Liberty

The Greek people have voted not to accept the continuation of the economic slavery that their previous governments, willing and well paid tools of the international banks, had imposed upon them.

In the western world we look to classical Greece as the source of our democracy….as an example of resistance to tyranny…. however little the theory reflects the reality.

We remember Byron dying in the wars of independence from the Ottoman Turks in the 1820s…

We might even remember, if of a certain age, the betrayal of the Greek resistance by the western powers after World War II…

The rule of the Colonels….

In the era of the European union we remember too how the then rulers of Greece took advice from the international banking firm Goldman Sachs on how to fiddle the figures in order to be accepted into an organisation only too pleased to turn a blind eye to the obvious in the pursuit of a geo-political goal.

How – in compliance with NATO requirements – Greece was obliged to buy arms…notably submarines from Germany – for high prices when the bribes to Greek politicians are included.

How EU banks bought control of Greek banks – offering loans at rates of interest well above those prevailing in their home countries.

The new government had a mandate to prevent the ruin of Greek society….it has not been the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to dealing with the case hardened vultures of the IMF and the Eurozone, but this result shows that it has the backing of the majority of the Greeks most affected by previous obligatory compliance with EU rules by smaller states…larger ones, particularly France, seeming to have to have immunity.

But the Greek people have been given the chance to speak…and have spoken.

Their future will not be rosy…but they have risen against repression.

I hope that they will let us know how we can best support them.

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62 thoughts on “Liberty”

  1. That’s it exactly, Helen. They have voted to end economic slavery. Things are going to be very, very difficult for them in the short term, but in the long run they will be much better off. Mathematics never lies, and the reality of the math in this situation is that they were never going to be able to pay off the loans.

    1. Now let’s hope that their government doesn’t let them down…..why they agreed to play ball in the first place is beyond me…why they didn’t freeze the banks on Day One is also beyond me…but let’s hope that they have some plans.

  2. I have always felt a fondness for the Greeks, they are facing a struggle, I am sure their unified strength
    will pull them through. I wish them well.

    1. Now we see if a small country’s people can stand up to the inhumanity of Chicago School economic theory ….they won’t be getting much help from the rest of Europe, that’s for sure.

  3. Perfectly put, Helen and perfectly well said. Now let’s do what we can to support them in the inevitable lean years to come from which they can emerge blinking in the bright new dawn that will await them down the line

    1. We can lobby our own governments – not that that will have any effect….we can kick up in the press…likewise, but what we should be doing is to see which institutions are responsible for this and boycott them.

      1. Damn right … in fact an old school friend has just published a list of the institutions and the amounts ‘owed’ to each on his FaceBook timeline. He has suggested that people read it and share it and however hard it may be, boycott every single one of them. I have and I will.

          1. This is the picture he posted 11060265_742943769161053_6842319532726006419_n.jpg
            If you have trouble opening it – send me your email and I will send it that way. I am sure, knowing him, he will have more information and ‘sound and vision bites’ that you would be interested in 🙂

          2. Yes, I found it on scrolling down.
            When you see what these banks have been given on a plate the sums Greece owes look like just a morsel…but Greece isn’t a bank…it is prey, not predator.

          3. The banks caused the global crisis, the banks have been allowed to continue with crooked practice and we will all fall down again until they are stopped in their tracks. It is quite extraordinary that what would be considered theft and fraud in any other place is simply smiled on by a foolish world. This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends – not with a bang, but a whimper said TS Elliot – the whimper will be collective and prolongued and painful if we do nothing …. greed is a terrible thing and at the root of most malpractice and most of the bad on earth. Rant over 🙂 We must though, support Greece who has been brave enough to vote contra to the norm.

  4. Hear hear and hear hear again.We were jubilant when we heard the news. We have to stand and work together on this. May encourage others to be brave enough to say ‘no’ to being economically stitched up. Great post, Helen.

    1. We can all go singing to the barricades…and get mown down: we need to identify the process that allows this to happen and not be deceived by its lies.
      Reading Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ makes a lot of things clear.

  5. They will be crushed one way or another.
    Few will give them support in the UK parliament, few in other parliaments, and the powers that be will use every dirty trick to destroy the men in charge of Greece now.

    1. I agree…..the Eurozone can’t afford a defeat: neither can the bankers and as national politicians are on the payroll they won’t lift a finger to help…more likely to raise the heel to crush.
      But at all costs the Greeks must avoid regime change….

  6. . . the newly authorised public mandate has lasted a bare few hours – “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today,” he said Monday in an online statement.
    He added that he would “wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”
    Yanis Varoufakis
    Who is pulling which strings and who is being jerked?

      1. ALL of the controls of the Western economic/banking/war machine lie where they have always lain – in London and New York

  7. Brilliant summary. What Germany still hasn’t realized, at least admitted is their game is up.
    Last week the Spanish (right wing) minister of finance was taking the German side and belligerently announcing the referendum would lead to disaster.
    This morning, a first year economy student must have explained to the minister that if there’s no deal with Greece, the first thing that will happen is borrowing rates will go up (dramatically) for Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. So now he’s backpedaling like a clown on a unicycle and saying Spain supports a 3rd bailout deal for Greece. That was the genius of Varoufakis. A number of countries will have no choice but to endorse a Greek deal.

    1. I think they will keep their heads in the economic sand for as long as possible in the hope of crushing Greece. They rely on the ignorance of the general population when it comes to economics and the baying of their masters’ tame press.

  8. While I actually think that Greece would be better off, not in the short term, but the long term, outside of the euro, that move would seem to be a step too far for the Greek people. I suspect that some cobbled together “agreement” will come forth which will do no more than delay the next phase of the crisis.

