OPINION

The blood of societies

Greece’s fiscal crisis is chiefly due to its own structural weaknesses and to a series of crimes committed by its political class. Nevertheless, the current difficulties in obtaining loans are not just the result of its own sins. The markets are not only putting pressure on Greece but also on other countries in Europe’s south, just as independent economists had predicted – and it could soon be the turn of other European Union member states. The main target is the eurozone and the single currency. The markets are baying for blood, the blood of governments and societies. But it is those same governments and societies that only a year ago hastened to shed their blood for collapsing markets when the golden boys’ bubble burst. In the arm-wrestling match that followed as to who would prevail in the battle to control the movement of capital and avert another bubble, European states dragged their feet, hiding behind a 20-year-old treaty, while the profiteers regrouped in order to revert to the previous state of affairs without any restrictions. It is the victory of those profiteers that we are seeing today. Greece is not their only victim; their main victim is the euro and European cohesion. A recent Le Monde editorial titled «All Greeks?» made the following prophecy: «The way out of the crisis will be difficult both politically and socially – a fact demonstrated by the revival of populism. But the way the Greeks accept the coming austerity will be closely watched in many capitals, where policies are discreetly heading in the same direction.» Serious analysts have long pointed out the deeply political nature of the economic crisis. Now they are also pointing out the danger of social unrest with unpredictable consequences if the burden is born unilaterally by society while the markets remain untouched and uncontrolled. The crisis is now a question of sovereignty and power.