Another tough week has started for Greece after a weekend of heavy bombardment with EU politicians and aspiring IMF heads, economists and bankers, journalists and institute heads in Cassandras’ dresses predicting the inevitable, i.e. that international markets have written off ‘Greece’ and that noble methods like ‘blackmailing’ and ‘threatening’ are been excessively used to satisfy the country’s lenders. However a real big bang exploded over the heads of the Greek government with the Financial Times speaking of an EU-leaders-deal sending their own tax collectors to Greece. Which reminds us of the Romans tax collectors been in occupied Palestine…
According to Financial Times, the EU leaders are negotiating a deal that would bring ‘international involvement in tax collection and privatization of state assets”. This unprecedented external intervention in the Greek economy would “facilitate the release of new bail-out loans for Athens” FT wrote.
Similar information was tweeted by the correspondent of two major Greek media from the U.S.
A friend, director of a local bank branch, was telling me on Friday that it is quite possible, that Troika technocrats will settle down at the Greek Finance Ministry and advice the minister himself to seek another job, should Athens prove unable to provide political (consensus of opposition parties) assurances and economic guarantees ( strict implementation of austerity program, collaterals).
Greek government spoeksman Giorgos Petalotis dismissed Monday noon the FT claims as “science fiction scenarios”.
Within the country, the political turmoil cannot be calmed down and there are rumors circulating that the main opposition party, centre-right Nea Dimokratia, is considering plans for return to Drachma. Rumors and claims that have been vehemently dismissed by ND party officials. A dirty political game? Who knows….
The economic confusion drives people’s uncertainty to dangerous heights, with mostly small savers rushing to banks and withdraw money out of fear of an economic collapse and a freezing of bank deposits.
Greek mass protests give hope
All these reports and threats and some provokative ones about I will report later, sent estimated 100,000 ‘indignant’ Greeks in front of the Parliament on Sunday. Confusion and uncertainty prevail in Greece as the interests of people are diametrically opposite to those of the government and the IMF/EU/ECB Troika. Protests will continue this week, no matter whether the government takes them seriously or not.
Georgia, employee, at mid-forties, was telling me amid boos and “Thieves” slogans that finally she has hope again – since Wednesday when the mass protests began. “I can’t see my country been sold out, I can’t see my country been ruled by incapable politicians. The protests give me hope that something can change”.
Georgia has joined the protests in Athens downtown for fifrth consequent day. She came with her friends, well-dressed middle aged and middle class men and women – a teacher, a restaurant owner, an advertiser, a civil servant, two pensioners, a jobless. They all agree, that they have finally ‘hope’. A hope steeming from the fact that people finally react, that people show they won’t take everything for granted, they won’t accept the sell-off of the country. A hope … and a loud demand for social justice.
Georgia has decided to join each and every protest, after a 12 hours daily work. Until something will change in this country….
Financial Times quotation via e-kathimerini
If the announced measures of last year had been implemented non of this would have been coming up now. And yes, tearing down and building up the whole tax-collection system should have been one of the top-priorities. Together with stopping the money-bleeding DEKOs and local authorities. Part of the rescue-funds could have gone into that and the world would look totally different.
We would have a modern accountable tax-mechanism, less jobs for the boys and an awful lot of goodwill with the citizens of the European countries who coughed up these billions.
Instead the Greek politicians choose to maintain the status quo, raise taxes and use all that bail-out money to feed The Monster.
Now the choices are easy: either take ‘new’ money from the citizens of the European countries under these kind of draconian (but totally understandable) measures or all together say NO and run out of money to feed The Monster by the end of June. Either way, The Monster has to die. But when we take the money and the ‘guards’ a damn lot less people will suddenly plunge into the abyss within a month.