Democrat November-December 2012 (Number 132)
Greece: A nation-state
in its EU death throes
Exclusive report by VN Gelis
Having fought an election on the platform that 'there is money' PASOK's US-born leader, ex-Premier George Papandreou, fiddled the books and ensured the Greek budget deficit became larger than it was for Eurostat so that Greece could enter the IMF's bailout programme.*
Three years down the track, the aim of this subterfuge becomes increasingly clear: to create a new, tax-free, 'offshore', non-unionised region of the EU in the geographical territory that was Greece.
After 30 or so years of EU membership and a decade of Euro membership, for the last five years of which Greece has been in recession, GDP has collapsed by 25%, unemployment is officially around 25% (56% for youth, 33% in the private sector), soup kitchens and suicides (3,000 so far) are the only growth areas of the economy and the centre of Athens is starting to resemble parts of Detroit.
The last package of cuts—which cut wages by 50% for those still lucky to be employed and pensions by at least 25%—have the aim of dragging wages down to euro 300 and pensions to euro 100. The 'minimum' wage has been reduced. In the private sector, where workers are begging for work for as little as euro 10 a day for 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week, the minimum wage now stands at euro 580. Unemployment pay, which only lasts for a maximum of 12 months, stands at euro 360 with no housing component. This means that Greece is fast on the road to matching parts of Asia in wages so as to become the EU's role model for the future of the new regions the EU wants to create, which are to be run from the centre with new EU gauleiters in every ministry and every public institution (hospitals, universities and council offices administration), who will dictate budgets and cuts and have overall control, thus superseding both the Greek constitution and all local decision making.
As if to rub salt in the wounds, Greece has had the arrival of Germans, which is of course deliberate and conscious, to ensure the wounds of old (occupation of the Third Reich which led to 6-700,000 Greek deaths) are repeated in a new form.
The purpose is the total fire sale of all public assets, bigger in form than anything that has hit the Western world—including in countries which are or were the poster boys for neo-liberalism, Chile and the ex-USSR—with the eventual aim being the takeover of all public services in a deregulated, post-unionised, contract-based, private company paradise where workers will be employed only if willing to work for less and less. The process by which the Greek nation state is to be torn apart involves a changed electoral system under the Kallikratis Plan now being implemented. The plan created 13 regions of Greece with their own separate tax and spending powers and merged councils and town halls subordinate to the 13 regional governors who will decide policy directly for each region.
Germany recently proposed allowing German companies to employ Turkish citizens in Western Thrace (Greece) by allowing the relatives of those expelled in 1923 under the Treaty of Sevres to settle there, thus creating a new Kosovo in Greece. Proposals have also been placed on the table by the Troika to abolish Greece's standing army.
Depending on the resources each region has, privatisation lists are being drawn up. Assets are to be sold to transnational corporations for peanuts. For example, Skouries, in Thessaloniki, sold the rights to a Canadian gold mining company for a few million euros, it was then listed for hundreds of millions in a foreign stock exchange.
Despite over 20 general strikes—a genuine mass movement of occupation of city squares in the summer of 2011 involving millions of Greeks in over 30 cities—the ruling elite proceeds apace to impose EU directives as though they are confetti and to drive down lower than even the minimal alleged 'EU social charter'.
This is permitted because there is no minimum barrier for standard of living, health care or education. The enforced integration of Europe aims at creating one European government. This can only be accomplished by the abolition of the nation states, the centralisation of the banking system (three or four, controlled from the centre, will remain in Greece).
Thus, the formulation and implementation of policies of indigenous national development cannot occur. The implementation of the Bolkenstein directives ensured illegal immigrants worked on the building projects for the Olympic Games and that Greeks never got a look-in. Over euro 10 billion are exported to other countries via Western Union outlets as there are no capital controls.
Now that 95% of all building work has collapsed we have just the public sector left, which is the target of the large transnational corporations.
We have arrived at the stage where it has become clear that, instead of Greece's entry into the EU heralding development mirroring that of Germany, it has become de-industrialised and has lost nearly all its agricultural production due to EU directives and open borders in the importation of agricultural goods with zero tax, setting it on a path leading in the direction of Bangladesh. The perpetual race to the bottom has only one outcome. The effect will be to create the EU's first direct colonial region as the shining path for all others to follow suit—Portugal , Ireland , Spain.....
* Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country's already bloated deficit.
In other words Greece's debt was deliberately covered up with help from Goldman Sachs over a ten year period from 1998 to 2008.
EU Connections with Goldman Sachs
Mario Monti Prime Minister of Italy who heads a technocrat government which replaced Berlusconi and is an international adviser to Goldman Sachs.
Mario Draghi Current Governor of European Central Bank and former managing director of Goldman Sachs International.
Lucas Papademos A former Prime Minister of Greece and had run the Central Bank during the controversial derivatives deals with Goldman Sachs when Greece hid the size of its debt.
Petros Chrisodoulou Began his career at Goldman Sachs and was head of Greece's debt management agency.
Otmar Issing Was a board member of the Bundesbank and Executive Board of the European Central Bank and an international adviser to Goldman Sachs.
Antonio Borges Is a former head of the IMF's European Department and former vice chairman of Golden Sachs international.
Peter Sutherland Was a former Attorney General of Ireland is a non-executive director of Golden Sachs International.
Karel van Miert Is a former EU Commissioner for Competition and former International adviser to Goldman Sachs.
Mark Carney Is the next Governor of the Bank of England. He was employed at Goldman Sachs for 13 years and became managing director of investment banking. He worked on South Africa's post apartheid venture into international bond markets and was involved with Goldman's with the 1998 Russian financial crisis.
Further examples welcome