Greece Fire

SUBHEAD: The European leaders have given the Greeks the "opportunity" to dig their own graves.  

By Ashvin Pandurangi on 14 March 2012 for The Automatic Earth - 

Image above: Dream of pleasant life in Greece has become a nightmare. From (
Equity markets are off doing their own thing again while the momentary lapse of confusion and chaos in Europe persists. Now that Greece has been able to avoid a disorderly default scenario at the end of this month, the Eurocrats tell us that they have made everything copaseptic. The second bailout for Greece has been officially approved and the first installment of €39.4bn will be released to the government (the banks) in three separate tranches (it's drawn out so very little of the money will actually be paid).

What could possibly go wrong? It's as if this completely expected and symbolic measure has casually melted away every outstanding issue in Europe. Sarkozy has once again declared that the Greek crisis is "solved", remaining very true to his ignorant and foolish style, and Jean-Claude Juncker repeatedly states that he and his cronies have presented the country with an opportunity of a lifetime:
"This second programme constitutes a unique opportunity for Greece that should not be missed. The Greek authorities should therefore continue demonstrating strong commitment and to keep up the implementation momentum by rigorously pursuing the adjustment effort in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and privatisation, strictly in line with the new program.

This will allow the Greek economy to return to a sustainable path, which is in the interest of everyone."
Needless to say... what a crock of shit! The only opportunity the Greeks have been given is to remain in the shackles of debt slavery while they watch their country be gutted from the inside out. Just about every analyst out there, including those that work for the Troika, says that Greece will be unable to reach its mandated deficit targets and will require another bailout. And not a dime of that bailout, just like the current one, will reach the Greek people. The Greek economy will continue to contract, more than half the country's young adults will remain unemployed and people will continue to starve to death.

What we are witnessing is the systematic slaughter of an entire nation for the benefit of a few elites. The nerve of Eurocrats like Juncker, who has already admitted he is more than willing to lie "when it gets serious", is absolutely astonishing, but the betrayal of the Greek people by their national politicians is unforgivable, even if all of it is unsurprising. That's something they will all be finding out for themselves soon enough, though. While the Eurocrats blather on about solutions and opportunities, and the markets act like only good times are ahead, the residents of Athens descend further into their living nightmare. Helena Smith for the Guardian:
The Guardian Blog

"The soaring crime rate is yet another offshoot of the financial crisis and with tourist-dependent Greece also preparing for its first flux of visitors, security concerns have taken centre stage. Aides close to Michalis Chyrsohoidis, who took over the post of public order minister in a mini-reshuffle last week, say criminal activity has assumed epidemic proportions especially in Athens where break-ins, robberies and murders (one every 48 hours) have skyrocketed. Robberies shot up by 125 % alone in the greater Athens region in 2011.

The minister, who has ordered that convoys of police on motorcycles be immediately increased, is worried that extremists may also exploit the social turmoil that has come with galloping unemployment (youth joblessness has exceeded 50%) and deepening poverty. Without giving any warning, leftwing urban guerrillas recently left an explosive devise on a subway train in Athens.

The device, which almost certainly would have left casualities had it exploded, only failed to detonate because of a fault.

On Tuesday, the culture and tourism minister Pavlos Geroulanos revealed that German bookings had nosedived by 30 % compared to this time last year (German visitors normally top the league tables of arrivals in Greece) while British bookings had dropped by about 10 % - in both cases because of the bad image that has come with media coverage of repeated riots sparked by outrage over austerity.

The culture ministry, itself facing more cuts, has appealed to the finance ministry for funds to recruit international PR firms in the hope of improving the country's image before the tourist season begins."

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