UPDATE (4/11): Should note, as well, if these be class war it ain’t the petit-bourgeois kind. The traditional Tory voting bloc of small businessmen who hate labor regulations and taxes are getting hammered by austerity. One-third (!) of resturants in Ireland, the quintessential “small business” have been closed since the start of austerity. Small businessmen who side politically with the banks get what they asked for–extermination.
Europe‘s sovereign debt crisis exploded back into life on Tuesday, with markets across the continent rocked by a wave of panic selling amid renewed fears about the impact of savage austerity measures in Spain and Italy.
The mood of uneasy calm seen across Europe since the Greek bailout in February was shattered as financial markets took fright at evidence of a double-dip recession and growing popular opposition to welfare cuts and tax increases.–Heather Steward, Larry Elliot and Giles Tremlett for The Guardian
So, hoocoodaknown? Turns out that tanking the economies of the Eurozone’s third and fourth largest economies is bad for business. Partially, this is a freak out about the return of democracy to Europe’s “managed democracies.” Sarkozy’s re-election looks shaky in France, Mario Monti’s “technocratic” (i.e., blood-sacrificing cultists to Mammon) government is cracking and even in Germany the “Pirate Party” is suddenly a potent force. Most tellingly, it is becoming increasingly clear that the pro-austerity parties of the Greek coalition will not be able to win the May 6 elections, especially after the galvanizing event of a retired chemist’s public suicide. Dimitris Christoulas, in a suicide note, explicitly compared the present Greek government as the puppet regime of a fascist occupation–a comparison the hundreds who showed up to publicly mourn him found completely credible. And though this Greek government is not the public face of a Nazi occupation, or even, as yet, the ruthless dictatorship of the colonels, the charge of foreign puppets is not at all unbelievable.
As Dmitrii Lascaris, a Canadian securities lawyer of Greek descent, pointed out to Paul Jay at the Real News Network:
And the people who make up that regime, interestingly, I think, have a point of view that isn’t representative of that of the Greek people, and they have very strong connections to the United States, interestingly. The top of the list, of course, is Lucas Papademos, the current prime minister. Papademos was educated at MIT. He spent about ten years there. Then he taught economics at Columbia University for a period of nine years. He served for a time at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Then he joined, subsequently, the ECB, rising to the level of deputy governor, where he served until 2010.
Papademos, a cold and aloof “technocrat” (i.e., high priest making blood-sacrificies to Mammon–literally; the Greek suicide rate has at a minimum doubled under “austerity”), is a member in good standing in the international guild of bankers, with the requisite club memberships (Trilateral Commission, etc.), not actually much of a citizen of Greece. In fact, during his last stint actually in residence in Greece he helped engineer Greece’s conversion from the drachma to the Euro–hard to think he could be convinced, short of a large number of people with Kalashnikovs in hand (as Mr. Christoulas called for in his suicide note) to abandon this idiotic currency policy. The fact that Papademos is seen as having been installed by European elites, particularly the government in Berlin, while Greek pensioners fish through garbage cans for something to eat, has historical connotations not lost on the Greek people.
The call for Kalashnikovs is not as far fetched as it might seem–there is little doubt that Papademos would lose in the May 6th elections, but these elections were already postponed in February and there is very little confidence in Greece that the elections will actually be held. In fact Papademos has recently announced, ahead of the elections (!), that he expects to cut another €16 billion from the Greek budget before 2014, which is a staggering number for an economy Greece’s size. Apparently, Papademos figures having only seniors fishing through garbage cans isn’t sufficiently “democratic.” The Papademos regime is already viewed by large numbers of Greeks as a soft coup d’etat and the Prime Minister is, despite public doubts, expected to call elections today in the face of massive erosion of support for the coalition partners (down to 42 per cent with public speculation that the coalition might have to “govern” with only 38% of the vote).
It will be interesting to see if elections actually happen or if they actually matter. As one financial “analyst” noted,
“Any politicians that get elected will have to bow to economic realities. There is a very narrow degree of freedom in what politicians can do without creating troubles in the market,” said Munich-based Thomas Kressin, who heads foreign-exchange operations in Europe for Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, the world΄s biggest bond-fund manager.
Since PIMCO has spoken, presumably the French and Greek voters better listen. Unfortunately for Mr. Kressin, the suicide note of Mr. Christoulas was signed RESISTANCE. Democracy may yet have its say, much to the chagrin of the high-priests of Mammon.