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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring 2015 Part 2

The Events of Greece

The events in Greece are a microcosm of the economic fragility of the world economy. The residents of Greece were tired of the austerity agenda from the EU. Therefore, there was an election that recently ended. The historic election allowed the Syriza party to win the elections on January 25, 2015. The current Prime Minister of the Syriza Party is Alexix Tsipras. The current Finance Minister currently is Yanis Varoufakis (a former economic adviser to the corrupt neo-liberal PASOK leader George Papandreou). People had high hopes that this new Greek government would be imaginative, creative, and progressive, so the needs of the Greek people would be met. So far, unfortunately, that has not been the case. The reason is that both men so far have reneged on every major and minor electoral program that they ran on. They have embraced more retrograde actions and relations with the “troika” They are allying with the IMF, etc. Tsipras and Varoufakis have repudiated their promise to reject the dictates of the “troika.” Syriza, during the campaign, had promised to write off all or most of the Greek debt. In government, Tsipras and Varoufakis immediately assured the Troika that they recognized and promised to meet all of their debt obligations. Syriza had promised to prioritize humanitarian spending over austerity – raising the minimum wage, rehiring public employees in health and education and raising pension payments.  After two weeks of servile groveling, the ‘re-formed’ Tsipras and Varoufakis prioritized austerity – making debt payments and ‘postponing’ even the most meager anti-poverty spending.  When the Troika lent the Syriza regime $2 billion to feed hungry Greeks, Tsipras lauded his overseers and promised to submit a multi-billion euro list of regressive ‘reforms’. Both men have promised to tackle depression level unemployment (which is 26 percent nationally and 55 percent for the youth).

Yet, both men are meeting debt payments and didn’t so far allocate any funds for creating jobs. Syriza promised to re-examine the previous rightwing regime’s dubious privatization of lucrative public enterprises and to stop on going future privatizations. Tsipras and Varoufakis has disavowed that promise. They have approved many privatizations and made overtures to procure new privatization “partners” in lucrative tax concessions (which is selling out more public firms). Syriza came to power under their promises to renounce the country’s 327 billion euro debt, kick out the Troika bailiffs, On February 20, Syriza signed an agreement with the EU which repudiated its pledges to end austerity and abolish the EU austerity Memorandum. Four days after this capitulation, Syriza announced plans for new budget cuts, privatizations, health care cuts and increases in the effective retirement age. Yet, Varoufakis doesn’t want the disintegration of the Eurozone. He even said that he wants alliances “even with right-wingers.” When Günther Jauch insinuated his guest had insulted Schäuble, Varoufakis sang a veritable hymn of praise to the German finance minister—one of the main architects of the austerity diktat in Greece, and therefore one of the most hated politicians in Germany and Europe. These actions represent a total capitulation to the banks. Still, Greek workers are still courageous in battling the Euro banks.

By Timothy

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