Wednesday 13 March 2013


To see what happens when formerly first world countries experience a meltdown and approach 3rd world conditions look no further than the PIIGS,Portugal Ireland,Italy,Greece and Spain.The ongoing economic crisis has now seen the normalisation of African style macroeconomic indicators: 40% youth unemployment,vanishing pensions,ever shrinking wages,worsening poverty,chronic hunger and malnutrition. and massive social rage against those believed to have designed the crisis-worst of all practically non existent social services.
In Greece,the worst hit two recent opinion polls from established pollsters MRB and Public Issue show that disappointment (65.6%), rage (64.1%), fear (48.1%) and shame (38.4%) are by far the four prominent sentiments in Greek society at the moment. Two in three Greeks feel rage about what’s been inflicted upon them.
When questioned about how they see the economic situation in the country over the next 12 months, 86.4% think it’s going to get worse, with 58.8% significantly worse. With regard to their personal financial situation, 81.2% expect it to get worse, 54.2% significantly worse.In Portugal last September in the largest public protest since 1974 over a half million in Lisbon chanted “IMF out of here”, “government resignation now” and “we want our lives”.

 In Athens teachers no longer insist on mandatory PE-many kids are too malnourished and often faint amidst jumping jacks and press ups. In the formerly middle class areas churches are offering discreet home delivery of food parcels. All over the country unclaimed bodies pile up in mortuaries as impoverished families having seen household budget now half or a third of what they were can't afford burial fees.

The reality for people who did what they were told-work hard ,go to school ,get qualifications,accept workplace hierarchy and work your way up is unbelievably bitter. Increasingly they're realising there are no answers in the political process. This case is typical:"After nearly 50 years of work and paying into an expensive pension fund, I have been forced to retire on €1,000 a month and if they pass these measures it will be even less," said 60-year-old Nikos Xeros, who until this year had repaired ships since the age of 16. "It's like having a noose about your neck that is getting ever tighter. The next time I come out to demonstrate it's going to be with a gas mask and a big wooden club."

When the elderly openly embrace hardline tactics it signals a rejection of sociopolitical norms. It is the hard earned knowledge that the old way was simply a monumental fraud. To do one's best for a lifetime only to suffer austerity packages,social spending cuts,drastically reduced wages and pensions and all the other compulsory cures of the International banksters is beyond their comprehension.
Its no wonder that in Spain where the charity Caritas reports of middle class diners at their soup kitchens there is serious talk of the secession of Catalunya. There are reports Portugal's armed forces have vowed should the economically induced unrest worsen into fullblown civil insurrection they won't fire on the public. Greek police often join protestors and refuse to make arrests.
Truly,the social costs are as painful in Europe as when they were first shoehorned onto Africa's underdeveloped economies in the guise of 'structural adjustment policies' in the late 80s. Many remember the catalogue of social disaster of the IMF/World Bank 'reforms'. Portuguese,Greeks and Spaniards,we've felt your pain. Your endgame will be different from ours but just know we hope you reach the end of the tunnel sooner rather than later.

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