By Diana Johnstone
March 4, 2010
Bailing out countries or foreign banks?
The IMF practices double standards in its loan conditions. On one hand, it insists that local banks and companies should not be aided by the government as this would be against market rules. On the other hand, it ensures that the international banks avoid losses by getting the government to guarantee or take over the banks' loans to the private sector. This has earned the IMF, the label of chief debt collector for the foreign banks.
For Europe's poorest countries, European Union membership has long held out the promise of tranquil prosperity. The current Greek financial crisis ought to dispel some of their illusions.
Here we find another big crack in the wall of solidarity of the promised European Union. By swallowing up the weaker countries over time, it will be easier to erase nationalism. In the quest for the final goal of international rule by just a few players, the NWO wants only the financially fittest to survive ~ according to these rules which have no rules.
There are two strikingly significant levels to the current crisis. While primarily economic, the European Economic Community also claims to be a community, based on solidarity ~ the sisterhood of nations and brotherhood of peoples. However, the economic deficit is nothing compared to the human deficit it exposes.
To put it simply, the Greek crisis shows
what happens when a weak member
of this Union is in trouble.
It is the same as what happens on the world scale, where there is no such morally pretentious union perpetually congratulating itself on its devotion to human rights. The economically strong protect their own interests at the expense of the economically weak.
In the past, international banks lent heavily to Third World governments, mainly in Latin America and Africa. When these countries defaulted (or were on the verge of default) on their external loans, the IMF organized programmes of debt rescheduling and new loans.
The crisis broke last autumn after George Papandreou's PASOK party won elections, took office and discovered that the cupboard was bare. The Greek government had cheated to get into the EU's euro zone in 2001 by cooking the books to cover deficits that would have disqualified it from membership in the common currency.
In the past, international banks lent heavily to Third World governments, mainly in Latin America and Africa. When these countries defaulted (or were on the verge of default) on their external loans, the IMF organized programmes of debt rescheduling and new loans. Yes, we all know what has become of Africa under the kindly guidance of the international banking cabal.
Most of the debts owed to international banks and Northern governments, who also provide most of the roll over and fresh loans. Though its own share of the loans is small, the IMF (together with the World Bank) is asked by bankers and creditor governments to coordinate the rescheduling exercise.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MOTIVATES
THE PEOPLE OF ICELAND TO REFUSE
THE DEBT PAYMENT DEMANDED
OF THEM BY FOREIGN BANKS.
The banks and creditor governments always agree to roll over old loans and give new loans only if the IMF gives a "good report" of the indebted country. This role of chief examiner gives the IMF and the World Bank the power to impose "structural adjustment" conditions on, at this point, more than 80 indebted countries which have required rescheduling.
The policies were based on the simplistic philosophy that, since governments could not be trusted, the economies should be liberalized (read further fiscal raiding by being opened to global trade, finance and investment), privatized and deregulated. This drastically reduce the role of the state, which is told not to intervene in the economy. Often the "leaders of the nation" have already been corrupted, if they were not already, and readily sign over the running of their nation, and the populace, over to what will become servitude to the cabal.
The IMF has and will insist that every dollar of foreign loan be repaid. IMF conditions become top priority on government budgets being skewed towards foreign debt servicing, even as social and economic spending was brutally cut.And so the populace is enslaved.
The European Treaties capped the acceptable budget deficit at 3 per cent and public debt at 60 per cent of GDP respectively. In fact, this limit is being widely transgressed, quite openly by France. But major scandal arrived with revelations that Greece's budget deficit reached 12.7 per cent in 2009, with a gross debt forecast for 2010 amounting to 125 per cent of GDP.
Of course, European leaders got together to declare solidarity. But their speeches were designed not so much to reassure the increasingly angry and desperate Greek people as to soothe 'the markets ~ the real hidden almighty gods of the European Union.
The markets, like the ancient gods, have a great old time tormenting mere mortals in trouble, so their response to the Greek problem was naturally to rush to profit from it.
For instance, when Greece is obliged to issue new bonds this year, the markets can blithely demand that Greece double its interest rates, on grounds of increased 'risk' that Greece won't pay, thus making it that much harder for Greece to pay. Such is the logic of the free market.
What the EU leaders meant by 'solidarity' in their appeal to the gods was not that they were going to pour public money into Greece, as they poured it into their troubled banks, but that they intended to squeeze the money owed the banks out of the Greek people.
Squeezing the people of Argentina.
