The International Economic Crisis and the Greek Case [the eradication of unemployment and poverty]
In the light of the economic crisis,the elimination of poverty is the most vital and complicated problem of the international community, because it is connected with the wellness and the dignity of the human being. Poverty is an extensive phenomenon which is manifested not only in the poor countries but in the wealthy as well. It is a multifaced and multidimensional problem, consequently ,the alleviation of this complex problem, must be examined in a holistic systemic approach. Specifically,the main dimensions of poverty are the following.
1. The Economical Dimension
The provided means to the peoples are unsufficient for the satisfaction of their basic needs for food, shelter, proper health conditions, education and generally for a descent quality level of life.
2.The Psychological Dimension
Poverty develops to the peoples strong negative feelings such as disappointment, injustice, low self esteem, lack of confidence, indignation , hatred, etc. All these negative feelings lead the poor peoples to hostile , rebellious and all kinds of negative behaviors ,against the establishment,
3.The Social Dimension
Poverty distorts the coercion of society, promotes frictions among the peoples and leads to illegal actions, anomie, criminality etc. The poor societies are vulnerable and easily exploitable by powerful forces such as, the multinational companies,other rich countries, etc.
4. The Educational Dimension
Poverty is usually connected to illiteracy, lack of education, special training for various occupations,and the know how of modern technology. All these factors leed to the exploitation of their wealth and their natural resources, by the mighty and constitute a major handicap for facing of poverty.
5.The Regional and Cultural Dimension
The geographical area as well as the local cultural and religious characteristics of a country should be taken in serious consideration , although they dont constitute the major cause for poverty.
6.The Political Dimension
The political dimension of poverty may be considered as the most important one ,because the political system,the law system,the application of justice and legality, the protection of human rights, and the responsibility of the Governors and the Administrators, are the decisive factors for all the above mentioned dimensions of poverty.
In addition, the recent economical crisis has revealed another important aspect of the political role in the development of poverty and that is the crisis of the ethical and moral values in the world of the economy and politics and consequently,the exploitation of the poor and weak by the rich and mighty.
As an expert in international law, and president of the Institution of inter-balkan relations ,which is aiming to promote the peaceful relations among the Balkan States to all the sectors, based on the international law, the international legality and the democratic principles, I am going to focus my presentation to the political dimension of poverty .As Aristotle said < the happiness - evdaimonia -of the human beings is connected with the ethical living, and the ethical living is identical to justice .Therefore, the first goal towards the alleviation of poverty is to respect and promote human rights, which in our era constitutes common law and to apply social justice, the supreme social value which according Plato, the highest political philosopher, consists the condition sine qua non, for the peaceful coexistence of human societies.
Let me now proceed to the measures which the international community must take , in order to eradicate the problems of poverty and unemployment.
Proper measures for the eradication of poverty.
A. INTERNATIONAL LEGALITY
The application of the international legality, which is mainly derived from the charter of the U.N.,the common and conventional law and in our contemporary era,it constitutes the necessary condition for the welfare of the international community.Therefore, its violation creates international frictions, war affairs and the destruction of the economy of the involving states. For this reason, the U.N. must protect and secure the sovereign equality of all its members, the territorial integrity,their political independence and the safeguard from the interventions of the powerful countries or group of countries to weak countries. It is well known that the interference of economical groups and enterprises, taking advantage of the free capital mobility, they enter the local markets of the poor countries and using their economical power and in cooperation with the domestic cartels, they monopolize their economical life of the poor . These conditions promote unemployment and cause obvious tragical consequences for the small and powerless countries,. Therefore, the U.N .must observe the international economical companies, the rules of their competition and the investment of their capitals which should be aimed at the creation of job opportunities for the people and the development of the country. Besides ,the U.N. should observe the application of the ethical values, the ethical attitude of the staff, and the success of the business, without any exploitation of the poor countries.
The Socrates Example
The international legality, which is derived mainly from the application of the U.N. Charter, the Common and Conventional law, the Helsinki Final Act, the charter of Paris etc. in combination with the national laws, constitutes the supreme value of the civilized societies.
As it was taught, in the ancient period by the great Greek philosopher Socrates, < All the peoples must obey the Laws> and had offered his life in order to obey to the law, although he knew that his condemnation to death was unfair.
