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Austerity Not a Greek Goal

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Message Pepe Escobar
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Cross-posted from Asia Times

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Talk about a dream rematch. This Friday, Monty Python's epic Germany vs Greece philosophy football spectacular will be replayed, live, at Euro 2012. There won't be "Plato in goal" and "Aristoteles as sweeper", or "Nietzsche accusing [referee] Confucius of having no free will" -- but one can savor the global impact in case a bunch of footballing Spartans forces the sleek "Onshela" Merkel's team to exit the euro.

And especially after "Onshela" -- as part of a highly choreographed fear campaign -- could not help hectoring the Greeks ahead of last Sunday's elections, prodding them to vote the right way, as in submitting to the German sado-austerity diktat.

All across the Atlanticist West, the corporate media "narrative" depicted the slim victory of the right as a Greek collective decision not to exit the euro, at least for now. The Brussels eurocracy was ecstatic. Then, after a few minutes of financial tiki taka -- as in Spain nonchalantly passing the ball in midfield -- the God of the Market was back in business.

The notion that the Greek vote is a good step for Europe is as far-fetched as the notion of a military coup in Egypt right before a presidential election won by the Muslim Brotherhood opening a gradual transition towards democracy.

As much as the centurions of austerity were spinning a victory, what actually happened in the Greek elections was even more of a shift toward anti-bailout parties. The bailout is known in Greece as "the memorandum." Austerity -- led by the conservative New Democracy party -- "won" with roughly 40% of the votes, while 52% of Greek voters actually supported "anti-memorandum" parties.

Anyway, this soon proved irrelevant. On Monday, neoliberal Zeus -- aka the God of the Market -- was already focused on destroying tiki taka Spain to the tune of a 7.28% interest rate. Zeus is by definition insatiable; in his present-day form he always wants to devour more pensioners, more unemployed, more young unemployed, more public assets, anyway, anyhow, anywhere, no matter the nationality.

Even if the conservatives form a coalition government in Greece, and manage to extract a few, minimalistic, nominal concessions from the German-led sado-austerity front, the only game in (Greek) town will remain a social and economic wasteland; social security in collapse; hospital shortages; one in four workers unemployed; 7 out of 10 young unemployed aged between 18 and 24 dying to emigrate; migrants attacked by neo-Nazis; businesses closing down by the thousands.

And eventually the ones to truly benefit will be the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn, already capturing 7% of the vote.

Bankers in bondage

It all goes back to the supreme categorical imperative; how can the eurozone possibly survive as we know it when its raison d'etre -- economic and financial integration -- is collapsing?

The real financial powers that are behind "Onshela" Merkel don't want eurobonds or any kind of collective support to the banking system. They are sado-austerity fetishists. The only thing that matters for them is what they perceive as German national interest -- not "Europe."

The French, for their part, are busy working on an 11-page "Growth Pact for Europe" -- their contribution for a key summit on June 28-29 when the eurocratic maze (European Commission, European Council, Eurogroup, European Central Bank) will more or less (not) decide the next steps.

Essentially, Germany wants a political union -- a federalization -- before discussing anything else, while France wants a progressive road map to be followed over the next 10 years; for the French, a political union is not a necessary condition for financial solidarity.

US President Barack Obama is the top cheerleader of what the French are saying; first we need to be back on the business of economic growth, otherwise we're all crashing against the wall. This means immediate financial solidarity -- as in a banking union. Yet the German sado-austerity club interprets all this as the other Europeans piggybacking on their financial clout and thus not doing the hard work to get their economies back on track.

In thesis, the Atlanticist West is furiously discussing all this at the Group of 20 gathering in Los Cabos, Mexico. Here the shallow Atlanticist corporate media spin is that "Western decisions today will -- and indeed must -- influence whether Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey support the global order of tomorrow." [1]

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)

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