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Banks demand savage austerity in Greece: privatization of state assets, IMF tax collection

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 01:25 AM
Original message
Banks demand savage austerity in Greece: privatization of state assets, IMF tax collection
Officials with the European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Commission (EC) have been deployed to Athens this week to finalise plans with the Greek government for another round of savage austerity measures.

The initial round of mass public sector layoffs, wage cuts, and destruction of welfare and social infrastructure programs impoverished wide layers of the Greek population, but failed to satisfy the European banks. They are now demanding control over the countrys economy, with representatives of the ECB, IMF, and EC (the so-called troika) to be placed directly in charge of a privatisation program that will see Greeces public assets sold off and the proceeds funnelled to the banks.

At the centrepiece of the new bailout package is a privatisation drive that is forecast to raise 50 billion by 2015. Publicly owned power and water companies, ports, banks, the former telecommunications monopoly, train operators, and other companies such as Opap, the largest European lottery and sports betting firm, will be included in the sell-off. In addition, there will be further sweeping spending cutsmore than 6 billion within twelve months, equivalent to 2.8 percent of Greek gross domestic productand regressive tax hikes targeting the working class.

The Financial Times reported Sunday that the new loans would be conditional on an unprecedented outside intervention in the Greek economy, including international involvement in tax collection and privatisation of state assets... They have also demanded that no representatives of the government be allowed to participate in the agency and that any decisions it takes should be protected by law so that they cannot later be reversed by a different government. These extraordinary developments make clear that the European financial oligarchy is dispensing all pretence of basic democratic norms and principles of national sovereignty in Greece...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/may2011/gree-m31.shtml





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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. So would this have happened if someone wasn't charged with rape?
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Probably. Strauss-Kahn was a big "structural adjustment" fan.
Edited on Tue May-31-11 01:34 AM by Ken Burch
And it's been the same with the IMF since at least the 80's.

Not sure why you brought that guy's issues into this.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. yes, i think so. dsk is a neolib, not a socialist.
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bluesbassman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. And so it starts.
This is the future unfolding before our very eyes. Think this model couldn't happen here?
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
5. I remember when Yugoslavia privatized many of its state-run enterprises in the 1980s.
The new government was trying its hand at "free market" reforms in the post-Tito Yugoslavia. Firms that bought out the enterprises were immediately looking to squeeze more profit out of them, and the easiest thing, often the first thing, was to lay-off workers seen as redundant or excessive. Worse yet, firms sometimes scrapped the entire enterprise and sold off the pieces for a profit, laying off the entire workforce. Unemployment skyrocketed, and people became angry and desperate, as the communist government's safety net programs were also being dismantled. This was the opening ethnic nationalists needed to gain power.

As long as people had jobs, access to food, water, shelter, and basic medical care, things were stable. It was only after the population was reduced to desperation that violence erupted. The people of Greece will become enraged if they lose control of their own economy.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. Unrecced for....
more wsws nonsense.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Re-recced for WSWS telling it straight
WSWS may slip in some ideological commentary around the edges, but that's pretty easy to identity and discount. When it comes to the facts, they're straighter than most American media, and they offer a perspective we don't ordinarily see here.

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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Google > Greece IMF Privatization > Results 1 10 of about 1,438
You'll find several news articles from the more pro-Capitalist sources you may prefer - Reuters, CNBC, New York Times, WSJ, etc

:shrug:
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. wrong spot
Edited on Tue May-31-11 03:43 PM by leftstreet
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
7. Right now Paul Ryan is going, "why didn't I think of that?"
The Republican party of the United States would sell the FBI to DynCorp if they thought they could get away with it.

The biggest problem with privatizing a money-making asset (like the lottery/sports betting firm the IMF is going to sell in Greece) is, once they spend the check they got for the sale no more money comes in. Keeping it public provides a continuing cash flow. It's a little like a traveling salesman selling the car he uses in his business and not buying a new one.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Oh Paul Ryan and his ilk HAVE thought of this
It's just not the right timing yet. Give it a year.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. That's how Giuliani balanced NYC's budgets
selling off assets like WNYC-TV. It has since changed hands a couple of times and is now an Ion (Pax) affiliate. :boring:
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
9. This reminds me a lot of those emergency financial laws
in Michigan. Democracy right out the window, passed over in the in interests of wealthy capitalist exploiters who do not give a SHIT about people.

Ironic isn't it, considering Greece was the birthplace of democracy.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
11. k&r
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. k & r
Hold the line, Greece.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. Recommend
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. K&R
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
19. K&R
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