Anastassios D. Retzios, PhD
The Greek government soon found out that it means to be in the Eurozone and what it means not to have a central bank. Siniore Draghi had little difficulty putting the squeeze on threatening to close down the Greek banks on February 11 (sοon coming up). Well, when one is in the Euro, one gives “permission” to persons like Draghi to threaten the government with a credit squeeze. I hope that the Euro supporters digest this lesson. Mr. Varoufakis replied that Greece would not be blackmailed but these words simply underlined the position of Greece (in being easily blackmailed). The fact that Greece (and many other Eurozone countries) are in position to be blackmailed by Mr. Draghi, tells a lot of about the Euro and the stupidity of any country being tied to a non-national currency and central bank controlled by nameless banksters in Frankfurt.
As predicted, the campaign to convince the “Europeans” to write off part of the debt went nowhere. In fact, it could not have gone any worse, but none of this was a surprise. The Germans not only held the line, they, in fact, turned on the pressure. It is now quite evident that the present government would either have to agree to the measures that even Mr. Samaras had difficulty agreeing on, or it would have to default. This, in fact, may happen by the end of February. It is again, possible, that the Germans would throw a face-saving, virtually cost-free compromise that Mr. Tsipras and Mr. Varoufakis would present as “victory”.
The noose is tightening on Greece. The state is about to totally fail. Unable to sustain any growth, living standards for much of the population are going to crash even worse than they have crashed already. There are 3.5 million retirees and about 1.5 million unemployed, and all these must be supported by an ever shrinking labor poor that earns less and less and which is being reduced by emigration daily.
Greece badly needs a stimulus package. In the period of the Euro, from 2000 to 2008, Greece only managed to add 70,000 jobs annually, with growth rates of 3-4%. This simply underscores the weakness of the Greek economy under the Euro. Even if Greece manages to reproduce this rate of job generation, one can easily figure out that it would not be able to employ all those unemployed today before 2030. Even if this were possible, one can easily figure out that pensions would crash. They would be reduced to minimal levels. Greece needs to throw off the shackles of the Euro and speed up the economy to manage to create at least 150,000 jobs annually, otherwise the state would eventually collapse. Unfortunately, very few are telling the truth to the Greek people, who continue in their fantasy that, somehow, the Euro, independence, democracy and growth can be reconciled. They cannot.