The ultimate humiliation of Greece

Here we go. The beast that is neoliberalism is lashing out at Greece. The creditors are carrying out the ultimate punishment for the Greek government and the Greek people for daring to stand up to the brutal austerity recipe that devastated its country. The creditors have nothing short of the absolute submission and humiliation of Greece in mind. In a four-page example of bureaucratic barbarity (the German magazine DER SPIEGEL correctly called it a „catalogue of cruelties“), the creditors are making impossible and inacceptable demands. Within the next three days, Greek parliament is supposed to pass the VAT reform (whose drastic tax hikes are going to badly hurt Greece’s main income source, tourism), pension cuts (which will worsen the humanitarian crisis in Greece as pensions have become the only regular income sources in many households) and other dramatic „reforms“. All these measures, the Eurogroup ministers state, will help re-create trust in the far-left Athens government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. In fact, the true purpose of these proposals is to force the Syriza administration to its knees. Greece will be punished to become an example: see, Spaniards, voting for Podemos in your general election later this year will not help you- because there is no alternative to our crisis remedy. And you better accept that – or else. No hope shall grow in this Europe; the troika inquisition will strike sadistically. The IMF, the Eurogroup paper says, needs to be part of the institutions – something that will certainly hurt Greece, given the Fund’s notoriously harsh conditions. The troika will have to approve every relevant law before the Greek government will be allowed to propose it to parliament. Yes, I am not kidding: they’re bringing the troika back. And all these conditions , the Eurogroup argues, are just „minimum requirements“. In other words: this is only the start of our crusade against the Syriza administration. You haven’t seen the worst yet. The beacon of hope that Greeks had clinged to in past weeks – the desperately-needed debt forgiveness and restructuring – has been crushed. A point about possible restructuring of Greece’s debt is printed in square brackets in the Eurogroup position paper – which means there was no consensus on it. In any case, this restructuring would only be granted after all other demands have been met by the Greek side – demands that are likely to lead to years of austerity-induced recession. The financial haircut – the forgiveness of a part of Greece’s debt – is not an option for the Eurogroup ministers, despite repeated alerts by experts, the US government and even parts of the IMF that Greece absolutely needs such a haircut in order to help its economy recover. The troika is showing no mercy for Greece. The first goal is probably to bully Syriza out of the government, to cause a regime change. This is a coup, and as EU citizen, I am ashamed for this brutal assault on Greek democracy. The dirty play of the creditors diminishes us all.
July 13, 2015

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