Despite Kanellos the Greek riot dog being as dead as any dog at Mea Shearim which died of natural causes in 2008, and his resurrection being as staged as That Irishman Abroad’s interview, civil unrest on the streets of Athens continues.
On Tuesday of this week, Prime Minister George Papandreou’s Government survived a no-confidence vote in a pre-requisite for further EU and IMF bail-outs. Previously he had dismissed Giorgos Papakonstantinou as Finance Minister because, although he is an accomplished economist with decades of experience in trans-national organizations, he was reputed to lack the basic contacts within Greek corporate and political and economic structures which his bruiser of a replacement, Evangelos Venizelos does have.
Inequities undoubtedly do exist with the proposed bail-outs, as well as flaws in their own reasoning. These should be discussed; preferably without burning bank employees to death or blaming the Usual Suspects.
Like, however, the vogue for radium drinks at the beginning of the last century – oh, look, it gives me a flush of vitality and boost in my white and red blood cells! Yes, it is your body trying to flush-out the radiation poisoning – those sections of Greek society which had joyously benefitted from cheap credit and EU membership when the bon temps were rolling have come crashing to the ground. They still have to survive, but I have staggering little sympathy for anyone – be they in Greece, Britain or Iceland – which blithely expects to return to the status quo ante because they deserve it.
The societal wide shift in Greece has gone beyond a bunch of teenagers cheered on by downwardly mobile middle-aged Swuppies leaving low-paid office workers cowering in offices as the scent of fires in stairwells no doubt reminds them of the fates of three Marfin Investment Bank employees (arrests were made last month); or superannuated union chiefs closing job centres and other locations with little popular support on the day I am next due to sign-on.
There is a insular nationalism developing, with even anarchist agitators saying they are comfortable in marching under the Greek flag; and reactionary religious rhetoric, with rancid old archbishops bloviating away. Furthermore, even though Britain is not in the Eurozone as some Harry’s Place readers will remind us – Morgoth, I am thinking of you – this country does have extensive economic links with Eurozone countries, so the body-blow from a Greek default definitely will affect her.
Yet, the Greek Government’s response already has failed to work with one bail-out. Perhaps the best response is to direct funds to paying banks holding Greek bonds a proportion of each dollar, and leaving the country to sink or swim.
In other news, Allied Irish Bank which just before Lehman Brothers collapsed and whilst under the tutelage of a slightly dim former rugby player paid €216 millions for shares in the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank has sold the assets onto a minority shareholder in the latter bank for €100,000.
The lucky buyer? Tsvetelina Borslavova, partner of Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov against whom credible accusations of links to the Bulgarian mob have been made.