Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Measures
The banks and the euro have escaped immediate economic disaster after the Greek parliament today voted by a narrow margin in favour of privatisations and austerity measures mandated by the EU, IMF and ECB. However, a fresh clash with the Greek parliament and people is preprogrammed when the Troika undertake their next review of Greece’s finances in September.
George Papandreou’s socialist government pushed through a €28bn package of drastic tax increases and budget cuts by 155 votes to 138 while protestors outside the parliament faced tear gas and even plastic bullets from riot police. Unions also staged a 48 hour strike.
The passage of this legislation will clear the way for the next interest payment on the country’s astronomical national debt to be made to American, French and German banks in July.
Now she turns to the implications of this most recent vote:
The cost of the Greek bankster bailout is set to rise to 1,450 euros for each household in Europe, according to a report by Open Europe.
The Greek socialist government pushed through the austerity package demanded by the EU and IMF by fanning fears of bankruptcy after failing to take steps to prepare for an orderly insolvency of the country and in spite of the fact that the example of Argentina showed that a default, even a disorderly default, can return a country to rapid growth.
The IMF, EU and ECB are due to undertake their next review of Greece’s progress in implementing the austerity measures in September.
Welcome to the new rulers of Greece: The IMF, the EU and the ECB. We will see more and more of this - as countries continue to lose their sovereignty. Don't misunderstand - Greece and the socialized policies over decades led to this, as their unsustainable economic structure has forced these measures - in one way, they aren't exactly innocent victims in this scenario. But the problem is - their national sovereignty is now essentially gone. George Soros' vision is completed - at least for one country - but there are more coming.
The EU, IMF and ECB financial empire has taken off its mask and made an unprecedented grab for the assets and taxes of the people of Greece and in this lie the seeds of its own defeat.
The Bilderberg elite have launched their Troika to assault Greece like swarming ants and the result is that they have nearly been defeated already in the Greek parliament and at a fairly early stage in theircampaign of financial warfare against Europe. Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany are all still in earlier stages of the eurozone debt slavery entrapment than Greece.
There will be no more swift victory for the elite, just a prolonged campaign finishing in the demise of the euro given the degree of awareness already existing among people across Europe of how the banks are looting tax payers with the help of complicit governments and much of the mainstream media.
But in the modern day era of the internet and rapidly spreading news, the people are aware of these facts and uprisings are taking place (see news stories below).
As the social and economic meltdown that is resulting from transferring so much money to banks becomes apparent, resistance to the bankster bailouts is set to grow across the eurozone.
Riots herald a 'dark day' in Greek history as MPs vote through austerity cuts
Hooded youths, their faces hidden behind gas masks ripped what projectiles they could find from the streets to hurl at police chanting "cops, pigs, murderers!"
Police retaliated with baton charges accompanied by sporadic rounds of teargas and stun grenades releasing terrifying loud bangs - and the crowds fled, regrouping within minutes in other parts of the square.
Such scenes were repeated over and over throughout Wednesday during a second day of protests against a deeply unpopular austerity package.
The protests demonstrate a growing social unrest across all levels of society bubbling into unprecedented public anger at the politicians held responsible for bringing a nation to its knees.
A recent poll showed 80 per cent of the nation was against the latest austerity measures believing it will cripple Greece for the sake of saving financial institutions.
Greece austerity vote: Q & A
So the euro is not saved yet?
No. There is a growing clamour from economists, politicians and others that the only realistic option for Greece is a negotiated default from its debts in order to let austerity and economic restructuring work. Currently the Greek government is battling protesters and a growing opposition to austerity, especially tax rises, just to service its debts, which are mainly held by European banks.
The continued instability threatens to pull Ireland and Portugal, already under EU-IMF bailout "programmes" into the crisis, a development that could start a run on Spanish, Belgian and French bonds. No one really believes that the euro, a single currency that binds productive Germany to debt laden Greece, can carry on with "business as usual".
Phew, so it's all ok then, crisis averted?
Only for now. Over the next two weeks the EU must come up with a second Greek bailout which could be as high as £107billion on top of the £98billion in rescue loans agreed for Greece in May 2010. Unless it does then the IMF will not give the green light to another bailout instalment, the sixth, in September and the crisis will flare up all over again.
So will the Greek bailout Mark II finally sort things out?
It's very tricky. New loans are deeply unpopular in creditor countries, like Germany and the savage austerity demanded of the Greeks is fuelling growing social conflict.
So this will be difficult to sustain politically.
By piling more loans on an economically weak and chaotic Greece, the debt burden might become all too much leading to a greater default risk with even more exposure for the French, German and European banks that hold the Greek government bonds.
Chaos reigns on streets of Athens
Greece - honest taxpayers bear the brunt?
Increasing revenue from taxes is the crux of the austerity plan put forward by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. The revised plan contains measures aimed at clawing back 14.9 billion euros in taxes over four years – that is 649 million euros more than the initial version, unveiled in mid-June.
There will be a new solidarity tax. Those earning more than 12,000 euros a year will be obliged to hand over one to five percent to the Greek Treasury. This should generate an extra 1.38 billion over the four year term. VAT in cafés and restaurants will leap from 13 to 23 percent.
And on the streets, there is anger. It is estimated these latest measures will cut average earnings by a further three to four percent.
As police crush protests, EU narrowly wins Greek wote
In a joint statement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Council President Herman van Rompuy saluted the result: "This was a vote of national responsibility."
The pair looked forward to a similar result on Thursday when the parliament votes on a second bill outlining how the measures will be implemented.
"Tomorrow, the eyes of Europe will again be turned towards Athens as parliamentarians are called upon to approve the implementing measures for the programme," they said in a prepared statement. "A second positive vote would pave the way for the disbursement of the next tranche of financial assistance."
For now the EU maintains control. For now, the EU avoids another crisis. For now, the Eurozone stays intact.
But the situation is tenuous at best and this marks the beginning of a long struggle to maintain the Euro and the viability of the EU. In the process, the sovereignty of Greece has been handed over to the EU and the IMF, and this may represent a pattern for the future as more countries are destined for this path.
It almost appears to be part of a bigger plan. We shall see.