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A Real Greek Tragedy

Posted in Business and Law, and World Affairs

After 17 hours of talks, an agreement has been reached where a €86bn bailout plan has been agreed to support Greece, a country on the verge of financial collapse. To pay off this debt (assuming there are no recessions and there is steady growth), it means the next three generations of Greeks, will be effectively ruled by the EU. The question is how did the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras manage to broker a worse deal than he had been offered a few weeks ago? In fact Greece was better off a month ago before the enforced closure of the banks.

One would assume that if one goes to negotiate, they would offer reasonable terms or have a few aces up their sleeves. It appears there were none. Instead Greece is handing over more power to the EU, allowing them to privatize the banks and oversee them. Taxes will rise and pensions will be cut. What I find more alarming is the bailout conditions are demanding Greece to repeal the anti-austerity laws, which means more people will be out of work, but also constitutionally they are forcing a country to pass laws to suit them. In my book, that isn’t democratic and as the EU clings to the power it has, it shows it cares about commerce and businesses rather than the citizens.

Maybe the ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, knew they had no cards to play and resigned? The Greeks have conceded more power to the bureaucrats in the EU, the people have no money to develop new businesses, and the islands that work seasonally will now pay 30% VAT. The private businesses that are pro EU aren’t in this to help the citizens, but to make profits for themselves. Many will have offshore accounts and have legal loopholes to pay less tax, while not hiring staff. That’s how many businesses are surviving these days. Remaining in the EU benefits them, but they are in the minority.

I foresee riots and protests in the coming days and public sector workers have already announced a strike. Were the Greeks betrayed or was this the inevitable outcome? If this was the best Alexis Tsipras could do, he should step down. He had no plan, if they had planned for the potential return of the Drachma, would they be any worse off?

The Greeks have been humiliated, they have lost their pride and if the deal goes ahead, Greece will not be anywhere near paying off the debt for a century. It’s fine all these politicians making these decisions, but it will be future generations that will have sort out all of this mess. While this is a three-year-plan, what if it happens again? Surely by now people realize the EU doesn’t work well, and clinging onto it ruins lives. Think of the cost of all these bailout meetings, the cars, hotels, flights, and expenses these ministers incurred. Isn’t that a waste of EU finances? The prime objective was to avoid and stop the Grexit at all costs, but none of us today will see the outcome in a hundred years time.

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