The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Protests in Greece go on as Papandreou reshuffles cabinet: snap elections soon?’

Protests in Greece go on as Papandreou reshuffles cabinet: snap elections soon?

Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou has reshuffled his cabinet in a bid to quell mass protests and persuade his disillusioned party to swing behind legislation for another round of fiscal austerity measures mandated by the EU, IMF and ECB.

But even if Papandreou survives a vote of confidence expected on Wednesday and gets the legislation through parliament at the end of June, it does not look as if his government will survive for very long as mass protests continue to mount against plans for more cuts and more debt for the profit of American, German and French banks.

Trade unions took to the streets of Athens today to oppose plans to sell state assets, joining the “Indignant Citizen” movement to keep the pressure up on the government to abandon the failed IMF, EU and ECB austerity policies, which are only putting Greece deeper into debt.

“Thousands of Greeks marched on parliament on Saturday in a show of unabated public anger after Prime Minister George Papandreou reshuffled his cabinet and vowed to push on with a belt-tightening campaign,” reports Reuters.

Papandreou moved Bilderberg Finance Minister George Papaconstantino to the energy ministry. The privatisation of energy companies is part of a package of €80 billion or so of pension and public sector job cuts, tax increases and asset sales.

Though Greece’s public sector and energy companies undoubtedly need to undergo some reform and become more efficient, Greek lawmakers just have to look at the privatisation of British energy and transport companies to see an example of failed privatisations, which allowed corporations carte blanche to milk captive customers and double and tripple bills while slashing investment, and reducing services to a minimum.

If this is how Greek energy companies and other state assets are to be privatised, it is sure to add fuel to the social protests.

Alan Mattich in the WSJ argues the case for Greece defaulting and devaluing its — new Drachma? — currency to reignite growth.

June 18, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report

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