50 Ways to Leave the Euro: Greece and the Global Crisis

By Thomas Greco

The problem is all inside your head, I told the Greeks
The answer is easy, you need only stop the leaks
The power is yours to claim the freedom that you seek
There must be fifty ways to leave the Euro
          (Apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

Following the resounding “NO” vote by the Greek people on the bailout conditions in the July referendum, the negotiations between the Greek government and “the institutions” resumed with the expectation that a better deal for Greece would ensue. The outcome was quite the contrary. Greek negotiators ended up agreeing to a bailout deal that was far more onerous than the one the voters had rejected. Why?

The harsh reality is that the Greek government is insolvent. Having been lured into the debt-trap and the shared euro currency by western oligarchs using a combination of measures, including outright fraud, Greece was forced to accept the onerous conditions attached to the first two bailouts. Now it has been bludgeoned into accepting a third. The weapon of choice is the euro currency itself which is being wielded by the European Central Bank (ECB). By throttling the flow of euro currency into the country, the ECB last summer created near chaos in the Greek economy. This, and the threat of even more severe punishment in the future, was enough to bring the Greek government to heel.

With sovereign debt up around 180% of GDP, there is no way that the Greek government will ever be able to grow its way out of the current mess. The draconian measures demanded by the creditor institutions will just make it worse. Even the IMF has acknowledged (with apparent reluctance) that some debt relief is necessary for the Greek economy to recover. The new agreement forces the Greek government to yield even more sovereignty and to open its economy and its people more fully to exploitation by corporate interests and transnational banking institutions.

While the Greek government may be insolvent, the nation of Greece is not poor, at least not yet. But many of the conditions being imposed on the Greek government and the Greek economy will change all that. These include the demands for privatization of public assets, as well as the debt repayments and increasing tax burdens that are doing great harm to family-run businesses and mid-level enterprise that form the backbone of the Greek economy.

The fact is that Greece is blessed with many riches and the vultures from the west would dearly love get their hands on all of them. All the negotiations, past and present, have been about pressuring the Greek government to help them do it. Investigative reporter Greg Palast, with Michael Nevradakis, in a recent article spotlighted a fundamental root of the current problem saying that, “… the euro itself ..is the virus responsible for Greece’s economic ills,” and “The imposition of the euro had one true goal: To end the European welfare state.” So it isn’t Greece alone that has been a target. Palast and Nevradakis continue, pointing out that, “Each Eurozone nation, unable to control neither the value of its own currency, nor its own budget, nor its own fiscal policy, could only compete for business by slashing regulations and taxes.”

But the roots of the problem go even deeper than the euro currency. The present eurozone crisis is but one current example of the elite agenda that was kicked into high gear during the Reagan-Thatcher era of the 1980s and became codified in the “Washington Consensus.” Using international trade agreements and institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank as their instruments, “the powers of financial capitalism” have been able to easily invade one country after another with toxic loans, enabling them to wield increasing power as they loot the commons and convert all manner of publicly owned assets to private corporate profit centers. Professor Carroll Quigley, mentor to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, revealed almost 50 years ago that “…the powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. ”

Fortunately, in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, money and banking are at long last again becoming common topics for political debate. People are waking up to the fact that those who control money control economics, politics, and virtually everything else. Yet we have all been duped into allowing the money power to be turned over to unelected and often unknown persons. The result has been the subversion of democratic government, increasing disparities in incomes and wealth, and economic hardship and impoverishment of the masses.

Greece is now the pivot point of a struggle that has been ongoing for a long time. People around the world must now decide whether we will create a “new world order” based on democratic government by and for the people, or allow ourselves to be herded into a neo-feudal society dominated by the few at the top of the international banking and corporate pyramid.

In the wake of his re-election victory on September 20, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continues to argue that Greece’s economy cannot recover from its deep depression unless the burden of servicing its debt is eased. As things stand at this moment, it seems the best the Greek government can do is to negotiate a stretching out its debt repayment schedule. That may buy a bit more time, but will not be enough to cure the “disease.”

Despite all the fear mongering and predictions about the dire consequences that might result from Greece’s exit from the eurozone (Grexit), the choice is clear for the Greek government, either it will continue to surrender its people and its economy to be raped and plundered, or it will declare its independence, withdraw from the eurozone, and do what needs to be done to rebuild its economy on its own terms. How might that be done?

Now that we recognize what the elite agenda is and the true nature of the political currencies that are being used to beat governments and peoples into submission, it is clear that we must find ways to (1) disencumber ourselves of obligations that have been fraudulently imposed on us, (2) reduce our dependence on systems and structures that cheat and disempower us, and (3) build functional alternatives that serve the common good. Here are the steps that will eventually need to be taken by Greece and others that find themselves in a similar predicament.

Continue to read the full article on Common Dreams – http://commondreams.org/views/2015/11/06/50-ways-leave-euro-greece-and-global-crisis

1 Comment 50 Ways to Leave the Euro: Greece and the Global Crisis

  1. AvatarMike Riddell (@mikeriddell62)

    Another great piece by the amazing Thomas H Greco. He has to be world’s best on alternative currency and its real-world application. He’s informed so much of our own work here in Manchester.

    Thanks Tom.

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