To my uneducated eye these last few stages of the process of breaking down a nation involves financial breaking of the government of the nation under attack; these include poverty, social breakdown and finally once the government has utterly failed to keep up its financial obligations to the highest level of monetary organizations, loss of freedoms of the common man in order to pay off debts which he had no part in creating.
I know I am playing fast and loose with this definition but this is a learning process for all of us. I do not profess to be an expert, just an observer trying to pull in some clues ~ clues that are all very significant for the lives of millions.
The EU PIGS nations, an intentional slur if ever there was one, are the poorer southern nations of the EU ~ Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. This seems to be another step of international amalgamation to a one world client state. It is of interest to watch this process of planned destruction being set into place. We saw it in Argentina and Russia in our lifetimes. It is well entrenched in America and now it is being implemented elsewhere as the banks begin the imposition of their international agenda.
So far, only the plucky Vikings of Iceland have resisted on all levels to invite the IMF in to fix things at their expense.
Here are a few of the causes of the Greek riots, most likely dictated by desperation to avoid the intervention of the bloodthirsty international arm of the bankers, the IMF.
Cuts of up to 8 % in public servants' income through reductions in basic pay and bonuses, including 30-per-cent cuts on holiday bonuses, saving €1.1-billion ($1.5-billion);
Raising general sales tax from 19 to 21 % to increase revenues by a projected €1.3-billion;
Luxury tax on yachts, private jets, jewelery, high-end automobiles, leather goods and other articles;
Taxes also increased on gasoline, cigarettes and alcohol;
General income tax rate will also be raised to 45 % for Greeks in that income bracket;
Freeze in pensions, saving €450-million;
Raising the age of retirement to63;
Cuts of €500-million in public investment program;
New measures to raise total €2.4-billion in taxes and cut the same amount in spending, raising overall savings in 2010 to €16-billion.
But while they may have prevented a European crisis, they leave Athens far from a recovery, with only enough credit to finance the government through the end of March.
While the euro was meant to unify Europe's disparate economies into a self-supporting whole, the crisis has ended up creating a dangerous schism between the export-oriented economies of Western and Northern Europe and the more import-dependent ones in the Mediterranean and the Iberian peninsula, who lack the strong underlying economies to rebuild economic growth and pay off debt ~ even though their debts are only slightly higher than those in the larger economies.
A sustainable end to the debt crisis will likely require a bailout from either a German-led European debt-purchase plan, likely to discussed in a meeting with Germany or from the International Monetary Fund.
"This was a necessary decision. It was not a matter of choice," said a sombre-looking Mr. Papandreou after announcing the measures to President Karolos Papoulias. "It was a matter of survival for our country, allowing it to breathe and break free from the clutches of speculative forces."
Athens still faces profound challenges in avoiding a credit collapse, as the austerity measures could stall economic growth and reduce tax revenues, which would prevent the deficit from falling.
What can Papandreou do to revive Greece's investment-starved economy. His dramatic speeches this week have warned Greeks of potential catastrophe, but have offered no sense of what should be done once the cutting is over.
"The problem isn't just about finding the money, or securing another loan," said Savvas Robolis, a professor of economics at Athens University. "The problem is what comes next, after the bailout."
Nevertheless, the euro saw a sharp recovery and Greek bonds moved toward average European levels yesterday after the continent's monetary and political leaders declared that Papandreou had put his country on the road to fiscal stability, at least for now.
"Greece's ambitious program to correct its fiscal imbalances is now on track," said Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the Greeks "are going in the right direction and deserve our respect." .
Greece currently has finances to keep its government operational through the end of March. Most analysts believe it will need a large-scale purchase of debt from an outside agency or government.
Mr. Papandreou yesterday told his cabinet that if a European rescue is not forthcoming, he will turn to the IMF for a bailout.
German leaders and taxpayers have bristled at using taxpayer money to bail out countries they see as having bloated public sectors and unaffordable pension schemes. Greece's retirement age is 61, while Germany's is rising to 67; the Greek public sector employs 1.05 million people, almost a quarter of the labour force.
They are forcing people to work later and later in life now. Bop till you drop is now the goal of such "civilized" countries as Germany therefor making wage slaves with less time to enjoy the fruits of their labour. I would not be surprised to see that elsewhere in the world.
It looks as if financial war has been declared on Greece and showing itself in all ways, presenting Greece very unpleasantly to the European public. The media has gone into overdrive to stir relations up.
For the Greeks, one source of rage was the front page of the Berlin tabloid, Bild, which Thursday carried the headline, “Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks ~ and the Acropolis too!” The article inside suggested that this sentiment had been uttered by two officials in Ms. Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party.
Greeks were even more offended by the cover of the German news magazine, Focus, which showed a statue of Aphrodite, her middle finger raised in an obscene gesture, beside the words, “Fraudsters within the European family.”
“They're saying we're all criminals, not just our leaders but every Greek. We have been named and shamed, we have been bashed and thrashed throughout this crisis,” a bearded pensioner said. “The European Union is supposed to represent a brotherhood, a collective response, but everyone has turned against those in the South.”
It doesn't help that Greece suffered a brutal Nazi occupation during the 1940s, during which hundreds of thousands were starved to death or enslaved and the treasury was robbed of its gold ~ a debt that Greeks feel has not been fully repaid.
That history erupted into an economic debate last week during which the Greek deputy prime minister Theodoros Pangalos declared in a BBC interview that the Germans were indebted to the Greeks for their Nazi crimes.
For Southern Europeans watching their pensions get slashed and their government services reduced, it all seems terribly unfair ~ and the economic anger has spilled out into symbolism-loaded political and cultural conflicts drawing on decades-old animosities.
“It's not just Greece ~ all of Southern Europe is under attack,” said Yiannis Michelakis, editor of the Athens newspaper Eleftheros Typos (Free Press). This week he put an image on his front page of the Brandenburg Gate topped with a cartoon swastika, not the sort of thing his paper is known for.
The financial markets are obsessed with the PIGS right now. All four of them, and especially Greece, are reeling under crushing government debts. Global investors have little confidence they'll be able to keep paying them, so their cost of borrowing money has gone way up, driving the PIGS into an even deeper hole.
AMERICANS NOTE THESE EVENTS IN REGARDS TO THE THUGS OF WALL STREET: Government bailouts help big banks and big companies get out from under their debts, but they do so by shifting the burden onto governments.And the governments shift it onto the people, that is YOU.
The strength of the American economic recovery depends in no small part on the rest of the world getting back on its feet. It won't be good for American companies if Europe wallows in recession, especially with American consumers in little mood to spend.
Efforts at preventing Greece's debt crisis from spilling over into other countries and destroying market confidence in Southern European bonds and the euro itself have created ugly tension this week between Southern Europe and Germany.
At the financial level, some of the anger has abated. Thursday's successful bond issue, which saw the bonds oversubscribed, was seen as a sign that markets no longer believe Greece will default, and a boost in the euro shows reduced fears of a wider Southern European crisis.
But as the austerity programs and cutbacks spread along the Mediterranean, it seems likely that the symbolic battle will continue.