Holding the European Empire Together

On 25 January Greece will hold elections. As far as we can read the future it seems likely that Syriza will win those elections and as Syriza have campaigned on an anti-austerity platform the new Greek Government will engage with the European Union in an attempt to persuade the EU to mitigate its austerity policies. If the EU fails to do this then it is likely that Greece will leave the European Union.  Continue reading

The Genesis of the Financial Crisis

Around the world most economies are beginning to recover. Recovery is still not certain and some economies are still in terrible condition, but the major economies of the world look in better shape than they were a few years ago. It is probably time to consider what caused the economic crash, on the basis that enough time might have elapsed in order to judge more carefully and more impartially than a judgment made in the heat of the crisis. Continue reading

The Cyprus Financial Crisis

People in the world have forgotten about Cyprus. This small divided European nation linked by a common language to Greece became in effect bankrupt when its banks found that the Greek banks to which the Cypriot banks had lent money, were unable to repay their debts. Cyprus needed loans to replace the money lost in Greece. Greece had received loans, but not to enable it to repay its debts to Cyprus. Continue reading

The New Cyprus Problem

There has always been a Cyprus problem. It is a small island which has been ruled by many colonial powers for much of its recorded history. The French, Venetians, the Ottomans and the British all colonised Cyprus and exploited its people. Cyprus achieved independence despite the fierce opposition by many British in 1960; the colonial system of divide and rule drove a political rift between the Greeks and the Turks who lived in the island and after fighting in 1974 the island split into two sectors. Reunification of the island had until now been the Cyprus problem but today there is a new Cyprus problem, without the old problem having been solved. Continue reading

There is no Greek Financial Crisis

There are many crises in the world today; there are wars in Afghanistan and Libya, there is unrest in Syria and insurgency in Iraq and many people are losing their lives, but the crisis that is dominating the news today is what is called the Greek Crisis. Greece has as a sovereign nation borrowed money and it cannot afford to repay it. Greece is being urged to accept severe austerity measures to enable it to repay the money that it cannot afford to borrow. It must, it is being told, sell national assets, work harder for less money and pay more taxes to enable it to repay what it cannot repay. I do not know whether to solution is that which is being put forward by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. I do know, however, that the crisis is not one about Greece, but one about banking and the way we organise our international lending and borrowing. Continue reading