So the Greek parliament has passed the law which allows the public owned power company to collect an “emergency property tax” on a permanent basis.
As the finance minister, Venizelos admits, it is designed to punish honest taxpayers for the incompetence of the state. He is quoted as saying
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced on Tuesday the latest changes to tax legislation, required as a result of the state’s inability to contain tax evasion.
If that is not a damming statement outlining what honest hard working Greeks are being exposed to I do not know what is.
Opposition parties sum up the situation very accurately
Opposition parties charge that Pasok’s refusal to slash state expenses, for reasons of partisan, clientelistic interests, have led the government to saddle law-abiding taxpayers with burdens that are insufferable for many.
I have said it before, the crisis is being amplified by Papandreou selling the future of Greece for the sake of his popularity.
So are we witnessing a communist of fascist take over of Greece?
The argument for a communist takeover
1. Given that the Greek state is refusing to slash thousands of government workers it seems the Greek government believes they have the answer and that the private sector is actually the drag on the Greek economy.
2. The continuing increasing of the tax burden on private companies and Greek taxpayers would seem to be a ploy to wipe out the private sector and have the public sector takeover everything.
3. It is widely acknowledged that public sector workers in Greece vote for PASOK the ruling regime. It appears that the Greek state has reached a critical mass whereby simply pandering to the wishes of government workers is enough to secure a majority.
The Greek state now employs so many people, and so many people’s livelyhoods are connected to the state, that PASOK, the so called representative of government workers merely has to keep the government workers in work to secure power in perpetuity.
The argument for a fascist takeover
1. The current pressure on the Greek government is coming from international and domestic banks whose future relies on the Greek government paying back the debts. The agenda of Venizelos and Papandreou is actually being pushed from behind the scenes by international banks.
2. The increasing tax burden can only lead to a collpase of the Greek economy. The international banking cartel and financiers will profit from the knock down prices of all Greek assets.
3. Knowingly or unknowingly the PASOK government is actually working to a fascist agenda by working for private companies when the Greek government should be working in the interest of the Greek people.
Given the external driving forces behind the greek crisis and looking at the way it is being handled I think the communist/socialist argument is weak.
The drivers of the actions of the current PASOK regime is to serve international and domestic banks. Either by enslaving the Greek population to service the government debt or by totally imploding the Greek economy in order to be able to pick up the pieces of the country at knock down prices.
If I were an international banker looking at Greece and the Greek government assets with the goal of making vast sums of money from financing deals to develop the country I would be encouraging the PASOK government to do exactly what they are doing.
I would give the PASOK government enough rope to hang themselves so to speak. I know, as a banker, that I have over commited to Greece, I know that the Greek government in no way has the means by which to repay the debt so I would work the situation to my advantage.
I am not happy to simply let Greece default on it’s loans to me. That would leave me out of pocket. I would try to crash the Greek economy that way I can get my money back by purchasing Greek assets at discounted prices and them sell them again once I have rebuilt the country. If I cannot make my money on the front end I will make it at the back end.
So my dilemma is how to crash the Greek economy. This is where the rope comes in. Even though I know Greece is well of it’s depth I would advise the government otherwise. I would tell the Greek government that the situation is saveable but taxes needs to be increased to shrink the deficit.
I would then say to the PASOK regime, I can buy you the time to implement these changes by offering temporary financing but the financing needs to come with certain conditions.
I am taking the risk by of loaning you the money on the promise you will address the deficit but in return I deserve some reward.
If the regime was ignorant or incompetent enough they would accept the deal because my warnings of Greece’s economy crashing if the government didnt implement my plan was enough to stir them into action.
As it becamce obvious that the tax increases were having the opposite effect I would advise the PASOK government to increase taxes and introduce even more new taxes otherwise my deadlines would not be met and the country would crash.
(Of course my goal is to crash the economy as quickly as possible while at the same time lending enough money with enough conditions to put me in the driving seat after the default.
The tricky part here is appearing to want to save the Greek economy while at the same time keeping the amount of short term loans I am giving to the absolute minimum and at the same time attaching enough terms.)
I also have some friends in the EU who are dying to get their hands on some real power. They love the fact that they can influence the strategic direction of the EU and implement broad laws but what they really want is some actual operational control, to get their hands dirty.
This suits my agenda perfectly because it gives me, as an international banker, some leverage over the EU, so I do a deal with them.
I will put in place in advance a default plan. I will put all the players in place in advance of the default so nothing is uncertain or chaotic about the default and in return they support my plans and come to me for future loans. Okay I have take a 50% haircut in the default but the damage to the Greek economy and Greek asset values is going to more than make up for that.
The conditions of the haircut and the conditions of the loans I have made to the Greek government will now come into play by allowing me to purchase various ex Greek state assets at knock down prices as compensation for the default.
So EU economies and banks are happy because it was an orderly default.
The PASOK government is happy becuase they did everyting they could.
I am happy because in return for taking a 50% haircut I get a first choice on a huge slice of Greek assets which I can sell in 5-10 years time at a massive profit.
And the EU leaders are happy becuase they have now taken over the financial affairs of Greece and they can now start to put their plans into action on the ground so to speak with having to deal with anything as boring as soverign governments.
Of course all this leaves Greeks with a massively reduced standard of living and massively reduced net worth but that is the cost of doing business.
I would like to stress that I do not condone this plan, it is simply how I see what is happening. If it wasn’t for the fact that the international banker was there trying to get his money back and even create money out of Greek default everything could be worked out with the minium of pain. Unfortunately the international banking cartel has governments around the world by the short and curlies.