Comment: Has the Troika destroyed Greece?

Pensioners outside banks, a spike in suicide rates - why on earth would any country want to stay part of an EU that allows this?

Greece ncr


When the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras says he does not agree with the third bailout plan, but will ‘implement it anyway’, the complete capitulation of a nation is for all to see. The Troika, which consists of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, have enforced terms which also serve as a veiled threat to the rest of the EU. One has to wonder in whose interest the European Superstate really serves.

In recent days we have seen the financial and political elite of Europe humiliate Greece. Some may claim debt transgressions should not be looked upon lightly, but those who retain their humility would do well to remember the real origins of the crisis. We should also not forget the ironic twist in which Greece was a supporter of Germany’s debt relief after the Second World War.

Having such a huge mountain to climb in order to repay the €242 billion (£171.4 billion) to lenders, we should question what sections of its economy actually plug this hole? Balancing on the edge of a financial collapse, tourism and shipping remain vital to the survival of Greece.

The daily bombardment of grim news is already putting off money-savvy tourists visiting this once popular destination. The tourist industry alone makes up approximately 18-20 per cent of Greece’s GDP. Known for its ancient landmarks, sunny resorts and archaeological wonders, other spots in the Mediterranean are looking more appealing as measures from the Troika are spoiling its competitive edge.

It has come to a point where it is doubtful Greece’s infrastructure can support the intake of tourists. The limits placed on ATM machines has been widely reported, and while these limits do not affect foreign visitors at the moment, tourists have been advised to take the majority of their spending money in cash. Now the fear of being a target for criminals when carrying cash combines with the hazards of public strikes and demonstrations.

Despite claims foreigners will be fine, there have already been reports of visitors being unable to withdraw cash from banks as they run out of Euros, and hotels and restaurants not being able to import enough supplies, many businesses are simply refusing to accept credit cards.

In addition, the country is being subject to what equates to a cheap German auction of its ‘goods’. Up to €50 billion (£35.4 billion) of Greek government assets will be reinvested or sold off. Trapped into the Eurozone, the ability to devalue their currency is lost. Exactly how many investors are willing to pile their money into such risky investments is yet to be seen, and the signs do not look promising.

It appears a seemingly fiscally responsible Germany is blind to the effects of devaluing currency, as the Troika has just risen VAT levels by 10 per cent on basic goods. The VAT rate has now risen from 13 per cent to 23 per cent. Elsewhere, tourists will find comfort more elusive as restaurants, hotels and taxis are also incorporated into the rise. Such actions are fundamentally at odds with Greeks and tourists alike. In what conceivable circumstance will this help fill the 25 per cent unemployment gap?

A great source of pride is Greece’s world-leading shipping industry. Indicative of the counterproductive tax rates just hoisted on the tourism industry, levies are also being raised among ship-owners, with many threatening to relocate to a more business-friendly locale.

Estimated at 8 per cent of GDP, shipping proves too lucrative for the EU to leave alone, and more innocent bystanders are paying for the Eurozone’s mistakes. Greece needs innovation and private investment, not used as cannon fodder for the destructive Euro.

In a final bizarre episode, German visitors to the traumatised nation are currently increasing. Whether this is down to a subconscious guilt and apology for what their government has done to Greece is anyone’s guess…

Elsewhere, on the Greek island of Rhodes this week French tourists have sparked anger when they refused to pay to enter an archaeological site because they said, as taxpayers, they were already paying to bail out Greece. The group are reported object to ‘paying Greece twice’ to visit the ruins of Lindos. However, the Greek security guards told the French media: “We are frankly quite offended at their refusal to pay. They said they had already paid our country once, so had a right to enter where they liked. This is an ancient site, and the entry fee is used to keep it preserved for today’s visitors, we hope for a long time to come.” The French were turned away!

The current state of affairs is astonishing. One would be hard pressed to make it up. Having been forced to accept and spend large amounts of cheap Euro credit, the moment it goes wrong consumers are forced to pay up. Crying pensioners outside banks, a spike in suicide rates, the long-term damage of its tourism and shipping industries and reputation – why on earth would a country want to stay part of the arrogant EU superstate? It is because they are trapped, and have nowhere else to turn.

It is clear the EU project and its failed currency comes before the people – we must get Britain out of the EU as soon as possible.

