Even if you live under a rock in Guatemala, you can’t have failed to see and hear the ongoing farce that is the financial wrestling match over Greece’s financial predicament. I’m not a financial expert or an economist, but when has that ever stopped anyone thinking they had the answer to Greece’s problems?
No, I’m not here to offer my thoughts on how this particular economic corpse is supposed to be resuscitated, I’m just curious to know how a handful of supposedly intelligent people can systematically and comprehensively shaft an entire nation of human beings.
Because that’s what they are: the people affected by the dithering, grandstanding, pushing and straining of a bunch of power mad lunatics are real people who, through the fault of leader after leader, financier after financier and creditor after creditor, have had their money, wages and savings stolen.
To hear Jean Claude Juncker lecturing Greek people on democracy and fiscal integrity is laughable to the point of tragedy. A man, an unelected bureaucrat, who was once the prime minister of a country that encouraged wholesale tax avoidance, now feels fit to tell Greek people why they should accept austerity for the sins and incompetence of others.
Last Sunday, Syriza offered the Greek people a referendum on how the negotiations should proceed. This Sunday the results of that referendum are about as relevent as the Iliad. Fifty billion euros of public assets must be sold off, the creditor haircut is still a pipe dream, and Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank is still poised to turn off the tap that supplies Greek banks with cash.
Is there anyone in this long running pantomime ready to emerge with any credibility? Has Alexis Tsipras gone back on everything he promised at the last Greek election? Consider how all this started in the first place.
Goldman Sachs allegedly cooked the books to make the Greek economy look healthier than it was, allowing them to join the euro. Creditor after creditor lent a succession of bent and idiotic politicians more money than they could repay, and then the shysters in the investment banks brought down the whole artificial financial system in 2008, leaving a bankrupt Greek economy washed up with no way of repaying its debts.
And who loses out in all this? Greek citizens queuing up at empty cash machines trying to withdraw their own money. Apparently, there’s only five hundred million euros left in the whole of the country, which sort of begs the question, where’s it going after it’s withdrawn and spent?
Perhaps Jean Claude Juncker knows. He is after all an expert on tax havens. Perhaps Mario Draghi knows; it’s his money being head of the European Central Bank. Or maybe Angela Merkel can tell us. A large proportion of the money in the ECB comes from German taxpayers.
One thing you can be sure of is that the people who killed the Greek economy will not be sitting at home tonight wondering how they’re going to put food on the table next week.