Tuesday, September 11, 2012

German one-percenter lobbyist: turn Greece into a playground for "free-market" plunder

Hans-Peter Keitel has been the president of the German business lobbying group, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) since 2009. Roland Nelles und Severin Weiland report in BDI-Chef will Griechenland zur Sonderwirtschaftszone machen Spiegel Online 10.09.2012 on an interview with him in which he basically says he would like to see Greece turned into a "special economic zone" in which their sovereign debt would be erased but their economy restructured under EU direction to be a playground for corporations and the wealthy.

Not that his proposal is much different from what German Chancellor Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel is already doing.

What's actually more interesting is his insistence, also consistent with Frau Fritz' pronouncements to the same effect, that Greece has to be kept in the eurozone.

This is the dilemma that Frau Fritz and her government at the service of the One Percent have created. In 2009, they tried to solve the Greek debt crisis as cheaply as they could to prevent exposing and exacerbating the fragile state of German and other European banks. And they tried to use the crisis to impose the kind of conditions on Greece that the IMF's "Washington Consensus" imposed on developing countries: free flows of foreign capital, weak labor laws, light regulation, privatization of any public enterprises possible from airlines to parks to public transit.

Now the crisis has spread and Germans like Frau Fritz and Herr Keitel are afraid if they allow or insist on Greece going its own way outside of the euro, similar to what Argentina did in 2001-2 in the face of a currency trap and debt crisis, that it would set off a chain of events that would be devastating for Germany and German exporters.

Keitel criticizes the European Central Bank's (ECB) proposed bond-buying action to ease interest rate pressures on Spain and Italy. He says that if countries want to improve their interest rates, they should do so through "überzeugende Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik" ("convincing financial and economic policies"), i.e., implementing the neoliberal agenda of the Washington Consensus that Frau Fritz is insisting upon.

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