    1. That is the danger of regime change…if the current Greek government seem to be risking their membership of the EU then they will lose support – as things stand at the moment. If they can divide Euro from EU then they might stand a chance of maintaining support and carving their own path….

  9. Things have gone downhill pretty much since 5th century Athens. I suspect the end game will be the old truism “that which cannot be repaid shall not be repaid” and the rest will involve a lot of dancing, political and otherwise. The guys in Spain are sounding a little nervous right now, too.

  10. Well said Helen. I wish them well in what I believe will be a huge struggle. Hope you are both well,Diane

    1. All well here, thank you and i trust with you.
      I was surprised at the success of the No vote….and that level of support gives hope for attempts to escape the disastrous situation…

  11. I knew about the books being cooked to secure EU membership but I didn’t know about the compulsory arms purchases or the high-interest loans. Clearly Greece is labouring under a large ball and chain. And it’s surely obvious to the dogs in the street that there’s no way Greece can ever pay back a debt of £342 billion. Sooner or later most of that astronomical debt will have to be written off.

  12. I suspect that one way or another the powers that be within the EU will find a way to make Greece tow the party line. Too much is at stake to let one nation, no matter how small, go it’s own way, despite what it’s citizens desire. I wish the Greeks all the best and admire their moxie, but politicians and financiers can prove a formidable foe when their interests are threatened.

    1. I suspect that you are right….the one hope is that the Greek government will continue to tell the Greek people what is happening, not try to fudge an agreement behind closed doors.

      I had my head in my hands at the way the Greeks were negotiating…they needed a pre-emptive strike and instead treated their opponents as if they were civilised…

  13. Ah Helen. It’s appalling. And this left-wing previously softish pro-European is now a sceptic. The totalitarianism of the neo-liberal ruling right has brought us all to this. Germany has a short memory when it comes to debt.
    It’s the anti-democratic force of it all that has me truly appalled.
    In terms of how we help…?
    I’ve donated to the indiegogo fund set up by thom feeney. And I’ll be booking a holiday to Greece – taking cash with me to ensure its injected into the economy.
    Aside from those very very minor and inadequate acts – it’s campaigning and lobbying for me…

    Hope you’re well. I am enduring oppressive heat tonight in Fogars de la Selva. But it’s been worth it so far. Barcelona is my favourite city. Girona is not bad either. Tossa de Mar is a wee gem. Figueres is fab. And I’ve even driven to Perpignan – only 90 mins away on the AP-7 (though there was some strange be-sashed and silent demo outside the toon hall about corruption and nepotism etc- and i know the Nat Front lot have been active there 😦 ).

    I’m here til 28th July.

    Though the mosquitos will have drained me by then I fear…

  14. The house is somewhat south of you, then…..but another time perhaps?
    I’m hoping we will be over in September/October but as usual can decide nothing until the last minute.
    Leo is looking at flights to Greece though…so you never know.

    I was against entry into the European project – though having to admit that its labour laws were about the only thing that prevented Thatcher from running really amok….and the Euro was clearly going to be a disaster. At least Brown saved us from that.

    Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ makes apt if saddening reading at the moment….yet another takeover of public assets for private profit while impoverishing those who are outside the circle of wealth and influence. Remind you of the U.K.?

    1. I did think of emailing to ask if we could rent – but then the numbers wanting to visit kept growing… so I needed somewhere that would sleep ten. This place is cheap – but what I saved in rent I’ve lost in expensive car hire… ah well…the Spanish economy need the cash too…
      apologies for my silence – I am almost finished the MSc – I’m writing the dissertation whilst here. Distinction across the board. I’ve surprised myself. And a PhD looks likely.

      1. You may have surprised yourself…but no one who knows you!

        Sleep ten….it sleeps 6 – 8 in one part and 5 – 7 in the other…you would have been most welcome – and will any other time you are in those parts. It has all the necessary…BBQ, pool, etc…but you do need a car as it is five kilometres from the village.
        Family said that car hire from Valencia was cheap and they had a variety of stuff from two doors to people carriers.

        1. I’m kicking myself I didn’t get in touch! The house sounds perfect.

          When I get home i’ll email dates for next year 🙂 it’s always good to have something to look forward to…

          I want to take the car next year. Down through France and into Spain then home via Santander or Bilbao. We’d have done it this year – but worried about the old car surviving the journey. In the end – just before we left – we had to replace it. We now have a nice volvo that’ll do at least 10 years – though I’m looking for 20 at the price paid. I’ve never done the ‘good car’ thing – cars are for running into the ground… though we seem to be collecting them just now as the kids grow and ‘need’ their own car… ugh.

          1. E mail me and I’ll send you some pics…
            Friends came down via Zaragoza and said it was a good road, even in winter…so going back via Santander would be no problem.

            Oh, and the ‘ghost’ airport will be open from September…but so far only Ryanair from London and Bristol….

  15. i too am pleased and admiring that the Greek people said No, yet I’m fearful that their courage and determination will somehow be further betrayed. Big money doesn’t give up at the first sign of opposition as we know only too well. I just wish the British people could have been given a chance to vote for an end to austerity, but all the major parties were singing from the same hymnsheet.

    1. Yes…delighted…and fearful at the same time. We have seen so many betrayals.

      The party system blocks any real democracy in the U.K……all organised on the same top down lines and the top ruled by big business.

  16. The politics aside (which you know I never totally understand) I think one simple way to help the people of Greece would be to holiday there. After all, there seem to be very few choices of safe destinations at the moment.

  17. A few days on and it seems a very strange game is being played – and I use the word ‘game’ with great caution. What on earth is going on? I’m afraid I don’t know at all. There seems to be so many opportunities to learn by the mistakes that are made but absolutely no evidence of learning anything. Sigh.
    Axxx

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