The Greek tragedy: no money, no hope … Despairing middle classes could be the biggest threat to Greece's future, writes Paul Mason in Athens … Dmitris Andreou made the last sale out of his small estate agents business in June. His wife Mary, makes her living preparing high-school students for English exams. But her living has dried up. Their savings are exhausted, their disposable income has dropped by about 50 per cent in two years, and they are angry. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Once the Greeks – and the PIGS generally – get used to austerity, the Eurozone will rebound.
Free-Market Analysis: This story is interesting because it is written by a mainstream journalist and actually tells the truth about Greece – that Greece, or its citizens, are ready to explode. One can extrapolate from Greece to the rest of the EU, or at least its Southern half. Push "austerity" a little further, as a solution to the "sovereign debt" crisis and all Europe may begin to detonate.
It is not just the Southern PIGS which are reeling. It is Northern Europe, too. The Northerners, especially Germany, do not want to pay for Southern profligacy. And Southern Europeans are well aware the fault does not lie with them, especially, but with elite political and financial interests.
It was not the average Greek or Spaniard who borrowed the money that has put the South in debt. The analyses of the European situation make it sound as if each individual was guilty. Not true. The Anglosphere banks arranged the lines of credit that are throttling the PIGS now.
The politicians and private interests accepted the money and buried it in Swiss bank accounts; today, everyone else has to pay. And Mary and Dmitris are well aware of who profited from the explosion of leverage in the 2000s, and who has been tasked with the clean-up.
It is even worse. What is unsaid in the article, despite its bluntness, is that the leverage was calculated to do exactly what it has done. The political and financial classes were in a sense tasked with creating what is now called the "sovereign" debt crisis and they did so deliberately.
This is never mentioned in analyses of the situation. We only read glib vignettes about austerity and predictable IMF solutions having to do with higher taxes, reduced public benefits, a shrinking public sector and lower compensation all around, for those who still have jobs or businesses anyway.
While we often cover the unraveling EU and euro as if it is a kind of force of economic nature, we've also been careful on many occasions to point out that what occurred in Europe was instigated by financial powers at the highest level. And for years, Eurocrats have been talking about how a financial crisis was bound to occur, and that it would be used as a pretext to build a political union out of an economic one.
Just the other day, we reported on an article in the UK Telegraph that presented the latest meme – that the "guilty men" of Europe and Britain – the ones that had backed the EU project most enthusiastically – were going to walk away from the mess without ramifications.
Our problem with the article was that it didn't go far enough. There is an Anglosphere elite and it has coldly and forcefully built the EU from the ground up. These great central banking families that want one-world government are behind the current mess, but as is always the case, those who are really in charge will not be written about, or not by the mainstream media.
We did find, in roaming the Internet, this interesting article by one of our favorite mainstream reporters, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, written way back in 2000. He makes it clear that Washington and its spy agencies were behind the EU project.
Neither the CIA nor other US intel agencies – at the very top – report to Washington. They actually likely report to London's "City," and to the great banking families and their political, military, religious and monetary enablers. That's why we've written on numerous occasions that blaming the EU on Germany or the "Nazis" is just so much misdirection. Here's an excerpt from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's UK Telegraph article, circa September 2000:
Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs … DECLASSIFIED … American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement. The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state.
One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA. The documents were found by Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington. They include files released by the US National Archives. Washington's main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948.
The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then. The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA's first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years.
In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement's funds. The European Youth Campaign, an arm of the European Movement, was wholly funded and controlled by Washington. The Belgian director, Baron Boel, received monthly payments into a special account. When the head of the European Movement, Polish-born Joseph Retinger, bridled at this degree of American control and tried to raise money in Europe, he was quickly reprimanded …
These days Evans-Pritchard sticks more or less to the larger UK Telegraph "party line," which has to do with the unraveling of the EU rather than who was behind the thing to begin with. But understanding the reality of the EU's formation is important, too. It was set up as a building block of world government and it was likely designed to fail in order to create the impetus for a political union.
