I am quite bewildered at why there has been no comments from the media or anywhere else at the impossible task for a debtor (Greece) to successfully negotiate a fair settlement with their creditors (European Union). I mean, the last time the debtor (Greece) had difficulty paying its creditors (the EU), the entire country (Greece) was in turmoil as a direct result of the harsh repayment terms from the previous loan.

This time, the President of Greece was brought before what looked like a gladiator arena lined with angry creditors yelling, belittling, humiliating and demanding what probably will turn out to be a pound of flesh.

This behaviour reminded me of the creditor meetings in a bankruptcy in the past where the debtor and their assets would be carved up into little pieces and punished to the full extent of the bankruptcy law. Sometimes it would be a single mother on social assistance or a student loan debtor being subjected to angry creditors who wanted to inflict pain and suffering onto the debtor. That ultimately, was more important to some creditors, more satisfying, than a realistic repayment plan that would help both the insolvent debtor and the creditors avoid a bankruptcy.

The difference in the comparison between individuals and an insolvent country above is that the insolvent person was shielded by a mediator like a bankruptcy trustee who had the authority to broker a fair and realistic deal to keep both the debtor and creditor out of bankruptcy, or pull the plug and end the negotiations for everyone if no agreement could be reached.

I don’t know why the European Union countries do not understood the rules of bankruptcy and the prudence of having a neutral third party – some agent from a country like the US or Canada skilled in corporate insolvencies – to review the circumstances and make recommendations that would benefit both the debtor and the creditors.

After subjecting Greece to angry and at times insulting reprimand by some creditors, an announcement was made today that harsh new conditions would be imposed on Athens in return for it to be allowed to keep the euro as its currency and avoid total economic collapse.

It looks like the irresponsible debtor has been blamed for all of the economic ills and the creditor has done nothing wrong. It even appears that the creditors are doing a big favour for the debtor by lending a further 86 billion euros in fresh loans on top of the 323 billion euros it has received from two previous bailouts.

What hasn’t been mentioned is how realistic the new reforms for debt repayment are and how a nation of individuals and families are being punished for everything that has gone wrong in the past. What hasn’t been mentioned is that both the debtor and creditor benefit from a solution outside of a bankruptcy, not just the debtor.

Essentially, it looks like Greece will be treated like a company in receivership. Assets will be sold for the benefit of creditors to pay down debt - Greece will be required to sell off public companies and property worth 50 billion euros. What could be labeled the creditor appointed receiver, Eurocrats and IMF officials, will be put into a position to ensure compliance with the creditor’s demands.

What troubles me is how creditors’ rights from foreign countries can transcend democratically elected parliaments and how the creditor can seize public property for the repayment of creditors.

As mentioned above, the debtor was all alone in a colosseum full of angry creditors, some wanting to punish the debtor, some wanting an economic death penalty-all creditors acting in the best interest of themselves without any consideration for the debtor, the individuals and families, the historical circumstances that caused the economic crisis or the viability of the demands being made for repayment.

The debtor had no chance. The debtor was outnumbered. As reported in the Vancouver Sun, one Greek businessman lamented, “Basically, we’re being told to sign everything. Whether we agree or not, I only know that I will be paying for this today, tomorrow and for many years. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

It seems to me that the cure may kill the patient. Perhaps more troubling. Nobody sees anything wrong with a creditor doing whatever it has to do to collect its debts. That is a big step back in history. Debtor’s prisons are not far behind.

This certainly qualifies as a Greek tragedy.

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