Who will control Greece’s destiny?
The announcement of a compromise agreement in principle, between Greece and EU finance ministers at the end of last week, was marked by premature expressions of relief both in financial markets and by commentators. The weekend has given time for reflection and unsurprisingly, two opposing views of the situation emerged. Those who expected the charismatic Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to triumph are disappointed while the Greek government is claiming victory in the negotiations. Appearances are everything and Germany is also claiming victory.
EU governments, looking to be re-elected and fearful of the rise of “left wing” parties, are unwilling to compromise while Germany is playing hard-ball. By Varoufakis’s own admission, Greece moved much further in the negotiations than his interlocutors who were only required to meet Greece a “fifth of the way”, rather than half-way. The deal is conditional on Greece broadly meeting the overall previously agreed targets, even if the way is open to alter the means to achieving them. The detail has yet to be ratified and the devil is in the detail.
Time will tell as to whether Greek relief is justified, at least in the short term but the agreement will only be for four months. In the interim a durable solution must be hammered out. The talk is of a return to economic growth because that is what the current economic paradigm demands. But the paradigm is broken and there is no salvation within it. If the Greek government really wants to be in control and benefit its people, it can take three simple steps:
– Share the value of Greece’s land and resources (to fund public services and an unconditional citizens income)
– Issue its own debt and interest free currency to invest in infrastructure and collect land rents
– Provide every citizen with an unconditional citizens income
Economics to Save our Civilisation (54 minute video)
Greece has, in the past, been a victim of geopolitical imperatives and Britain’s part in its history has been far from exemplary.
When 28 civilians were killed in Athens, it wasn’t the Nazis who were to blame, it was the British. Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith reveal how Churchill’s shameful decision to turn on the partisans who had fought on our side in the war sowed the seeds for the rise of the far right in Greece today.
Its time for Greece to leave the Euro (and if necessary, the EU) to regain control of its destiny and release its people from the maw of banking hegemony.