How Europe Played Greece

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How Europe Played Greece

Do these things, they said, for all our sakes and you will return to prosperity with our help. They lied.

"They have decided to strangle us, whether we say yes or no", said a Greek woman to me yesterday. "The only choice we have is to make it quick or slow. I will vote "oxi" (no). We are economically dead anyway. I might as well have my conscience clear and my pride intact." 

Her view is not atypical among friends and relations I have canvassed in the last few days. Trust has evaporated. Faith in European Institutions is thin on the ground. Lines have been crossed. At times of financial strain, a country's currency issuer, its central bank, should act as lender of last resort and prime technocratic negotiator. In Greece's case, the European Central Bank, sits on the same side as the creditors; acts as their enforcer. This is unprecedented. 

The ECB has acted to asphyxiate the Greek economy - the ultimate blackmail to force subordination. The money is there, in our accounts, but we cannot have access to it, because the overseers of our own banking system, the very people who some months ago issued guarantees of liquidity, have decided to deny liquidity. We have phantom money, but no real money. There is a terrifying poetry to that, since the entire crisis was caused by too much phantom money in the first place.

Read the complete version of this article, and support quality analysis of the ongoing crisis in Greece, at the Byline.

Alex Andreou

Alex Andreou is a UK-based actor and theatre director who has also written extensively on politics and economics, especially on the subject of his home country of Greece, for a number of outlets, including the Guardian, the New Statesman, BBC, and many other British and Greek publications. Follow him on Twitter: @sturdyAlex

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