The Menace that is the Greek Technocratic Government
Not more than a week after suspending the slightest pretense of democracy in Greece through April, the unelected technocratic government has provided the latest outrage for opponents of austerity.
“Greece’s Prime Minister urged defiant union leaders Wednesday to accept further income losses, warning that vital international rescue loans could otherwise dry up and force the debt-crippled country into a disorderly default in March.
Lucas Papademos said decisions made over the next few weeks before a mid-January visit by international debt inspectors, known as the troika, will determine whether the country holds onto the euro or reverts to its pre-2002 currency, the drachma.”
After two years of austerity that has only worsened the economic crisis in Greece, the neo-liberal political hacks like Lucas Papademos still have the nerve to blame the Greek workers; to once again demand Greek workers sacrifice themselves out of human existence for the sake of bankers and creditors. If the Greek workers are unwilling to disestablish what standard of living they currently have, then Papademos finds it perfectly acceptable to scapegoat them for any disorder that will follow.
Only months after the last painful adjustment forced upon workers in Greece, the government has come to demand more, once again saying as it did before that Greeks will have to sacrifice a little now “so we do not lose a lot”. Here’s the latest round of sacrifices demanded at the alter of all sacred creditors:
“Greece might have to reduce its minimum wage and private sector workers could have to accept severe salary cuts as part of the reforms needed to secure funding without which the country is likely to go bankrupt by March, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos told union leaders Wednesday.
Apart from the minimum wage, he indicated that the 13th and 14th monthly salaries that most private sector workers receive would have to be re-examined. The interim prime minister also suggested that automatic pay rises would have to be scrapped and that labor laws would have to be simplified.”
There will be a third year of ever deepening austerity as part of the IMF/EC/ECB structural adjustment program for Greece. The standard of living that is essential for Greece’s ability to finance its debt is being slashed in the name of continuous payments to finance that debt. All of this to spare the financial system of the West from being fundamentally restructured. We ask very often what the alternative would be. For myself, it’s quite simple: end the austerity and if nations can’t pay their national debt, they won’t and therefore shouldn’t try. If it takes down the financial system, nationalize it completely instead of just endlessly subsidizing the system through central banks. It’s worth watching economist Steve Keen explain the situation with far more clarity: