“Give me a firm place to stand and I shall move the world.” This philosophy of Archimedes with the “lever concept” application in modern industry helped civilisations multiply and produce wealth faster. Shame! A nation who gifted the lever principle and a world-class shipping industry to the planet is today deliberately pushed into debt slavery. Greece production is competitive but the EU market now with the rest of the world is not firm. Greece in ancient times had been a magnet of wealth, lender of money, jobs, new skills and nation of learning and sharing. Magnus, a shepherd in whose name we see the invention called magnet, is a famous Greek folktale of human growth. Today, Greece is losing its independent magnetic powers and culture just because its modern rulers took a decision to accept a monster called loan without the approval of people. Decisions were taken without bothering to see if purchasing, saving, spending power of the majority and payback support of the market was sufficient to clear the debt in future or not.
We all grew up hearing the heroic stories of Greece. The Trojan horse in the `Helen of Troy` story unfolds the alert to Greek fighters and war negotiators. Ancient Greek era before the invention of Roman numbers shows pictures of a horse been used as an asset for a ‘loan’ and for ‘hiring’ trade. Superiority of the Alexander army with horses scored over the Indian king’s army with slow elephants. After World War I, the horse battalion in military lost its relevance and export sale to modern tanks. Export list of modern Greece like fruits, vegetables, olive oil and so on is going down along with its shipping industry. Competition, recession and less salability are basic reasons. For market recovery what is produced has to be bought. At times, good quality indigenous products fail due to unknown or inferior market brand. Consumers in Greece as in any market buy branded products from Germany, France, UK or USA. Free Market showcased as a God has no patriotic mechanism to support a weak brand having good quality. Extra income of the people went straight to consumer goods that were imported from abroad leaving goods made in Greece unsold. Why should EU protect Greece imports at the cost of losing business? To apply protection Greece has to come out of the EU which powerful countries enjoying easy profit in Greece market do not want.
The problem increases when shrinking money in the squeezed pockets which was kept fixed is unable to match the price rise. Tourism, Greece’s largest money magnet industry, is in red. America, the biggest visitor country opting annual holidays to Greece is no more favourable because of recession and its own debt pain. It is estimated that after the bailout dust settles and sacrifices of few private lenders are included the alarming Greece debt cycle shall fall down to 120% of GDP. A chance of Greece recovery on its own is impossible because its debt slavery is profitable for 1%.
Greek people in majority are against forced sacrifices like severe cuts in the social sector spending combined with increasing working hours, increasing VAT, increasing retirement age, lowering wages and less pensions. Increasing unemployment and falling consumption is another challenge. Work format from top to bottom is designed to have no link with productivity. More than one million people were seen agitating on roads of Athens in recent months. The motive of the government appears not to save the Greece economy and the living standards of millions but to protect the nexus of handful cronies engaged in protecting the interest of lenders. In response to people’s pressure Greece was forced to expel 43 lawmakers, reducing their majority in the 300-seat parliament from 236 to 193. Not a single, guilty in Greece, till today, has been prosecuted in high value corruption. Media points out how Germany forced Greece to buy expensive German submarines, which it doesn’t need, at a price twice as high as Turkey had to pay for them; or France, which forced Greece to buy wildly expensive fighter planes in return for its ‘aid’.
In the modern world the loan does not rescue the needy but helps to make few handful cronies richer and powerful. The trick in modern debt cycle starts when the money flow is controlled by the corporate-bankers-government nexus. Governments as usual fail to consult the majority people before fixing loans and laws. In 2004 Greece was given a rosy picture which was the venue for successful Olympics. All credit goes to the clever borrower-lender divide, the proud nation in 2004 with 98% literacy rate was forced to pretend that clearing debt was nobody’s responsibility while hosting Olympics is everyone’s duty. How Siemens, a German MNC, bribed its way to win monopoly position in Olympics emerged later.
When Euro in 2002 was accepted as a collective family currency, Greece was already suffering with debt which was far less. Thanks to the recession now the loan driven myths are getting shattered. Family of 17 nations has now emerged clearly divided on the weak fundamentals. No one in EU family in past bothered to anticipate future of Greece on the basis of competiveness, less productivity, senseless high rise in salaries, more spending and less income as the easy reasons of a spoilsport. Euro currency with unequal fundamentals was given the ‘magic’ key to fetch happiness to all. Many today point out that if Greece condition is pushed further back why there was a need for this single key and one currency experiment? In a capitalist system the dirty picture of debt survives on city-slum and town-village divide. It is normal and natural that countries like Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain are called PIGS or abused as a bottomless pit. Weak economies ‘get used’ by other growing countries with strong fundamentals. Match fixers and Greece fence sitters continue to hide their loot and divert attention by calling majority as lazy bums. Lazy remark comes as a spillover of the unaudited gift support to few to keep their eyes and ears closed to the unfair distribution. Governance today is driven by a hidden message: Profit for me and debt slavery with abuse for all.
Majority in Greece today demand the debt myth should be waved off and Greece should have a separate currency and self control on its market. Loan wave off is not a new phenomenon as happened in Ecuador or as forced by America in the Iraq invasion after the killing of Saddam Husain.
“There has to be a clear strategy on loans” is the alarm the Greek crisis gives to the entire world. In India where people need a school they are given a hospital. When farmers need cold storage facilities they get lots of fertilisers. When irrigation is a problem the GM research gets funds to convert agriculture slowly to pharmaceutical culture. When villagers cry for power, sanitation and toilets they get cheap mobiles. All this gets approved at the top supported by loans. Loan is waved off most of the time in a project if a crony corporate fails. If the loan is big than the accountability is slowly relabeled as a sovereign loan and the entire nation is held guilty of no recovery. In India the loan slavery has been the cause of millions of suicides.
Unequal earnings sow the seed of a loan. Loan in the past had never been an unending abuse. Acceptance of people and the knowledge as to where to use the funds and calculation on fast return is a must. Greece today needs to come out of this slavery and the ugly shadow of ‘Debtocracy’.
Ancient war trainers like Alexander helped their restless horses to remain calm and not to fear their own shadow during crisis and war. Debt and the shadow of fear should be kept separate. Only a holistic initiative of increasing living standards of majority can help repair the Greece lost pride. For a safe participatory nation there should not be any debt at all. If the national debt is there it should not cross a safe normal limit. Loan utility should be as per people’s need and ought not to be left on governance alone.
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