An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week's landslide "No" vote and secretly agreed a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a "bailout" that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least 13 billion euros from the public purse - 4 billion euros more than the "austerity" figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in a referendum on 5 July.
More than 60 lawmakers from Germany’s Die Linke (The Left) party voted against the proposal for further austerity for Greece on July 17. They accused the German government of “destroying Europe” by forcing Greece to accept hard-hitting austerity measures required by the eurozone for a third bailout deal.
Europe, as we know it, may well be over. The promise of a peaceful integration of equals with a capitalist framework lies tattered on the floor of a negotiation room in Brussels. There, the SYRIZA-led Greek government finally succumbed to the blackmail, economic carpet-bombing and “mental water-boarding” of the European powers.
New strikes have hit Greece as anger flares over the latest deal pushed onto Greece by the Troika of European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Thousands of public sector workers from the ADEDY union took to the streets on July 15 as part of a general strike calling for the rejection of a raft of new austerity measures being put to the parliament by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Public sector workers strike against the deal, July 15. In the early hours of July 16, Greek parliament voted to accept the punitive July 12 funding deal put forward by eurozone lenders. The deal included many harsh austerity measures, including large-scale privatisation, that the SYRIZA-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had come to office pledging to oppose.
Leading British campaigners against global debt have slammed the creditors over a deal reached between the European Union countries and Greece, likening the deal to the imperial politics of the 19th century. The debt campaigners also drew parallels with the way debt was used to control Latin American nations in the 1980s.
“The conduct of a number of EU governments over the past number of weeks has been alarming,” president of Irish republican party Sinn Fein and member of the Irish Dail (parliament) Gerry Adams said on the outcome of the European Union summit, which ended Greece submitting to a harsh deal. “They have effectively closed down the Greek banking system and held the Greek Government and people to ransom.
Regardless of the result of the latest round of negotiations between the SYRIZA-led government of Greece and the heads of the 28 members of the European Union, one thing is certain: in coming years, the Greek people are going to need all possible solidarity because their struggles and sufferings are bound to continue. The best imaginable deal with the EU will mean six years of Troika-imposed austerity grinding along to one degree or another. Forced Greek exit from the eurozone will drive the country deeper into recession, further contracting an economy that has shrunk by 25% since 2008.
Members of the European Parliament show support for Greece against its creditors. "This debate is not exclusively about one country," said the Greece's left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a speech to the European Parliament on July 8. "It is about the future of our common construction."
Supports of the 'no' vote celebrate in Athens on the night of July 5. Leaders of Latin American left-wing governments have congratulated the Greek government and its people after Greece's historic July 5 referendum. Voters rejected debt austerity proposals by Greece's European lenders. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
Streets in cities across Greece has erupted into celebrations as results from Sunday’s referendum showed voters clearly rejecting the bailout terms put forward by the country’s lenders. With over 91 percent of the votes counted, from nearly 9 million voters, the "No" vote rejecting the bailout terms from European Creditors continues to be well ahead in the polls.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras on June 30 after Greece failed to pay US$1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuelanalysis.com said on July 1. “I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela,” Venezuela's socialist leader said on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline.
Marchers in Athens reject austerity and demands of Greece's creditors, July 3.
Across Africa, western Asia and Latin America in the 1980s, the growth of per capita GDP was brought to a halt. This was not a recession, it was a severe depression. And its cause was reckless lending by banks in the ’70s. A decade earlier, the euro currency had been invented. US dollars deposited in non-US banks and held there to avoid restrictions of US laws became negotiable financial instruments. These formed the basis for an unregulated market specialising in short-term loans.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) released figures in April showing the International Monetary Fund had made €2.5 billion of profit out of its loans to Greece since 2010. With Greece missing its June 30, deadline for a €1.6 billion payment to the IMF, the figure fell to €900 billion. But JDC said if Greece repays the IMF in full, the figure will rise to €4.3 billion by 2024.