For their countries, realizing the dream of EU membership did not mean achieving liberal democracy, as advertised, but being thrown to the wolves of neoliberal capitalism. Local elites made a killing out of the so-called “transition” — for example by selling off public resources for private profit and taking a cut from the very expensive military hardware they ordered from French and German manufacturers. In this they were unsurprisingly aided and abetted by French and German bankers who were doing very nicely from it as well. That’s how huge debts piled up in all these countries — the debts whose origin is obscured by talk of “playing by the rules.” And it’s why austerity has now been imposed on them — in other words, why local taxpayers have been left to pay the bill through further cuts to their salaries, social services, and general standard of living

Source: A Laboratory Sitting on a Graveyard: Greece and the Neoliberal Debt Crisis – The Los Angeles Review of Books

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