Declaration of former U.S.A Presidents
In our contemporary era the president of the U.S.A. Franklin Roosevelt had declared in the American Congress, the relief of the human beings from poverty. The assassinated president John Kennedy, in his inauguration address characterized poverty, as the main enemy of humanity and finally president Harry Truman, on the 24th of October 1945, during the ceremony of the signing of the U.N. Charter, which took place in the San Francisco Opera, addressing the three thousand diplomatic representatives of all countries, journalist and participants coming from all nations, declared that .<< The U.N.Charter which we have just signed constitutes a unique creation on which we may rely to build a better world. History will honor you for this, because you have succeeded a victory over the war, with this charter you may attain to the future for a better life, with dignity and freedom – if we will fail to use the charter, we will be traitors to all those who sacrificed their live, to enable us to meet here today secure and free. If we will claim to use the charter selfishly, which means favoring the interest of one nation or a small group of nations, we will all be equally “guilty” of this treasure”.
So, the application of the U.N. Charter, the common and conventional law and especially the Ecumenical Declaration of human rights, which constitute the international legality without of any discrimination, is the basic presupposition, for the establishment of a better world, they releases the world from the scourge of new wars, the under development of the countries, the unemployment of the people, and the poverty of the peoples,all over the world.
B. THE SAFEGUARD OF DEMOCRACY
The safeguard of the democracy and freedom which is the supreme human values, as it is taught by the Aristotle and applied three thousand years ago in Athens, by the leader Kleisthenis. Even to day though Democracy,[ in our contemporary period], is still struggling against fascism, natsi, dictatorship and totalitarian regimes, which in the 20th Century caused two world wars, and brought untold sorrow to mankind. Democracy which expresses the peoples opinion, is the only regime which secure the international peace and security, it protect and promote the individual rights and fundamental liberties and it creates the presuppositions for economic development. That’s why the international Community must decide, for a long period of time, to support and accept a stable democratic political system, which it secure the international peace and security, the human rights, democracy and liberty and it offers equal opportunities for the progress to all.
C. JUSTICE AND EQUALITY
The safeguard of the highest values of the human societies, which is justice and quality. That’s why the ancient Greeks had worshipped justice, the daughter of Heaven and Earth, as well as the first wife of Dias (Era].
According to Plato: justice is the presupposition and the only way, for the human society, to preserve peace and security, but its realization is possible only when the leaders of the peoples are philosophers or the philosophers become leaders.
Especially, the international community has the obligation to construct a Global Plan, in order to protect the coming generations, from the danger of poverty which is expanding all over the world. For the success of this aim the international community must proceed to the following measures.
1) The increasing of the financing of the poor countries , up to 3%, the budget of every wealthy country and technical support, at least for five years, for the benefit of the peoples in order to preserve social cohesion and to prevent manifestations, of the fasism, natsi, marxist and totalitarian ideals, which are against Democracy and cause problems and barriers to economic progress, of the liberal countries.
The international community, and by saying international community I refer basically to the big and wealth economic powers, must support and guide the poor countries to became self sufficient in food, by developing their agriculture, cattle breeding, fishing etc. instead of exploiting them, through several means, as for instance happened to my country.
Therefore in order to relieve the poor countries from illegal loans, surplus interest and consequently from the lost of their independence and sovereignty, which promote poverty and unemployment, additional measures,should be taken as.
2) The support of the poor countries, by the international Community, for a long time of period, in order to accept of a stable socioeconomic and democratic political system, which will offer equal opportunities for progress to all and for avoidance of the social frictions.
3] The promotion of ethical values and the punishment of any unethical and corruptive activities of all the peoples and particular of the leaders of the countries as the basic attempt to eradicate the poverty and harmonized the world.
4) The elimination the restriction and control of the dominant position of the the big Companies, the big Banks and the Cartels, by the Leadership of the world which are elected by the peoples, in order to cancel the monopolising of the markets, the imports and exports of the raw materials and manufactured products, the manipulation of the political leaders and to secure finance investments to the poor countries, equal payment for equal work, social justice and punishment of the extensive phenomenon of corruption .
5) The establishment of an international Committee under the auspice of the U.N. which will be in charge to abolish the lending of money, to the poor countries , because the high interest loans causes poverty to the borrowing countries, dominates their lives of the poor , with tragic consequences.
As the ancient Greek Scholar Plutarxos taught, <<the men who lend money become hostile and tyrant for the receiptor [of the money], abuse the receiptors freedom as well as his political and private property. Consequently the men must avoide to lend or to borrow money >>.
