy and powerful.
In a recent interview on Dialogos Radio, Palast turned his attention to Greece and to the austerity policies that have been imposed on the country by …more
For Vice Magazine
It wasn’t too difficult picking out the Fat Bastard in the crowd of Russian models, craven moochers and media mavens. Besides, Fat Bastard and I were both desperate for coffee and heading for the same empty urn.
(We’d both signed on for Kazakhstan’s annual Eurasia Media Forum, a kind of Burning Man festival for Eastern oilgarchs and their media camp followers.)
Now, it is my policy never to mention an interlocutor’s weight, nor question the legitimacy of their birth, given my own vulnerabilities. (A would-be groupie told me, “You could do a few sit-ups, you know.” Yes, I know.)
But this particular Fat Bastard is asking for it. I had tried to put the belly of this beast out of my thoughts, but I still had a New York Times story folded in my pocket that begins:
ATHENS – As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.
Fat Bastard – or Theodoros Pangalos, thinks the little Greek kiddies should …more
For The Guardian USA
The idea that the euro has “failed” is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.
That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of “supply-side economics” is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell’s research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.
Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:
“They won’t even let me have a toilet. They’ve got rules that tell me I can’t have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?” …more
Currency Rules – But it’s not OK
The Euro: Made in America by the Father of Reaganomics as a Tool to Smash the Power of Governments
The euro: made in America by the father of Reaganomics as a tool to smash the power of governments ...more