Troika and European Leaders Destabilise Democracy In Greece

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Troika and European Leaders Destabilise Democracy In Greece

Greece has missed the deadline for a 1.5 bn Euro payment (due on 30 June 2015) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Greece has received two bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund since 2010. The money has come at a high cost to its population, which has endured many austerity measures such as cuts to pensions, wages and public services. Eurozone ministers have now refused to extend its bailout. However, the situation remains uncertain as ministers say they will discuss a last-minute request from Greece for a new two-year bailout.

The actions of the Troika (IMF, EU and European Central Bank) and European leaders is dangerous for democracy. Greece 's Syriza government was elected on an anti-austerity platform. It has been in deadlock with its creditors for months over the terms of a third bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has stated that democracy would be the victim in all of this. Over the last few days we have had to witness the awful sight of European leaders queuing up to threaten and try and intimidate Greek electors ahead of any referendum on the terms of any future bailout. The unelected European Central Bank, based in Frankfurt , already has a history of interfering in the democracy of other nations. By means of threats and bullying it had already brought a technocratic administration into power in Greece prior to the election of Syriza. One that was prepared to do its bidding and impose a massive programme of austerity. The result of which was the election of Syriza by a Greek people who had had enough. A government that many European leaders and institutions have been desperate to undermine ever since it came to power.

If it can't repay a debt to the ECB on 20 July, that could see the Greek exit from the eurozone. However, Greece was mistaken in joining the Eurozone in 2001 in the first place. Prior to this they had been able to routinely devalue the Drachma to remain competitive and attract important foreign income from tourism. The economies of the Eurozone were not aligned, as they were technically supposed to be when Greece joined the Eurozone. But we need to be clear that the strong economies of Europe benefited from the competitive exchange rate created by southern European economies being brought into the Eurozone. Germany is happy to keep a Euro that keeps the value of its exports favourable.

German banks also have to look at their own behaviour that contributed to the Greek crisis, They lent significant amounts to the Greeks prior to the global credit crisis that struck in 2008. As was the case in Ireland much of this went into wild property speculation. When creditor banks wanted their money back the Greeks could not pay. In Ireland in 2008 it was the ECB who pushed a weak government to guarantee the claims of German and French bondholders of the Anglo-Irish Bank. The result was catastrophic for ordinary hard working Irish people who have and continue to bare the brunt of a major programme of austerity. While those private bondholders have escaped the consequences of the wild risk based lending of German banks prior to 2008.

While certain smug German politicians, some other European leaders and the ECB wave their fingers and exclaim disapproval of the Greeks let us remember their culpability in creating the situation that faces Greece today. We should fully understand that the Troika and European leaders are embarked on a programme of political interference designed to destabilise a democratically elected Greek government elected on a programme of anti-austerity.

Alastair Kneale, Mannin Branch, The Celtic League

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


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