A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

UKIP MEP: Greece 'heading towards revolution'

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.


  1. I think you are absolutely right about this (the possibility of revolution etc)..... and yet, we are told that the Greek people want to stay in the euro and the EU.
    Are they mad, or are they being misled by their elites?
    ps Good to have you back, Gallowglass!

  2. Sorry for my absence. Bodybuilding and revision for exams has taken up most of my time, I'm afraid. Should be more consistent from now on.

  3. The Greeks don't blame the EU yet - they blame the troika. The EU's showing its hand more with each passing day, however. The public approval rating of the EU is already slipping.

  4. Can we expect a photo of the results of all this bodybuilding???...
    Anyway, back to business.... I have heard this that the Greeks blame the Troika (particularly the German elements thereof) - but I cant understand HOW they cant see that they would be better off OUT.
    And, from what I am reading and hearing - they are about to be chucked out whether they want to or not. Is this your feeling as well?
    There is an awfull lot of shady dealing, corruption and general nastiness going on there.....(also in the rest of the EU, with Britain not exempt, but that is another story).

  5. When there are results to see...I'll put it up as my profile photo on here.

    And, yep, the Greeks are in a Catch 22. They were a lot poorer before they joined the EU, and they have memories of the bad old days. The EU is also seen as a safeguard: they may have an unelected leader, but that doesn't compare to the military junta that ruled them in the 70s, or the one that may take over if they leave. They will eventually be thrown out - they'll have to be. The EU just can't keep them in, economically or politically. Throwing them out will allow them to say they 'solved' the problem. At least for a time.