There’s one thing they all agree on: in the current phase of economic capitalist crisis hitting Europe, countries must pay the banks what they demand, however much suffering this imposes on their peoples and however destructive it will be for their economies. So national politicians, the EU, the US, the newspapers, the broadcasters – all agree that Greece, the current debt-laden economy under the spotlight, must do “whatever it takes”.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, warns the German parliament that “the euro is in danger. If we don’t deal with this danger then the consequences for us in Europe will be incalculable.” US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rushes over the water for urgent talks with George Osborne and European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet.
But the people don’t necessarily agree. The Greek people are making this clear on their streets, but elsewhere too the anti-euro and anti-banker mood is on the rise.
Why should we pay the banks, the currency speculators, the dealers in government bonds, when they recognise no responsibility whatever to anyone or anything except lining their bottomless pockets? The speculators are particularly odious and dangerous. Not content with attacking currencies, they are threatening to bring down nation states by their activities.
They didn’t care that they almost brought the world’s capitalist economies to their knees, now resulting in brutal attacks on the working class, and now they are at it again – of course, it’s in their nature. When finance capital is allowed to hold sway, they will continue to behave like this until they are made to stop.
The “market” is not an inevitable natural force at all. It can be reined in when people assert their will and refuse to tolerate this banditry. Make no mistake, their onslaught will not stop at Greece unless we plan an alternative future.
To default on debt is not an easy option, but the alternative for Greece and any other debt-stricken country is appalling. Refusal to play to the bankers’ rules would enable a nation like Greece to begin to tackle its problems – not least of them a bloated, corrupt, non-tax-paying ultra-rich elite. Argentina defaulted in 2002 (see article, p14) and survived.
The eurozone is weak, and Merkel has mentioned the unmentionable – the possibility of throwing out member countries that threaten the euro’s long term survival (against EU rules, but who cares?). These countries should leave the euro, re-establish their national currencies and their power to manage their own economies, and discuss how to support each other as independent, sovereign nations.