November 13, 2011
From inception, Eurozone planning was flawed. Uniting 17 dissimilar countries under rigid rules failed.
Membership required surrendering monetary and fiscal authority to a central power.
Debt entrapment and banker occupation followed. Partnered with banking giants, money-controlled Troika power decides everything - the EU and ECB and IMF.
Rules require lowering living standards, sacking public workers, and selling off state assets lock, stock and barrel at fire sale prices.
None of it would happen if troubled sovereigns weren't trapped in the euro straightjacket. It lets bankers make rules, set terms, issue diktats, and pressure, bribe or otherwise force governments to acquiesce. As a result, households are burdened with oppressive austerity through no fault of their own.
Troubled Greece and Italy now make headlines. Troika power sacked their heads of state. One's replaced in Greece. Italy's choice is imminent. Lucas Papademos got Greece's top job. He'll serve unelected as prime minister. His credentials explain why.
A former ECB vice president (2002 - 2010), he earlier served as Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 - 2002. In 1980, he was Federal Reserve Bank of Boston senior economist. Afterwards, he became Bank of Greece's chief economist.
Since 1998, he's also been a Rockefeller-controlled Trilateral Commission member.
Troika power is safe in his hands. Democracy's birthplace abandoned it. Without it, personal freedom is gone.
Outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou followed a Troika mandated deal between him, conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras, and Giorgos Karatzaferis, head of the ultra-right LAOS party.
Earlier in the week, talks stalled when ruling PASOK party members and opposition figures rejected parliament speaker Filippos Petsalnikos, a Papandreou ally.
Bankers wanted their man and got him. Greek citizens want social justice but lost it. New austerity cuts were approved to assure more bailout help so bank held debt will be serviced at the expense of great public need.
The more cuts are imposed, the greater Greece's debt burden becomes, the more help it needs in an endless destructive cycle toward oblivion when the economy finally collapses. At issue isn't if. It's when, and it could come when least expected.
Greek households already bear enormous burdens unfairly. Official unemployment hit 18.4%. Real numbers may be much higher. August unemployment increased 10.7% over July. Youth unemployment tops 43%. Monthly figures are rising. At issue is how much more can people take. Stretched to the limit, revolution and/or military dictatorship may follow. It's happened before.
Democratic elections installed Papandreou and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi. Money power in private hands sacked both. Berlusconi agreed to go once parliament passed austerity measures.
On Friday, Italy's Senate agreed. On Saturday, its lower House followed. By overwhelming majorities, both bodies approved deep social spending cuts, public sector layoffs, labor market deregulation, and other measures. More will follow.
By Sunday or early next week, an unelected Troika favorite will rule next. Following orders, President Giorgio Napolitano apparently will name EU Commissioner Mario Monti, "Super Mario" to some.
Earlier he served as European Commissioner for Internal Market Services, Customs and Taxation. He also chairs the Breugel think tank, is Trilateral Commission European chairman, and leading Bilderberger Group member close to Goldman Sachs.
On November 9, Napolitano named him Senator for life. Before next week, expect him to add prime minister to his credentials, unless parliamentary divisions prevent it. Some want new elections. Others want certainty to calm markets. Italian households want good government and social justice. Back room deals exclude both.
Technocrat governments faired poorly in the 1990s. Conditions they created elevated Berlusconi to power in 2001 and 2008 after a short failed 1994 tenure. Monti may turn out worst of all, given his mandate to assure deep, very unpopular cuts.
Italy's debt burden exceeds $2.5 trillion. Deeper cuts forcing more borrowing will raise it higher. On November 11, a Financial Times commentary warned that "appointing an unelected technocrat is less than ideal."
Italy and Greece may dig bigger holes. "(I)t would be a fatal mistake to presume that a coalition of the old established political elite, led by technocrat(s), will provide a miracle fix to deeply rooted problems."
"Both governments will have to walk a tightrope between domestic policies and credibility in the markets....The new leaders must also recognize that nothing will be achieved without popular support."
It's absent under crisis conditions. Imagine greater public anger once deeper austerity is imposed. As a result, anything ahead is possible short-term. Beyond that, Eurozone's failed project is doomed. It's just a matter of time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.