On the IMF, Greece and Ukraine

By Greg Butterfield

July 15: The IMF (that is, Wall Street and Washington) is demanding that the EU/ECB extend more debt relief to Greece as part of the new bailout package. The IMF, which is supposed to kick in about 25 percent of the bailout, threatens to withdraw otherwise.

Supposedly this is because IMF regulations restrict it from continuing to pour money into a country that can’t realistically pay back its debt, which everyone knows Greece can’t do.

The German ruling class, which is the most exposed on Greek debt and stands to lose the most, is dead-set against this and is very angry about the IMF’s position.

The IMF’s claims about sticking to the rules are pure B.S. The proof of this is Ukraine.

Despite the country’s virtual bankruptcy and inability to pay its debt, the IMF negotiated a $40-billion bailout with Kiev, and both the IMF and Washington have assured the Ukrainian junta that they will continue to pour in money to prevent a default.

On June 15, the Financial Times reported: “In an open letter released on Friday and addressed to the ‘financial community,’ Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, warned that the fund was prepared to continue its own financing of Ukraine even if it stopped servicing its debts.”

Why? Because Ukraine is carrying out a proxy war for the U.S. against the Donbass people’s republics, and is the desired location for NATO bases aimed at Russia.

While Berlin is thinking about its bottom line, Washington is most worried that Greece will be pushed toward Russia and the BRICS alliance. If Athens broke with the EU and allied itself economically with Russia and/or BRICS, this would split the imperialist “united front” against Moscow, and could lead to similar realignments throughout the EU’s austerity stricken “southern periphery” – Spain, Portugal, maybe even Italy.

That’s why the IMF is playing “good cop” on Greece.

The German ruling class is well aware of all this. They are enraged by Washington’s hypocrisy, because they have had to bear the brunt of the economic and political consequences of sanctions against Russia, and are also stuck footing part of the bill for Washington’s Ukrainian money pit.

Whatever the outcome in Greece, I expect the consequences of this dispute will have a ripple effect in Ukraine for weeks and months to come. Will Berlin be as acquiescent to every unreasonable U.S. demand vis-a-vis Ukraine and Russia going forward? I suspect it will not.

In trying to ensure that Europe keeps towing the line on Russia, Washington may have just sabotaged itself.

Read the Spanish translation by David Moreno for VOZ

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