Hats off to the Greeks. The majority voted not to be slaves to the grand financiers of Europe.
Those who run up debts should pay them of course and that goes for countries as well. But in situations like the current European one it seems reasonable to look at who might be responsible.
It almost certainly wasn’t the struggling populace ticking up the national debt on their Visa card yet it is those folk who would be made to repay it and may yet be forced to in a policy clinically entitled “austerity”.
Since the restoration of democracy in 1974, the Greek government has been relatively fragile and until recently dominated by two dynastic political families: Karamanlis (New Democracy) and Papandreou (Panhellenic) vying for supremacy.
They set up and supervised entry to the common market and oversaw growth of the astonishing debt that Greece accumulated; the commonplace is that Greeks did not pay sufficient taxes to keep pace with it.
But who didn’t pay taxes? Not the pensioners, the teachers, the public servants, the legitimate jobholders and those who had taxes extracted at source.
It must have been the wealthy, the entrepreneurs, the developers, the corporations, the corrupt and those working the black economy that let the country down.
And yet it’s the very people who did the right thing that are having their lives and prospects ruined by being made pay the debt while the greedy and smarties no doubt have much of their wealth hidden.
The present Greek catastrophe is a small mirror of what happened globally in 2008 when the greedy produced the catastrophe and the poor had their houses taken and lives ruined to pay for it.
Moreover, the Greek catastrophe might have little reflections for us. In the face of a growing national debt our own government wants to impose austerity on pensioners, the sick, the underprivileged, the workers and education, all targeted to pay by leaders who tell us we should bear it for the nation.
At the same time under favourable laws, our leaders privilege superannuation for the wealthy, negatively gear far and wide, lodge expense claims three or four times a suburbanite salary and sometimes much of the proceeds go back into family interests.
In some circles this might be considered looting; in Oz it’s just the system.
– Fred Goldsworthy
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