The squeezing is to take the forms made familiar
over the past disastrous decades by
the International Monetary Fund:
the Greek state is enjoined to cut public expenses,
which means firing public employees,
cutting their overall earnings,
economizing on health care,
raising taxes, and
incidentally probably raising the jobless rate
from 9.6 per cent to around 16 per cent,
all with the glorious aim of bringing
the deficit down to 8.7 per cent this year
and thus appeasing the invisible gods of the market.
This just might propitiate both the gods and German leaders, who above all want to maintain the value of the euro. The financial markets will no doubt grab their pound of flesh in the form of increased interest rates, while the Greeks are bled by IMF-style 'shock treatment'.
And what about that great theater of human rights and universal brotherhood, the European Parliament? In that forum everyone gets to speak for a carefully clocked 1, 2, or 3 minutes, but when it comes to the most serious matter, the budget, the authoritative voices are all German.
This is standard IMF behaviour. These bloodthirsty international cabal of banking thugs has done this in many places ~ gone into a financially troubled nation and, while securing their own monies, proceed to make life harder for the natives as one "privilege" after another, disappears until the populace is impoverished and hopelessly indebted to the IMF.
Thus the chairman of the EP's special committee on the economic and financial crisis, Wolf Klinz, has called for sending a 'high representative' of the EU to Greece, an 'economies commissar' to make sure the Greeks carry out the austerity measures properly. The Greek crisis can allow the EU to put into practice for the first time its 'Treaty instruments' concerning 'supervision of budgetary and economic policy'. Interest rates may go up because of 'risk', but there is to be no risk. The pound of flesh will be delivered.
There was no such supervision of the financial fiddling which caused this mess. The EU statistics agency Eurostat recently discovered and revealed that in 2001, Goldman Sachs secretly (but legally, protest its executive officers) helped the right-wing Greek government meet EU membership criteria by using a complicated currency swap that masked the extent of public deficit and national debt. [See Andrew Cockburn and Marshall Auerback.] Who understands how that worked?
I think it is fair to guess that not even Angela Merkel, who is trained as a scientist, understands clearly what went on, much less the incompetent Greek politicians who accepted the Goldman Sachs trickery. It allowed them to create an illusion of success for a while.
Success meant being a 'member of the club' of the rich, and it can be argued that this notion of success has actually favored bad government at the national level. Belonging to the EU gave a false sense of security that contributed to the irresponsibility of incompetent political leaders.
And just WHO placed these leaders in position? We know full well that the Rothschilds and their posse, the international banking cabal, make sure only their favoured patsies in in position to "lead" nations so that the populace dances to the tune they, the cabal, wishes them to. In fact, they even write the entire script on targeted nations.
Having euros to buy imported goods (notably from Germany) pleased rich consumers, while the euro priced Greek goods out of their previous markets. Now the debt trap is closing. The traditional way out for Greece would be to leave the euro and return to a devaluated drachma, in order to cut imports and favor exports. This way, the burden of necessary sacrifices would not be borne solely by the working class.
But the embrace of EU 'solidarity' is there to prevent this from happening. German authorities are preparing to lay down the law to the Greeks, after reducing the income of their own working class in order to benefit Germany's export-oriented economy.
Austerity measures are the opposite of what is needed in a time of looming depression. Rather, what is needed are Keynesian measures to stimulate employment and strengthen the domestic market. But Germany is firmly attached to the export model, for itself and everyone else (globalization).
Ah, yes, globalization, the New World Order so lusted for by the cabal of elite bankers. Globalization and international mastery of the planet and every human living upon it. Mastery of their bodies, minds, souls, by the soulless elite who are led by those who pursue the luciferian of the Rothschilds.
For a country like Greece, which cannot compete successfully within the EU, exports outside the EU are crippled by its use of a strong currency, the euro. Bound to the euro, Greece can neither stimulate its domestic market nor export successfully. But it is not going to be allowed to extricate itself from the debt trap and return to its traditional currency, the drachma. Poverty appears to be the only solution.
There is discontent within the German working class at their country's policies aimed at shrinking wages and social benefits for the sake of selling abroad. In an ideal 'social Europe', workers in Germany would come to the aid of workers in Greece by demanding a radical revision of economic policy, away from catering to the international financial markets toward building a solid social democracy. The reality is quite different.
The Greek financial crisis
exposes the absence of
any real community spirit in the EU.
The 'solidarity' declared
by the country's EU partners
is a solidarity with their own investments.
European nations watch and wait for Greece to sink or swim.
There is no popular solidarity between peoples.
