Sunday, June 5, 2011

Largest Protest in Greece Yet

After 12 consecutive days of protests celebrating the 12 consecutive months since Greece first went begging to the bankstas for a bailout, the biggest gathering in Athens' Syntagma square happened today.
80,000 people (that's what the government is admitting) from many walks of life crowded into the central Athens square to protest government corruption and economic mismanagement. Many many more were stuck unsuccessfully trying to get into the square.
Last year, Greece was granted a bailout of 110 billion euros ($161 billion) and launched a severe austerity plan.
A year later, more of the same:
(Greek Premier George) Papandreou agreed to 78 billion euros in additional austerity measures and asset sales through 2015 to secure the 12 billion-euro bailout payment in July and meet conditions for receiving an additional rescue package. He agreed to make “significant” cuts in public-sector employment and establish an agency to manage accelerated asset sales, according to a statement released in Athens on June 3.

By “significant,” he meant about 6.4 billion euros, which would be generated through cuts and increased taxes.
Paying more for less.
So, in the birthplace of democracy, a fairly broad coalition of protestors has been doing the democratic thing by taking to the streets to call attention to the fraud.
I spoke with a retired military officer two days ago, who is now working at a private corporation, even his job is in doubt. He too spoke of revolution. As someone who has written a book on Marx’s Politics and long been interested in revolution, now nonviolent revolution, I was amazed to have powerful conversations with two middle class people (out of three I talked with; the third is also for fundamental change) who had straightforwardly expressed the vision and expectation of violent revolution….

Outside of Greece, not many are optimistic in the present course.
Last week, Moody’s warned that there was a 50 percent chance that the country would default or restructure its debts within the next five years.
“I don’t see how Greece can eventually avoid some kind of default,” said Martin N. Baily, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who served as chairman of Council of Economic Advisers under the Clinton administration. “It’s hard to see how you can avoid the need to finance this over the next five to 10 years.”
His sentiment was echoed widely among economists, politicians and analysts gathered here over the weekend for a conference held by the Council for the United States and Italy.
-New York Times

All of Europe has reason to be concerned about contagion.
Oh Greece, you never should have been in the family in the first place.
You had to lie to kick it.
You truly are the eurozone’s Davey Scatino.