By Stylian Senar
Jul 2, 2015
<<Greek people borrowed too much, spent too much and that's all it comes down to>>, parrots once again a porcelain faced BBC journalist, while crossing one of the ugliest streets of Athens at 5am to prove that the situation in Greece is literally <<that of an ancient tragedy>>. <<Bring cash to the Greeks, they need it>> says another, as if referring to the worst family of dying beggars. Propaganda, in favor of the predominant political and economic system, and irony are two of the main elements of <<major>> journalism today, the extent of which seems almost unbelievable as it practically falsifies and distorts reality for the mere purpose of sustaining the glory of a rotten financial model. It isn't always conscious on behalf of the journalists, as it depends on their personal level of political awareness and ability to see <<out of the box>>.
Regarding all these money accusations being carelessly spewed by news anchormen and business analysts, the truth is that the vast majority of bailout money given to Greece was spent to ensure the survival of private banks, upon which the neoliberal system is based to survive at the brink of every global capitalist crisis. In order for the private European financial sector to be ensured, the method followed was passing the debt from being owed to the private sector to the public sector. But even before the crisis outburst in 2008, out of the money borrowed to Greece (just like to every smaller economy of the Eurozone like Portugal, Ireland, Spain to invest in their economies and compete in the world economy) only a tiny percentage was truly used for reforming its economy, reinforcing the welfare state, tackling unemployment and safeguarding weaker members of society. A corrupted greek elite (political, financial) embezzled money, and hid its growing debt with the help of derivatives designed by major banks. Financial institutions clearly profited from the growing Greek government debt and now the young and the poor are demanded to suffer and shoulder foreign responsibilities through cruel austerity.
There are many other parameters to the Euro crisis. Who among the major voices of information today dares to criticize the political leaderships of Germany, France and the Netherlands for their strangling policies towards the European south all these years, meticulously forcing their exports into their markets while debilitating southern productivity through unethical competition? Given their superior economic and technological starting point, for historical reasons, those countries were always going to win if e.g their wages were kept low enough. Greece par example built up a big trade deficit which was proportional to the German trade surplus. So Greek borrowing was actively encouraged by Germany which is now demanding Greece shoulder the blame for what was a failure of the entire Eurozone. Where was the EU while such relationships of unilateral dependance were being shaped? Where exactly was the spirit of <<even development>> and <<mutual collaboration>> between the people of Europe in all that? Was it a financial mousetrap in the first place? A construction sickly corrupted by neoliberalism to the extent it eventually became a mechanism to perpetuate the dominance of the strong over the weak? Questions remain over economic nationalism and exploitation within the Eurozone, as well as criminal negligence of the needs of the small.
At this point it's worth mentioning the scandal involving top german company Siemens AG, as another example of how the enormous commercial surplus of the European <<saviours>> was being achieved. Throughout the last two decades the company repeatedly bribed greek high state officials to win lucrative state contracts. It also faces charges for money laundering, actively involved in corrupted right-wing governments of the past. This is how Siemens managed to equip the greek army with security and telecommunications systems and aircrafts worth billions of euros. There are numerous such stories of businesses and EU institutions illegally invading local markets within the eurozone. Looking for opportunities to silently and undemocratically manipulate aspects of their economies for the interests of the elite ( Banco Espirito Santo in Portugal, Troika alongside Piraeus bank in Cyprus to name a few).
Examples of how a whole country's economy can be elaborately undermined and mortgaged for the interests of lobbies can be found everywhere on the planet. Will we indifferently accept the capitalist, individualist consciousness of profit as a status quo? As <<unavoidable>> part of <<human nature>>? The hundreds of thousands of people now protesting in Greece and elsewhere, the debates on the economic future of a humanity deeply enslaved by paid labour and its alienation from the things that truly matter in life, are showing the way. Let's face the shadows of the past. Let's get informed. Let's get involved.