Sunday, August 11, 2013

Greg Palast: Why Are the Greek People Agreeing to Their Own Destruction?

09 August 2013
Michael Nevradakis
Greek Austerity.A woman holds a Greek flag during a protest outside of the Greek Parliament building in Athens, November 6, 2012. (Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis / The New York Times)In his career as an investigative journalist, economist, and bestselling author - Vultures' Picnic, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - Greg Palast has not been afraid to tackle some of the most powerful names in politics and finance. From uncovering Katherine Harris' purge of African-American voters from Florida's voter rolls in the year 2000 to revealing the truth behind the "assistance" provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ailing economies, Palast has not held back in revealing the corruption and criminal actions of the wealthy and powerful. In a recent interview on Dialogos Radio, Palast turned his attention to Greece and to the austerity policies that have been imposed on the country by the IMF, the European Union, and the European Central Bank.
"To me, Greece is a crime scene," said Palast. "Greece is dying, and austerity is one of the things that killed it." He rebuked the recent proclamations made by Greek and EU officials deeming Greece an economic "success story," describing them as "nonsense."

"Austerity has destroyed Greece and the euro has destroyed Greece," said Palast. "Austerity in the middle of a recession is a death sentence."

One of the hallmarks of austerity programs is privatization. Palast, who has investigated the impact of privatization programs in Latin America, drew parallels between those countries' experiences and the demands now being imposed on Greece.

"You see the kind of brutal practices which were first tested on Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil brought to Greece with more severe consequences," said Palast. "You get ripped off. You still need water, you still need electricity. You privatize these things, you're still going to have to buy water and electricity, but now you'll pay a fortune to German and American and Canadian companies."

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