By Dimitiris Konstantakopoulos
May 29, 2020
First of three articles
Note: the data in the following article takes into account the state of Greek economy and society before the recent corona-crisis. According to the IMF, Greece will suffer a greater depression than all other EU members because of the pandemic, but nothing is certain for the time being. In any case, the economic and social results of the crisis will make things in Greece much worse than already described in our article.
Ιn May 2010, the EU, the ECB, the IMF and the Greek government signed a Loan agreement describing an unprecedented “bail-out program” for Greece. The stated purpose of the program was to “save” Greece from bankruptcy and “help” it redress its economy and its public finances while paying back its loans, mostly from European banks.
The “Greek question” has been by far the main subject debated by the EU leaders for nearly ten years. The Greek “experiment” was supposed not only to “solve” the Greek problems, but also to create a new “paradigm” for the whole of the Eurozone. Angela Merkel herself went on record on May 10, 2010, the day the program came into being, to explain that other European countries will see what will happen to Greeks and they will be more careful in the future.
The European and international importance of the Greek program exceeds by far the importance of the Greek economy itself. Punishing Greece and obliging it to repay all the exorbitant debt it had contracted was meant to set an example of a historic significance for the solution of the Debt question by satisfying all Bankers’ claims and safeguarding the power of international Finance, a power which has already surpassed the power of the States and transforming the EU itself.
In a way, the economic and political war launched against Greece (and to a lesser extent against the so called PIIGS) by the western financial and political elites has served as the introduction to the huge struggle between European peoples and Finance, which will decide the fate of our civilization, somehow in the same way the Spanish civil war (1936-39) was the overture to WWII in Europe.
The Greeks themselves were never asked if they wanted this program. The Papandreou government agreed to it in spite of the fact that it was elected on a completely different program. Georges Papandreou himself has gone to great lengths in an interview prior to his election in order to exclude any probability of bringing the IMF into Greek affairs. The only time Greeks were asked if they wanted this program was during the 2015 referendum and their answer was an unequivocal No. Most legal specialists believe the imposition of this program on Greece runs counter to the Greek constitution and legislation, to the treaties regulating the functioning of the EU, to fundamental provisions of the international law and also to the statues of the IMF itself.
As a result of the harsh treatment reserved for the Greek people the prestige and the political capital of the EU and of Germany have fallen sharply and centrifugal tendencies greatly increased in all European Union. The Greek referendum and the refusal of European governments and authorities to respect it have contributed a lot to the Brexit vote and to the rise of radical parties of the Left and even more of the Far Right all over Europe.
In the summer of 2018, the European authorities and the Greek government announced that the “Greek bail-out program” had ended. Of course it was nothing else than one more in a line of huge lies by Germany and EU authorities through the decade of the Greek crisis. What really ended in 2018 was the obligation of the “creditors” to finance debt reimbursement of loans. The clearly neocolonial terms of the loan Agreements are valid and some will remain even valid for 99 years (!!!), during which time Greece will not be a sovereign country, but rather some kind of debt colony. What we don’t know is if there will be Greeks in Greece and, if they do exist, at what point in the next 60 or 100 years they will leave.
On the occasion of ten years since the signing of the first loan agreement with Greece, we will try to describe here for our readers the main results of this program which shaped the direction of the EU and which will have a huge influence on European politics for years or decades to come.