Friday, 11 November 2011


The epithet 'oligarch' is from the Greek, innit. Is mean 'ruled by the few', which is what is about to happen to Greece, which is ironic, I suppose. Ironic is from the Greek as well, also, but is another story doings with Aristotle, innit? But that's another story.
Any road up, they've finally agreed on a new Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, to take over from Pandreou and bring into effect the various measures demanded by the Eurozone and the IMF in return for the billions and billions from the bailout fund. Papademos, however, is not an elected politician but he is an economist who has been employed by the Federal Reserve in Boston (amongst others) and was the Governor of the Bank of Greece at the time that Greece joined the Euro. You may recall that doubts have been expressed about the accuracy of the economic statements provided by Greece at that time; let's hope Mr Papademos is in no way remiss in that respect. Then he moved to the European Central Bank as Vice-President until becoming economic advisor last year to none other than Mr Papandreou. All rather neat, really. The chap who was involved at the beginning of the Greek financial screw-up is now in charge of sorting it out. I think Mr Papademos can be counted amongst the oligarchs.
Other oligarchs are the chaps with the money who will now be able to buy up the State's assets really cheaply now that the State has to privatise everything in order to meet the bailout conditions - Greece has to raise 50 billion Euros by 2015. So the highways, the airports, banks, utilities, property, the post office, telecoms, etc etc are all up for sale and because of the pressure, Greece will have to accept whatever price it can get particularly now that Italy, Portugal and Spain are having to do likewise. (A buyers market, so if you fancy buying a Greek island, now's the time.)
Of course, in ten year's time when hopefully things are back on a more even keel, these assets will be worth several times what they are sold for. So just as happened in Russia twenty years ago when the state was privatised, there'll be a few oligarchs making all the money while the other 99% of the population pay their taxes to repay the bailout funds. And the double irony is that it was the tax avoidance/evasion on the part of the Greek oligarchs that helped get Greece into such a mess.
See also the FT.

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