With Greece Poised on Vote, Chicago’s Greek Americans, Allies Say No to Big Finance Austerity Here at Home in Illinois and in Greece

“Rauner/Emanuel agenda is troika agenda,” say activists in world’s third largest Greek community, as Greek parliament debates big finance’s extreme austerity measures.

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—July 14, 2015. As Illinois and Chicago consider deep cuts to public education, pensions, and basic care for children, the elderly, the ill and the poor, the Greek parliament is poised to vote on a model austerity scheme that will gut social security, sell off public assets, and create crushing costs that hit ordinary people’s very ability to survive.

Solidarity actions are being staged across the world to support the groundswell of Greek opposition to the latest ‘deal’ from Germany and the ‘troika’ — the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission — scheduled for a Greek parliamentary vote in the next day. Chicago’s Greek Americans and their allies are gathering TODAY, July 14, at 7:30 PM — just hours before the scheduled vote — in Chicago’s major Greektown corridor on the southeast corner of Halsted and Van Buren to lend their support to Greece’s anti-austerity movement.

Metro Chicago is home to the third largest Greek population of any city in the world — in a city and state whose residents increasingly confront the same kind of austerity schemes at play in Greece: slashed public pensions, gutted public services, the sell-off of public assets and debt burdens that fall most heavily on those least able to shoulder those costs. Greece supported sweeping debt relief for Germany in the wake of the Second World War — setting the stage for Germany’s powerhouse economic recovery from the devastation wrought by its Nazi leaders. Germany and the “troika” have refused to offer relief from Greece’s crushing debt, demanding instead that parliament accept new terms that would deepen austerity and the rampant poverty it has created.

More than 90% of recent troika ‘bailouts’ have gone right back into the coffers of lenders in banking and big finance, while austerity has driven Greek unemployment above 25% and crippled economic growth. Slashed pensions have left 45% of retirees below the poverty line, and suicide rates have surged by 35% in the last two years alone. Austerity opponents argue it is murderous for creditors and politicians to demand further austerity — and a blatant affront to democracy in a nation that overwhelmingly voted against austerity earlier this month.

Austerity in Greece parallels local austerity schemes in Chicago and the state — driven by the same economic interests that support cutting funds for basic human needs as a way to shore up profits for banks and big finance, say activists. Illinois’ billionaire governor ardently supports austerity, seeking to crush unions, slash pensions, and gut programs that benefit the most needy — from children with autism to poor people unable to pay their energy bills. Under Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel — who made millions working with Rauner and big finance associates — the city has slashed funding and jobs in arenas that range from libraries and mental health care to the city’s Environment Department, and privatized services to benefit clout-heavy contractors.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/997444733607440/

Source: Chicago Greece Solidarity