Tag Archives: European Union

The Crisis in Greece: The Collision of Two World Models

The question of how to proceed on the Greek crisis, for pro-austerity European Union leaders, is not about helping Greece’s economy recover, but about enforcing discipline and ensuring obedience to the pro-bank global neoliberal agenda they envision for Europe and the rest of the world. The landslide Greek rejection of further austerity is nothing short of a direct challenge to that agenda, which seeks to marginalize the will of people and their democratically elected governments in the bank-dominated world order they’re fighting so hard to impose. But too harsh a punishment could backfire on the EU leaders and their bank lords; a middle ground solution seems to be the only choice if they want to prevent the collapse of their pro-bank global agenda.

When the Tsipras government turned to the Greek people to decide the way forward, the European bank lords saw an existential threat to their austerity- and privatization-driven vision, which is causing serious problems in other European nations struggling with similar harsh austerity measures, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. The Syriza government’s audacity to let people decide how to move forward was a direct challenge to that failing vision, and one that gives hope to other left-wing movements and parties throughout Europe. The way forward for the pro-bank European elite, led by Germany, seems very clear on the surface: punish the Tsipra’s government, and turn Greece into a horror show whose example no one will want to follow.

The problem for the EU and the banks they represent, is that even if Greece had obeyed their dictates down to a T, the austerity model they are pushing for seems to only work for the banks themselves. In the long-term such model is simply unsustainable. Further, a punitive expulsion of Greece from the Eurozone could also have serious consequences for the entire European Union, especially if China and Russia help Greece recover without the harsh austerity measures imposed by the EU. Such a Grexit, followed by financial recovery, could be the catalyst for other European nations to choose left-wing solutions to their problems, and could usher the end of the pro-bank neoliberal vision, starting in Europe, but with ripple effects throughout the rest of the world.

Pro-bank European Union leaders hoping to continue their march towards a unified, federalized EU, envisioned as both a financial and a military superpower, will have to curb their aspirations of a privatized Europe in which the will of people is ignored, and the rule of banks runs wild and unquestioned.

The austerity measures the EU and their bank lords are so bent on imposing on working people throughout Europe, alongside their blatant efforts to silence the populations on the receiving end of those measures, are only emboldening those who stand in direct opposition to their agenda. The only way to prevent a collapse of the European Union and their currency zone is to start embracing a financial model that places the needs of people over the financial profits of their banking institutions.

Whatever the outcome of the crisis in Greece, however, one thing that has been made perfectly clear is that the current neoliberal world order is not interested in the well-being of working people, much less in governments who dare to heed the guidance and directives of those who elect them. And while the elites of the neoliberal world order might do well to find a common ground solution in Greece, one can always hope for a solution entirely outside of that order; a solution driven by a vision of international solidarity in which the will of banks is overruled by the will of working people… May it be so.

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Greeks Vote “No” to Austerity… and to the Global Neoliberal Agenda

Known as the cradle of western democracy, Greece, today more than ever, gave the world a glimpse of what real democracy looks like, delivering a blow to the global neoliberal agenda with a whooping 61 percent of voters saying ‘No’ to harsh austerity measures demanded by EU and IMF lenders in exchange for more bailout loans.

The EU and IMF creditors, who did not receive a payment of some €1.6 billion due on June 30, had demanded that Greece further tighten the grip on several social lifelines by cutting pensions, healthcare services, education, and by increasing taxes on the poor. Much to his credit, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras left the decision up to Greek voters, instead of capitulating to the draconian demands. His bold move was highly discouraged by top banking officials and European leaders, who warned that the referendum would herald the exit of Greece from the Eurozone, and prevent the Mediterranean nation from gaining more credits needed to save its collapsed economy.

While today’s referendum on austerity bailout measures was hugely significant to the Greek people, its significance to the world was even bigger, as it provided a model to follow by countless nations whose struggling economies have fallen pray to similar “bailout” packages and harsh economic conditions.

The dramatic events unfolding in Greece represent an indictment not on the Greek government’s ability to pay its creditors, as the banks would have us believe, but on the global neoliberal agenda, which will always seek to impose irrational economic demands to further advance its savage brand of capitalism. Such agenda would have people the world over believe that in order to survive, nations must sacrifice their peoples’ safety nets – pensions, education, healthcare, salaries, labor protections, and other life-sustaining programs and services – to create friendly business environments that welcome investment and create prosperity. But today, 61 percent of Greek voters told EU and IMF creditors, and the entire world, that there is another way.

While it is hard to predict precisely what the immediate future holds for Greece, it is safe to assume the audacity of practicing real democracy will be harshly punished. Fear not! The neoliberal agenda, with its banks, wealthy governments, and its vast militaries, is very strong. But the world, today more than ever, stands with the Greek nation, which has given birth to the almighty creature of real democracy, in a way it never had before.

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