Democracy is dead, long live economics!

In News on June 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Last night, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou gained a vote of confidence for his newly appointed cabinet. The majority was 155 out of a total of 300 MPs, which is all of the MPs of the Socialist Party. Mr. Papandreou was successful in consolidating his party after last week’s internal revolt and his back-and-forth politics into forming a government of “national unity” with the opposition party leader Mr. Antonis Samaras.

The approval of the cabinet means now that Mr. Papandreou can now more safely ask the parliament to approve the medium-term austerity programme which is demanded by the EU-IMF as a condition for releasing more funds to Greece. The austerity programme is to introduce huge spending cuts, tax inreases and a long list of privatizations. People will lose their jobs, families will be driven below poverty lines, retired people (who have worked all their lives and have been paying their welfare contributions) will see their pensions being reduced, employees will not be paid overtime or will see wage reductions, graduates will take jobs with fewer or no skill requirements, as these will be the only ones available, social and workers’ rights will be demolished and the country’s younger generation will flee to greener pastures abroad.

But it does not matter! Because Greece’s debt may be slightly reduced in five years’ time. And then, there will also be some kind of growth as well, say 0,6% of GDP. And the government’s deficit will possibly be reduced. And this is all that matters. Economic indicators are not here to serve society, they have a value of their own!. It does not matter if a whole country is experiencing de-development and going backwards and a generation is lost. It does not matter if the Greeks have been protesting against these cuts since 25 May. Because the people do not understand economics and Euro-politics and what matter is that the economic indicators are right. And in today’s world of neoliberal economics and coalitions of governments and bankers, this is all that matters. And if governments use their power to bypass people’s opposition, if they spray citizens with tear gas instead of protecting their right to work, if democracy get stumped in the way of economics, well that ‘s just a casualty.


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