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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Should Greece declare bankruptcy?

It may be a realistic option considering the alternatives promoted by the FMI-EU tandem. Anyhow, after the BB+ rating by S&P it will not make much difference.

BBC reproduces a demonstrator's opinion, a bank worker's one to be more specific:

We should opt for bankruptcy. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Wall Street, they lent us the money. (Far better) they lose their money and people don't lose their jobs.

But the case is: can small Greece, with only 10 million inhabitants and not so many natural resources other than sunny islands for turism survive alone? How?

I have little doubt that the Greek people have the organization to go in revolutionary spree. They may be the only ones in Europe in fact in such excellent revolutionary conditions. But, even if they succeed, what then?

A more realistic case may happen in Iberia, a far larger area and next on the list for catastrophic FMI-dictated austerity packages. Iberia does not have such a large well organized class struggle as of now but, in the case it would, it could indeed hold a very viable economically autonomous area (Spain alone is right now the 9th global economy by GNP, holding 2.5% of the World's GDP (nominal), almost half of Germany's). Even in the case of international ostracism it can find some economic space working with Latin America, largely a red zone already, for example. Geographically closer Arab countries such as Lybia and Syria are also potential partners for any ostracized Mediterranean power.

Of course, there are two problems:

One is the tight rope of the euro, which should be in fact the main problem to address at pan-European scale (from a liberal perspective), devaluating it significantly in order to boost exports, reduce imports and secure jobs and public services. The North European gang, lead by German Capital, is however getting too many benefits from this situation and unable to react fast enough to to protect the system they have created for their benefit. The fact that Germany exports mostly to EU countries says it all.

The other is military intervention. If anyone believes that the Empire is going to let countries leave without intervening, he/she is of course very wrong. The first line is indeed the local armies and police forces, normally with strong right wing, fascist-like tendencies. But they can succumb to popular pressure and nationalist feelings. They can indeed also be defeated by political ways or their intervention trigger organization of guerrillas and such. The second line is direct military intervention by NATO (with similar or even worse results).

Whatever the case, the foresight for the next years is drastic increase of class tensions and possibly revolutionary changes (or alternatively anachronistic, and hence doomed, fascist attempts) in Southern Europe (among other places: the oven is very hot everywhere).

This situation would be unthinkable just a couple of years ago but now it appears as almost unavoidable. Thank Goldman Sachs and the other global bankers for this.

Next the sight stops on other even more sizable countries: Italy, France, the UK... none of them too buoyant. A very bad scenario is also ripe for Eastern Europe (Latvia is the most outrageous case but the rest are not well off either) and even Northern Europe (Iceland could not scape the voragine either).

Sooner than later, Germany itself will have to face the consequences of this global disaster. Best would be to act at European level but the EU building is frail and patchy, undemocratic and controlled by the big corporations. It's not an instrument of change but of continuity.

However class organizations should coordinate and direct the fights at this level, as the state level is obviously too limited to produce results. So far workers in Greece, in Latvia, in the UK, in Italy... are fighting separate battles against the same enemy. This may help the collapse of EU but is not really an effective way of struggle. We should see masses of people striking at Madrid, Paris and Berlin in support of Greek workers... but it seems that this people's facet of Europe has yet to be created.

It will eventually because nowadays state governments are very much powerless and irrelevant, so the action has to be taken at pan-European levels, if not at global ones. But this stage has not yet arrived and hence it's easier to witness a collapse of EU than a pan-European revolution. Still I'd prefer the latter, strongly so, and I think it is the way to go.


Manju Edangam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manju Edangam said...

Anyhow, after the BB+ rating by S&P it will not make much difference.

Read this article. Then somewhere I read the US/UK are hand in glove to bring down the Eurozone. I suppose by 'cui bono' the US will be the happiest if Eurozone fails by this situation or if revolutionaries take over.

Maju said...

I already mentioned that more or less here. See also here for a mention of Petras' analysis denouncing the neocolonization of Greece in this process.

There are conflicting interests in all this but S&P are an extremely suspicious company that, I read somewhere today, backed Lehman Brothers' financial credibility until their total collapse.

Whatever the case I don't think that any of the guvernamental or private actors wishes a revolution, which might extend to other parts of Europe; they just can't imagine it - they believe it's all under control forever and ever. They're just ripping us all again, they don't know better... they let the Earth die and don't care at all about people except on how to manipulate us. They are limited by their predatory status and conceptualization of reality.