Chris Muspratt is a researcher for the cross-party grassroots Eurosceptic campaign group Get Britain Out

20 Responses to “Comment: Has the Troika destroyed Greece?”

  1. Mikebjones

    Go to Our Community l e f t f o o r a – Online money

  2. Asteri

    The lesson of Greece is you can either have the EU and the so called ‘benefits’ it brings or you can have a representative sovereign democracy, but you can’t have both.

  3. JohnRich

    The EU has destroyed Greece

  4. Respectfulguest

    That may be the problem. It seems that maybe the Greek people want their cake and to eat it too, as the saying goes. If suffering will happen one way or the other, why take it under the slave masters who are forcing you to sell off your country (won through the blood of heros and martyrs from the Ottomans)?

  5. Cole

    I wonder how many members this ‘grassroots ‘ organisation Get Britain Out has – and who runs it. Their website is very vague. It appears to be a pretty hard right outfit and not very cross party.

  6. Asteri

    The Greek media has them believing the world would come to an end if the Drachmi was re-adopted.

  7. jeffreylmcnabb

    *****Brelliant Quality Of performance ward.. <..~~~.. Find Here

  8. Keith M

    The EU is acting in the same way as the Soviet Union behaved towards its satellite. No state should be made to be subservient.

  9. Keith M

    What would the scenario be if Greece went back to the drachma?

  10. Guy Dawe

    So Greece borrows money to pay its debts and blames everyone except themselves for this situation which has resulted in;
    1. Other nations lending Greece ALL the money it needs to pay its debts
    2. Other nations lending the greek banks enough money to pay pensioners who receive on average 3 times more than pensioners in Slovakia for instance
    3. The highest rate on non collection of taxes in the eu with other nations cash being used to make up the shortfall
    4. The number of greek millionaires with assets outside greece is hundreds of times the number of greeks that have declared assets within greece … with no comment on this discrepancy by the greek govt
    In the end the greek problem is just that the greek problem … if they want other nations to keep them in the euro they have to try and obey the rules … odd but true

  11. Guy Dawe

    In the short term very high inflation but in the long term huge balance of payments benefits and greater exports of agricultural goods … and the added benefit of being able to default on its loans (again) and massively reduce govt expenditure
    But as long as govt spending is 50% of the economy this cycle of debt and default will continue as it has always done since 1832.

  12. GTE


    1. Keysian borrow and spend. You get the inflated GDP, then it falls and it falls farther than it went up because of the interest.

    2. Standard socialist pension ponzi. Take the money, give it to someone else. No assets, massive debts. You can’t even blame capitalism, since there’s no capital. You then hide the debts off the books.

    The EU on the other hand have bent over backwards to help Greece.

  13. GTE


    That means big cuts to state wages and pensions, not under the control of the Greek state.

    Then it depends. If they allow people to bring back Euros tax free, you get an asset bubble.

    If they decide to tax the FX gains, you won’t get any money coming back. [Or from under the mattress]

  14. GTE

    Exactly. They need to change their constitution that Greek governments aren’t allowed to run up any debts. Pensions or borrowing.

  15. GTE

    So the Greeks shouldn’t have borrowed or run pension ponzis.

  16. Cole

    Subtle analysis of Keysianism. Like your old fashioned economic model works so well – creating boom and bust, mass impoverishment, gross inequality etc. But, hey, the people with the power and money do ok, so that’s all that matters to right wingers.

  17. Cole

    And maybe banks and institutions in Germany, France etc shouldn’t have been so feckless and irresponsible as to lend the Greeks the money. What were they thinking?

  18. debrahlussie


  19. marthadclary

    Now The Big Cash Here ffoorrward. <..~~~.. make some money online

  20. Dave Stewart

    It’s telling that those French and German banks got their money back despite making bad loans and all the losses were transferred to the Greek government in the form of the troikas bailouts.

    There are two sides to a loan agreement, the creditor and the debtor. The creditor agrees to loan money and charges interest which is there for them to make money but with the knowledge that there is a possibility of the debtor defaulting with the interest being proportional to the risk. The point is if the debtor defaults then the creditor loses their money. That is how they can justify charging interest.

    There is two way responsibility between both debtor and creditor and I think that this has been completely been lost sight of. All the blame has been apportioned to Greece (and the Greek people, the vast majority of which had absolutely nothing to do with it) and the Creditor banks (mostly French and German) has not accepted any blame or losses for their reckless lending.

    It’s almost like the Troika protected French and German private (and to an extent national) interests at the expense of Greece, the Greek people and other EU tax payers.

Leave a Reply