‘The Financial Invasion of Greece’: Michael Hudson on TRNN

(the transcript)

‘Finance as a ‘new’ means of war’, ‘rollback to neofeudalism’, and

The IMF is preparing to bail out Ukraine, to say you don’t have to pay your debts that you owe to Russia or any governments that the U.S. doesn’t like. You have to sell off your land to George [Sherouse] and the people who the U.S. government does like. Look at the duel standard that the IMF is imposing on Greece compared to what it’s doing for the Ukrainian government. You see that the IMF has become a tool of the New Cold War and the Syriza people and the Greeks can do is point out how unfair this is and to try to let the world know that what is happening is a movement way to the right wing of the political spectrum and that finance is war.”

I’d say ‘IMF as a tool of NATO’, but small difference, really.

After taking several pages of notes on the Azov Batallions, Right Sector, and other assorted thugs, they didn’t stage large protests against the Chocolate King last night, demanding he back out of the Minsk II agreements.  With my limited time, it seemed better to go with this for now.  From my readings, including in the relevant ‘Offishull’s’ Twittersphere, what the IMF and EU are ‘contributing’ to Ukraine is worse than Hudson’s take.

And with all due respect to him and many of the commenters below the transcript: Pfffft on ‘the occasional Marxist’ comrade of hedge-funders Varoufakis.  Yannis Retweeted:

In a queue under the Tweet:  ‘Why the EU is a negation of parliamentary sovereignty and democracy’; morningstaronline:

“THE EU and its forerunners (the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community) were designed to rebuild the big capitalist corporations in Western Europe after WWII, behind a tariff wall and with no internal barriers to trade and takeovers.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) insists upon a single internal market with the “free movement of goods, persons, services and capital” (Article 26) — the cornerstone of the original Treaty of Rome (1957) establishing the EEC.”, and so on.

‘Syriza government pushes through new austerity package in Greece’ by Katerina Selin, 23 May 2016, wsws.org, including this:

“In addition, the government intends to adopt a package of measures that will take effect automatically if budget targets are not met. This “mechanism for budget adjustments,” known in Greece as “Koftis”, would then impose further austerity measures on the country. Although some areas are excluded, wages and pensions, for example, are not.

The cuts mechanism is based on a law derived from the EU stability mechanism, which Syriza had rejected in 2012 and termed unconstitutional because it subordinated “the country to the desperate plan of a German neo-liberal Europe”, as Syriza parliamentary Deputy Dimitris Papadimoulis said at the time in the European Parliament.”

euro cards

EU House of Cards

9 responses to “‘The Financial Invasion of Greece’: Michael Hudson on TRNN

  1. OT: Just to relieve your high state of anticipation (hah) about the electoral side of things in the US. This is as radical as it is going to get;

    Sanders’s picks: Arab-American Institute President James Zogby; noted professor Cornel West; Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison; Deborah Parker, an activist on Native American rights; and Bill McKibben, an activist on environmental issues.

    Clinton’s picks: Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden; former State Department official Wendy Sherman; Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois; former White House climate change adviser Carol Browner; State Rep. Alicia Reece of Ohio; and Paul Booth of the AFSCME public-employee union.

    That is the newly agreed Platform Committee. Wasserman-Schultz as Chair of the DNC appoints four more (as yet unnamed). The Platform Committee, as you well know, writes the PR brief for the campaign.

    The familiar nitty-gritty name is Wendy Sherman, who kept John Kerry from giving the store away to Iran if you remember.

    Also, it seems that a lot of the NATO push to the edge of Russia had to do with expanding Europe’s fracking resources. Apparently Poland, of all places, told SoS Clinton to blow off when she was pushing fracking there. They really do want to spend Mother Nature’s savings account down to zero before the collapse, don’t they.

    • hah. when i saw your comment in email, i hadn’t scrolled down to see that they were picks for the platform committee, that’s how out of touch with all this i yam. well see: bernie:’ i yam no zionist, cornell knows i yam a black prophetic preacher, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to native americans, and bill mckibben is the rawk star of the anti-XL pipeline’!’ oh, yes; there was a huuuuge mobilization lately: keep it in the ground. kinda fizzled, as far as i could tell thru the pop resistance newsletter.

      srsly, one thing i do know is that no one pays a whit of attention to the platform, esp. not elected offals.

      another thing i do know is that dem-gatekeeper mcKibben can kiss mah grits. intereresting on poland, although there are likely many other reasons to court that nation, yes?

      and edward nero was exonerated by da judge in freddie gray’s assassination. next trial’s the biggie, though.

  2. Woot! (and even further OT), but my new crutch pad covers came today! they’re not my fave colors (pink and blue), but the pattern is hibiscus,giant-bloom perennial flowers we’re trying to establish in our jardin. eeek. i priced new metallic racing blue crutches, kee-rikey, over a hundred and fifty bucks, but these will be so fine as an ‘instead of’.

    i’m too sexy 4 milan! for my car, by far!

    my apologies to michael hudson. :-)

  3. I forget over which ear you should be wearing your glam crutches as a well-married woman, wendye, but as there are two of them you could compromise and do both sides. Very spiffy!

    I can’t fathom Varoufakis – he surely cannot be dreaming of reforming the EU from the inside after all it has put his nation through – can he? I’ve looked at several interviews and I still can’t make it out. It’s sort of like Bernie – ‘follow me into the cattle chute. . .’

