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Back in 2009 Greece was in trouble, but its troubles were hardly top of the agenda. It gives me no pleasure to report that the predictions I made back then have been proven utterly right.
Back then EU commissioners ordered Greece to reduce its deficit from 13% to 3% in just two years – an order that made Cameron’s austerity plan look like a walk in the park. Back then I said:
Such a course of action will be disastrous for the economy and for social welfare. When one considers the level of cuts, privatisations, and public sector job losses necessary to conjure up one tenth of GDP from the public purse, it is possible to imagine why even government ministers are fearing blood on the streets.
And economically disastrous it has proven. Mainstream opinion now acknowledges that greece is in debt trap, where austerity is crushing growth, and thereby limiting Greece’s ability to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio and repay what it owes. And yes, there has indeed been blood in the streets.
I also said that democracy was in Danger:
this situation also illustrates the impact of the EU and the Euro upon democracy… The conversations that Greek politicians should be having with Greek people about how to move forward, they are instead having with bureaucrats in Brussels.
Could there be a better description of the events of the past week. The elected Greek president announced a referendum – so that the people of Greece could themselves make a decision that they will have to live with for generations. The president came under huge pressure from the Presidents of Europe’s creditor nations and from EU Commissioners, and caved in. The referendum was shelved and the people didn’t get a look in.
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