Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Greek Thing Redux -- Europe Has Gone Completely Mad
There are reports circulating that the Troika that runs Greece on behalf of its creditors (ie: the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) has determined that Greek labor law must be "reconfigured" shall we say to enable/require Greek employees to work 6 or possibly 7 days a week, with restrictions on overtime pay, minimal breaks between shifts at labor, and with sharply reduced or eliminated wages and benefits.
Ah, the industrial model of the late 19th Century returns. What fun.
These recommendations or directives were in a leaked email from the Troika to the Greek Ministers of Labor and Finance, whose only job it seems is to implement the Troika's demands immediately and with a smile on.
These people are crazy. These people are absolutely insane. Europe has been down this path of enforced misery before; it didn't work out so well, not for Europeans and not for many peoples of the world who were, until being plunged back into the darkness, trying to recover from their experience with "European Civilization." (Newsman to Gandhi back in the day: "What do you think of Western Civilization?" Gandhi to newsman: "I think it would be a good idea.")
This is in a country where the official unemployment rate is in the high teens and due to the calamitous economic conditions imposed by the Troika already, it is expected to rise into the high 20s or even 30s soon enough.
In other words, those who can maintain employment for wages will be expected/required to work extra days and hours and with fewer or no benefits, while millions upon millions of Greeks go without jobs, housing, healthcare, education, food and so forth -- in order to satisfy the utterly insatiable demands of banksters.
If the banksters are able to pull it off in Greece, then they can -- and most likely will -- do it anywhere. Germany itself, the Center of the Euro-Core, could easily face the same calamitous conditions and would have no recourse. It is as plain a statement Europe's workers as you could want: "pay or else," nice little country you have here...
This isn't even so-called "Neo-Liberalism." It's straight out extortion.
For a time, I had some hope that the revolt of the Greek People would be able to stop the madness, but that hope has, at least for the time being, proved illusory. The revolt didn't seem to matter. Not to those in power, and certainly not to those who could engineer election victories for the more or less rightist parties (including the Socialists, damn) who would do the rest of Europe's (mostly Frau Merkel's) bidding.
So. Further down the Rabbit Hole.
Madness like this is not likely to end well...