The EU has established a surrogate ideology of internationalism: rejection of the nation-state as source of all evil, a pompous pride in Europe as the center of human rights, giver of moral lessons to the world, which happens to fit in perfectly with its subservience to United States imperial foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond.
The paradox is that European unification has coincided with decreasing curiosity in the larger EU states about what happens to their neighbors.
And why should they give a toot? After all, this is an increasingly cannibalistic capitalistic planet of nations. It is all about money and if you don't have it, or are proving to be failing the tests of success, you are just not "cutting the mustard". At the bottom of almost all this mess is a CLASS WAR but few are crass enough to admit such a war exists, let alone to speak of it. Instead, they just play the part.
Despite a certain amount of specialized training needed to create a Eurocrat class, the general population of each EU member is only superficially acquainted with the others. They see them as teams in soccer matches. They go on holiday around the Mediterranean, but this mostly involves meeting fellow tourists, and study of foreign languages has declined, except for English (omnipresent, if mangled).
Mass media news reports are turned inward, featuring missing children and pedophiles ahead of even major political events in other EU member states.
In other words, the Zionist controlled media are orchestrating as much as possible, the mindset of the European Union citizens in the same way that the American Zionist-controlled media does to its citizens, same techniques but different goals.
Northern European media portray Greece practically as a Third World country, peripheral and picturesque, where people speak an impossible language, dance in circles on islands, and live beyond their means in their carefree way. The crickets in the Aesop fable, scorned by the assiduous ants.
When I grew up we were taught, (incorrectly I might add) that from Greece sprang the foundations of civilization, home of perfection, the Olympics, beauty and all that was good in mankind. It is amazing how these perceptions are altered for the masses so that the will of the elite are served.
Media in Germany and the Netherlands imply that IMF-style shock treatment is almost too good for them. The widening polarization between rich and poor, between and within EU member states, is taken for granted.
The smaller indebted countries within the EU are amiably designated by the English-speaking financial priesthood as the PIGS "Portugal, Italy (perhaps Ireland), Greece, Spain' an appropriate designation for an animal farm where some are so much more equal than others.
Whether in Latin America, Asia, or Africa, the story has been the same: the destabilization of peasant producers by a one-two punch of IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programs that gutted government investment in the countryside followed by the massive influx of subsidized U.S. and European Union agricultural imports after the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture pried open markets.
Africa not only grew more than enough food, it was also a major source of income for many through exporting. At the time of decolonization in the 1960s, Africa was not just self-sufficient in food but was actually a net food exporter, its exports averaging 1.3 million tons a year between 1966-70.
Today, Africa imports 25% of its food, with almost every country being a net food importer. Hunger and famine have become recurrent phenomena, seeing food emergencies break out in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Southern Africa, and Central Africa. But the war goes on. Today, March 9, 2010, I found this headline as proof, for Africa, that the genocide goes on.
The World Bank and other aid donors forced the drastic scaling down and eventual scrapping of the (Malawi program), arguing that the subsidy distorted trade. Through various cutbacks to the farmers, food output plummeted. In the meantime, the IMF insisted that the government sell off a large portion of its strategic grain reserves to enable the food reserve agency to settle its commercial debts. The government complied.
When the crisis in food production turned into a famine in 2001-2002, there were hardly any reserves left to rush to the countryside. About 1,500 people perished.
The IMF, however, was unrepentant; in fact, it suspended its disbursements on an adjustment program with the government on the grounds that
“the parastatal sector will continue to pose risks to the successful implementation of the 2002/03 budget. Government interventions in the food and other agricultural markets…crowd out more productive spending.”When an even worse food crisis developed in 2005, the government finally had enough of the Bank and IMF’s institutionalized stupidity. A new president reintroduced the fertilizer subsidy program, enabling two million households to buy fertilizer at a third of the retail price and seeds at a discount.
Kill off the useless eaters because they make it difficult to implement these new rules and cut backs to meet the budget to both the world bankers and the IMF.
The results: bumper harvests for two years in a row, a surplus of one million tons of maize, and the country transformed into a supplier of corn to other countries in Southern Africa.
"But I’ll tell you what they don’t want, They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.
They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking.
They’re not interested in that.
That doesn’t help them.
That’s against their interests.
They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting f*cked by a system that threw them overboard 30 f*cking years ago.
~ people who are just smart enough
to run the machines and do the paperwork
but just dumb enough to passively accept
all these increasingly shittier jobs
with the lower pay, the longer hours,
reduced benefits, the end of overtime
and the vanishing pension that disappears
the minute you go to collect it.
And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this f*cking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.”