The Eurozone’s masks have fallen. Hardly anyone has anymore the illusion that the 3. bailout aims to facilitate Greece to pay back its debts and that it therefore needs more austerity or “reforms” as they are euphemistically been called. On one hand the 3. bailout brings additional cuts in health care and public services, will have civil servants pay out of their own pockets their travel expenses, direct and indirect taxes are imposed on whatever breaths, walks, swims and crawls or stands at supermarket shelves, the sale-off of sand, mountains and state property and crucial (?) ‘structural reforms’ like the structure of bread dough or milk expiration date. On the other hand, so-called “Competition boosting measures” (OECD toolkit) will liberate and deregulate the Greek market will trample on workers, farmers and small businesses and so open wide the gates for the big corporations to enter Greece.
“Greece is about to be completely dismantled and fed to profit-hungry corporations,” write Nick Dearden in UK’s Independent adding that “The latest bailout has nothing to do with debt, but an experiment in capitalism so extreme that no other EU state would even dare try it.”
“By taking [Europe’s] those leaders at their word, we’re missing what’s really going on in Europe. In a nutshell, Greece is up for sale, and its workers, farmers and small businesses will have to be cleared out of the way.
Under the eye-watering privatisation programme, Greece is expected to hand over its €50 billion of its “valuable state assets”: Airports, seaports, energy systems, land and property – everything must go. Sell your assets, their contrived argument goes, and you’ll be able to repay your debt. But selling off profitable or potentially profitable assets leaves a country less able to repay its debts. Unsurprisingly the most profitable assets are going under the hammer first.
Side-by-side with the privatisation is a very broad programme of deregulation which declares war on workers, farmers and small businesses. Greece’s many laws that protect small business such as pharmacies, bakeries, and bookshops from competition with supermarkets and big businesses are to be swept away. Incredibly, Greece is even being told to make its Sunday opening laws more liberal than Germany’s. Truly a free market experiment is being put into place.
On labour, pensions are to suffer rapid cuts, minimum wages are to be reduced and collective bargaining is to be severely curtailed while it is to become easier to sack staff. All of this is far more extreme that many of Greece’s “creditor” countries have implemented themselves.
Of course, reforms in some areas of Greece’s economy might be a good idea […]. But what is being imposed by the lending institutions is not a series of sensible “reforms”, but the establishment and micromanagement of radical ‘free market’ economics.
The privatisation and deregulation bonanza opens vast new swathes of Greek society to areas where big business has never been able to set foot before. The hope is that this will generate big profits to keep big business growing, as well as providing an extreme model of what might be possible throughout Europe.” (full article Independent)
Too bad that at the end of the bailout day, there will be no Greeks around to buy their products and if any, they will have not money to do so… But, the cynical Europeans do not care about the Greeks. Slaves in their own country or cheap labor – migrants in central and north Europe, that’s it. Eurozone leaders bring collective hypocrisy and extreme neo-liberalism into a new level. That’s all.
PS After the Greek experiment, I will not wonder about UK’s EU-Referendum voting results.