[Marxism] Fwd: The Berlin Bulldozer and the Sack of Athens | Foreign Policy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 15 20:56:45 MDT 2015

en finalizing my book European Spring last year, I hesitated before 
describing the eurozone as a “glorified debtors’ prison.” After this 
weekend’s brutal, vindictive, and shortsighted exercise of German power 
against Greece, backed up by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank’s 
illegal threat to pull the plug on the entire Greek banking system, I 
take it back. There is nothing glorious about the eurozone: It is a 
monstrous, undemocratic creditors’ racket.

Greece’s submission to the conditions that Germany demanded, merely to 
start negotiations about further funding to refinance its unsustainable 
debts, may stave off the prospect of imminent bank collapse and Greece’s 
exit from the eurozone. But far from solving the Greek problem, doubling 
down on the creditors’ disastrous strategy of the past five years will 
only further depress the economy, increase the unbearable debt burden, 
and trample on democracy. Even Deutsche Bank, one of the German banks 
bailed out by European taxpayers’ forced loans to the Greek government 
in 2010, says Greece is now tantamount to a vassal state.

But this is much bigger than Greece. It is clearer than ever that 
Europe’s dysfunctional monetary union has a German problem, too. As 
creditor in chief in a monetary union bereft of common political 
institutions, Germany is proving to be a calamitous hegemon. Paris may 
have tempered Berlin’s petulant threat to force Greece out of the euro, 
but German Chancellor Angela Merkel undoubtedly calls the shots. The 
deal that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras capitulated to mirrored 
German demands, not the proposals he drafted with French help last week. 
By pointing out the futility of resistance if Greece wished to remain in 
the euro, Paris has, in a sense, acted as Berlin’s agent in securing 
Athens’s acquiescence.


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