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The Troika’s Policy in Greece: Rob the Greek people and give the money to private banks, the ECB, the IMF and the dominant States of the Eurozone

On 20 August 2018, the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras, the IMF and the European leaders celebrated the end of the Third Memorandum.

On this occasion, the major media and those in power spread the following message: Greece has regained its freedom, its economy is improving, unemployment is on the decline, Europe has lent Greece 300 billion and the Greeks will have to start repaying that debt in 2022 or in 2032.

The main claims are completely unfounded as Greece remains under the control of its creditors. In compliance with the accords that the Alexis Tsipras government signed, the country must imperatively achieve a primary budgetary surplus of 3.5% which will force it to continue brutal policies of reduction of public spending in the social sector and in investment. Contrary to the dominant message that Greece will not begin to repay its debt until some time in the future, it should be clearly understood that Greece has been repaying considerable amounts constantly all along to the ECB, the IMF and to private creditors, and this prevents it from responding to the needs of its population.

by Eric Toussaint

Part 4 - Responsibilities of the ECB and European leaders in preparing the Greek crisis of 2010

European leaders enthusiastically encouraged the expansion of the major private European banks without giving any warning of the enormous risks incurred. They encouraged the banks to spread beyond their usual geographical perimeter and to indulge in ill-considered acquisitions/mergers.

The European authorities congratulated themselves on many occasions on the significant financial flows that poured in in the form of loans from the dominant countries of the Eurozone towards those of the Periphery. Yet these massive injections of credit were the source of speculative bubbles, especially in the property market, as happened in Spain and Ireland on a very large scale, and also in Greece.

These flows triggered a private credit crisis that finally broke out in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus. The same bubble hangs over the heads of the Italians like the sword of Damocles.

Let us not forget that the Greek crisis is the expression of a more general trend that has to do with the structure of the Eurozone and the policies conducted in the context of European treaties by the governments of the different countries of the monetary zone, affecting the weakest among them situated on the Periphery, such as Greece.

We do not propose to limit ourselves to criticizing the political decisions made by the European governments with the connivance of the Greek authorities after the crisis had begun, since in our view, the structural causes of the Greek crisis are the result of policies carried out in the context of the construction of Europe, of the establishment of the Eurozone and of related treaties.

This by no means excuses the Greek capitalists and Greece’s governments which have led their country into this nightmare, but it does exonerate the Greek people of the responsibilities that the dominant media and European leaders lay upon them so unfairly.

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