The 'flower of Greek youth' is waxing. Picture by Kanibalos.
RT's commentary on the bailouts (blindingly simple compared with ones offered up by the UK media) usually contains quotes by individuals that wouldn't be on the top of the list for most major nationals here. Paul Nuttal, as one of the most prominent lights of the pro-withdrawal movement in Brussels, is one such individual. Quoted by RT (formerly Russia Today), he said: "you just have to look at the amount of people who are out on the street demonstrating at the moment. Suicide rates are up. The minimum wage has been cut. There’s mass homelessness in that country at the moment. All the European Union is doing down this line is it’s encouraging the cradle of civilization to head towards revolution, because that’s what will happen if we continue with these austerity measures." It was only a month after Nigel Farage appeared on the same programme, saying a similar thing.
It sounds like a dire prediction indeed, but, whatever you think of UKIP, it's worth remembering that not a single Eurosceptic economic prediction has turned out wrong. It was Eurosceptics who surmised there'd be a need for a bailout in the first place, and then that there was a risk Greece would default on its debts. EU officials flatly denied both statements, but they turned out to be spot-on. Likewise, the bailout of Ireland; the bailout of Portugal; the second bailout of Greece; the doubling of the 'stability fund,' thoughts of an exit from the Eurozone, etc. These are all things the EU and national governments thought impossible, which, nonetheless, happened. Whatever the flaws of Eurosceptic parties, the pro-withdrawal movement as a whole is the only one that comes out of this sordid mess with an unblemished economic record.
Admittedly, this isn't solely economics: though they may not be the Colonel Blimps of Guardian demonology, a Grecophile the average Eurosceptic isn't. But it's not just Eurosceptics who've cottoned on to the threat of upheaval: the CIA itself warned that there may be a military coup if the current austerity march continued, and that was two years ago. Hundreds of billions of pounds of debt has been heaped on the benighted country since then - through the bailouts, no less, that very mechanism that is meant to save it - and its social, political, and economic infrastructure has been shattered. The democratic option has been firmly closed by the imposition of Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank vice-president, as the Greek premier (current polls suggest a hung parliament, of which Papademos or another placeholder will surely be appointed head), and already comparisons of government officials to Nazi collaborators have slipped into popular culture. That's all well and good until you realise that they're bloody serious: Greece's largest police union has threatened to issue arrest warrants for leading IMF/EU officials for 'covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty.' Most worringly, a survey by respected polling company Public Issue found that over half of Greeks think that 'deep change' is needed, and that a further third would support a 'revolution' towards that end.
It's easy to believe when you look at what's being 'asked' of them: the full list of austerity measures is too long to summarise. And that's just the terms of the previous bailout. Who knows what yet more 'solidarity' will bring to a grateful Greek population? All in all, it's a very bad time to be a member of the Eurocracy in Greece: although far from inevitable, a revolution is also not unthinkable, and by pursuing the same course of action over and over, with increasingly catastrophic results, the 'troika' and the Greek parliament may be careering towards one.