Thursday, April 5, 2012

Elite Greed Causing 'Austerity Suicides'

Brit Dee, Contributor

Yesterday saw the obscene consequences of the corrupt financial and political elite's insatiable greed, as a 77-year-old Greek man publicly committed suicide outside Parliament in Athens. The man, named locally as Dimitris Christoulas, reportedly pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head during rush hour, having shouted "I'm leaving because I don't want to pass on my debts."

A note found on Mr Christoulas's body explicitly confirmed that his suicide was a desperate response to the life of poverty he faced, due to EU- and IMF-imposed "austerity measures" that had caused his standard of living to plummet. Following a career as a pharmacist he said that the Greek government had "nullified any chance of my survival which was based on a decent salary that for 35 years I alone (without state support) paid for", and that "I see no other solution than a decent ending before I start looking in the garbage to feed myself".

He went on to compare the current Greek government to the collaborationist administration that ruled when the Nazis invaded and occupied the country during the second world war.

Mr Christoulas's suicide is the most public expression of despair to date, by a population who are seeing their living standards drop massively due to cuts and "readjustments" demanded by international financiers.

Pensions and benefits have been cut by up to 25%, salaries and public services slashed, whilst taxes have been raised and unemployment is high, as the Greek people are made to suffer for debts incurred following years of complicity between corrupt officials and global loan sharks like the IMF.


Diseases including HIV and malaria have reportedly risen sharply in Greece due to the collapse of the economy, and police data suggests the suicide rate has increased by 20% in the last two years. In Italy, one of many countries being similarly looted by the financial elite, there has also been a wave of suicides, with a 59-year old reportedly killing himself yesterday due to his business failing.

That we are seeing hardship and unrest in many countries is unsurprising, considering that deprivation and "the IMF riot" are written into the very plans of the global financial elite. In 2001 investigative reporter Greg Palast, using confidential documents and interviews with former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz, revealed how institutions like the IMF and World Bank operate. They have a four point plan to enable them to take over the economies of sovereign nations.

The first step involves the privatization of a nation's industries, with which corrupt politicians are often all too keenly complicit, due to the lucrative commissions on offer.

The second step is "capital market liberalization", when speculative foreign investment capital flows into the country in real estate and currency, but can as rapidly be withdrawn at the first sign of trouble. Then, "to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%", which has the effect of slashing property values and industrial production, and draining national treasuries.

The IMF then implements step three: "market-based pricing", effectively raising the price of food, water, gas and other essential commodities. As reported by Palast:
This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls 'the IMF riot'. The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, 'down and out, [the IMF] squeezes the last drop of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,'...You'd almost believe the riot was expected. And it is. What Stiglitz did not know is that Newsnight obtained several documents from inside the World Bank. In one, last year's Interim Country Assistance Strategy for Ecuador, the Bank several times suggests - with cold accuracy - that the plans could be expected to spark 'social unrest'.
Such riots cause a flight of capital and government bankruptcy, meaning the country's remaining assets can be picked off at absurdly cheap prices by foreign investors; there are always "lots of losers but the clear winners seem to be the western banks and US Treasury".

Step four is WTO-, IMF- and World Bank-dictated "free trade", where global corporations move in to monopolize the newly opened markets.

Stiglitz explained how the IMF's restructural "assistance" resulted in Africa's income dropping by 23%, with Botswana being the only country to avoid such a fate because they told the IMF "to go packing". Whether Greece and other massively indebted countries will do the same remains to be seen, though as Greek politicians are currently grovelling for bailout packages from the EU and IMF (as if further debt could ever improve the country's situation), the future for the working people and middle class of Greece looks bleak.

The "IMF riot": coming soon to a town near you.

This article first appeared at Resistance Radio.

Brit Dee runs an independent online radio station called Resistance Radio, which broadcasts daily news, views and analysis challenging the lies of our corrupt political and financial leaders, and the controlled corporate media, at http://www.resistradio.com.


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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved it when Iceland told the IMF to suck it. They are still working out their issues and have problems, but nothing like Greece. In choosing to grow a pair, they are enduring a much shorter, sharper pain (or, at least self-inflicted), they knew that retaining their sovereignty was the only way to survive. And it is too bad Greece and other countries seem to have not understood this. The United States and the rest of the continent is in for it thanks to the ignorance, induced malaise and confusion of the generations. The laziness, bungling and incompetence of smaller governments to submit and abide the takeover by and of the Federal government plays right into the whole plan, sucking the populace down right along with it, just like most of Europe or anywhere else the international banks inject their venom. What to do? To face the intense pain of punishment for a shorter time by kicking out the centralized global cabal and remain sovereign, or continue to suffer for untold generations at their hands by bowing to their whims in agreement for their favours (theft, slavery, debt and death). Go ahead, leader, sign that agreement, watch your country slide into the abyss.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Anonymous! Comes the revolution! We love you!

apeman2502 said...

Less than three years ago,after declaring 'Global Warming' through Al 'D' Gore, the queen of England ripped off the English Paupers' Emergency Heating Fund. Parliament had the decency to curtail queen lizard's access to the management of the royal coffers. Or it was a playact in parliament. England, Belgium, and The Netherlands all have national debts which are 10x GDP. A new banking system is in order and if there is any lack of cooperation from the City of London swine who got us here, tar and feather them all.

apeman2502 said...

Less than three years ago,after declaring 'Global Warming' through Al 'D' Gore, the queen of England ripped off the English Paupers' Emergency Heating Fund. Parliament had the decency to curtail queen lizard's access to the management of the royal coffers. Or it was a playact in parliament. England, Belgium, and The Netherlands all have national debts which are 10x GDP. A new banking system is in order and if there is any lack of cooperation from the City of London swine who got us here, tar and feather them all.

Anonymous said...

Abolish the central banks and restore monetary authority to the national treasuries to create and extinguish honest debt free money based on a 3 legged stool of precious metals, barter exchange contracts and labor treasury certificates for performed, goods produced and services rendered. International trade and balance of payments could be conducted with barter exchange contracts. For example a bushel of wheat for a barrel of oil. Thus, not trade deficit, no debt.

Anonymous said...

This is just great! Te sheep gladly follow the executioners to the slaughter (see Right Wingers). The swallow the lies, aid, abet & blindly follow their self-defeating policies, put them in office, demand their own slavery and when it gets to a point where the noose is around their own neck, they just tighten the rope and jump! You truly can't make this shit up. I guess they're teaching their masters one helluva lesson. Humanity is getting what humanity deserves.

Tatiana Covington said...

Or, Greece could just do it my way: just dump the debt by deciding to dump it, about the way I dumped last night's dinner this morning.

The hell with it!

I walked out on ca. $10K of debt once. I got tired of having it around.

Nothing happened.

Sun's still shining, sky is still blue. People take their crap way too seriously.

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