Austerity Riots Rage as Greece Faces Debt Default
September 12, 2011
The Greek government is prepared to lean on property owners as the nation faces default and anti-austerity demonstrations once again turn violent. A new tax will be imposed on monthly electric bills and would average about €4 per square meter and range between 50 cents and €10 depending on the neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The new tax is an attempt to meet the demands of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank to cut spending and tax Greek citizens to pay down a national debt exacerbated by hedge funds and financial speculation.
In order to send the appropriate message to the so-called troika of central bankers, the Greek government has decided to to expedite a parliamentary vote on its 2012 budget. Greece’s parliament usually votes on a new budget at the end of December, but foreign bankers are demanding democratic procedures be ignored and an “overhaul” of the country’s tax system commence posthaste. Eurocrats have bluntly stated that the country’s tax system will be weaponized.
The Greek cabinet has made a “symbolic move” and has agreed to cut wages on all senior elected and appointed government officials, including Greece’s president and 325 local mayors, regional governors, government ministers and members of parliament.
The empty gesture, however, is unlikely to placate the average Greek citizen. Up to 80 percent of the Greek populace does not want help from the eurozone. The debt burden now being imposed on them is the result of private deals between the government and the elite. Loans were offered by the EU and the banksters and were made at topmost levels without the input of the people. “Elites were enormously enriched. The average Greek was unaware of the damage until the bill came due. And now average Greeks are to pay for it,” writes the Daily Bell.
“The heavy-handed control of Greece is the inevitable result of accepting large amounts of low-interest loans offered by German and French banks following Greece’s entry into the European Union,” notes Bob Adelmann. “The ‘back story’ is that all of this is the result of the machinations of the EU to regionalize the members of the union into a single political body run by rulers who are appointed rather than elected.”