Greece: One step closer to nowhere

A protester takes cover behind an improvised barrier during clashes with police outside the Greek parliament, Athens, February 12
A protester takes cover behind an improvised barrier during clashes with police outside the Greek parliament, Athens, February 12
To Ethnos (Athens)

The new austerity plan demanded by the EU and the IMF was passed by the Greek Parliament on February 12 against a backdrop of demonstrations and violence. But the plan solves nothing and leaves the Greeks without an answer on their future, regrets an editorialist.

There is no doubt: Greece must remain in the eurozone. Any other perspective would be a tragedy. Comparing the troubles of today's society with the problems of an uncontrolled bankruptcy smacks of political frivolity. A serious policy would be one that, leaving aside partisan choices, could also take nuances into account. The “split” (either/or, left/right) is a poor advisor.

In this sense, the question is not whether to be “in or out” of the euro. The response of every conscientious citizen is “in”. The real question is: beyond its unacceptable severity, can the new austerity plan imposed on us by our creditors – with all it will bring for better and worse – get us out of the crisis? Or is it the swiftest path to uncontrolled bankruptcy?

Basically, we are being asked to undertake an extreme devaluation in our domestic economy which, as things stand, will bring more harm than good. More generally, no economic plan without social viability, accompanied by uncontrolled bankruptcy and rampant unemployment and recession, can either stabilise the economy or restart it – let alone whip up a new production model geared to exports.

The Germans have “yanked too hard on the rope”

It “punctures the tyres” with an incredible thoughtlessness, all the while assuring us that the car will go faster this way in 2012 and 2013. What is worse is the fact that when this is mentioned to those who have brought the country to this impasse, they tell us: “Well, give us an alternative,” as if theirs was a viable and serious one.

I greatly fear that, given the context of talks with other member countries, there is no solution. The responsibilities of the dominant political system are huge. Even now, after two years of crisis, there is still no realistic plan to get out of the crisis that could gain the backing of all of Greece’s political leadership. The troika brings us the loan, and as for us, we have nothing to negotiate...

On the other hand, Europe has its responsibility. The Germans have “yanked too hard on the rope.” Their plan is one that neither Greece nor any other European country can withstand. It’s Germany that will soon have the problem! We have to put up with it. Changes to the “bailout plan for Greece” are inevitable, with new actions over the debt, the EU and IMF loan, and the struggle against the recession...

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