Greek crisis background links

Greek crisis background links

Articles and links on the Greek crisis.

[*latest updated - June 29th, 2010]

Developments in Greece, such as the bailout, the forced austerity program, the protests and strikes, are being followed closely by the G20 as they try to mold the economic recovery. Greece is not in the G20, so they are unlikely to have much say in any G20 plans of their recovery.

This list will continue to be updated, so bookmark it and check back.

Broad background of crisis

Understanding the Greek debt crisis [audio]
Bankruptcy, massive protests and accusations of corruption have dominated the media’s coverage of the Greek economic crisis. Belt-tightening is the proposed solution. Costas Panayotakis disagrees.

Greece: Driven into Crisis
Highly informative background on the factors that led to the crisis in Greece. It looks at what is expected of Greece in order to receive the bailout orchestrated by the IMF and G20

Cutting Public Debt: Economic Science or Class War?
This is an excellent background on the ideological underpinnings of pushing for deficit reduction at all costs. It asks the fundamental question: “Is cutting the public debt really an objective economic necessity, or is it actually a deeply political stance, reflecting the interests of the business and financial élites?”

Greeks, Germans and Bankers: The Return of the Ancien Régime
The German press is saturated with reports intended to verify the myth of the slovenly, lazy and corrupt Southern European countries which virtuous and hard-working northern European countries mistakenly admitted to the European Union. The role of the most felonious corporation on the planet today is trivialized since the harmless fraud investigations in the US against the “mother of all racketeers“ (along with JP Morgan) are never reported in connection with their advisory and trading “services“ in Greece or throughout Europe. Yet there are numerous strands to the fabric of confusion being woven in the Greek dilemma. The criminals are at large and their business continues.

The protests

Clashes Break Out Once Again as Greeks Protest ‘Austerity’ Push – June 29th, 2010

Clashes have broken out between demonstrators and police at a protest against government spending cuts in Athens, the Greek capital.

Riot police fired tear gas at activists chanting “burn parliament” on Tuesday, just hours before politicians were to begin debating a pension reform to tackle the nation’s debt crisis.

The Greeks Get it
A wonderful article from Chris Hedges at Truthdig.com who argues that the Greek protesters  are doing exactly what the rest of us need to be doing – fighting back against austerity cuts. They are being put in place everywhere as the means to deal with the economic crisis (that we didn’t create), and the G20 agenda has these cutbacks at the top of the list:

“Here’s to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.”

The international significance of the Greek general strike
[It is] a sign of coming class struggles in Europe and around the world…As speculation rises against Portugal, Spain, and other European countries, it is increasingly clear that workers around the world face a common enemy: a parasitic ruling class that has enriched itself through the bailout of the financial system and wants to enforce huge cuts in jobs, pay, and benefits everywhere.

Senior Greek Official: “We may have an uprising in the making”
“You write that – angry, angry, angry, angry,” said [Stella Stamou, a civil servant] after participating in one of the biggest ever rallies to rock the capital since the return of democracy in 1974. “Angry with our own politicians, angry with the IMF, angry with the EU, angry that we have lost income, angry that we have never been told the truth.”

Protests in Greece in Response to Severe Austerity Measures in EU, IMF Bailout [VIDEO]
Wonderful video background dispelling myths, discussing rise of right wing populism, scapegoating, and the protests blanketing the country.
“as is usually the case with the International Monetary Fund, it’s…an attempt to indirectly bailout the German banks, French banks, and European banks that hold most of the Greek debt. So it is a very brutal, unprecedented program.”

The Guardian and Independent weigh in: “Economic crisis sparks violent Greek rallies”
and “May Day clashes in Athens as belt-tightening policies are set to reverse rights won by workers over 30 years”

Understanding the economics in Greece

The Eurozone Crisis: Macroeconomics And Class Struggle
History of the crisis and the sequence of events since October 2009 that led to it. Also looks at the underlying macroeconomic causes.  A bit of work for the those not inclined to economics, but it’s a good place to get a detailed understanding of the numbers and worth the effort.

Greece’s debt must be restructured
The Greek government is being asked to implement austerity measures that will cause a major decline in incomes and employment not just now but in the foreseeable future, and which will not correct the existing imbalances but actually worsen them.
The heavily-indebted poor countries (HIPCs) of Africa could tell the Greeks a thing or two about this process.

Canadian response – Carney, Harper worried by Greek debt crisis
Wider emergency would delay rebound of fragile economies, increase global borrowing costs, central bank warns.
The G20 is nervous about the Greek crisis and they are trying to find ways to stem it in their interests.

No Wonder the Eurozone is Imploding

Greek debt crisis: Germany would make money from bailout
The bailout proposed (now reality) for the Greek debt crisis would actually earn money for Germany and other EU lenders.

The Inevitability of Greek Default

The government subprime bomb continues smoldering

Greece: The European Union’s Dangerous Game
The EU’s plan for Greece guts Greek society, but sets up the same crisis to happen again.
The problem is one of irrational economic policy. “The projections show that if their program “works,” the country’s debt will rise from 115 percent of GDP today to 149 percent in 2013. This means that in less than three years, and most likely sooner, Greece will be facing the same crisis that it faces today.”

“Thumbs Down” on EU Bailout: Why Rescue Bankers?
No country large or small has managed to close a fiscal gap as large as 10.9 per cent  of GDP (which is what Greece is being asked to do.) It’s cruel, especially in an environment where deflation is gradually tightening its grip. Greece needs counter-cyclical fiscal stimulus to get out of the hole its in and to grow its way out of recession.

The austerity plan

Greece: List of new austerity measures
A full compendium of all of the measures – it’s severe to say the least.

No analysis of ‘Greeks bearing debts’ story
It’s all about supporting European bondholders over the people of Greece. “In an unprecedented move, the ECB has agreed to guarantee the value of debt issued by euro-zone members, and to intervene in bond markets as necessary. The EU has mobilized loans and credit facilities of nearly 1 trillion euros to support the European bond market.”

Greece’s George Papandreou announces €140bn bailout deal

A Baltic future for Greece?
Latvia and Estonia show us what Greece may look forward to if it follows the advice it gets from the IMF and European Union

*The Heresy Of The Greeks Offers Hope
Another fine challenge to the orthodoxy that Greece is a ‘junk country’ with a ‘bloated public sector’ that must be taught a lesson through deep cuts.  He dismisses the idea that ordinary people paying the debts of crooks is “fiscally responsible” and compares the demands on Greece to the UK’s neoliberal austerity program of the past 30 years.

Alternatives?

Anti-Authoritarian Economy in Greece
A look at some of the alternatives being proposed by anti-austerity organizers

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4 Responses to “Greek crisis background links”

  1. Grigory Graborenko 07. May, 2010 at 12:43 am

    If you would like to read an alternative explanation for Greece’s woes, and why the collapse of the Euro is inevitable, read this:

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=6545

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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