Embattled Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s call for a referendum on the proposed Greek bailout package has sent his government teetering on the brink of collapse and left the global financial markets roiling in its wake. Indeed, it has almost become farcical that a nation, incapable of repaying its debts, is now holding the eurozone economies hostage over their debate as to whether or not the proposals to relieve and forgive their debts are acceptable to them. The entire experience with the sovereign debt crises in Europe has underscored the immense barriers to collective action posed by the continued existence of domestic political actors within an organization like the eurozone and the European Union which, by definition, necessitates cooperation for continued viability. States like Greece acted independently in the accumulation of sovereign debt and now this selfsame independent action threatens the stability of other members. Not only was their borrowing wanton, but their current actions are quite brazen given the scenario before them. Perhaps if the Greeks were removed from the euro and allowed to marinate in ruin they would have some regrets over their actions but, as with many things, Greek debt has been blamed on everything from greedy French and German industrialists to the Nazis. In fact, the Greeks have even claimed that the Germans owe them reparations because of World War II, a constructive course of action given Germany’s relative *ahem* marginal position in the euro? A confidence vote is taking place in the Greek parliament this Friday and it is a wonder whether or not the Prime Minister’s government will survive such parliamentary scrutiny. George Papandreou, who is of Greece’s Socialist Party, has declared that the Greek people should have a vote on the bailout package, which includes austerity measures such as the sell of state held industries, public sector pay cuts and lay-offs, as well as raising taxes in exchange for debt forgiveness. The call for a referendum has been seen as more than just a vote on the austerity package and has come to represent a yea or nay on the euro project itself. Without the support of the bailout package, Greece would be bankrupt and by default it would be removed from the eurozone. German leaders were somewhat miffed by the call for a referendum and stressed the joint and collective sacrifices necessary to make the Greek bailout package even possible. Leaders are now preparing to minimize the damage Greek insolvency would do to the European banking system.

[BBC, MSNBC]

  • Not a single drachma should be given to the bankers.
    Not a single drachma should be taken from the bankers.

    The money were stolen, banks were robbed by the bankers. This is not a “Greek debt”. The figures of “debt” cannot be trusted. Bankers stole between 20 and 100 trillion dollars worldwide. They must refund the money and go to prison.

    Don’t sell Greece, don’t sell your property. There was the same fraud in 1930’s: bankers made the “crisis”, next – the property went down, the bankers bought it for nothing and became the owners of the world. Don’t allow this to happen again.

    Live your own life. Trade with your neighbours, and the “crisis” will be over. The banks will fail, and you will prosper.

    No drachma to the bankers. No drachma from the bankers.

    Michael Pyshnov

    • You’re advocating for a return to a bartering economy, which is quite libertarian of you. Do you have any helpful books that you could suggest I read in order to best understand how the current banking crisises and those of the Great Depression are similar? Thanks for the comment!

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