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Greece Races For Vast Reforms After Victory

From a disappointed Agence France-Presse:

Greece builds on vote victory in race to cut and privatise

by John Hadoulis
June 22, 2011

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek ministers raced on Wednesday to meet a two-week deadline for budget cuts in return for EU-IMF cash to pay current bills and contain the eurozone crisis, hours after winning a confidence vote.

The governing Socialists face a knife-edge race in overcoming dissent in their own ranks over the debt-cutting onslaught.

Imagine. Socialists (communists, really) in Greece are racing to slash their spending. Meanwhile, in our country we are racing in the other direction.

This is despite an ultimatum from eurozone ministers insisting on crash action before they will release the next slice of aid and move ahead on a new bailout.

The latest instalment is worth 12 billion euros ($17 billion), arranged under a rescue of 110 billion euros from the European Union and International Monetary Fund a year ago.

The prime minister was geared up for an inner cabinet meeting after mid-day to approve a law for action worth more than 28 billion euros ($40 billion) by 2015, his office said.

The measures also include a vast privatisation programme to raise 50 billion euros, but this faces strong opposition. A 48-hour general strike against the budget reforms is on the trade unions’ agenda.

Unions everywhere are so dependable.

The government pulled through a confidence vote without defections early on Wednesday, with Prime Minister George Papandreou calling for support "to avoid bankruptcy and keep Greece in the euro core."

The entire government majority of 155 deputies voted in favour, with 143 deputies opposing the government.

This was particularly critical to analysts on international markets which are on edge in case the European Union is unable to prevent the Greek crisis from sending extra shock waves throughout the eurozone.

Concerns focus on rescued countries Ireland and Portugal, but Spain, or even Italy and Belgium, are considered potentially at risk of being dragged in.

But the real fight in Greece will come when the austerity measures face a vote by lawmakers by the end of the month.

"These next ten days are the most crucial in the last 30 years," Deputy Finance Minister Pantelis Ekonomou told Flash Radio.

We still don’t understand why they just don’t raise their debt limit, or print more money – or both.

Papandreou set the tone early on Wednesday with a dramatic plea in parliament. "We have a unique opportunity (to change the country)," he said.

"If we falter, if we lose heart and squander it… history will judge us very harshly," the prime minister said. The government faced a "superhuman task."

One problem with governments it that they find it far too easy to increase spending, and far too hard to cut it.

Greece’s main unions plan to hold a 48-hour general strike when the new measures go to parliament…

What else is new?

Thousands of protesters have gathered outside parliament for the past three weeks, part of a crisis movement modelled on a similar mobilisation in Spain.

"The political system is crumbling so we are not going to allow the situation to de-escalate," a protester told state television NET.

And that is really what these ‘protesters’ want. They want to bring down the system.

When it is the system that feeds, clothes and houses them.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Greece Races For Vast Reforms After Victory”

  1. Astravogel says:

    Greece cannot print more currency
    or mint more coins. It’s made
    elsewhere in the EU. I assume their
    banks order it, but how they pay is
    a mystery to me.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “If we falter, if we lose heart and squander it… history will judge us very harshly,” the prime minister said.

    Well, if he had put a more positive spin on it, he might’ve said that it is a marvelous opportunity to show the rest of the world what can happen when adults make proper decisions and do what must be done. Churchill spoke of such things, Eisenhower as well. But people used to getting hand-outs don’t like being told that the money wagon is empty.

    There are a couple of ways to do this though and one is to let capitalism flourish….or….do the socialist thing and command and control it into the ground which will cause a Cuban-esque result. I think that’s probably what the result will be. Why? Because the socialist population is turning to the government to “do something” and well….one can easily see how that will turn out. They will save money….and also not change their method of operations…thereby continuing to stifle free enterprise and cutting their own throat. Indeed, ancient Greece was probably more free than they are right now.

    • Right of the People says:

      Ironic isn’t it that the “Cradle of Democracy” is now a festering third world socialist hell. The government of Greece is going to have an almost impossible time trying to wean their people off the government teat. Their populous is so used to suckling for their sustenance they’ll probably starve first before doing anything about it.

      I wonder if the members of the EU are starting to regret getting involved instead of staying independent? At least the Brits were smart enough to keep their own monetary system.

  3. Chinnubie says:

    I say let them implode. Go down that road of pure misery. If they can’t make the adult decisions then like a child you let them fail miserably to see the error of their ways. How else are they going to learn? You can’t keep bailing them out over and over and over again, although the unions probably think there is an endless stream of money from the money fairy. I simply can’t understand how these people process thought logically. Where do they think money comes from??


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