Deepening Greek Tragedy
Greece is being raped and pillaged.
by Stephen Lendman
Greece is banker occupied. Ordinary people have no say. Parliamentarians get orders and obey. Despite multiple painful austerity rounds, Troika power demands more - the IMF, EU and European Central Bank (ECB).
Money power dictates bankers get paid first. People needs are sacrificed for them. Bankers also want implementation guarantees for enacted policies and more coming. For starters, they demand cutting another 325 million euros.
European Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said more had to be done no matter the human harm and economic ruin. Ordinary Greeks face impoverishment and neoserfdom. Since 2007, Greece's economy shrunk almost 20% en route to total collapse.
Its real debt burden approaches $650 billion, around double the reported amount. The latest bailout deal's for about $170 billion. Current debt exceeds what Greece can repay. Increasing it elevates crisis conditions. Forced austerity assures harder than ever hard times.
Rising unemployment exceeds 20%. Youth unemployment approaches 50%. Only a third without work get unemployment benefits. They're being slashed another 20%. Plans are for laying off another 150,000 state workers by 2015.
Private sector wage cuts exceeded 20%, public sector ones around 50%. Poverty affects millions. GDP's collapsing. So are pensions, Greece's life force, and the ability of most people to survive.
Other European economies are also troubled. In December, EU industrial production sunk 1.1% month-over-month, its fourth straight monthly decline. In Q IV, contraction was 6.8% annualized, the worst showing since 2009 Q I. It also exceeded the worst 2001 recession decline.
Conditions worsened at yearend 2011. Q IV contraction was 7% year-over-year. EU economies show continued quarterly contractions.
Moreover, economic powerhouse Germany slid 2.9%, exceeding the Eurozone average. Portugal looks like the next Greece. Its GDP plunged at an annualized 5.1% rate. It was its fifth straight quarterly decline. Like America, massive liquidity infusions alone keep Europe from collapsing. The strategy's doomed. An eventual bad ending's assured.
Economist Charles Wyplosz calls austerity madness "pseudo-science." As a result, he thinks debt default awaits Greece, Portugal, Italy and perhaps other troubled Eurozone economies. The longer they wait, the deeper the hole and greater pain.
Progressive Radio News Hour regular Bob Chapman says if Greek parliamentarians don't pass enabling legislation, regional problems will increase. However, if they do as expected, voters will replace them in April.
Under disastrous current conditions, Chapman thinks Greece faces 30 years of Depression. Parliamentarians expect austerity to help. In fact, it assures eventual collapse.