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EU Bailout Terms Are Designed to Force Syriza From Power

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Tsipras is also chairman of the left-wing Syriza party.(Petros Giannakouris / AP)

The aim of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU powers in the Greek debt crisis is “apparently to humiliate Tsipras and his government in preparation for its early replacement with a more pliable administration,” writes Seamus Milne, associate editor of The Guardian.

“We know from the IMF documents prepared for last week’s ‘final proposals’ and reported in the Guardian that the creditors were fully aware they meant unsustainable levels of debt and self-defeating austerity for Greece until at least 2030, even on the most fancifully optimistic scenario,” Milne continues.

That’s because, just as the earlier bailouts went to the banks not the country, and troika-imposed austerity has brought penury and a debt explosion, these demands are really about power, not money. If they are successful in forcing Tsipras out of office, a slightly less destructive package could then be offered to a more house-trained Greek leader who replaced him.

The EU authorities are deeply averse to referendums, Milne writes. Whenever they favor policies that oppose EU policy, EU authorities urge the voting country to hold another referendum.

The EU elite behind this predicament is presenting itself as a defender of the interest of taxpayers in other EU countries — including those that adopted austerity — who are said to be paying for the Greek bailout and who would be enraged by any debt forgiveness for Greece that wasn’t offered to them. “The reality is the other way around,” Milne writes.

Not only has no German or any other EU taxpayer taken any loss bailing out Greece. The real fear in Brussels and Berlin is not that people in countries such as Spain and Portugal who have taken the brunt of eurozone austerity will oppose relief for ravaged Greece – but that they’ll want an end to austerity and their own debts written off as well.

That’s what they call “moral hazard”. But it has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with a dysfunctional currency union, a destructive neoliberal economic model enforced by treaty and an austerity regime maintained to ensure a return to profitability on corporate terms.

That’s why Merkel and the ECB mandarins want Greece’s surrender. Upstart democratic governments that challenge austerity must be crushed: the real risk of contagion is as much political as financial. This is, after all, a system where unelected institutions and other states have the power to override elected governments – in fact to impose not only policies but effectively governments too, as we may be about to see in Greece. Anti-democratic firewalls are built into Europe’s institutions.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Alexander Reed Kelly
Former Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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