Greece: ‘We owe nothing, we’ll sell nothing, we’ll pay nothing’
(Photo in color here)
Protesters who flock each afternoon to Athens’ central Syntagma square in front of parliament have been wearing stickers saying “We owe nothing, we’ll sell nothing, we’ll pay nothing” — rejecting creditors’ demands to sell off state assets. — USA Today
That’s some sweet inspiring music for the rest of us! Good on you, Greek people.
IMHO, escape from the Eurozone and back to sovereignty is what the Greek crisis is all about. If Greece succeeds in doing so, it will be able to recover and get back on an economic growth path. Ability to do so doesn’t mean it will happen, of course, but subservience to Eurozone bankers leaves Greece nowhere to look but down.
And, uh, maybe Greece should ‘do an Argentina’?
But that’s not the way international propaganda masquerading as news looks at things. I realize that writing from the owners’ angle is just ‘what they do’, but still, AP gimme a break (emphasis added):
But the cuts have led to a recession, and the country is now in negotiations for a second bailout – which Papandreou said Sunday would be roughly the same size as the first. European officials fear a default by Greece could set off a chain reaction that would shake Europe’s banking system and economy, and drag down other financially troubled eurozone countries such as Portugal, Ireland and Spain.
That highlighted stuff is all euphemisms so let me translate: “shake Europe’s banking system” means large private European banks (the ones who with their U.S. banker friends caused this deep recession we’re in) would lose money on their crazy gamble that Greece would find a way to pay off its bank loans; “shake Europe’s … economy” means implode the Euro, thus loosening banker control over the European economy and the banks losing much of the tribute Europe ‘should’ pay to its masters; “drag down … Portugal, Ireland and Spain” means allow those countries to default on their impossible debt to big European and American banks and escape the Euro too, thus allowing those countries to grow, if their peoples can make their politicians Keynesian again.
P.S. to Greece — Beware of agents provocateur. This is a problem now in the anti-austerity demonstrations in Spain.
P.S. to Greece 2 — Remember Argentina, their story in brief contained in Dean Baker advice to Ireland back in late 2010:
The other point that should be kept in mind is that even a relatively small country like Ireland has options. Specifically, they could drop out of the euro and default on their debt. This is hardly a first best option, but if the alternative is an indefinite stint of double-digit unemployment, then leaving the euro and default look much more attractive.
The ECB and the IMF will insist that this is the road to disaster, but their credibility on this point is near zero. There is an obvious precedent. Back in the 2001, the IMF was pushing Argentina to pursue ever more stringent austerity measures. Like Ireland, Argentina had also been a poster child of the neoliberal crew before it ran into difficulties.
But the IMF can turn quickly. Its austerity programme lowered GDP by almost 10% and pushed the unemployment rate well into the double digits. By the end of the 2001, it was politically impossible for the Argentine government to agree to more austerity. As a result, it broke the supposedly unbreakable link between its currency and the dollar and defaulted on its debt.
The immediate effect was to make the economy worse, but by the second half of 2002, the economy was again growing. This was the start of five and a half years of solid growth, until the world economic crisis eventually took its toll in 2009.
P.S. to Greece 3 — Read this too, at least the headline, replacing IMF with ECB: Are We Better Off Getting Advice from the IMF than from a Drunk in the Street?