"We are facing destruction. Our country, our home, has become ripe for burning. The centre of Athens is in flames."
-- Costis Hatzidakis, conservative
the Greek parliament approved a new round of austerity measures that will
further deepen the 5-year depression and sever the last fraying threads of
social cohesion. In order to secure a
130 billion euro loan, Greek political leaders agreed to comply with a
"Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) that will not only intensify the sacrifices
of ordinary working people, but also effectively
hand the control of the nation's economy over to foreign banks and corporations.
Memorandum is as coldly calculating and mercenary as anything ever written. And while most of the attention has been
focused on the deep cuts to supplementary pensions, the minimum wage, and
private sector wages; there's much more to this onerous warrant than meets the
have to prove that it's reached various benchmarks before it receives any of
the money allotted in the bailout. The
Memorandum outlines, in great detail, what those benchmarks are-- everything
from reduced spending on life-saving drugs to allowing "retailers to sell
restricted product categories such as baby food." That's right; according to the authors of this
fuliginous memo, the only way Greece is going to be able to lift itself out of
the doldrums is by greatly increasing the risk that their kids will be sickened
by banned baby food!
The MOU also
calls for a 10% cut to government workers wages, cuts to "social security funds
and hospitals," and more privatizing of publicly-owned assets -- all of which will only further shrink GDP!
providing fiscal aid so Greece can meet its budget targets and can get back on
its feet again, the "troika" (the European Commission, European Central Bank,
and International Monetary Fund) is using
the crisis to snatch vital state assets and deliver them to its corporate
friends. In other words, the MOU
is opening new avenues for exploitation and plunder. And there's more:
Government (of Greece) will neither propose nor implement measures which may
infringe the rules on the free movement of capital. Neither the State nor other public bodies
will conclude shareholder agreements with the intention or effect of hindering
the free movement of capital or influence the management or control of
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