Greece versus the International Financiers

Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece, with the shadow of Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup (a collection of Eurozone finance ministers). Photo by Petros Giannakouris.
Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece. The shadow belongs to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup (a collection of Eurozone finance ministers). Photo by Petros Giannakouris.

I have been busy communicating with activists and media people, setting up and even participating in some interviews. I’ll be back to posting on higher education tomorrow.

In the meantime, I want to discuss today’s news concerning Greece’s public debt. It is starting to appear that negotiations are breaking down between the new Greek government headed by Alexis Tsipras and the proxies of international finance (the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the economic imperialists in Angela Merkel’s right-wing German government).

Government leaders in the European Union worry that if Greece defaults, it will bring an end to the European Union’s common currency, the euro. They warn that serious economic dislocation will result. As I noted elsewhere, the EU’s currency (the euro) belongs on the scrap heap. Its rules require austerity during economic downturns. That inflicts suffering on the people and redistributes wealth toward the elite.

But if EU leaders are so worried about the Eurozone, the solution is to cancel most or all of Greece’s debt. The creditors, mostly the same people who benefited from bank bailouts after the financial crash they caused, have no right to complain.

For more information, please take a look at the film Debtocracy, written and directed by Aris Chatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi. The film offers a thorough, engaging study of the issues surrounding Greece, debt, and the euro, including a discussion of the legal concept of “odious debt.” English subtitles are included.

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