…greece, an odyssey from debt to deliverance…

…no need for charon or cerberus…

Brazil has a population of some 200 million, compared with Greece with one of some 11 million.

So we set sail with a teaser from down south. And for that we have to thank Jake Johnston of The Americas Blog of CEPR. From this, armed with analysis our imaginations can safely take to flight, but without the bravado of Icarus. Why is the US Government Still Hiding What They Did to Brazil in 1998? 

From the seemingly strange title we glean some valuable information on international finance, international financial institutions and their collusion with exceptional governments,

On Sunday, October 4, 1998, as international bankers, investors, finance ministers and officials from the leading multilateral development banks met in Washington for the annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings, many eyes were looking south, to Brazil.

Late in the afternoon, when Brazil’s finance minister broke the news that Fernando Henrique Cardoso had narrowly won Brazil’s election in the first round, “the room broke into loud applause,” according to Bob Fernandez reporting for Knight Ridder. “Cardoso is an International Monetary Fund favorite,” Fernandez explained.


And then we come to the information essential for avoiding Scylla and Charybdis, so we can safely reach the next port of call,

Cardoso’s main opponent in the presidential race was Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party, who would later go on to win the presidency in 2002, and again in 2006. Lula voiced strong criticism of any potential deal with the IMF, saying that it would “tighten one more knot on the neck around Brazilians.” Lula would go on to end Brazil’s borrowing relationship with the Fund in 2005 when he was president. But the U.S. and other leading players in the global financial system were seen as heavily supportive of Cardoso in ‘98.

[bold added for emphasis]

As a helpful aside, in Venezuela with a population of some 30 million on 11 April 2002 there would be that almost two-day coup. In Bolivia with a population of almost 11M in 2008 and in Ecuador with population of nearly 16M in 2010, there would be failed attempts under the auspices of those ‘NGOs’. Democratically elected and popular governments, all. What is common to all? Socially oriented policies, and an unequivocal, full-throated repudiation of neoliberalism.

Which brings us to Greece and its ‘Grisis’.Its Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his government were clearly voted in for their anti-austerity platform. Expectations that the Tsipras government would renege on its electoral manifesto would be soon dashed, unleashing a range of misbehaviour from bitterness to fury, especially on the part of the ‘troika’ (the IMF, the EU, and the ECB), and France and Germany.

To make matters worse, the government’s decision to call a referendum on austerity for 5 July for its voters to decide on critical policy would provoke the wrath of the aspiring Neoliberal World Ruling Class (NWRC) – Europe Division. As The Guardian would put it. Alexis Tsipras must be stopped: the underlying message of Europe’s leaders. Some fury would erupt at the treachery of the Greek Prime Minister who failed to be treacherous to his people, and instead be loyal to the fulminating NWRC,

There were also bitter attacks on Alexis Tsipras, the young Greek prime minister whose brinkmanship has gone further than anyone believed possible and left the eurozone’s leaders reeling.

In a sign that some of these ‘elite’ folk should ditch the asphyxiating tie that seems to be choking off all intelligent thought, we have,

He [Jean-Claude Juncker] was impassioned, bitter and disingenuous in appealing to the Greek people to vote yes to the euro and his bailout terms, arguing that he and the creditors – rather than the Syriza government – had the best interests of Greeks at heart.

Tsipras had lied to his people, deceived and betrayed Europe’s negotiators and distorted the bailout terms that were shredded when the negotiations collapsed and the referendum was called, he said.

And some proof that that tie, very expensive at that, is a serious problem, we are faced with this frightening bit,

In a country where an estimated 11,000 people have killed themselves during the hardship wrought by austerity, Juncker offered unfortunate advice. “I say to the Greeks, don’t commit suicide because you’re afraid of dying,” he said.

[bold added for emphasis]

As the ‘great unwashed’ are bemused by the predictable strategy of vilification, here of the Greek leaders, from inexperienced to ‘egotistical’, we do that looking back thing, when there was an experienced Greek government, Greek crisis: Referendum cancelled amid chaos – Thursday November 3 2011. The Prime Minister, the very experienced politician, George Papandreou would resign 8 days later – and he was a rather accommodating leader. Unlike Papandreou, Tsipras with his group declares it is time for Greece to be

To put paid to further blather about Greece, we have three indicative articles. From The Guardian, this, from Phillip Inman, answers the question, Where did the Greek bailout money go. From over at common dreams Pratap Chatterjee, posts, EuroZone Profiteers: How German and French Banks Helped Bankrupt Greece. If further proof were needed to ignore the corporate MSM, we have Dean Baker of CEPR over at his Beat the Press blog, Washington Post Touts Greek Growth that Will Restore 2007 GDP in 2035 – and, yes, the utter, utter silliness of the WaPo article justifies the decision for its continued, studious avoidance, other than for ridicule.

…how did that famous us diplomat nuland so elegantly put it regarding the eu? well, why not add imf, ecb, france, germany, …?…