The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Greek Crisis:
Bludgeoning the Population, Feeding Speculation

Mar 1, 2010

On February 11, the heads of state of the European Union met to try to check the speculative wave against Greece’s finances before it affects other countries, threatening to harm the world financial system.

They approved the plans of the Greek government to make the population pay for the crisis; they suggested it should go further in this direction. But the European heads, especially Merkel from Germany and Sarkozy from France, didn’t propose any concrete financial measures. The Greek prime minister thanked the European Union for its “psychological” aid.

For Sarkozy, Merkel, Trichet (the head of the European Central Bank), and the rest, the Greek government is to blame for this crisis, since it “lied” about its debt. But the deficits and the debt of the French and German States are bigger in proportion to their economies than those in Greece. France and Germany show no more respect for the criterion of “good European government” than does little Greece.

Each state lies to hide the numerous gifts that all of them give to their capitalists. The supposedly virtuous leaders of the big powers point the finger at Greece for “hiding debt.” Yet the legal, that is, the pro-capitalist, operations, in Greece concerning state debt were directed by the respectable and super-rich bankers of Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs invented a method permitting the Greek state to provisionally throw out a part of its budget deficit. As for the French and German states–not to mention the American state–how much do they hide?

The Greek State must strongly pressure the population to find 24 billion dollars to pay immediately on its debt and another 72 billion dollars that it needs to pay out within the year. As for the rest, the European Union leaders hope their declarations of good intentions will be enough to calm the speculation.

The managers of finance capital know very well that their maneuvers can have catastrophic consequences. Some of them have bet on the bankruptcy of Greece, not to mention the possible bankruptcy of Spain, or on the breakup of the Euro zone and a new development of the world crisis. What do they care which way economies go, so long as they make big profits?

Not only do the governments, in particular those of the most powerful countries, not wish to do anything to stop the speculation, their policies produce it. These bankers are speculating with capital that all the States gave to the banks to bail them out.

For Sarkozy, Merkel and others, to speak of “stabilizing” the financial system is to pretend to transform a pigsty into a mountain chalet without making the pigs leave.