Sometime in the next few days, either the Greek government or Chancellor Angela Merkel will blink and a sad, incomplete and patchwork resolution of the financial crisis will slowly move out of the 24/7 news cycle. The Greeks will still be impoverished, the Eurozone countries will wonder about the future of their union, and the tactic of using austerity measures as a tool of fiscal reform will come under intense scrutiny.
In a capitalist and globalized world creditors are king, debts may be rescheduled but not forgiven, and central banks call the shots.Amidst all the posturing and threats is the dying practice of democracy as technocrats and bankers tell desperate people how much money they can take out of the ATM, how their pension payments will be lowered and how their futures will be controlled. No matter that the Greeks said No to austerity, what happens among the wealthy elites at the European Central Bank are the key.
If any good will come out of the Greek financial crisis it will be a frank discussion about how to make the everyday lives of the average people more secure after their leaders mismanaged the fiscal affairs of their country. It is interesting to note that most of the Yes votes in the Greek referendum were cast by the rich, who by the way are often tax evaders. It was the lower and middle classes who carried the message to Chancellor Merkel that their lives and their futures mattered.
Global inequality is now joined by global austerity schemes as economic, social and political issues that cannot be ignored. Inequality and austerity hurt the working classes while creating huge disparities of income that enrich wealthy creditors and empower banking elites. Sure the Greeks mismanaged their finances, sure the Greek work ethic is suspect, sure the Greeks depended too heavily on the nanny state, but it is time now to place the human element of this crisis front and center. Let the creditors and bankers make a sacrifice; it is time to save the Greek people.