Today is the deadline set by the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund for the Athens government to meet its June bailout debt repayment of €1.6 billion. As Greece currently does not have this amount of money it faces a default and a possible expulsion from the Euro Zone. Over the past month, through lengthy negotiations (an opaque term for the pressure, intimidation, and bully tactics of the larger European economies), a number of possible solutions have been offered by Greece, but nothing short of a full coughing-up have been acceptable to Brussels and Berlin. It is almost impossible to say what will happen today, although it may be predicted that nothing will happen. Everyone wants their money, and the common sense way for repayments to be met – at least in the short term – is to wait until the upcoming Greek referendum. What is for sure is that Germany cannot get money from a state that clearly has no more money to give. The conditions imposed on Greece by the bailout, through savage austerity measures, have drastically reduced the country’s ability to recover, and so make future repayments, and the human cost has been catastrophic. In the past two years alone the suicide rate has increased by 35% as a direct consequence of the harsh austerity programme, and yet the only crisis of which we are told is the debt crisis.
Regardless of what we are told or not told about this unfolding drama, the truth remains that all of it is a smokescreen for what is really happening. When Greece defaults, as inevitably it must, it will effectively remove cash from the ledger books of its many creditors; creating many knock-on effects. Those EU states which are lenders to Greece, now themselves short on cash, will be unable themselves to meet their debt commitments. External creditors will make up for the shortfall by raising interest rates, thus making borrowing more expensive. In turn these effects will have consequences that will result in a greater European debt crisis spiralling out of control.
Crime against humanity? Giorgos, a 77-year-old retiree from Athens, sits outside branch of National Bank of Greece. http://t.co/CRsE7PSDKX—
Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta) June 30, 2015
There are only two possible solutions to this equation. Either the EU dispenses with fiscal autonomy; centralising financial and economic decision-making by removing it from individual member states, or by ending the single currency and the fledgling economic union (which will ultimately break the political union). The obvious problem with the centralisation route is that, in laying the stronger foundations of a United States of Europe, it will end national democratic freedom. Europe is not primarily a democratic project. It is a massive banking concern, and all democracy in the European Union is subject to the requirements and demands of the money-men. In no uncertain terms, by taking the path to European political and economic centralisation, we will make nothing more than slaves of every single worker in Europe. Perhaps this was calculated in the formation of the EU. It is clear that this European Union has had its day.