Following Iceland’s example, and successful repudiation of their international debt in 2012, complete with indictments against the corrupt bankers involved in the massive fraud, Greece has now opted to give serious consideration to the concept of “Odious Debt”…which will set the wheels in motion to determine how much of the outstanding debt (accepted by previous Greek Governments) was illegal and unenforceable.
Head of the Greek parliament, Zoi Konstantopoulou, released two video clips with the tag line “Check it, Erase it”, right after the Greek Parliament vote to explore the Odious Debt matter had wrapped up in Athens.
It was back in June 2011 when we first hinted that the time of Odious Debt is rapidly approaching.
As a reminder, this is what Odious Debt is: In international law, odious debt is a legal theory which holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are thus considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.
Today, nearly four years later, Odious Debt is now a reality in Greece, where Zoi Konstantopoulou, the head of the Greek parliament and a SYRIZA member, released two videos which have promptly gone viral, designed to promote the investigative parliamentary committee to look into the circumstances surrounding the signing of the country’s two bailout agreements that led Greece to implement its austerity measures.
That this concept emerges now is perhaps confusing: it was just a few days ago when the Greek FinMin promised to the IMF that Greece would honor all of its debt commitments. Should Greece decide that some (or all) of its debt was illegal and unenforceable, this will clearly not happen. Then again, this is the same political party that made pre-election promises whose execution would require about €30 billion according to German calculation, so the relentless flipflopping is not very surprising.
On the other hand, while perhaps Greece was hoping for a more favorable outcome from Tsipras’ meeting with Putin today, the resultant outcome which led to virtually nothing (that was revealed at least) may embolden the Greek nation to push on with this track which is certain to infuriate the Troika.
According to Greek Reporter, Konstantopoulou has said that the newly established “Debt Truth Committee,” will investigate how much of the debt is “illegal” with a view to writing it off.
Proving that this is more than just a populist stunt, during a vote that took place early yesterday, out of the 300 Greek MPs, 156 voted in favor of establishing the public debt auditing committee.
“The committee will examine how Greece entered into the bailout agreements with its international lenders, as well as any other matter related to the memoranda’ implementation,” SYRIZA Parliamentary Secretary Christos Mantas had explained earlier.
“We are fulfilling our commitment and the social demand to explore the causes and responsibilities of an unprecedented crisis that devastated the vast majority of society,” Mantas added.
If the Greek “Debt Truth Committee” indeed persists with determining how much of its debt is legal and enforceable, and ultimately decides to rescind some (or all) of it, the only question is how long until other countries around the world, all of which are burdened with massive, untenable debt loads across the government, financial and household sectors, decide it is time to do the same and declare a fresh start.
Because as the end of the day, the winners will be 99% of the population – or all those who have been trampled upon by the central banking regime and their crony capitalist, private bank and oligarch backers. The only losers will be that 0.01% of the population which benefited during the past 8 years of what is now obvious to all has been nothing more than a farcical global “recovery.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.