The article about Greece – with which we began our analysis (see above) – shows clearly how the elite centralizing strategy is being implemented. But there has been a miscalculation. The Internet was not considered within these plans, which go back decades, perhaps even a century or longer.
Pre-Internet, what's happening in the EU would have been buried under mainstream media misdirection. People might not have understood the larger forces at work. But the EU unraveling along with much else has played out under the merciless glare of the alternative press, and the European tribes are aware of the manipulations that are taking place.
It is realization of these manipulations that informs the article, which is a surprisingly good piece of reporting. It is written by Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight's Economics Editor, who is broadcasting regularly from Greece, and it seems to have concentrated his mind, at least for a while, on what's actually happening.
The article is derived from an interview with a middle class Greek couple that is falling into poverty along with, it seems, the entire Greek middle class. They are furious. "We would like to see the politicians executed," says the woman, Maria, "not smiling."
This article also confirms our past analyses. So much nonsense has been written about Greece and Europe and appears in the mainstream media every day. The generalizations are vast and depersonalize the problem but what's happening in Europe is affecting individuals.
We've written that once the "new normal" became fully evident, once it was clear that the good times of the 20th Century were not going to return, the tribes of Europe – who are far more violent than they have seemed to be, post World War II – would not put up with it. We predicted that "Europe" – the EU – might not survive (neither the currency, nor the union).
The problems are happening to people, individual people, and it is these people, ultimately, who will formulate a response, not "Greece," not politicians, not "working groups" – not even the IMF or ECB. Here's some more from Mason's article:
"Some days we only buy the basics and a few days lately we were not able to buy even those. We have to count our cents to decide between buying bread, milk or butter," says Mary. "Some days are better, but some are difficult. We don't buy clothes any more. People don't go out. There is simply no money around out there."
But what's happening in living rooms like theirs presents the bigger danger to the future of Greece. People are switching off: from politics, from the mass media, from social life. "We would like to see the politicians executed," says Maria, not smiling as she delivers the joke. "Most people are saying this: politicians deserve capital punishment – at the Greek equivalent of Traitors' Gate. It would be a nice time for politicians to be heroes, to stand up and defend the people. But they're not."
"We can't watch the television news any more," says Dmitris, shaking his head. "If you watch it, with the constant uncertainty, it can make your psychology very low. It's like a nightmare we can't wake up from. Perhaps it's fortunate that we've had to cancel our cable TV subscription. I don't trust the media any more: I get all my news from the internet."
Mason writes that that the helplessness that Mary and Dmitris evince can easily turn to rage, giving rise to violence. "As a result Greek politicians have started to worry about something called 'anomie' – a pervasive listlessness, low-level social conflict and the erosion of bonds between the country's citizens and the state."
Mason, to his credit, makes the linkage between that helplessness and what may be yet to come. "Over the past six months," he writes, "I've stood in the middle of Athenian crowds so furious that they will withstand tear gas and endure near-lethal stampedes to make their point …
"What's been obvious, each time, is the ordinariness of the people involved – bank clerks, interior designers, even a concert pianist once, their faces painted with alkaline liquid against the sting of the gas. But it is this seething anger of those who have never been on a demo that is really frightening – because we have no model for what happens if the middle class of a developed country simply switches off from politics and gives up hope. Not since the 1930s, anyway."
None of this was accidental. How could it be? The EU was not an accident. Central banking is not happenstance. The "crisis" that now affects the EU was long anticipated and was intended to build a closer political union. What was NOT anticipated, however, was the spread of electronic communication and the eventual rise of what we now call the Internet Reformation.
The knowledge of the manipulations by the elite and their enablers are bound to have ramifications beyond what has yet been seen. This is the crux issue of what is occurring. The manipulations that raised the EU, and have now brought it down, were supposed to be secret. But what happens if everyone knows?