Naomi Klien’s book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of DisasterCapitalism” described early on what is now about to destroy Greece once and for all. I’m sure my conservative friend in Milwaukee, who is always calling me about the similarities between Greece and the U.S. – which is absurd, is happy with the horrific privatization results below.
AP: Work was supposed to begin next year on a 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) waterfront urban renewal project almost twice the size of New York's Central Park that could have poured nearly a billion euros into Greece's depleted coffers. The plans stalled late last year … both on ideological grounds and because leaders believe rampant corruption must be addressed before any sell-off.
Now, in an attempt to get a third European bailout and prevent the Greek economy from collapsing, the ruling party has done an about-face. It has pledged to fast-track the waterfront project, plus sell government assets and allow for private development of state-owned property, all to generate cash that will help reduce Greece's 320-billion-euro national debt and pay back money lent by European nations to prop up ailing banks.
"There can be absolutely no backpedaling or unwinding with the privatization effort," said Mujtaba Rahman, European director for the Eurasia Group political and business risk consulting firm. "This is about testing the government's appetite to liberalize the economy and move forward with pro-market reforms."
Big money assets that Greece could sell include state-owned stakes in Athens' new airport, energy company Hellenic Petroleum and electrical utility Public Power Corp., plus offshore oil or natural gas drilling parcels. A Greek company with backing from Chinese and Arab investors would then build a huge park, a shopping center, a marina, 1,000 hotel rooms and a skyscraper apartment building on what's billed as Europe's largest undeveloped waterfront tract.