Monday, June 29, 2015

Iain Macwhirter — If I were Greek I'd vote No and leave the EU

Neoliberalism versus democracy:
Suddenly we see a new and disturbing political reality. Governments of small countries are expected to accept their the strictures of Brussels without even seeking the endorsement of their voters. The EU might not like democracy, or Syriza, but a referendum was a sensible way out of the deadlock.
If Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras had simply accepted the ultimatum with which he was presented last week it would mean not only radical cuts to pensions, health care and all forms of social support, but also decades of economic depression; all of the things he was elected to reject.

He had to have support from the Greek people if he was to sign this deal. And so he requested it, to the undisguised fury of the Troika. "Don't think you'll get the same deal now," says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as if it were talking to a recalcitrant child.

Many of us wondered why on earth the EU was imposing yet more austerity on Greece. After five years of this "criminally irresponsible", policy as the economist Joseph Stiglitz has called it, Greek debt has only increased from 133 per cent of GDP to 176 per cent while the economy has shrunk by 25 per cent. This is worse than the Great Depression.

Rarely in history has an economic policy so comprehensively failed. The Troika - the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF - know they will never get back the money they spent bailing out, not Greece, but their own private banking systems. The money is gone and should, like sub-prime mortgages, never have been lent in the first place.

But now we know this isn't about debt recovery. It is about disciplining a recalcitrant government, forcing it to accept a programme of restructuring that imposes neo-liberal values of privatisation, radical cuts in state provision, labour market reforms and an institutionalised debt servitude.....
This is now a Europe in which banks are bailed out but not small countries, where countless billions in taxpayers funds are mobilised to gratify the material lust of a financial kleptocracy while democratically elected governments, honouring their manifestos, are expected to accept the dictates of an unelected bureaucracy.

Stuff it. If I were Greek, I'd vote No and leave.
Herald Scotland
If I were Greek I'd vote No and leave the EU
Iain Macwhirter
ht Clonal


Ralph Musgrave said...

Iain Macwhirter seems to be confused as to the difference between the EZ and EU. He advocates that Greece have its own currency. I agree: good idea. But he jumps to the conclusion that it therefor has to leave the EU. Nonsense.

Iain Macwhirter may not have tumbled to this, but the country in which Ian Macwhirter lives, the UK, is outside the EZ but inside the EU. Same goes for Sweden and Denmark. And those three countries are doing just fine, at least compared to the Euro periphery.

NeilW said...

"And those three countries are doing just fine, at least compared to the Euro periphery."

No they are not. There are millions unemployed and massive inequality everywhere, with asset bubbles building up ready to recreate 2008, along with governments committed to crashing the plane.

Any new country joining the EU is forced to operate along the treaty lines and peg to the Euro before joining the club. Those small countries are lambs to the slaughter all of which have suffered depopulation as their young workforces disappear to serve the rich masters in Germany, etc.

The Euro is just the worst part of the EU treaty. It is the fundamental vision of freedom of movement across an area ruled by banks and oligarchs in an anti-democratic way from an ivory tower in Brussels.

The EU is a disaster that needs putting out of its misery. An autocratic monster that represents the very worst of corporatist centralised bureaucratic control.

Kings and Barons were better.