Privatisation

Two Years After Resounding “No” Vote, Greece Still Says “Yes” To Austerity

Privatization, high taxes and the slashing of cherished public-sector salaries and pensions are the price Greece has paid for accepting the loans that have kept the country in the Eurozone. Its citizens are the ones now paying the price for the costly missteps made by its leaders.

Greece Homeless

A homeless person changes clothes outside a bank in central Athens. Nearly one-in-four Greeks are unemployed and receive no benefits. Poverty rates have surged here since the start of the crisis in late 2009, with nearly 36 percent of the country living in financial distress.

It has become an increasingly common sight on Greek streets, even in formerly prosperous neighborhoods. Elderly—and sometimes not so elderly—individuals rummaging through rubbish bins in search of scraps of food to eat. Beggars are now practically a universal sighting in Athens and other large cities.

More and more young Greeks are migrating abroad by the day, contributing to a “brain drain” that has totaled approximately 500,000 individuals since the onset of the crisis. In my neighborhood in central Athens, several parked cars are filled to the brim with a life’s worth of possessions, packed in boxes by individuals who have likely lost their homes and livelihoods and who now call their automobiles home. Everywhere, abandoned cars and motorcycles rust away on curbsides and sidewalks.

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Privatising Europe

Using the crisis to entrench neoliberalism

13 March 2013
Joseph Zacune

This working paper and infographic provide an overview of  a great ‘fire sale’ of public services and national assets across Europe that is providing profits for a few transnational companies but is often fiercely opposed by its citizens.

Contents of briefing

  • Root causes of the crisis
  • Bad medicine for ailing economies
  • Using the crisis as cover to deepen neoliberalism
  • The Troika & the sacrifice of sovereignty
  • Privatisation as a key component
  • Greece – an El Dorado for investors?
  • Ireland – taking unpopular steps towards privatisation
  • Italian citizens reject the privatisation of public utilities
  • Portugal’s privatisation push
  • Spain – ‘citizen waves’ against privatisation
  • Britain as a testing ground for privatisation
  • Local democratic alternatives

The Great European Fire Sale The Great European Fire Sale

A visual overview of privatisation of public services and assets enforced on crisis countries by the European Commission and European Central Bank. And the popular resistance movements to defend public services that have emerged as a result.
> Download image | See image in interactive format

 

“The drive for austerity was about using the crisis, not solving it. It still is.”
Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman

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