Greece, Others Falling to Predator Creditors

0
26

Greece has shockingly agreed to another unsustainable financial bailout meant to pay off previous bailouts rather than receive money to help the Greek citizens suffering from austerity. Only now it’s worse. Greece is preparing to give up its citizens’ vital resources and assets such as water and energy to foreign multinational corporations or oligarchs.

GREECE-protestS
Greek citizens protest austerity.

What should Greece do, that Peculiar Progressive thought the communist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would do but didn’t? Walk away from the predator creditors’ demands, refuse to pay the debts, and move on.

Story continues below.



This isn’t a new idea. David Stockman, who was Ronald Reagan’s budget director — and often fought with Reagan, criticizing his tax cuts — publicly called in February for Greece to do just that:

For its part, Greece stands at a fork in the road. Syriza can move aggressively to recover Greece’s democratic sovereignty or it can desperately cling to the faltering currency and financial machinery of the Euro zone. But it can’t do both…

 

…Indeed, the crony capitalist corruption and craven appeasement of the banks and financial markets that have become the modus operandi there are inexorably destroying the EU and single currency. By fleeing the euro and ECB with all deliberate speed, therefore, the Greeks will give-up nothing except the opportunity to be lashed to the greatest monetary train wreck ever recorded.

Also, Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Treasury Secretary under Reagan and one of the brain trust behind Reaganomics, basically has said that the EU (primarily Germany) and international banks want to force Greece into a position where it must sell its public assets, i.e. let foreign multinationals privatize the natural resources that belong to the Greek people. And he added earlier this month that Washington has an even more greedy cause in play:

Washington has a higher interest than the interests of the US financial interests who purchased discounted sovereign debt with a view toward profiting from a deal that pays 100 cents on the dollar. Washington also has higher interest than the interests of the European One Percent intent on using Greece’s indebtedness to loot the country of its national assets. Washington’s higher interest is the protection of the unity of the EU and, thereby, NATO, Washington’s mechanism for bringing conflict to Russia.

Roberts also foresees greedy money eventually going after other European sovereign nations, saying, “The One Percent have Italy and Spain targeted for looting, and eventually France and Germany herself.”

Interesting, eh, to see two Republican economic stalwarts opposed to private money overtaking the public and its assets?

Why Greece’s Tsipras, an active communist politico since high school, would succumb to the predator creditors is puzzling indeed. Perhaps he’s stalling so Greece can eventually walk away from the debt and join BRICS, which we thought we saw coming this spring. Or, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a politcian go bad, perhaps he’s worked out a deal with the predator creditors to secure himself and his family financially. Let’s hope this suspicion never proves fact.

What Greece is Attempting to Sell

Whatever his reasoning, with his capitulating to the predator creditors’ demands Tsipras has deepened his people’s burdens to austerity, and now having to sell the country’s major sources for providing services and national income. Here’s what The Washington Post listed as the major assets on the auction block:

Story continues below.



lake-marathon-outside-athens-city-water-supply
Lake Marathon water for Athens.

Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (will sell 61 percent of shares); Public Power Corporation (7.5 million of Greece’s 11 million population subscribe to the service); Hellenic Petroleum (2/3 of Greece’s refinery capacity, with 35 percent of company up for auction); Athens International Airport (“Greece is holding on to 25 percent of shares in the airport, which was opened in 2001, but the development fund is selling off 30 percent of shares. The rest are held by private corporations and several families.”)

Other resources the Post lists in the top ten sale offerings include four thermal springs; 15 boutique hotels; 90 percent of Hellenic Post, the nation’s post office system with 750 outlets; Peace and Friendship Stadium; Egatia Odos Motorway, “670 kilometers (416 miles) of scenic Greek byway”.

Meanwhile, Greece’s people are captive to debt payments totalling 280 billion euros through 2054, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal has itemized the debt-payment schedule here.

Who’s Set to Follow Greece?

Earlier this month the British newspaper The Guardian cited a recent report from The Jubilee Debt Campaign, a coalition of UK national organizations and local groups calling for the poorest countries’ unjust and unpayable debts to be cancelled. The report listed 20 other countries suffering their own debt crises.

The in-danger debtor countries include, besides Greece: EU countries Ireland, Portugal and Spain. The rest of the 20 countries involved in current government external debt crises, as well as 14 other nations “at high risk of government external debt crisis” are listed in the Guardian story here.

Also, on July 16, Vox, a general interest news site, published a chart showing Greece as only one of a number of countries “being strangled by the euro”. You can find that chart here.

These countries all have the potential to fall prey to the predator creditors who keep pulling the governments deeper into unsustainable debt, leading to the nations giving up their natural resources and assets: in other words, the slow, or not so slow, privatizing of the world into the hands of The One Percent and their crony multinationals.

SHARE
More from CFRSinging the Same-Sex Wedding Bell Blues
More from CFRMy Summer Body
Roger Armbrust
Roger Armbrust's articles and columns have covered labor and management, Congressional legislation, and federal court cases, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as national news editor of Back Stage in New York City, where he also taught a professional writing course at New York University. His recent book of sonnets -- oh, touch me there: Love Sonnets -- is available from Amazon and other book sites. He is an Associate Curator of The Clyde Fitch Report.