Greek Oxi-moron: When Bailout Means Servitude
The Greek people voted resoundingly “No” to a previously proposed austerity package, yet one week later, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has not merely capitulated, he left Brussels with a markedly worse deal for Greece on every level. The proposal is simply a confirmation that the EU demands Greek subjugation for having the temerity to challenge Euro-orthodoxy. And no, Greece can’t afford this loan either, for the simple reason it’s bankrupt.
The Troika has punished the Greeks for their temerity to seek a better future, perhaps beyond the flawed (and still fatally ill) political currency project. Other eurozone members were frustrated. They have lost trust in a Greek government who postured with aplomb as Athens burnt but ultimately have proven as incapable as the ‘establishment’ they were elected to rout. Then again, as I have said for years, heaping two incoherent bailouts on a nation’s citizenry which were designed to save the bankers and the euro was in and of itself rather an act of bad faith too...
EuroSummit has unanimously reached agreement. All ready to go for ESM programme for #Greece with serious reforms & financial support
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) July 13, 2015
We probably ought to have realized Greece would be crushed once the EU haughtily suggested it was respecting their referendum vote. This ‘agreement’ (in reality a totally one-sided capitulation) actually resolves nothing.
One vague sop to Greece involves a possible longer grace period with debt maturities extended. Thus the debt Greece already cannot afford to repay will be heaped alongside yet more (unaffordable) debt, but with more time to repay an already unmanageable burden. <https://www.rt.com/op-ed/greece-bailout-coma-political-experiment-046/>Sisyphean is hardly the word! The patient is given more aspirin when what ails him is acute appendicitis.
The political message is clear: The undemocratic EU Empire is the most vindictive of bedfellows. Tsipras has been crushed like a starling beneath the tracks of a tank. Regardless of the Greek electorate, Greece is now ruled by Brussels. Tsipras, a lively young fellow, will return to Athens with a deal which redefines Pyrrhic. Greece is bust already; this deal only enshrines a path to Euro-serfdom.
(Then again the Greeks’ irrational belief they could have their ‘Eurocake’ and eat without austerity has always been a remarkably contradictory position to behold - roughly as plausible as gigantic snowballs spending a happy eternity in Hades).
True, there will not be a Luxembourg-based protectorate of Greek property. Instead, €50 billion of Greek assets will be held in Athens awaiting privatization. The Greeks, having noisily resisted all government control are now mere lapdogs of a resurgent and vindictive Troika. Syriza’s zero privatization promise has reversed into gift wrapping assets ready for sale (That Syriza’s incompetence has only further tarnished said assets’ values is merely a side topic in this fiasco - from every angle this ‘agreement’ amounts to a ‘lose-lose’ scenario for all Europeans).
As well as preparing this privatization package, Mr. Tsipras apparently returns to Athens with a list of bills to pass through Parliament by Wednesday. In other words, remedial homework for recalcitrant schoolboys as opposed to the serious workload of a national diet (Message from teacher Madam Troika: “After your juvenile act of independence last week, class, it’s detention until you write out the school rules”). There will now be motions promising to pay, agreeing to Troika subjugation and holding Greece to avoid further Mediterranean chicanery. This is now the order of the day. Once passed, the Germans will deign to consider formulating an actual deal.
If the Greeks have any wit whatsoever they will recognize this fetid proposal for what it is - a brutal crushing of national sovereignty at the altar of a twisted, incompetent, bloated empire of sycophants promulgating a flawed (and fading) European Empire. It strikes me pushing citizens towards cross border antipathy happens to run somewhat contrary to the EU’s founding principles. However, in the unedifying race towards ‘more Europe’ Brussels retains a hideous disregard for the actual citizens living beyond the Berlaymont blob.
Thus, there may be a deal afoot but there is no solution.
#Eurocrisis lives on, swaddled in yet more duct tape. Given the uncompromising death of Greek democracy, it is hard to imagine how bewildered Greek citizens must feel. Presumably they are now realizing there is no third way. The binary choice amounts to enduring poverty within the eurozone or seeking a halt to their economic castration; escaping the euro noose and seeking a brave new world beyond the Troika’s deadly embrace.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.