Part I of the series “Greece and debt: two centuries of interference from creditors”
Newly Independent Greece had an Odious Debt round her Neck
by ERIC TOUSSAINT
Since 2010, Greece has been the centre of attention. Yet this debt crisis, mainly the work of private banks, is nothing new in the history of independent Greece. The lives of Greeks have been blighted by major debt crises no less than four times since 1826. Each time, the European powers have connived together to force Greece to contract new debts to repay the previous ones. This coalition of powers dictated policies to Greece that served their own interests and those of a few big private banks they favoured. Each time, those policies were designed to free up enough fiscal resources to service the debt by reducing social spending and public investment. Thus Greece and her people have, in a variety of ways, been denied the exercise of their sovereign rights, keeping Greece down with the status of a subordinate, peripheral country. The local ruling classes complied with this.
This series of articles analyses the four major crises of Greek indebtedness, placing them in their international political and economic context – something which is systematically omitted from the dominant narrative and very rarely included in critical analysis.