Endgame for the Socialist Economy

This is what I meant when I referred to the “Greek crisis” in my post earlier today. Prime Minister George Papandreou has made promises of austerity to the EU and to the bond market in order to float his bond offering, get bailed out, and pull his country out of the whirlpool.

But he can’t keep those promises — the Reds are in control of most of the unions, and the general strike is the most effective weapon they have. Either Papandreou restores the status quo ante — and thus drives his country into ruin — or the Reds force a descent into anarchy.

Take your pick: those are the only choices. The welfare state cannot be deliberately scaled back by the politicians allegedly in control of it. It can only collapse.

According to ANSAmed:

Greece: New Strike Paralyses Country

ATHENS — Greece is once again paralysed today by a new partial general strike and by demonstrations in all the major cities, whilst Parliament is being called to approve the government’s austerity package which will severely reduce wages, freeze pensions and impose new taxes.

The communist union PAME has called for a national 24-hour strike for today, whilst the two main confederations, ADEDY (civil servants) and GSEE (private sector), have decided on a suspension from work from midday local time (11am in Italy), but giving their members permission to strike for the full day. And this is what will happen to all urban transport, doctors, professors, and journalists from state media.

Air transport will suffer heavy delays due to the air traffic controllers’ four-hour strike, as will rail and ferry links. ADEDY and GSEE are also preparing to declare a general strike next week (likely to be March 11) after protests in recent days by taxi drivers and pensioners, whilst customs officers prepare to follow suit. Yesterday evening thousands of people, lead by activists and communist trade union representatives, demonstrated in Athens, Thessaloniki and in the country’s major cities against the “anti-popular and criminal” measures urged by Premier George Papandreou who will today meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

During yesterday evening’s demonstration, there were skirmishes with the police in the centre of the capital.

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Meanwhile, this morning the governor of the Bank of Italy, Mario Draghi, has commented positively — in light of the success of the bond sale — on the measures adopted by the Greek Government to deal with the crisis, defining them as “very serious”. Draghi said that “they are measures that have convinced the markets, as can be seen by the success of the sale (of Greek bonds, Ed.) and they have also convinced the ECB and EU Commission.”

Yesterday requests for the Greek ten-year bonds resulted as three times what was offered: 15 billion euros against the 5 billion on offer. As a result the New York Times wrote that “it is a step back from disaster”, commenting on the outcome of the operation. The bonds will pay annual interest of 6.37%.

Hat tip: Insubria.

4 thoughts on “Endgame for the Socialist Economy

  1. So, this is what it’s going to look like one second before the midnight hour. Oddly, I figured California or Illinois would get to this point before an actual country did.

    It will be an interesting study to watch what happens next.

  2. I expect the European Union to take money from productive people and pay for the mess. You get what you pay for, and if you pay the Greeks to turn their country into a mess, Italy, Spain and others will follow suit.

  3. There was an article I read that Greece wasn’t the only nation in trouble in the Euro zone – Portugal, Spain and Italy were also in similar situations (he used the acronym PIGS a lot).

    I must say, I’ve been expecting something like this to happen myself. Nations like France and Germany are so heavily indebted to pay for their overly bloated welfare states that I honestly can’t see them able to maintain them for much longer. That the Iberian and Italian nations are also struggling means that the Euro itself may collapse (before Brussels can get enough power to assert economic control), and thus cause the EU to begin to struggle to maintain itself as well.

    Perhaps they should look at the Australian system – we’re in one of the strongest positions of all in the West. We have public and private hospitals, schools, public transport (ferries and buses here in Sydney – trains are still monopoly government), among many others. Perhaps we colonials have much to teach about service provision (much as we might bitch about said services).

  4. “Either Papandreou restores the status quo ante — and thus drives his country into ruin — or the Reds force a descent into anarchy.”

    The goal of the extreme Left has always been anarchy as a pre-stage to The Revolution.

    The massive leftist support for Islamic “refugees” works towards the same end by undermining the economies of the West, through sky-rocketing social spending, and by destroying the social cohesion of our societies.

    Islam is in so many “ideal” ways the Left’s Final Solution to the Bourgeois Question.

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