But it makes all sense from the viewpoint of the main powers: Europe is weak and can be divided. Pitting country against country to reign over all.

I sense a near future of degradation of Mediterranean Europe (and other peripheral countries like Ireland) to the effective category of colonies. Spain is not even represented in the G-20, Italy is more powerful (partly because its mafia) but always secondary to similar sized powers with nukes and UN veto. I don't think that the Mediterranean European nations can really resist a push in that direction, with all the social degradation that it implies.

And social degradation should mean increased social conflict. It's a time bomb.

But anyhow a bomb under all nations, not just the target ones. Possibly the wealthiest ones are just throwing away cargo in order to improve their chances in an extremely negative economical context (that is bound to grow also very bad in the socio-political context).

I think they are in a run-for-your-lives race, which means: rob whoever you can while you can.

maria said...

I briefly read the comments ,I dont know if I quite understood what is your point but I have to say that lets imagine we have a pan- revolution against the goverments the european comunity ,what benefit will come out of this?The problem is still going to excist in another form maybe worsen.The point is to clear from who ever is manipulating this crisis and make a stronger european union .That revolution will be effective ,in Greece for years now they borrow money and instead of investing it to developement they put them in their pocket .And the greek people now have to pay for the debts of the elit individuals that stole from greece and its future .We have petroleum but we werent allowed from the the troika to invest and make use of it .What people in Greece think is that our goverment was false all these years ,clerks in other words for america or whoever had obvious benefits to manipulate europe or the asian neibour countries .We are just the puppets ,what we need is to panish the pappeteer ,limit his influense and let the puppets free.And realise money and power when is abused people are suffering ,like the africans ,they have diamonds and so on and who has it Foreigners .They should have some gain from it since they have the tecnology but they should also be fair .So we have to be sceptic not to act like animals because will bring war .Fight but with intelingense and peace and responsibility to meet the best outcome for europe and its people .A good resault will spread peace and wealth beyond european borders ,globally .We dont want chaos and catastrophy .

Maju said...

Welcome, Maria.

"lets imagine we have a pan- revolution against the goverments the european comunity ,what benefit will come out of this?"

As I see it, this would allow political (democratic) control of the economy instead of having politics and whole societies subjugated by the economic system, which is controlled by a tiny oligarchy with their own very peculiar and extremely insolidarious goals.

At this moment EU is not a democracy of any sort and the state governments that are supposed to co-rule it are clearly not taking any sort of pan-European nationalist stand in defense of our economy and our society. Instead they are merely administrating its controlled (?) demolition in total and shameful subservience of the Capitalist oligarchy.

We need to take control of the economy, democratize it and put it at the service of the people.

"in Greece for years now they borrow money and instead of investing it to developement they put them in their pocket"

Who in Greece? A conservative government and their oligarchic bosses. The Greek people has very low living standards and are anything but lazy: you can't force the people to pay for the faults of some oligarchs. These oligarchs anyhow worked in full cooperation with international financiers, from the USA and other countries of Europe. Now in order to save the pockets of these very oligarchs of Greece, Europe and North America, the Greek people (and by extension all the European people) is being forced to draconian measures just for one reason: so the banks don't lose money.

I say: let the banks lose and even fall and expropriate the oligarchs who have robbed (and are still robbing) so much. The real economy is made by what the people produces, we can do without banks or oligarchs perfectly. That's what the revolution is about: getting rid of the parasites and taking control of the economy by those who make it.


One thing I'd like to add: Greece is a small country but Europe is a large one with many resources, specially in human capital (education, technological know how) and industrial capital as well. So a revolution has much greater chances of success if done at continental level.

But Greece is not smaller or less powerful than Iceland and this tiny Nordic country has shown it is willing to fight not to be plundered by some powerful foreign interests. They are doing relatively ok in spite of facing such huge forces.

Instead what Greece has been made to swallow, with the shameful collaboration of its own "Socialist" government is to go by the destructive path designed for Latvia: the most clear and painful example so far of the plans of transnational Capital for Europe, or at least its periphery. And now is becoming clear it's not just Greece but all Europe which is being forced by Brussels and IMF to an economical suicide only to save the profit margins of a tiny elite.