Today, the economical crisis developed the following phenomena [followed usury by interest], arbitrariness unjustice, anomic, unethical attitude and the demolition of the social coercion ,producing the risk of social distortion and further more, the international peace and security..
Today the military attacks in many cases have been substituted by economic attacks, The economic crisis is more extended and succeeded, because at the same time the corruption, has bee flourished, high rate interest, injustice, anomie, the decline of morality and the distortion of the social coercion of the peoples.
As an example of such a measure I will refer to Solon the wise man of Athens , who was invited by the Athenians because all the sectors of every day life, were in crisis, to take the correct measures for the overcome of the crisis.
Solon the great lawmaker noticed the tragic situation of the cityof Athens, the suffering of the majority of the population while very few civilians were continuing to increase their wealth .After examining the situation he passed a law and abolished all the debts of the poor civilians ignoring the dept capital and interest of the rich people. This law was called ,< SISACHIA> .This law brought justice ,the code of ethics in the every day transactions and the promotion of the economical educational and cultural development which finally lead to the Golden Age of ancient Athens.
Finally I would like to emphasize the duty of the International Community to restore the U.N. Prestige, as it was viewed by the initiators and founders, after the second world war,and especially , its resolutions which must be respected and applied by all the countries with no discrimination.
As an example I would like to refer to the model of the Greek political philosophy, which it gives always an answer to our problems and this is the Delphic Amfictiony in ancien Greece which was it established 3500 years ago and its operation lasted for 1500 years since the foundation .The long duration of its operation and its successful mission was due to the application of the principles it was based on,The principles of ethics and justice were highly respected and the resolutions of the Delphic Council were compulsory even if those resolutions were against the interest of the big powers of that era, such as was Sparta and for the application of their resolutions, it had declared justice wars against the city-states, which refused to apply these resolutions .
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Finished my international review on the economic crisis , I am coming to the economic crisis of Greece , which has very deeply roots. Greece as all of you know, is situated to the most neuralgic location of the world from the point of view of geostrategic and geopolitical importance.
It is occupying the center of the Mediterranean Sea, the meeting point of East and West, North and South, covering a vast area which starts from the Balkan countries, the Ionian Sea, the Libyan Sea, the Cretan Sea, the Aegean up to Cyprus and the Asia Minor countries. Αccording to the archeological documents, Greek people are inhabitants in this area, since 7-8.000 (thousands) years, while the civilization in the country reached its year on the golden age, in the city of Athens, as well as in the other city-states of Ancient Greece. As it is well known, ancient Greek civilization belongs to the whole humanity, therefore there is no need to mention anything more about it.
Greece during the W.W. II, played a major role providing solid defense against the Italian Fascism of Mussolini, the German Nazi of Hitler, as well as his allies, the Bulgarians. With its defense, which lasting more than six months, Greece contributed decisively to final victory of the democratic powers. Greece, during this war has lost 1.000.000 (one million) persons, which means, the one tenth of its total population, as well as, its whole economical property and cultural goods.
Greece, relatively to its population, was the second country after Soviet Union, were she losses in time of war and for these losses it was never compensated. Also during the war the occupied military forces of Germany and Italy forcing Greece to lend them money and for this reason signed the Rome Agreement of March of 1942, and <borrow> money from the Bank of Greece, which arrange the adequate supply of Bank notes in drachmas, in order to secure the amount of 25 million marks monthly for the needs of German army>.
This agreement was recognized before and after the war by Germany . Even though ,Germany declined to proceed, according to article 3,parag. 3 of the London Agreement of February 27,1953 in fulfill of its obligations which comes from loan, before the settlement of war reparations has been achieved with the signing of the final peace treaty . The final Peace Treaty, in the mind time, had been signed by the Big powers and the United Germany by the year of 1990, but Germany which payed Soviet Union , Poland , Israel, Tsechia, Yugoslavia etc. refused to pay the loans to Greece and consequently Greece must brink it in frond of the International Court of Justice, according to the provisions of the Treaty.
To Summarize the above we can say that, Germany owed to Greece for the loan ,as it was before the end of war amounted to 38 million gold sovereigns and by the end of the war the loans would have amounted to no less than 45 millions sovereigns ,equivalent to 4,05 billions of pounds and if we applies a minimal 3 percent annual rate of interest to this sum, the total amount will be hundred of billions more and according to recent calculations the loan has reach up to a to 90 hundred billions. So, if Germany proceed to pay to Greece the money which she owed, the economic crisis of Greece will be solved .
