Posted on January 10, 2015
by Jerry Alatalo
ecent polls in Greece show Syriza as the leading party to win elections in two weeks on January 25. University of Missouri – Kansas City Associate Professor of Economics and Law Bill Black talks about the situation in Greece on The Real News.
Bill Black starts out speaking to a few problems he had with a recent Wall Street Journal article on Greece titled “The Triumph of Austerity”. With Greece economic conditions including unemployment near 25% for the general population and 50-60% for youths, Mr. Black – in contrast to the Wall Street Journal – compares that to the Great Depression, but worse.
Austerity measures are exacerbating negative economic conditions due to the simple fact that average Greeks have less money to spend, hence demand has plummeted, slowing the economy. According to Black, the so-called “Stability and Growth Package” the Greek government has become forced to adhere to by the “Troika” – the European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund – has resulted in the exact opposite: instability and decline.
Black compares what has occurred in the belt-tightening steps, which Troika high officials claim will help the Greek economy rebound, to the ancient medical practices used by doctors of old of drawing blood, then, when the patient’s health fails to improve, the doctor prescribes more bloodletting. What has led many to believe Syriza will win the elections coming quickly in a few weeks is the people’s growing opposition to economic and financial “solutions” which offer more of the same highly negative results they’ve experienced for years.
Syriza is the only party in Greece which has said “enough is enough”. While the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other media groups try to paint a rosy picture of Greece under harsh austerity measures, it seems the men and women of Greece aren’t buying it anymore. All they have to do is look around at their neighbors cutting down trees for firewood, scavenging for food, or without electricity, to understand that Syriza offers a path out of the economic darkness.
When Syriza wins the upcoming elections, the question which analysts are asking the most is whether they’ll take Greece out of the Eurozone or if Greece will remain. Apparently, leader Alexis Tsipras and Syriza party’s current stance on the Eurozone is Greece will remain. Some have suggested the best choice for Greece is to leave the Eurozone and the Euro, set up a state-owned central bank in charge of monetary policy with the return of the drachma (the Greek currency before adopting the Euro), and cutting ties with the Troika. With a state-owned central bank Greeks will have complete control of their monetary system, with the ability to increase or decrease the money supply according to economic conditions and financial indicators.
Perhaps the Greek people will seek to do business with the newest investment/development bank “in town” just started by the BRICS group of nations. If Greece takes the option of leaving the Eurozone, some nations including Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and other European Union member states may soon reconsider and follow in a domino-style that will transform the EU and the global financial/economic scenario in a way very rarely seen.
Austerity is on trial now in Greece, and, in that nation where democracy was born over twenty centuries ago, the Greek people and the world may well see democracy “born again”.
(Thank you to therealnews at YouTube)