QUE VIVAS TEMPOS INTERESSANTES/MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES! Uma velha maldição com a mensagem subliminar que tempos interessantes implicam mudança, perigo, dúvida, angústia, risco, conflito. Eu acrescento, desafios, oportunidades e o fascínio de ver o mundo a mudar.
É este conceito dos Tempos Interessantes (curse or blessing) que marca este Blog.
04 julho, 2015
Plato, Socrates, Greece’s flag and a bleak future.
Let’s do some fact checking on
Greece on top of her crucial referendum.
Q1: Does Greece have a mismanaged,
inefficient economy plagued by corruption?
A1: Yes, she does.
Q2: Have the Greeks borrowed beyond their
means, thus paving the way to get into serious trouble?
A2: Yes, they have.
Q3: Have they found in international
finance willing lenders, namely German and French banks?
A3: Yes, they have.
Q4: Were these loans largely used to purchase
foreign goods, mostly German, thus serving as a way to support German exports?
A1: Yes, they were.
Q5: Were the two Troika bailouts mostly
used to rescue Greece and prop up her economy.
A5: No, they were not.
Q6: What was the main purpose then?
A6: It was to repay the debts to the
(mostly) German and French banks.
Q7: So, was it first and foremost, a bank
A7: Yes, it was.
Q8: Did the bailouts also rescue the Greek
A8: No, they did not. Actually, Greece’s
GDP has shrunk a staggering 25% since 2010.
Q9: Did the bailouts contain and reduce
Greece’s sovereign debt rate?
A9: No, they did not. Actually, Greece’s
debt climbed from 120% of GDP to 180%, and counting.
Q10: Did the bailouts improve the prospects
of the ordinary Greek?
A10: No, they did not. Actually, the Greeks
suffered salary and pension cuts of up to 25%.
Q11: Did the Troika intervention do
something to contain the social crisis in Greece?
A11: No, it did not. Actually, it has
significantly worsened it, with unemployment at 26%, youth unemployment at
over 50% and widespread poverty, destitution and even hunger.
Q12: Have the Troika and Germany changed
their approach given the state Greece has fallen into?
A12: No, they did not. Five years after of
hardship and a bleak future, the recipe is pretty much the same: austerity,
more loans, more debt, more taxes, more cuts in salaries and pensions and
sparing the large companies from the national pain.
Q13: Is there any hope it might work?
A13: No, there is not. Greece will get
nowhere without a functioning economy. The prescription emanating from
Frankfurt, Brussels, Berlin and Washington will continue to decimate the
Q14: Why do they insist on it?
A14: Hubris and dogma. Germany has imposed
her economic dogmas on the continent and she is not about to back down. The way
the Eurozone has been conceived guarantees a large market for the German export
machine; if Berlin relinquishes control over it, the Germans will have a lot to
Q15: Should the Greeks vote “No” in the
A15: Yes, I think they should. However,
there is a lot at stake and I am in no position to say what people should do.
What I know is that there will be even more hardship for the Greeks either way.
Given a choice between poverty with oppression and poverty with dignity, I
would go for the latter.