The nation of Greece may be the worst run nation in the Western world. A large part of their problem has been the decades long infatuation with socialism, which has thoroughly wrecked their economy and driven the nation to desperate measures. Over the last decade or so Greece has been treated like a patient on life support: fed, clothed and cared for by the other, more prosperous nations of Europe. Europe has poured BILLIONS of dollars in welfare and stimulus into Greece, but because Greece has not solved its more fundamental problems, the financial assistance has not helped. At All.
After years of wasting money on Greece, the compassion of Europe has run dry and they’ve called for those loans to come due.
That decision has the Socialist Greek Prime Minister furious. So furious, in fact, that he is calling the move “undemocratic.” He wants the Greek people to have the opportunity to vote on whether or not they should have to pay back those billions of dollars in loans!
The prime minister of Greece has called a referendum for July 5 so Greeks can decide if they support or reject the current bailout proposal offered by the country’s European and International Monetary Fund creditors.
It was a surprise move announced in a televised address after an emergency cabinet meeting Friday night, when members of the leftist, anti-austerity party had a heated discussion on how to handle a take-it-or-leave-it offer by lenders.
One idea that lenders had proposed was extending the current bailout program for five more months, giving Greece aid of about $16 billion. But the Greek government says it wants an altogether new deal.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the offer on the table included further cutting pensions and salaries, and increasing taxes, austerity measures he says are intolerable. Some in his party have called Greece a “debt colony” because it can’t pay back billions of dollars in loans, and is forced to accept eurozone-imposed austerity measures.
They blame the budget cuts and tax hikes for damaging the economy further. The unemployment rate has tripled to more than 26 percent, and the country’s GDP has shrunk by a quarter.
Yeah, the Greeks are mad that Europe has given them so much money in loans that today it seems impossible to pay them back! They take no responsibility for the out of control spending and their socialist utopian economic schemes – it’s Europe’s fault for loaning them so much money.
Here’s a rough translation:
GREEK PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS: Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision not to approve the Greek government’s request for a few days extension of the program to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the institution’s ultimatum constitutes an unprecedented challenge to European affairs — an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign people to exercise their democratic prerogative.
A high and sacred right, the expression of opinion.
The Eurogroup’s decision prompted the ECB to not increase liquidity to Greek banks and forced the Bank of Greece to recommend that banks remain closed as well as restrictive measures on withdrawals.
These decisions will only serve to bring about the very opposite result.
It is clear that the objective of the Eurogroup’s and ECB’s decision is to attempt to blackmail the will of the Greek People and hinder the democratic process, namely, holding the referendum. They will not succeed. They will further stregnthen the resolve of the Greek people to reject the unacceptable memorandum proposals and the institutions’ ultimatums.
One thing remains certain, the refusal of an extension of a few short days and the attempt to cancel a purely democratic process is an insult and a great disgrace to Europe’s democratic traditions.
For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today, this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone as well to the heads of the ECB, European Commission and the European Parliament. I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request.
They are the only ones who can immediate — even tonight — reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.
What is needed in the coming days is composure and patience.
The deposits of citizens in Greek banks is absolutely assured.
The same is guaranteed and the payment of salaries and pensions.
Any difficulties will addressed calmly and decisively.
The more calmly face the difficulties, the sooner we will overcome and the more mild will be the consequences.
We have the opportunity today to prove to ourselves and the world that justice can prevail. We once again have the historical opportunity to send to Europe and the world a message of hope and dignity.
And remember: In this critical hour, as we face history together, our only fear is fear.
We will not allow it to overcome us.
We will make it.
The dignity of the Greek people against the face of blackmail and injustice, will send a message of hope and pride throughout Europe.