    Someone, I think maybe counterpunch – no, commondreams ? – no, counterpunch – had an article that Stephen Cohen says Donald t is asking five correct international questions – but that’s at The Nation, and I’m still queasy about The Nation.

    Oh well, Portugal ran solely on renewables for four days. (Don’t ask me where I picked that one up.) Sort of a Wright Brothers moment? But I guess you can’t run an aircraft carrier on renewables, so we must frack till the globe outshines the sun.

    • ouch! are such heavy earrings a maori custom, juliania? couldn’t i just wear a topknot? ;-)

      yanis incessantly tweets that DiEM is all about ‘transparency’: sign this petition, yada, yada. now given that EC is ruled by appointed, not elected officials, garsh, yanis, how transparent will they be? sure, the eu parliament can recall them, but,,, i dunno, it seems that he’s more of a reform capitalist or something, but seems to like the bucks.

      he was all over the #LaNuitdebout accounts, some folks loving it, some…not. “inserting himself” was one phrase used, dunno, but it sounded like a negative to me. and he does love his selfies, arrrgh. he was the first to call tsipras a traitor, but i’m not thinking that he’d have played the chicken game with the troika he says he would have. his Remain support says otherwise to me.

      i id see that cohen headline at CP, and hadn’t clicked in. but i have seen a number of op-eds whose titles surmised that hairdo dude isn’t anywhere close to a clinton neo-con. but of course, any candidate can say anything he or she wants to get votes, and if elected, make cases that ‘congress wouldn’t let them do ____”.

      heh. obama apparently told the vietnamese that ‘big countries shouldn’t pick on small countries’. blink, blink.

    • i kept trying to remember where i’d seen a polemical diatribe on yanis, and i finally found it at wsws.org. he describes the original unveiling gala in berlin, and the picture he drew with his narrative is not pretty, nor is the history he relates, esp. the parts that varoufakis seems to have forgotten, according to ulrich rippert. if i had to choose the most damning indictments, this:

      “Varoufakis’s talk of democracy will disgust millions of embittered workers in Greece and throughout Europe. Rarely was the working class betrayed so shamelessly by such an overblown political scoundrel.

      Varoufakis knows very well that the EU is an instrument through which the European and international financial aristocracy exercises its power and dictatorship. It can no more be democratized than the boards of Deutsche Bank or the European Central Bank.

      In Greece, the core of his policy was the subordination of the country to the EU, and it remains so today. His pretentious chatter about democracy and civil rights serves to cover up his defence of the EU and his hostility to the working class.”

  4. Any time I can’t really understand what someone is saying, it usually means he/she is trying to have it both ways and around the corner, and that’s how Varoufakis comes across to me.

    Kudos to Michael Hudson – his spiel is crystal clear, unlike the explanations of IMF suggestions Yves has posted today (and hey, she left Michael out! Verry significant.)

    Nah, hibiscus are tropical, so has to be up in the Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Hawaii milieu of customary significant wearings of flowers I was referencing. (Besides, kiwis don’t have ears, not ones that could dangle stuff I mean.)

    • haha; i thought you were teasing about hanging the crutches on my ears, not the hibiscus flowers. oh, my. yeah, yani comes across as more of a ‘reform capitalist’ in hiding…or something. i’m busting my cookies to get ready for kids ‘n granchiirren, baking a graduation chocolate blackout cake for one teen, mebbe both, and on breaks watching the live blog of the EU negotiations. look like it might drag on until morning here, and the AP’s take is that it really sucks bigtime. one counterpunch author said the troika is a heat-seeking missile aimed at greece, and it has ‘troika boy’ emblazoned on it. sounds about right. what an object lesson all this is.

  5. 6 mins ago: “The Eurogroup “breakthrough” on debt relief was no such thing, says Joan Hoey, Greek analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit:

    The coveted debt relief upon which the [Greek] prime minister has been banking, to provide a political fig leaf for his acceptance of another bailout, remains out of reach, contingent and unquantified.

    The Eurogroup did not finalise the long-delayed first review of the bailout programme. It looked at the reforms passed so far and found them wanting. It concluded that several conditions “prior reforms” will have to be met before any money can be handed over.

    The release of funds would then follow in two sub-tranches, the first amount of €7.5bn in June, depending on successful completion of “prior actions”. The balance of €2.8bn will be released only after the clearance of government arrears and after the government has met milestones related to the privatisation fund, bank governance, the revenue collection agency and the energy sector. This disbursement is scheduled for the end of the third quarter.

    The Eurogroup won a commitment from the IMF, with which it has been at loggerheads over debt relief, to participate in the bailout, pending approval from the Fund’s executive board.

    We retain our view that disaffection in the party and among the electorate will grow, posing risks to political stability and Greece’s membership of the eurozone.”

    yesterday the guardian had been reporting that the IMF would walk away is the creditors didn’t write down some of greece’s debts. herr schnauzer stood resolute.

    “In Greece trade unionists are already flexing their muscles and planning mass industrial action, reports Helena Smith.

    Strikes are expected to start tomorrow when workers at the Piraeus Port Organisation and Thessaloniki Port Organisation begin a 48-hour walk-out in opposition to the controversial privatisation programme the government has signed up to.

    Adedy, which represents employees in the public sector, has also decided to hold a Pan-Hellenic work stoppage on June 8. “We decided, today, after meeting health and education federations that we would take this action to protest all the things that these new measures mean: lack of staff, underfunding, appointments that should, but will never happen,” Adedy’s chief policy maker, Grigoris Kalomoiris told the Guardian.”

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