Greece is most seriously displeased over the new austerity measures foist upon it by foreign lenders:
Though it came after days of intense debate and the resignation of several ministers in protest, in the end the vote on the austerity measures was not close: 199 in favor and 74 opposed, with 27 abstentions or blank ballots. The Parliament also gave the government the authority to sign a new loan agreement with the foreign lenders and approve a broader arrangement to reduce the amount Greece must repay to its bondholders.
The new austerity measures include, among others, a 22 percent cut in the benchmark minimum wage and 150,000 government layoffs by 2015 — a bitter prospect in a country ravaged by five years of recession and with unemployment at 21 percent and rising.
But the chaos on the streets of Athens, where more than 80,000 people turned out to protest on Sunday, and in other cities across Greece reflected a growing dread — certainly among Greeks, but also among economists and perhaps even European officials — that the sharp belt-tightening and the bailout money it brings will still not be enough to keep the country from going over a precipice.
Angry protesters in the capital threw rocks at the police, who fired back with tear gas. After nightfall, demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, setting fire to more than 40 buildings, including a historic theater in downtown Athens, the worst damage in the city since May 2010, when three people were killed when protesters firebombed a bank. There were clashes in Salonika in the north, Patra in the west, Volos in central Greece, and on the islands of Crete and Corfu.
3000 years of history and civilization brought down in a matter of months by Goldman-Sachs. And they thought the Ottoman Turks were bad.
Let’s not excuse the Greeks. Their failure to collect taxes is one of the reasons they are in this hole. That and the fact that no one seemed to be using the same spreadsheet once they got those taxes. The bigger problem is that they were living Goldman-Sachs values with everyone trying to live in total freedom without government supervision, but they didn’t have Goldman-Sachs thuggish power to break a government’s knees.
What I can’t understand is why we keep having to give in to Goldman-Sachs. Why is it we citizens of so many countries are powerless to make these assholes eat their losses?
Filed under: General | Tagged: Austerity, Goldman Sachs, Greece | 13 Comments »