Story by Atomou
The Greek Crisis put very, very simply.
Because, in fact and in effect, it is very simple!
Imagine this scenario: Great grand parents were told by a banker that they should avail themselves of the bank’s offer of very, very cheap and very, very simple loans. Your grand parents agreed and they borrowed some money. One might, if one is cynical enough, add also that the banker has advised them to borrow more, rather than less. I remember reading the words of the wise capitalist Onassis who in his wisdom about capitalist ways, said, “borrow much, rather than less so you can complete the project you borrowed the money for,” or words very similar to these.
So your grandparents borrowed the money in what looked like benign conditions and manageable interest rates. However, something happened -and a lot can between borrower and lender- and the bankers change the conditions and, more direly, the interest rate, which they raise to such a level that the borrower simply cannot pay the instalments.
(People of my age will remember the bankers’ brutal glee during Keating’s reign of “the recession that Australia had to have” as they raised interest rates to levels that no one had ever before imagined. Bankers love doing such things.)
So the thief, sorry, I meant to say the banker, says to your grandparents, “not to worry, we’ll just keep lending you money to make those payments. We will increase slightly the interest rate but that’s only fair and, in any case, the new loan will help you survive until things turn good for you and you can make the payments.”
The can was thus kicked along the path of time until you came along and things simply didn’t turn good. In fact, they have turned aggressively bad. The interest rate has increased even more, the economy has left you unemployed and with barely enough income to put bread on the table. You have no hope of ever making the next payment. The instalment is greater than your income (GDP, if we’re talking national).
But the bank insists that, once again, you must borrow more money to help you make the next payment. In fact they have lodged themselves into your house and began examining your every move, telling you to sell everything you possess at give-away prices. They have their eye on your precious possession and they want them for themselves and for their mates. They want everything you own and they want you to work for them, the bankers and their criminal associates and STILL keep making those payments!
As an individual little pawn in a capitalist market you have no way out of this. They take everything, including your second pair of undies and you are left to wander the streets, hungry, barefoot and with severely soiled undies. Yes, you can work for these crims but at slave conditions and for wages set by the Gina Rineharts and the Christine Lagardes of this world.
However, as a sovereign State, and one that has been locked up into contracts and agreements that were nothing short of criminal, such as trade agreements that locked you out the market place and further out still of negotiating prices for the traded goods, and thus, out of earning any income at all, or like having to work with a currency over which you have no control at all and which is controlled by the bankers in the club, you can do a number of things.
You can negotiate, relying on a fairly strong logical argument.; an argument which will say, “make the trade agreements fairer, make the interest rates fairer, lend us no more -you have loaded us up with too great a debt already- buy some of this debt yourselves, since that’s what you did with the American banks (bought their foul and worthless derivatives, i.e., bad debts) – or we’ll get out of your sinister little clique of thieving bankers and we’ll go our own sovereign way as an economy and, more importantly, as a society, wearing its own clothes and carrying its own dignity, our own pride and integrity. We will sell you nothing more from our treasures! We will buy and sell our products free from your crooked constraints and prohibitions. We will no longer allow your troika bureaucrats to sleep in our beds and tell us which side of the pillow we should sleep on. And we will certainly not let you touch our undies!”
And Greece is at this very point of the negotiations now.
The bankers are screaming “not fair” and the mongrels of the opposition, who feel, as do all fascist Tories, including our own in Australia, that they were born and chosen by god to rule and have never in the History of Greece been in a real opposition, (since they were always a duopoly), are screaming even louder, two- and three word slogans, no more sophisticated than those spat out of our own leader’s mouth. “Pay the debt, pay the debt,” they shout and bark like barnyard dogs.
I have staged a most unabashedly simple scenario.
Others who wish, may add the complexities and the more nuanced complexions of this moral dilemma as they see them. In the end however, it is a scenario about criminals, going back a long way… to the days when Germany herself borrowed an enormous amount of money from Greece and, at the same time, devastated the country. She has neither paid that loan back nor made any reparations for that destruction.