Monday, February 13, 2012

Athens burns

Greek MPs have just voted to sell out their country to the Germans, slashing pensions and the minimum wage and abrogating collective employment agreements so foreign banks can get their money. And Athens is burning as a result. And its no wonder. Austerity from past "bailouts" (for banks, not Greeks) has pushed Greek unemployment to over 20%. The average Greek family's income has halved in the last year. Greeks are being forced into poverty, and their democracy is being taken from them by foreigners; as a result the country is on the verge of a social explosion. MPs apparently no longer feel safe walking the streets, and it is probably only a matter of time before one of them gets lynched by an angry mob (which almost happened last year, and now people are even angrier).

This is not a good state for a democracy to be in. But Greece is no longer a democracy in any credible sense. Its policies are dictated by foreigners and imposed by force, against the wishes of voters. Its quisling politicians have betrayed those they purport to represent. There are apparently elections due in a couple of months, but with both major parties forced as a condition of the bailout to sign up for no policy change regardless of what the electorate says, they're meaningless.

What do you do when democracy fails like this, when an entire political class betrays its people? I think Greece is about to find out. And it is unlikely to be pretty - either for Greece, or for Europe as a whole.