The Greek Parliament refused to rubber stamp a President who would agree to continue borrowing money from Germany to pay bond holders. Which means Parliament will be disbanded and elections called as soon as possible. In this case, that means Sunday, January 25, 2105. ?The story, from AP, and used by The Huffington Post, can be found here.
The story was written in oligarchese (a language style that can only be understood fully by the .001 percent). However, we at Liberal America were able to translate certain portions of the text. All quotes are from The Huffington Post piece.
“Greece’s government was forced Monday to call early national elections, stoking financial concerns as investors worry the main opposition party will win ? and want to renege on the country’s bailout deal.”
Translation: The Greeks appear to have reached their ?austerity breaking point” and the people stealing what remains of their national wealth think the opposition party may not be as quick to sell out their own people as the current criminals running the country have been.
“At the height of the eurozone crisis in 2010-2012, Greece’s financial turmoil risked breaking up the currency union, an event which would have shaken the global economy.”
Translation:?The broken global economy may fall apart if the people residing in countries that are being screwed realize they don’t have to be.
“For one, little of Greece’s debt is held by private investors around the world, but mainly its bailout creditors, the International Monetary Fund and other eurozone countries.”
Translation:? Vulture funds and big banks have been successfully bailed out and the taxpayers of the US and EU are now on the hook for that debt! So what has happened is that the bonds that had been held by private banks, that had encouraged Greece to dig itself ever deeper into debt, have now offloaded their “toxic” assets to the taxpayers of Germany and the US! Germany was handing the Greeks money to pay back money they had already borrowed from someone else, rather than loaning them money to fix the problems that led to the crisis. Which means the cause of the crisis is still there.
There is a very cool infographic here?that shows how much money the Greek government owes. Greece owes over 360 billion Euros (almost $440 billion) and it is beyond insane to think that money will, or should, ever be paid back. Private banks took a risk in loaning the money and now they are being made whole while the German people are being put on the hook for loans made by corrupt bankers!
“The IMF said Monday a current review of Greece’s bailout program ? upon which depends the payment of the next batch of rescue loans ? will resume only after the new government is in place. It said Athens faces no immediate financing needs, however. The review has been stalled for months due to disagreements on new spending cuts.”
Translation:?We are loaning Greece money to pay ourselves. The rescue loans create a ?virtuous circle? of debt that they will never be able to pay off and we have no idea why the Greeks seem to be opposed to this. Apparently the Greeks have been having a hard time deciding upon whether it is better to eat Grandma (the elderly) or the baby (the young) and the cuts being asked of them mean that someone is going to “get eaten.” For those of you wondering why Germany and the US are so busy propping up the banks who loaned Greece all this money simply look at the “revolving door” of government. Every former President, every Prime Minister, they all get donations to their “foundations”, they get “speaking fees”, they get paid board positions, etc.
“‘The country has no time to waste,’?(Prime Minister) Samaras said in a televised address after the presidential vote.?’The people must learn the truth about how easy it is to relapse into the deepest and most dramatic crisis.'”
Translation:?The Prime Minister told the Greek people to simply lie down and take whatever horrible deal the EU/World Bank imposes on them because if they don’t the screws will be tightened once again and he has a job waiting for him in Brussels so please don’t mess that up!
“Syriza has pledged to roll back some of the reforms Greece implemented to qualify for 240 billion euros in rescue funds. But it has recently softened its rhetoric about unilaterally pulling out of the bailout deal.”
Translation:?The leaders of Syriza have begun to accept bribes also. It cannot be stressed enough that if Syriza wins the election and fails to do what it has promised to do the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party will win the election after that. Perhaps that has been the plan all along to bring back fascism. If so nothing will do that like voting for change and feeling shortchanged. Once you crush people’s hopes you make it much easier to appeal to their demons.
“Today Mr. Samaras’ government, which for two and a half years plundered our society and had already decided and committed to take new (austerity) measures, belongs to the past,” Tsipras said. “With the will of our people, in a few days, the austerity agreements will also belong to the past.”
