Founding Father Thomas Jefferson once said, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” And in a sad but interesting 21st century version of this prediction over in Europe, Germany has used Greece’s odious debt to take over several Greek airports.
Most of Greece’s nearly $300 billion in debts owed to the ECB, IMF, and foreign sovereign banks like Germany came from defaulted bonds that were originally purchased by private institutions, who then used the central bank to force Greece to cover the debt by borrowing from them. And since the Credit Crisis and Great Recession made it impossible for Greece to even remotely pay off these loans, the end result is now Greece having to sell the rights to their own infrastructure, and to the very debtors who refused to negotiate a settlement earlier this year.
Greece has signed its first major privatization deal granting control of over a dozen regional airports to a German company. The agreement is part of international creditors’ demands to privatize state assets to secure €86 billion in bailout funds for Athens.
The €1.23 billion contract gives a 40-year lease to the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport. The German firm could upgrade and operate a cluster of airports, including those on the popular tourist islands of Corfu, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini.
“The project underscores the extensive know-how that Fraport will be able to provide at these 14 aviation gateways which are vital for Greece’s economy and, in particular, its huge international tourism sector,” Schulte said. - Russia Today
Greece is not the only country having to sell off infrastructure to debtors they could not pay off. Last year, J.P. Morgan Chase sold its Manhattan headquarters to a Chinese company, and there are rumors circulating that China may hold even greater ownership in the bank, meaning they would also act as a shareholder in the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The old adage that the borrower is slave to the lender is just as true today as it was in ancient times, and collateral and property in sovereign country’s are changing hands at a rapid pace now that debt obligations are large enough to bankrupt nations. And whether it is China’s ownership of the Long Beach Port in California, or Germany’s management of 12 airports in Greece, the use of debt to deprive people’s from their property is still a primary goal of the banks.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.