by Stephen Lendman
Eurozone finance ministers continue meeting in Brussels on bailout terms Greece offered – practically everything asked for, what no responsible government would agree to.
Leaked word is it’s not enough. Saturday talks ended inconclusively. They resumed Sunday.
A scheduled summit of all 28 EU leaders to follow was cancelled. European Council president Donald Tusk said 19 Eurozone leaders will meet instead until talks with Greece conclude.
Greece’s Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was apparently told deeper “reforms” are wanted to consider a third bailout.
Reuters reported “(t)wo sources saying there was consensus among the other 18 ministers around the table that the leftist government in Athens must take further steps to convince them it would honour any new debts.”
Greece’s largest creditor Germany is especially hardline. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble calls its plan inadequate. He opposes more talks.
Other Eurozone hardliners question whether Athens will implement terms of a deal, if reached, in return for a $59 billion multi-year bailout – what Greece asked for. The European Commission (the EU’s executive body), ECB and IMF (comprising the Troika) estimate $82.55 is needed, including extra billions of euros to prop up Greece’s failing banks, adding more debt to its already intolerable load.
If gotten, around 90% will return to creditors in debt service – a meager 10% remaining in Greece to pay government officials, bureaucrats and civil servants along with providing at best bare bone services.
Why anyone would accept this type usury they’ll have to explain better than already – especially when help is readily available by turning East, on equitable, not loan shark terms.
A deal is possible but not certain. European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said “(t)he institutions have analyzed the Greek proposals and we have jointly decided that they constitute a basis for negotiating a new financial assistance program.”
Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemein Sontagszeitung newspaper reported Berlin’s Finance Ministry proposed two options for Greece. One involves deeper “reforms” plus 50 billion euros worth of property assets for sale to pay a portion of outstanding debt.
The other is Grexit for at least five years and debt restructuring. Greece would remain an EU member and get “growth-enhancing, humanitarian and technical assistance.”
Will other finance ministers scotch the second option or is it looking increasingly likely? Creditors have no interest in Greek economic growth or helping its millions in need with demands for higher VAT taxes, lower pensions and more social service cuts.
They want their demands met at the expense of suffering millions deprived of life essentials or enough of them.
German opposition Left Party MP Gregor Gysi slammed Angela Merkel days earlier – accusing her of wanting austerity critics silenced.
Saying it “failed. Soup kitchens and more soup kitchens…Greece is not the only one to have broken the EU’s budget rules. Why is it being vilified? You want to remove (its) leftist government…That’s what it is about.”
Greek soup kitchens haven’t enough food to feed the hungry. Austerity caused mass impoverishment and unemployment. Eroded or lost social services compound human misery.
It’s increased exponentially over the past five years with worse to come under proposed new austerity terms. Growing destitution and joblessness reflect the new normal.
So is increasing debt entrapment short of declaring it odious and defaulting – what any responsible government would do along with Grexit to regain monetary and fiscal control.
The unstated Troika objective is regime change – SYRIZA replaced by hardline governance fully in lockstep with plans to loot what’s left of Greek wealth, impoverish the entire population beyond its privileged class, cause greater human misery than already – and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what predatory monied interests intend for all Western nations and as many others as they can get away with.
In other words, a dystopian world resembling Dante’s hell – the privileged class outside enjoying greater than ever wealth and luxury trappings, while inside populations suffer horrific deprivation.
That’s what Troika power and Wall Street are all about – a world run by financial tyranny masquerading as democracy.
A Final Comment
A post-referendum Bridging Europe poll shows 79% of Greeks oppose a third bailout compared to 61% voting against more austerity.
Another 74% said the Greek government violated majority popular sentiment. It’s how virtually all regimes operate. The rare exceptions prove the rule.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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