Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has told his fellow countrymen it is their patriotic duty to accept the austerity plan cooked up by the IMF and the EU. If not accepted, Greece will not get the fifth installment of an international bailout, he warned.
“I’m not asking you to listen to outside pressures, I ask that you listen to your soul and your internal patriotic conscience,” Papandreou said.
Greek opposition parties have rejected demands by EU leaders for national unity on the prospect of unemployment, a lower standard of living, and a massive giveaway of national resources.
“You cannot terrorize your MPs by referring to patriotism because if there is something we should be proud of today it’s that Greeks have risen up from their indifference and are defending, as is their duty, patriotism by the presence in the streets,” said Alexis Tsipras, leader of the leftist party SYRIZA.
Opinion polls indicate three quarters of Greeks oppose tax rises, spending cuts, globalist privatization, and the selling off of national treasures.
On Tuesday, Greek unions shut down government services, brought public transport to a standstill and grounded flights. Unions began their fourth general strike of the year at midnight.
Greece’s biggest union, the General Confederation of Greek Workers, has characterized the austerity measures as a “mafia-style rescue.”
“This proposed austerity package will only make things worse. It will mean we are pushed deeper into recession and will never pay back our debts,” Zoe Lanara, the union’s international relations secretary, told The Independent.
As former Wall Street economist Michael Hudson notes, the so-called bailout will not help the Greek people, it will enrich the banks at the expense of the people.
“The Greek economy will not end up with the proceeds of any ECB ’bailout.’ The banks will get the money. They would like to turn around and lend it out afresh to the buyers of the land, monopolies and other properties that Greece is being told to privatize,” he writes. “Is this not like military tribute? … The bankers are trying to get a windfall by using the debt hammer to achieve what warfare did in times past.”
Papandreou and the political elite expect the Greek people to acquiesce to what amount to a military attack on the country by the financial elite. Instead, unions and thousands of protesters will close down the country and continue to resist eurozone enslavement and the theft of their heritage by international finance.