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Greece: Profile of a Failed State

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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The term bailout is a misnomer. Grand theft and extortion more accurately explain policy. Ordinary Greeks are victimized. So is Greece's economy. 

It's a shell of its former self. It's a zombie waiting for its obituary to be written. Bankers responsible for crisis conditions are rewarded. Irresponsible governance steals from ordinary people to pay rich ones and corporate crooks.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaris heads Greece's rogue government. On Wednesday, he said Athens took "a big, decisive and optimistic step. A step toward recovery. I am very pleased."

The more Greece borrows, the greater its debt, the harder it is to service and repay, the more future aid that's needed, and faster the country heads toward total collapse.

Catastrophic conditions are pushing people toward deplorable living conditions and starvation. Prioritizing debt service and repayment by greater borrowing guarantees an eventual bad ending.

Impossible to bear pain may become uncontainable rage. More than buildings may burn. Politicians may be targeted. They could be tarred, feathered or shot.

University of the Aegean lecturer Panagiotis Sotiris told Russia Today :

"Every austerity package in the last two and a half years was supposed to be the last one. So it won't be the last one this time. We are going to see more of this."

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With minimal discussion, parliament "pass(ed) a huge law. We are very far from democratic procedure. This is a set of measures, which are actually dictated by the Troika."

Ordinary Greeks have no say. Parliament surrendered to diktat authority. A banner one protestor held expressed mass sentiment, saying: "TRAITOR SAMARAS GET OUT"

In August, Greek unemployment hit a record high. Officially at 25.4%, one in four workers have no jobs. Monthly for the last three years, figures rose. True unemployment may be much higher. Moreover, most jobs pay subsistence wages and poor or no benefits.

Young people are hardest hit. In the 15 - 24 age category, 58% are jobless. It's likely closer to two-thirds. In the last three years, wages have been cut up to 60%. Around 70,000 small business ceased operating.

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The latest austerity round targets another 150,000 jobs, further wage cuts up to 30%, pensions cut up to 15%, and fewer healthcare benefits.

Bureaucrats across the board are affected. Minimum wages, holiday benefits, and severance pay will be reduced.

Education will also be hit hard. Universities will be shut. Mass staff reductions will follow. Retirement will be raised from 65 to 67. Job protections are weakened. Layoffs are now easier. Redundancy notice was decreased from six to four months.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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