The Greek Parliament Agreed To WHAT??

In the post upstream (below) on Greek austerity and the resulting street riots in Athens, regular commenter L’Enfant de la Haute Mer has provided a large number of posts, articles and videos in the comment thread. I have not read all of them yet, but one that struck me as likely to resonate particularly with American readers is “A Death Sentence for Greece,” by Mike Whitney of Counterpunch.

The analogy is not exact, but the way in which the Greek parliament has (voluntarily or otherwise) sold out the Greek people to the bankers and leaders of larger EC nations is very much like what Republicans in America would do here if they gain control. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Our best wishes to Enfant for her safety, and of course for her livelihood.

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Comments

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Finally we will refer to an experience that goes back to the inter war period, this time in Greece, and is a historical example of the “emergency”( force majeure) and refusal to pay debt.
    In 1936 in the meantime, the Greek government refused to pay back a loan to the Belgian company “Societé Commercial de Belgique”. The Belgian government appealed to the Permanent Court of International Law (founded by the League of Nations), accusing her of default. Greece in a special memo said that based on “the interests of the Greek people for the administration, economic life, health and internal and external security of the country could not make another choice.”
    The International Court accepted the reasoning and vindicated Greece, creating a legal precedent which was later exploited by countries like Argentina (2003) for the cessation of payments and the unilateral removal of most of the debt.

    This is choices governments should make.
    Greece is losing thousands of jobs per day.(Sky News, 10th Feb.2012). Meltdown is probably a word that fits Greece at present.

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Last year bus and subway tickets rose by 40%.
    By next June they are going to rise another 25%

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    !!!!!!!!!!! Hire a Greek
    http://hireagreek.com/
    There are hundreds of thousands of Greek-American, Greek-Canadian, Greek-Australian and Greek people around the world that are successful businessmen and can help the people of Greece, by hiring them to work for their company from Greece. This is why we created Hireagreek.com, so people from Greece can post their resumes and companies from around the world can browse them and hopefully employ them.
    Greece is currently trapped in historically awful economic conditions. There have been a lot of initiatives to try to help Greece and its people, who are suffering because of firings, tax hikes and a continuously deteriorating quality of life.
    While sending money to your relatives, opening accounts to collect money in order to cover a tiny hole of the Greek debt, and maybe bringing two or three friends over to America, Canada or Australia, may be a temporary solution, something more drastic is necessary.
    Something that will be more sustainable and won’t make the Greek people feel like charity cases.
    What Greece needs is jobs, and you can help while simultaneously expanding your company’s workforce.
    Today there are hundreds of jobs that can be done long-distance, with the use of online tools. For example, if you need a website, a new business card design, or somebody to edit a video or translate your documents, the people who will provide these services to you don’t need to be in your office, or even in the same continent as you are.
    For all those jobs that can be done remotely, consider to hire a Greek. Greek people are highly talented, and although public opinion lately has been against them, we know that given the right work conditions Greeks produce great results, an asset that has helped Greek diaspora members succeed throughout the world.
    😦

    • Steve  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Enfant, it is rare that I would offer advice different from your own, but I’d like to suggest a compromise:

      • American companies: please hire a Greek-American who has family members living in Greece whom s/he can assist.

      Unemployment has been extremely high here in America, too. For example, I have had no work as a contract IT professional for about four years now. Unfortunately, it is an international problem.

      • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        I know Steve and I am following rather close the situation, of-course to the extent of my possibilities.
        I also have friends in America and some not so-close relatives: a number of them is unemployed. And I am aware of the size of the problem “tent cities”, as I am some kind of expert on the Fourth World.

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Steve,
    I am glad we are ‘swimming in similar waters’ and I feel lucky to have ‘virtually’ met you nearly four months ago, when I was searching the Internet to find out who else wrote about Paul Krugman and the twilight of the €.

    However, I do not know why this “Hire a Greek” initiative leaves me with a taste of humiliation.

    • Steve  On Tuesday February 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Enfant, I know it is no use for me simply to say “don’t feel that way.” Actually, I suspect that is exactly what Angela Merkel would want you to feel! But it is my opinion that it is never wrong and always honorable to seek honest work, and if work is unavailable, it is equally honorable to seek help… with no sense of shame.

      And so there should be no humiliation in the concept of the “Hire a Greek” initiative. You did not ask for your circumstance, and you certainly did not ask for PM Merkel’s moralizing. There is no stigma in being in need… no matter what some people may say. Be proud of who you are… no matter what happens!

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 3:47 am

    If this makes any sens to you and your fellow Americans:

    http://edlhm.livejournal.com/13506.html

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Enfant, sadly, it “makes sense” in the sense that it is “comprehensible”. On the other hand, what is being done to your country, with the collusion of some of your leaders, makes no sense at all. You have my genuine sympathies.

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Greece heads for record books as economy slumps:

    http://ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite2_1577_14/02/2012_427868

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Enfant, I have great respect for Weisbrot at CEPR. If he says Greece is really in trouble (not that there was any doubt before), you can now, as Americans say, “take it to the bank” … i.e., it’s a certainty. What will happen if Greece truly disintegrates as a sociopolitical entity? What will it take for Europe as a whole to do something constructive for Greece?

      I’m still hoping against hope for some kind of sanity in the coming troubles…

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

    America’s homeless resort to tent cities:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9694000/9694094.stm

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Enfant, thanks for the link. I have seen such poverty firsthand, back in the early 1980s during the presidency of the famous (infamous) Ronald Reagan. I intend to write a short post about it later today.

  • Steve  On Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Greece and the return of the economic ‘death spiral’ … via Paul Krugman

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Thursday February 16, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Woman and husband threaten to jump off Athens office block.
    They have been working for years in the same public sector branch, shut down last Monday (02/13/2012). They have two children, one of them disabled.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101543/Greek-debt-crisis-Lambrousi-Harikleia-threatens-jump-Athens-office-building.html

    • Steve  On Thursday February 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

      “Happily, she was finally led to safety”

      Happily? Perhaps “fortunately,” but “happily” is simply not applicable here!

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Thursday February 16, 2012 at 6:46 am

    In other words, they rule by successive parliamentary coups

    • Steve  On Thursday February 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Whatever happened to democracy? Democracy is severely strained in America as well, as one of the major parties (GOP) clearly does not believe in it at all, and the other seems also to be turning away from democracy. Difficult times lie ahead.

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