Greeks See The Bankers as Typhoid Mary


Economic and political discontent – like the common cold – can be quite contagious. Especially when the carrier knows no geographic boundaries. The Greeks have been give another bail out.

“We have agreed today that the contribution (of the private sector) must be voluntary, but … Greece also has to deliver.

 

“If you aim for a voluntary private contribution you can’t fix what size it must be beforehand. That also has to be discussed with private creditors.

 

“We very much depend on Greece’s parliament passing all bills and we will discuss more about the role of private creditors at the beginning of July, but the role will be voluntary and we will have to check whether Greece will by then have fulfilled its obligations.”

But the Greeks themselves are not impressed. In fact they are angrier than ever since they do not see why they should shoulder the burden of a situation they did no cause.

For more than three weeks protesters have occupied the square opposite the Greek parliament. They have pitched their blue and grey tents and hung their slogans from the orange trees.

“We got the solution. Revolution,” declares one poster. “Rise up people of the world,” urges another.

Inspired by the Arab uprisings, they have dug in to oppose further spending cuts in exchange for a second bail-out by the EU and IMF.

The encampment, however, hardly crackles with revolutionary fervour. It has the feel of an anti-globalisation village, nestled in amongst Africans selling handbag copies and bright-rimmed sunglasses.

The Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is depicted as riding the CIA/IMF plane. He is portrayed as a capitalist stooge.

And they are not alone in this.

Tens of thousands of protesters converged on central Madrid Sunday as the so-called May 15 movement pushing for political and social change in Spain again took to the streets.

Madrid’s was the first major demonstration of the day and drew some 37,000 people, Spain’s state-run news agency reported, citing a consulting firm it hired to estimate the size of the crowd.

Protests were planned in 55 other Spanish cities later in the day and had gotten underway in Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and other cities, Spanish media reported.

The protests focused again on Spain’s 21% unemployment rate and on the government’s economic austerity measures. But on Sunday, they also rallied against European Union efforts to stabilize the euro, with many protesters worried that could lead to more austerity measures across the EU.

The problem there as here is forced austerity measures on the working class even with unemployment skyrocketing.

This is the real crisis in the eurozone. A young generation lost, without work. The figures are staggering.

In Spain unemployment for 16 to 24 year olds is running at 43%. In Italy it is more than 25%. In Europe millions of highly educated young people are being denied the opportunity of working.

The eurozone has proved a terrible trap for so many countries. The low interest rates, the easy money led to property booms, speculation, and piles of debt. Reducing the debt is now exacting a terrible toll on a generation.

In Spain they called themselves the “indignants” but no-one knows what this generation will do with their anger.

If this all sounds too familiar, it should. There is a kettle on the stove and the fire just keeps getting turned up. One of these days it will blow. Will it also blow here ? One can never tell but everyone has a breaking point.

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One thought on “Greeks See The Bankers as Typhoid Mary

  1. People are starting to come to terms with the fact that banks have acted explicitly to suck nations dry of both public and private money. This may be possible in the short term but as a long term financial strategy it won’t fly and is certain to be destructive as opposed to constructive.

    Sort of like how repubs conduct themselves on our behalf in congress.

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