• Yianis, we disagree on a lot of things but on this issue we are in total agreement.

    Yanis, it has gone past the point of stupidity, what I see happening to Greece disturbs me deeply. There is absolutely no logical argument for extend the terms of the bailouts. None.

    The media talks as if the extension will help Greece avoid default when this is the exact opposite of the truth. How can more debt with a lower GDP be classed as progress from where the country is today?

    To me it is obvious what is happening. This has nothing to do with the government bailout (the money is coming out of thin air and going back into the black hole that is European banks) and everything to do with extracting every last Euro cent out of the hands of Greeks.

    This is financial rape on a massive scale. Plain and simple.

    I think everyone on your blog agrees the Greek government is going to default, so the only explanation for this “austerity” is to extract the maximum quantity of liquid cash from the pockets of Greek citizens before the collapse happens.

    Its as if some organisation somewhere simply cannot bear the thought of the Greek government defaulting and the Greeks still having cash in their hands the next day that is actually worth something.

    That is the only explanation that I see. Wealth extraction by foreign entities under the watchful eye of the Greek political class.

    I do not care if it is Germany imposing brutal measures (personally I do not think they are). For me the blame lays completely and utterly and the feet of the Greek politicians who are observing and supporting the rapists of the Greek people. It is utterly disgusting.

    Some Greeks I speak to are ready to go to war, they say the problem is that they do not know who to fight. I tell them that they do not need to go as far as laying their life on the line, they do not have to hurt anybody else, they simply have to be prepared to go to prison for a short period of time by using the most effective type of non violent protest. (The Greek government accuses its people of being experts at this type of protest anyway) Even if only a tiny minority of the population were prepared to do this, nobody would go to jail and the government would collapse overnight. And peacefully.

    I hope this last paragraph was not overstepping the line….

    • “For me the blame lays completely and utterly and the feet of the Greek politicians who are observing and supporting the rapists of the Greek people”

      And these Greek politicians are elected by whom exactly? See?

      I disagree with the view that it is solely the political ‘elite’ wo steered Greece into the abyss. Because it were the the profiteers of widespread nepotism, corruption, the ballooning public sector, social benefits: millions of average Greeks, who elected those politicicans. Of course to get more and more and more goodies, may the whole setup be as completely unsustainable as it was (and is).

      It is therefore wrong that “the blame lays completely and utterly and the feet of the Greek politicians”.

    • Sam – I would agree with you, if there was a democracy in Greece but like most countries, there is not.

      The Greek people can only vote for those people who stand for election. The fact that media is an organ of the government (what percentage of all news stories are government related? I would say easily 90%) and the majority of people get all of their information from the TV and newspapers it makes it all but impossible for a “fringe” party to disrupt the status quo.

      Of course people should read books and blogs like this but the reality is people will believe the TV over the internet. The government has conditioned people into believing that everything on the TV and in newspapers is the truth, for example, strict policing of the laws governing false claims in advertising. Unfortunately government spokespersons and politicians are exempt. Until this changes I do not see any real diverse political choices being given airtime.

      Why for example are there no parties pushing for voluntary taxation given how popular this platform would be?

      With regards to a real choice, Ron Paul is the closet thing I have seen in this lifetime, he is the third favourite for the Presidency of the USA in 2012 after Romney & Obama and he cant even get a speaking slot at his party’s convention.

      If it cannot happen in the USA, it is not going to happen anywhere else. They are/were the politically freest people on earth, when they fall, there is nowhere else to look to.

    • @ Richard:

      “I would agree with you, if there was a democracy in Greece but like most countries, there is not”

      Apparently I’ve missed to make my point, sorry for that. Which is that due to the rotten system in Greece, no matter if it is democratic or not, there are just to many who profited since decades. Thus, there won’t be changes as long as this fact doesn’t change.

      You can even install an absolutist regime which will last – as long as there are more beneficiaries than others. One example: Greece.

  • Yeah, Greece is being used as the troika’s testbed for its Shock therapy neoliberal agenda, what we see in Greece is what the IMF wants around the world.

  • Yanis – just a heads-up: the dust bowl in America was a separate climate event that had nothing to do with the depression – it only served to increase the suffering of those on the prairies (Canada suffered a bit as well).

    • Barry – that and FDR paying farmers to burn their crops in order to artificially boost grain prices.

  • One has to question the relative efficacy of trying to inform the public via TV interviews when the TV station juxtaposes stock footage of riots next to the talking heads.

    • Dimitri – In the case of Greece, I think the stock footage of riots does a very good job of reflecting the mood of a nation.

    • It is inaccurate. They haven’t had such a demo in a long while. And it hurts tourism.

    • Dimitri, Just because there are no demonstrations does not mean people are not p****ed off. Pictures of riots are the best thing they can think of to illustrate peoples unhappiness. If you can think of a better example? Hurts Greek tourism? I’m not sure, any publicity is good publicity? I think there are much bigger problems with Greece’s tourism industry than a riot in central Athens.

  • Yannis, would you agree that the overall big picture of whats happening in Greece is a readjustment of the standard of living that the Greeks enjoyed – not so much due to an efficient economy or technological innovation but rather to cold war geopolitics?

    • Ronni, Greece was relatively poor during the cold war, it was richer after the intro of the Euro, and now it is going back to cold war levels, without the cold war. I dont see a connection