Greece’s standoff with Eurozone governments and international creditors poses a greater threat to the global economy than conflict in the Middle East, climate change and rising tensions between Russia and the West, UK Chancellor George Osborne says.
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He warned that tensions between the Greek government and the architects of its IMF-EU imposed bailout pose a “rising threat to the British economy,” and that a path of “competence over chaos” in Europe is paramount.
Why such pessimism and alarm? For one thing, I would argue that at least where the Middle East and Russia are concerned, it’s controlled chaos, where the West is both controller and instigator, and they could stop at any time, whereas Syriza’s victory in Greece and their decisive courage and determination comes as a complete and utter surprise. But there’s more to his concerns. Osbourne has an agenda in Britain that he cannot have derailed.
Osborne said the Conservative Party’s economic plan for Britain would continue to increase employment levels and growth, and should be loyally pursued through uncertain economic times.
In the brief time Syriza has been in power, Varoufakis has presented himself with remarkable poise and clarity for a newbie, even under severe pressure and aggressive criticism from those who challenge his approach. in short, he is a real threat to neoliberal dogma and he came out of nowhere, inspiring confidence and hope all over the world in his ability to deliver, along with renewed calls for an end to austerity as a doctrine. Even Obama chimed in.
“You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression,” Obama told CNN.
“At some point, there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits,” he added.
Last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney sharply criticized austerity policies common to the Eurozone states, warning that the single-currency area was constrained by strangulating levels of debt that could plunge it into years of stagnation.
Following Carney’s comments, UK economist and anti-austerity campaigner Michael Burke argued that debt burdens of struggling EU states such as Greece and Ireland are unsustainable, and must be largely written off if real growth is to occur in these states.
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[Italian PM Renzi] warned that the Eurozone’s debate compass had to shift away from austerity and toward growth.
“We want to change economic policy in Europe, not just for Greece or for another country. We want to shift the debate on economic policy away from austerity and rigor toward growth and investment,” he told RTL radio.
As Syriza begins its task of restructuring Greece’s political and economic position on a fraught European stage, citizens and leftist parties in heavily indebted EU states will be watching closely.
If Varoufakis actually manages to present a plan that meets everyone’s demands and is impossible to reject in good conscience, then everyone, including the British, will demand a similar approach. And that is cause for serious alarm. The domino effect will be impossible to contain. In fact, that is precisely what Varoufakis suggested in another hostile BBC interview earlier this week. His plan is not just good for the Greeks it’s good for the rest of the EU’s debt ridden ganders.