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There's just no nice way to say this. Greece's creditors are murdering Greece's citizens. When Greece went to the Troika (the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission) for a loan to keep itself solvent in 2011, the country had to agree to stop covering hospital treatments for unemployed, uninsured citizens. These people, sick and with no hope of finding work, are now required by the terms of the loan agreements to pay for medical treatment up front, in cash.
A few have been saved by underground charitable organizations.
Doctors Without Borders has been assisting Afghan and Syrian migrants seeking asylum in Greece. But now, middle class Greek families might need the charity's help as well.
I think we need to revisit the rights of the bondholders here. Many of them are now speculators who have purchased the debt at ridiculously low prices. You could force them to take a haircut on the principal owed and they would still make profits, just not as large as they want.
Then there are the banks who bought these bonds at par and have held onto them. I believe that the word we'd use to describe them would be "professionals." Should the world's monetary authorities really be guarding the interests of professional investors who should have known better than Greek cancer patients?
It's time for somebody to make the conclusive statement that these pieces of paper aren't worth a single human life, or even a day of unnecessary suffering. And this is how the story has to be told. It's not about German bankers or technocrats in Brussels or Ben Bernanke or interest rates or anyone.
The developed world has to learn a willingness to rewrite its rules if the rules are harming its people. Period.
This is plain sick.