By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
Greece still exists, albeit decapitated, without leaders, forces, or intellectuals to articulate its truth and its rights. And as it has proved, time and again, in thousands of years of a permanent threatened existence, the Greek people has a unique capacity to produce miracles, when nobody is waiting for them.
The Eurogroup (the Finance Ministers of the EU) decided to stop financing the Greek bailout program. They claim that both the program and the Greek crisis are over. Nothing can be more far away from the truth. In fact, announcements by European and Greek politicians concerning the end of the Bailout program or of the Greek Crisis, are nothing more than a gigantic Potemkin village, reflecting both the enormous impasse of the EU and the fantastic progress of totalitarianism in the Western world.
Greek sovereign debt remains “extremely non sustainable” according to the IMF. In reality, what Eurogroup did was to postpone once more the final decision on Greece. Greece will remain under very tight supervision of the EU until 2060. The IMF will remain in the program, but as an “advisor”. Its policies will remain, not its money. Germany has refused any debt relief, which would be the only solution to the Greek problem now, a method applied to Germany itself in the past, but also to Poland, Iraq and other western clients.
A Colossal Failure
The Greek program constitutes a gigantic failure, by far the biggest in the history of western leading economic institutions, like the IMF, the EU and the ECB.
Back in 2010, Greece was in a much more powerful position vis-à-vis its lenders, which were private banks and funds. Its debt was regulated by Greek law and its national parliament. Disputes related to the debt were under the jurisdiction of the Greek courts. Now the debt is owned by states and international institutions and ruled by the British Colonial law, the whole Greek public property has become a mortgage to the service of the debt, its constitutional protection lifted. Debt-related disputes are under the jurisdiction of foreign courts.
As a result of the bailout program implementation, Greece has known a loss of 27% of its GDP. Such a percentage is approximatively what happened in the US or Germany during the biggest crisis in the whole history of capitalism (1929-33), directly responsible for Hitler’s rise and WWII.
Up to half a million young, very well educated Greeks (5% of the whole population), absolutely necessary for any future development of the country have already emigrated abroad. More are prepared to follow. Greek investments and exports were cut to one third of what they were and only now they begin to approach half of it. Greek industry, commerce, much of services sector was decimated. Only agriculture and tourism were able to resist.
Education, health, social welfare expenses were radically cut, sometimes with tragic consequences, as people who are in need of vitally important medical treatment have to wait so much they die, if they don’t have money to afford private healthcare. Greek universities were particularly hit, losing 80% of their previous budgets.
Social rights earned during the past century were abolished. Disabled people and other vulnerable groups of the population were hardly hit. A wave of suicides has hit the country.
The Greek state was notorious for its ineffectiveness and bureaucracy. Now it is smaller and worse. Tax evasion has skyrocketed, as Greeks are unable to pay the exorbitant taxes imposed by the foreign creditors, which represent in some cases 70% of their income. Greeks lost also any moral incentive to pay taxes, especially in the social atmosphere dominating after their 2015 defeat by betrayal and the social capital in the country all but destroyed.
Most of Greek public property and much of private property was transferred to foreigners, including banks, transportation, energy and communications infrastructure of the country and all that for peanuts. What was not already sold was transferred to a special fund, for 99 years, to be automatically sold in case Greece does not obey the engagements. Germans, Americans, Chinese, Italians, Israelis, Arabs etc. are competing to get something out of the country. Only Russia is forbidden to participate in the plundering for geopolitical reasons.
The life expectancy and the general health of the population is declining, for the first time since 1950, people are thinking twice before having children, young Greeks emigrate, already long ago established and more or less integrated immigrants also. Next year, for the first time since WWII the total population of Greece is predicted to diminish in absolute terms and the percentage of Greeks in origin and conscience among the population is also declining.