Greece: Victim of West’s Financial System – By Abdullahi Musa



In 1986, Nigeria started a ‘home – grown’ structural adjustment  program, known as SAP. The details of that program have escaped my memory. But one aspect remains etched in my memory: the exchange rate was deregulated, starting with N3 being equivalent to one dollar. Today, we have progressed, become better, N200 plus Naira exchange for one dollar. Since then, even before then, citizens of underdeveloped countries have distrusted the International Monetary Fund, the IMF.
Here is an institution, apparently owned by nations collectively, but serving the interest of few.
So what was the hallmark of African countries in terms of IMF killer pills, has now gone to Europe, to Greece.
I am not an investigative journalist, nor an academic researcher. I do not know how Greece ended up being like Third World countries, being on IMF’s operating table. What I gathered was that Greece was spending beyond its means. It borrowed money which it is now finding it difficult to repay. The bail out program is simply for the good of creditors , not the Greek people. For the Greek people, it is austerity, more austerity.
And the Greeks are now fed up. They have just elected into office a new party, whose main mission is challenging austerity. Part of the requirements of the bail out plan is that government assets should be sold. I am perplexed. With the way privatisation was rammed down our throats,  you would have thought that no European country is having any assets, all sold to the capitalists. As usual again  public sector workers should be retrench ed  no new recruitment.  A drastic cut in social services, even health care when the pill is to be rammed down African throats.
So this new party is touring Europe, asking the likes of Merkel to have a rethink  this austerity does not work. But in Washington recently, she said,  the Greek have no alternative  they must pay their debt.
The international,  economic system in lace is unjust  cruel.  The regulatory bodies were established to keep some up, and many down. There is a sordid aspect to Greece ‘ s tragedy.  Before I read that of the Greeks, long back I read where Indian women driven by poverty, would leave their children in custody of their husbands, to stand at trailer drivers’ rest spots, in order for the drivers to purchase their bodies. It has come to that in Greece: married women seeking jobs at brothels,  but being turned away because the law does not allow it; their only alternative being standing by the road side to be picked up by a willing buyer. It is so bad that even highly educated women who qualified as medical doctors, have no option but to be escorts to those who need non-medical services from them. And Merkel wants this to continue.
I have for long marveled at our naivete as Africans. We assume an unreasonable certainty that the European has free funds with which to help us. We are always calling for help, and they are always boasting that they have doled out billions to us. From where did they get the billions to help Africans, but they cannot help a European country  a member of the EU? They will fight tooth and nail to see that this new Greek government does not succeed. They will close all doors of opportunity. But as one commentator said, the time has come to question the system, and it will never be business as usual.
But the Greeks can still be able to look down upon us Nigerians. They can vote out a government the policies of which they dislike. But here jokers are even telling us we can’t have the elections,  because we have been foolish enough to let them control our armoury. Here is an opportunity to either build this nation or to destroy it.
And let us know: as the West is insensitive to Greek’s humiliation,  so will they be in different whether we survive or not.



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