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Two years fear
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-09-09 11:29:00
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Two years ago, pictures of people in the streets of Athens fighting with the policemen and burning shops and businesses did the round of the world waking u our worst fears. Two years after and despite all the reinsurances that we are near the end of the recession the poor are getting poorer and the only ones who can see light in the end of the tunnel are the ones who had the money to survive the hit anyway. And I’m not talking only about Greece; I’m talking about the whole world.

One thing I always believed is that globalization is here but the globalization of the poverty and the dispirit and unfortunately the street of France reminding us the last two days that the worst are still to come. The last few months Greece lives under a financial dictatorship with the Greek government being nothing else than the executioner of the IMF’s orders. And it is easy to say that the Greek state is obliged to shrink the public sector, public funded institutions, organizations or works but beyond the numbers and the accountings there are people losing their jobs and families their income. Worst of all it means unemployment rates rising to higher than 15% in record time and still rising day after day with the shelling unknown.

But Greece is only the worst case scenario; the trouble is here and had hit hard the whole of Europe. The talk of increasing the retirement age limits there is all around Europe and the main excuse to do so is the incapacity of the European states to pay the retired. The reasoning, all the European states have debts impossible to repay and they have long reached the tax that could bring the necessary income and what the people can afford to pay. The rich of course have no problem, offshore companies and bank accounts in the Caiman islands short out the problem. Investment is a very nice word and statesmen all around Europe use it all the time but investments are limited to shares and stocks and not to new factories, more workers and less unemployed.

The work situation has return the working class two centuries ago where thing was insured including things that people earned with long fights, blood and dead. There are no weekends, a eight hours day, forgetting the forty hours week work. Forget health insurance, forget pension programs, there is the bosses’ way or the highway and the highway means long cues for pennies.  And it is natural that people will react. Especially when they see their income shrinking all the time and the same time they read in the news that the Nokia shares hit another record high or the stocks of WV are making record profits. The two names I just used are just examples but not far from reality and if it is not Nokia then it is Siemens and if it is not WV then it is Volvo or some other industry.

Amazingly in the middle of all this crisis the companies that have made the biggest profits sometimes reaching 500% compared with the profits they did before the crisis are the investment companies and the banks. Companies that market money buy and sell pure air! Banks on the other side are the black whole of the modern economy. It’s just months ago when most of them were begging for state help because if something would happen to them then all of us would be destroyed and today they don’t know how to hide their joy after the announcement of record profits. However none of the refused the states’ help that came from tax money that came from the very same people who might tomorrow lose their jobs.

Many including me wrote during the events in Athens that this might turn into a domino effect and more and m ore people might decide that enough is enough and the answer is not necessary peaceful demonstrations. After all just like somebody was screaming in the Athens demonstration, there is nothing left to lose. And when you realize that your kid might not have food to eat then you are turning to the most dispirit ways even if that includes violence.

The EU as an institution and guardian of the European citizens’ prosperity has failed and the best prove is the IMF’s involvement into Greek financial problems. The day the IMF, the guardian of the American banks stepped into the Union’s solid establishing a new situation – which the Americans try to establish this new financial reality for long time – Europe lost many things including trust from its citizens. The next step is to see how far this doubt will go and if the peaceful demonstration will continue be peaceful.

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