The Two Faces of Europe!
By Peter Mills of the Brent Group. The smiling and benign mask of the European Union has slipped. It was the Greeks who famously used two masks in their ancient open-air theatres to permit actors to express the bountiful smile of goodness or the twisted snarl of evil, and today it is the Greeks who have made the ruling dictatorship of Europe reveal the true corrupt snarling evil that lurks in disguise behind their smiling public face!
It was also the Greeks whose ancient language gave the civilizations of the whole world what is, quite possibly, their most valuable and important word – democracy. And now it is the Greeks who may, if allowed, hold a public vote, a referendum which allows the ordinary citizens of their country to decide for themselves whether they wish to accept the horrific punishment the European Union and many within their own parliament propose to inflict upon them now that the EU is stumbling.
The ordinary people of other countries should take note, especially Britain whose wretched sniveling government is of course absolutely terrified of allowing its citizens the democratic right of a referendum on membership of the EU. The Greek prime minister George Papandreou, however, has such a small majority in parliament that he felt quite rightly obliged to seek the backing of voters when the EU – principally Germany and its pet poodle France – sought to impose such heavy penalties upon the ordinary Greek citizen that it may well transform the recent spate of riots into a violent revolution. Indeed, Mr. Papandreou’s majority was further cut to just two yesterday when one of the MPs of his Pasok party resigned over the issue. Six other members of the party have so far called for his resignation.
Sinisterly, Germany and France have ignored any acknowledgement of the word “referendum” in their response to the crisis, issuing today an abrupt joint statement that “…France and Germany are determined to ensure the full implementation, in the quickest time frame, of the decisions adopted at the summit.”
So what are these measures which the European dictatorship is determined to impose on the Greek people, and which it is so determined to stop the threat of applied principles of democracy from derailing? What price does continued membership of the EU threaten to cost the ordinary Greek citizen? Why are the Greek people so upset about it? Can any measures be that bad? Judge for yourself.
The European dictators had agreed a few days ago to loan 100 billion euros (that is, £86 billion) to Greece, plus agree a 50% write-off of the nation’s debts, to enable the country to simply repay the installments on its incredible debt burden. Of course, this is much like you yourself having a mortgage of £50,000 and, because you cannot meet the monthly repayments, the building society says it will force you to borrow a further £50 thousand from which you can make the repayments – but of course, the amount of the repayments will double.
Would you consider yourself fortunate to be required to accept such a deal? The most obvious result would be that you would have to drastically cut your household expenditure. Instead of spending perhaps £60 or £70 a week at the supermarket to feed and clothe your family, you would have to cut the amount to £6 or £7 – and you would have to live like that for thirty or forty years until the mortgage was paid up!
The “deal” being offered to the Greek people is similar in nature, but on a national scale. Let’s have a look at the nitty-gritty details of this “compulsory European membership fee”, and then we can more readily understand why the Greek prime minister feels that he cannot dump it on his people without giving them a vote on the issue. In return for the European deal, the Greek people will face:-
Cutting £12.8 billion (14.32 billion euros) from public spending and raising some £12 billion (14.09 billion euros) over the next 5 years. All wage bargaining will be suspended making it much easier for firms to cut their payroll costs. The income tax starting threshold lowered from 8,000 euros to 5,000 (£6,873 to £4,296)
A further 30,000 public sector workers suspended on 60% pay and then being laid-off completely after 1 year. Pensions over 1,000 euros to be cut by 20% on everything over that threshold. 700,000 government sector workers forced to accept reduced pay and promotion. All public sector wages to be cut by 20%.
A new additional income tax levy of from 1% to 5% of income to be imposed on all households, which will be further increased at least twice in 2012. Higher property taxes. VAT to rise from the present 19% to 23% (lower rated items rising from 11% to 13% and 5.5% to 6.5%). Certain tax exemptions to be abolished. Duty on petrol and pump fuel, tobacco and alcohol to increase unbelievably by 33.33%.
Successful businesses making over a certain amount of profit must pay a special penalizing levy. So must owners of any property over a certain value, and anyone whose income is judged as “high” must also pay a special penalising levy in addition to all income tax. All other property taxes will increase across the board.
Workers for state-owned enterprises will have their wages cut by one-third. 1,976 schools will be closed, their staff fired. The health budget will be cut by 310 million euros by the end of this year alone, and by a further 1.81 billion euros by the end of 2015. Social security payments will be cut by 1.09 billion euros by the end of this year, by a further 1.28 billion euros next year, a further 1.03 billion euros in 2013, 1.01 billion in 2014, and 700 million in 2015. As millions more join the unemployed, benefits will be cut and means-testing greatly increased.
All pensions over 1,000 euros per month will be cut by 20%. Anyone under 55 who has already retired will forfeit almost half (40%) of their pension above a 1000 euro monthly ceiling. Retirement age is to be raised. A requirement of 40 years of work and corresponding pension contributions will be necessary to claim a full pension.
The Greek government will also be obliged to raise a further 50 billion euros by “selling the family silver” – that is, selling its stakes in large businesses including Hellenic Postbank and the Piraues and Thessaloniki commercial ports, 10% of Hellenic Telecom, Athens Water, Hellenic Petroleum, PPC Electricity, ATEbanks and other businesses wholly or partly owned by the state.
(Source of information: Greek Ministry of Finance Economic Policy Programme Newsletter.)
Understanding all this, it is also understandable that the introduction of such severe economic repression on a country’s entire population may even trigger a violent revolution: there have already been strikes and riots caused by lesser measures.
It is perfectly right for a prime minister to give the ordinary people a chance to freely vote on whether or not they wish to accept such a staggeringly oppressive period of hardship and misery as the price for belonging to the European Dictatorship. Naturally, the European dictators will do anything within their (considerable) power to squash this last vestige of democracy in Greece as quickly and ruthlessly as they can.
In Britain, we must consider ourselves warned. Our prime ministers will not even entertain the notion of permitting the population a democratic referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. This is proven fact.
When we look at the dire position which Greece has been placed into by the threats and today, we should borrow a phrase we used to see on film billboards:- “Coming soon to a country near you!” Perhaps very near you indeed. Perhaps our country. Perhaps we need to increase pressure on our pathetic government to allow us the long-promised referendum on Europe!