Also I would like to refer that , after the W.W.II and while all the other countries, started to heal their wounds, to get compensations for their losses and to rebuild their cities, Greece was not compensated for its sacrifices, was not satisfied in its national and legal expectations, such as the acquisition of North Eperus, the arrangement of its northern boarders and the unification with Cyprus, but on the contrary, and regardless the Yalta’s resolutions by the Big Powers, was invaded by the countries of our northern boarders, as of Albania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, which belonged to the Soviet Union block, having the support of the Greek Communistic Party, in order to detach the northern part of our country, Macedonia as the U.N. has confirmed, in an unified Soviet Popular Confederation of the Balkans.
This plan failed, due to the American Marshal Plan, for the support of Greece. Nevertheless, this new war added extra economic disaster to my country. After that and during the cold war , Greece incorporated to NATO ,as a rampart of the West World contrary to the Eastern World, in order to face the new threat from the <Socialistic Block>,and to support Turkey, which was very vulnerable those days and it could easily be collapsed ,as a paper tower ,because during this period 200 Soviet military divisions, were stationed in the western Europe area.
Finally Greece suffering and the coup d ’Etat, by the Junta, which took place in order to abolish the democratic regime, the result of which was the 1974 invasion of Turkish army in Cyprus and the occupation of the 37% of its territory.
This occupation is still existing, in spite of the U.N. resolutions, which decided the termination of the illegal occupation and their departure, but Turkey, as a fan of international anarchy, is denying persistently to conform with the U.N. resolutions and to withdraw its troops from Cyprus. This rude attitude violates the international legality and the international peace and security in the region.
Also another important factor for the Greek status is NATO, to which it became its member during the cold war, in order to secure its territorial integrity and its national independence, which was endangered by the Soviet Block. On this point I would like to mention that, NATO constitutes a similar model of the military treaty of the Ancient Peloponesian Alliance. According to this alliance, no decision could be made without the consent of Sparta.
The same is happens with NATO, which means that nothing can be done without the consent of U.S.A. NATO not only didn’t support the defensive force of Greece, but on the contrary, it imposed to the country the burden of acquiring heavy war weapons produce in its military industries of high cost, much higher that the cost of the market price. This burden is still a handicap to the progress and the economic development of the country and its people.
After the above situations Greece realizing that the policy of its allied countries, we’re treating the country according their own interests and against the benefits of Greece decided, in order to face its problems, to be part of the E.U. and later of the Eurozone.
Nevertheless this participation to E.U. and the Eurozone led Greece to the present tragic economical situation instead of the promised welfare. This economical failure was due to the application of a systematic policy (imposed by E.U.), for an even distribution of cultivations (among its member states). Greece was financed in order to restrict of its agricultural and cattle raising production etc. for the favouring the European products.
On the other hand, when my country attempted to develop heavy shipping industry and repair services, this plan was cancelled, first, by the negative reaction of the leftist syndicates but mainly, by the antagonistic environment of North Europe which was monopolizing the market.
Also E.U. has forbidden Greece, to cultivate tobacco, a fine oriental quality, for the benefit of the American Virginia tobacco, claimed the restriction of wine production in order to alleviate the antagonism among the French and the Italian wines and restrictions to the most valuable product for health, the olive oil, favouring the promotion of the margarines which was produced to central Europe
1. Also I will like to mention, that during the last 30 years about, no capital investment, haw been to the country, for the economic development and the exploitation of the Greek under soil resources, such as, petrol, gas, raw materials, etc. On the contrary the country suffered the attack of its economy, by multinational companies, through the Stock Exchange and via the gambling in the stock market has lost the savings of the Greek people as well as their insurance deposits, etc. with the final results.
1. Drastic diminishing of financing to the market.
2. Closed of thousands of companies
3. Economic deficit, of the budget
4. Deprivation of income to the public
5. Inability of the country to meet its financial needs.
6. Poverty and unemployment of 20 per cent of the people.
The above-mentioned conditions led the country, to the international market to loan money and signed several agreements of debts of extremely high interests, and for this reasons it addressed to the European Union to find the necessary amount of money, but unfortunately instead of restore its economic situation, it became more worst, with the danger of social unrest.