If one can follow and stomach the Greek news in recent days, he will be stunned about the amount of additional direct and indirect taxes the Greek taxpayers will have to pay in 2017. A total of 2.5 billion euro – that’s the verdict of the draft Budget 2017.
Where will the money come from after 7 years of austerity cuts, private sector wages in the form of a bag full of peanuts and unemployment at 24 percent? How much more can Greeks tighten the famous belt in order to squeeze money out of nothing?
I truly have no idea.
Even if the Greek financial teams threaten to grab anything people might own: deposits, cars, living room furniture, tv sets, toilet brushes and dust and mites under the mattresses.
How will they seize something from nothing?
I truly have no idea what the left-wing government is up to. Strip taxpayers while they walk in the park? Is this surreal overtaxation a strategy to blackmail the European lenders to surrender to the idea of debt restructure and pull the International Monetary Fund on the Greek cart again?
Of course, this is the simplified approach of the Greek debt issue and the internal devaluation that continues without a break.
The more academic approach claims that the whole issue has to do with the European Central Bank (ECB), IMF and EU bureaucracy – which refused to loosen their demand that Greece impoverish its economy to a degree worse than the Great Depression.
“The IMF and ECB do not even consider their destruction of Greece’s economy to be a failure,” writes James Galbraith, an American economist and former aidee of ex finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
“The fight against Greece was, in a nutshell, a rejection of parliamentary democracy after the incoming Syriza coalition of left-wing parties won election in January 2015 on a platform of resisting austerity and privatization.
The world has seen the result: In contrast to the support given to countries with right-wing regimes, the ECB and IMF tightened their financial screws on Greece. The incoming finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis – who had been Galbraith’s faculty colleague at Austin, Texas – asked Galbraith to join him in February to help develop an alternative to the austerity being demanded. They were optimistic that reason would prevail: an awareness that the creditors’ program of “cutting wages and income without providing any relief from private debts (such as fixed mortgages) merely deepens debt burdens and forces people into bankruptcy and foreclosure.”
That was the optimistic and scientific approach. Reality showed that reason did not prevail. On the contrary, under maestro and choir-leader Wolfgang Schaeuble the lenders performed the epos “Austerity Till The End of The Days” in perfect harmony.
Counter Punch that publishes a review of Gabraith’s book notes that “This book reflects Galbraith’s disappointment at how matters turned out so disastrously.”
I do not want to write a long analysis here about how Varoufakis/Galbraith academic errors and philosophical approach and strategy took the matters to “turn out so disastrously.”
I do not have time and the nerve to do this, I want to avoid that my blood pressure skyrockets.
The point is that while Galbraith’s “disappointment” translates into $$$ from a book sales, Greeks’ disappointment translates into Zero Euro to buy food, pay rents, secure water and electricity supply, deal with depression due to long-time unemployment, over taxation and no future.
I am truly fed up with the economic crisis, the austerity and the no way out.