Prime Minister George A. Papandreou of Greece has enraged the heads of the Eurozone, members of the One Percent world wide and even the most arrogant Greek in Vancouver with his announcement that he wants to allow the Greek people to express their views regarding just how much crap/austerity they must eat for their "masters of the universe" are bailed out by France and Germany mainly and the majority of Greeks just suck it up and pay higher taxes while losing their jobs and any benefits they would prefer for those taxes to fund.
The Mainstream Media, in thrall to the One Percent, and paid to enable their ongoing larceny, have joined in the attack on Papendreou and the Greek people, trying to blame those lazy Greeks for the crisis caused by the Greek One Percenters and their government's policy of supporting Socialism for the Rich. As the Powell River Persuader pointed out in the comment thread to a recent post here:
The Groningen Growth & Development Centre has published a poll revealing that between 1995 and 2005, Greece was the country whose workers worked the most hours/year among European nations; Greeks worked an average of 1,900 hours per year, followed by Spaniards (average of 1,800 hours/year)..
Isn't it precious that the second hardest working Europeans are the Spaniards, whose economy is also on the verge of collapse, thanks to the slicing and dicing, leveraged short selling and other gambits that should be classified as criminal activity engaged in by Spain's 1%, their helpmates at the IMF and World Bank, Wall Street Con-Men and the rest of the looters who want to return to feudal times, themselves of course playing the part of the feudal overlords and the rest of us as SERFS!
Never fear Europe, Spiteful Steve - financial genius of the planet, since he was lucky enough to not gain a majority government in time to unleash Canadian Banks to engage in the same risky, stoooooopid behaviour as elsewhere - though he certainly wanted to de-regulate Canadian banks prior to the crisis of 2008, that he now wants to take credit for saving Canada from suffering.
Spiteful Steve might be able to advise Mr. Papandreou about another matter while he's on his personal mission to educate Europe. Although the Greek leader, after a seven hour emergency cabinet meeting managed to get the support of his cabinet for the upcoming vote, he still faces a vote of confidence in the legislature on Friday and with a razor thin, and nervous, majority could well lose the vote, causing his government to fall. This of course would add even more uncertainty to an economy worldwide already on tenterhooks. Perhaps Steve needs to explain to Papandreou how to proroque his government and hide out till stuff blows over AND hopefully make the Greek Leader understand just how evil and wrong are co-alitions.
Caving in to the Fraudsters and accepting austerity as necessary to protect the ill gotten riches of the elite is not the only option. Nobel Prize winner (and the only recent winner not a disciple of the University of Chicago School of Fascism) suggests looking at the example of Iceland in the Path not Taken
it’s worth stepping back to look at the larger picture, namely the abject failure of an economic doctrine — a doctrine that has inflicted huge damage both in Europe and in the United States.
The doctrine in question amounts to the assertion that, in the aftermath of a financial crisis, banks must be bailed out but the general public must pay the price. So a crisis brought on by deregulation becomes a reason to move even further to the right; a time of mass unemployment, instead of spurring public efforts to create jobs, becomes an era of austerity, in which government spending and social programs are slashed.
This doctrine was sold both with claims that there was no alternative — that both bailouts and spending cuts were necessary to satisfy financial markets — and with claims that fiscal austerity would actually create jobs. The idea was that spending cuts would make consumers and businesses more confident. And this confidence would supposedly stimulate private spending, more than offsetting the depressing effects of government cutbacks.
Some economists weren’t convinced. One caustic critic referred to claims about the expansionary effects of austerity as amounting to belief in the “confidence fairy.” O.K., that was me.
In case you are thinking that one exception, Iceland, doesn't prove anything, lets look at what the CBC's Joe Schlesinger has to say about how Argentina dealt with an even worse situation than Greece finds itself in today (and after all as Joe points out Greece first defaulted 2400 years ago, and managed to survive).
Instead of trying to peer into a crystal ball to catch a glimpse of your future, you might want look back at what happened in Argentina a decade ago when its economy, like yours today, lay in ruins.
But please, don't cry for Argentina. The Argentine economy is doing well these days. It grew by a blistering 9.2 per cent last year.
Today, it is you who have much to cry about.
Like the Argentines, you have borrowed heavily to stave off the worst. Like them, you may now be running out of time.
Your European Union partners have grudgingly pledged billions of euros more to help keep you afloat. But many believe that will not be enough, and what happens after the "crisis meeting" this weekend on your second bailout package will put all this to the test.
Euro bloc leaders, from mighty Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel to tiny and poor Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, had to put their jobs on the line to get the new bailout package as far along as they have. And they're not likely to want to do all that again.
In fact, having come to your rescue could still cost them their jobs in the next elections.
If this current pile of money should not be enough to put your economy back on its feet again, you may find yourself, as Argentina did in 2000, left out in the cold.
That cold place is called sovereign default. In plain English,http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif going bust, telling your creditors that you are not going to pay them all the billions you owe.
It doesn't quite end there, of course.
The rest of Joe's excellent exposition is HERE!
For more on the situation in Iceland see the excellent multi-part series by Peter Ewart and Dawn Hemingway, part six of which was published today in Opinion250. I'm giving the link for Part Six of Reflections on Iceland and the Financial Crisis, because the easiest way to link to the others is by linking back, and there are more parts (how many?, I don't know)to come. This series is so good, it just might get Opinion250 back on my blogroll, in spite of Ben's idiotic support of Christy Clark as Queen of BC.
Also, the Guardian has a good piece on why going to Grandpappy China for Bucks, might not be the way to go!
Happy Birthday CBC!