Translation:?Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has gained power by pointing out that austerity and “robbing Peter to pay Paul” doesn’t work. While we hope that he will try to reform the broken economic system of the EU I have fears that if he is sincere he will be killed and if he is corrupt he will give power to the corporate owned fascists waiting in the wings.
“German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned that Greece ‘has no alternative’ to the hard reforms it has undertaken. ‘If Greece takes a different path it will become difficult,’ he said, commenting on Monday’s developments. ‘New elections change nothing about the agreements that the Greek government has entered into. Any new government must stick to the contractual agreements of its predecessors.'”
Translation:?The voice of the people in any nation should have no say in how their country is run. Tough luck that your leaders made a bad deal! Suckers. However, things may not be as clear cut as our good German friend Herr Shaeuble suggests. I know it is ancient history but Germany forcibly occupied Greece in World War II. They destroyed the country. They looted gold, art, and jewelry from its people that was never recovered, and they had the government give Germany a zero interest loan of $528 million (equivalent to $7.1 billion in today’s economy). There are many reasons why that debt was never paid back and both sides have compelling arguments. However it is worth noting that after the war many Americans who were sympathetic to the Nazis made sure that Germany got back on its feet and did little to make sure a small country like Greece (a non-white, non-European ?non-Christian country according to the thought of the day) was afforded the same courtesy. Which, to be fair, wasn’t easy because the Greeks were having a civil war at the end of World War II.
Even Forbes magazine ran an article suggesting that while yes the Germans may owe Greece something for the minor trouble caused by their occupation in World War II that issue isn’t real because the Allied commission decided to bail out Germany after the war than rebuild the countries Germany looted. After all many American bankers and industrialists (Koch, Bush, etc) had more interest in seeing their German businesses back up and running than in seeing some vague ?justice? for back water places like Greece.
Then during the 1953 London Debt Agreement Greece did a good deed and ?took a haircut? on debt it was owed by Germany. That good deed is now coming back to punish them. Apparently the Germans think it just fine that the rest of the world forgave their debt so that they could reinvest it into their own country but somehow think that Greece should drown in debt so that they can feel superior. When Germans get to feeling too superior people in Poland should start getting nervous.
“Greece lost market confidence and nearly went bankrupt in 2010, after years of profligate spending, dodging public sector reforms and hiding the extent of its bloated public finances.”
Translation:?Greece, being tied to the euro, was unable to use tariffs or currency, or any of the traditional and legal means open to nations to improve their economy. Instead they were awash in imports, which destroyed domestic production, they overfished their own waters to export their food supply, they made almost nothing and then when the economy collapsed they were told it was because they didn’t work themselves to death! Yes Greeks brought on much of their own problems. As have Americans. But when you have corrupt politicians accepting bribes to make and take bad loans, refusing to tax the corporations and wealthiest people in their country, what do you think the end result is? Greek politicians did an admirable job of keeping the plates spinning as long as they did! But what should happen now is the BANKS should take the haircut so that reform happens which would prevent them from drowning another country in debt they cannot afford to pay!
“The bailouts kept the country afloat, but drastic belt-tightening demanded by the EU and IMF hammered incomes and living conditions, sending unemployment to a post-World War II high. Ensuing resentment fuelled support for anti-austerity parties, from Syriza ? whose pre-crisis support was under 5 percent ? to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.”
Translation:?The bailouts were used to pay back creditors who supposedly assumed the risk in making the bad loans and then, when the risk became real, demanded that the taxpayers go on the hook for the debt. Which the EU and the US did! Which brings us back to the earlier point. IF the Syriza Party does not keep its promise to refuse to pay back debt Greece should have never taken on or even been offered the Golden Dawn party WILL take over.
“Samaras, 63, presided over a historic coalition that united his conservative party with their historic socialist rivals to hammer out further draconian spending cuts that balanced the budget after decades and led to a modest economic recovery this year.”
Translation:?The two traditional parties united to screw the elderly, the poor, students, the whole country. Sound familiar? ?How many times must we see the same “ball and cup” game played on the poor? It is a game we will never win because governments and the banks conspire together to make sure the ball is NEVER under the cup! Balanced budgets do not mean economic growth! They usually mean more harm to the economy than the benefit they produce.