When you read about the political mess that Greece has became, the press for austerity–led by Germany–is bizarre. If there is one nation that should understand the political consequences of unpayable public debt denominated in a foreign currency, it would be Germany (Got Versailles Treaty?). Instead, we now are witnessing the political retrogression of Greece:
Several of the protesters arrested after the first demonstration on Sunday 30 September told the Guardian they were slapped and hit by a police officer while five or six others watched, were spat on and “used as ashtrays” because they “stank”, and were kept awake all night with torches and lasers being shone in their eyes.
Some said they were burned on the arms with a cigarette lighter, and they said police officers videoed them on their mobile phones and threatened to post the pictures on the internet and give their home addresses to Golden Dawn, which has a track record of political violence…
One of the two women among them said the officers used crude sexual insults and pulled her head back by the hair when she tried to avoid being filmed. The protesters said they were denied drinking water and access to lawyers for 19 hours. “We were so thirsty we drank water from the toilets,” she said.
One man with a bleeding head wound and a broken arm that he said had been sustained during his arrest alleged the police continued to beat him in GADA and refused him medical treatment until the next morning. Another said the police forced his legs apart and kicked him in the testicles during the arrest.
“They spat on me and said we would die like our grandfathers in the civil war,” he said.
A third said he was hit on the spine with a Taser as he tried to run away; the burn mark is still visible. “It’s like an electric shock,” he said. “My legs were paralysed for a few minutes and I fell. They handcuffed me behind my back and started hitting and kicking me in the ribs and the head. Then they told me to stand up, but I couldn’t, so they pulled me up by the chain while standing on my shin. They kept kicking and punching me for five blocks to the patrol car.”
Admittedly, maybe the austerity push should have been reconsidered after the reigning coalition appointed “The Hammer” as the Interior Minister. You might be wondering, “Why is he called the Hammer?” Because he used to beat his political opponents with a fucking hammer. Although he would, on occasion, use an ax handle: quite the generalist, the Hammer is.
So let’s forget about inflation targeting, debt-to-GDP ratios, and the like. I propose a new metric: if your policies enable fascists then you’re doing it wrong.