Greece : Shrinking the State

(Updated August 1 2015)

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least €13 billion from the public purse—€4 billion more than the “austerity” figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in the July 5 referendum. These measures reportedly include a 50% increase in the cost of health care for pensioners, (almost 40% of whom live in poverty); deep cuts in public sector wages; the complete privatization of public facilities such as airports and ports; and a rise in value added tax to 23%, now applied to the Greek islands where people struggle to eke out a living.

There is more to come.

Greece has agreed to “significantly scaled up”  privatisations, and state assets will be transferred to an ‘independent’ fund (based in Brussels, not Athens), which will monetise the assets through privatisations and other means……..

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Greece: The Scream

(article by Myrto Tsakatika, a Syriza member and academic at University of Glasgow )

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”In Greece we are witnessing a genuine ‘postmodern coup’….. There are no tanks on the streets. There are no soldiers. There is freedom of information. There is freedom of speech and freedom of association. But there are closed banks. There is ordinary peoples’ fear and uncertainty about whether they will have a job to go to or be able to put food on the table in a few days’ time. There is media-induced terror. There is that persistent ultimatum coming from Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin that, as Alexis Tsipras put it on Friday night… is like being asked for ‘your money or your life’ at gunpoint. There is a directorate in Europe that in order to get rid of a government of the left will not hesitate to bully, humiliate and ultimately sacrifice an entire people. And of course, there is a government of the left that will have to implement some disturbingly un-left wing measures in order to keep the country – particularly the poorest and weakest who would perish were there to be a Grexit under current circumstances – literally alive”’ http://leftproject.scot/2015/greece-the-scream/

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….And an alternative, more acerbic view :

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Article by John Pilger : ”Greek Crisis is Not Only a Tragedy: It is a Lie” http://www.fairobserver.com/…/greek-crisis-is-not-only…/

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15 July 2015

The Greek capitulation has shown that the institutions of the EU and the Banking Hegemony will stop at nothing to enforce their brand of corporate capitalist ”discipline”.

‪TTIP  is confirmation that we could all be tasting the same medicine soon (and worse). In modern Europe, democracy is being sacrificed at the altar of free market fundamentalism. For those who still entertain the idea that EU membership is a defence against the erosion of rights at home, current events should be a wake-up call.

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The writing is on the wall for all of Europe. We need to be reading it.

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21 July 2015

”We knew from the beginning just how merciless the lenders would be.”

Sober, realistic…and generous… article by Greece’s former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

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10 Quotes from Greece’s Ex-Finance Minister  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07/06/yanis-varoufakis-best-quotes-resign_n_7733854.html

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