Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stocks open higher before Greek vote of confidence

Athens - Americans are poised to witness what may be the beginning a momentous crash of the European Union's economic system.

The Greek Prime Minister and his government is facing a vote of confidence at midnight – 5 p.m. EDT – that will signal by its result whether the treasury will likely accept a rollover of its bonded indebtedness to other EU member nations such as Germany, or ultimately choose bankruptcy and wiping the slate clean in its struggle to make both ends meet.

American markets rose a point and a half on the news at opening this morning, as did Greek and other European markets, in hopes that the government will prevail, but many key analysts on the street predict disaster, a cascading banking collapse that will soon reach American shores.

The fact that the EU and its fledgling currency, the euro, has lasted for more than a decade is largely attributable to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' choice to keep on printing U.S. dollars, something which has devalued American currency drastically in favor of increasing U.S. Treasury debt at what many hard-eyed realists in the financial community consider unsustainable levels of serviceability.

The truth is, many Greeks and other Europeans do not wish to accept the terms of a bond rollover and bailout, something that will subject their lifestyles to crippling indebtedness, lowered expectations, and a scant prospect of retirement. So far, the new "austerity package" for Greece includes $9.4 billion in tax hikes, doubling past measures agreed to with bailout lenders that have pushed unemployment to a record 16.2 percent and extended a deep recession into its third year.

Protesters have camped outside the Greek Parliament building here for weeks in anticipation of the moment when a 2/5 quorum will be required to cast votes of confidence in absolute majority for the present government to prevail.

They have caused violent clashes with police now for the past two years as the government has slashed social programs in medicine, retirement, welfare and subsidized housing across the board.

The clock is ticking as the drama builds.

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