We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Destroying the Greek economy in order to save it

Click here to access article by Mark Weisbrot from Al Jazeera. 

Weisbrot gathers evidence to argue that the Empire's primary capitalist institutions in Europe, the Troika, is pursuing a strategy of a "shock-and-awe assault on the Greek economy" to destroy the Syriza government and destroy all opposition to the Empire's capitalist rule.
...blackmail is actually an understatement of what the ECB and its European partners are doing to Greece. It has become increasingly clear that they are trying to harm the Greek economy in order to increase pressure on the new Greek government to agree to their demands.

The first sign that this was the European authorities’ strategy came on February 4 — just 10 days after the Syriza government was elected — when the European Central bank cut off the main source of financing for Greek banks. This move was clearly made in bad faith, since there was no bureaucratic or other reason to do this; it was more than three weeks before the deadline for the decision. Predictably, the cut off spurred a huge outflow of capital from the Greek banking system, destabilizing the economy and sending financial markets plummeting. More intimidation followed, including a slightly veiled threat that Emergency Liquidity Assistance – Greece’s last credit lifeline from the ECB – could also be cut. The European authorities appeared to be hoping that a “shock and awe” assault on the Greek economy would force the new government to immediately capitulate.

It didn’t work out that way. 

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