In early May, four people lost their lives when rioters set fire to a bank in downtown Athens, then prevented rescue workers from reaching the facility.  Those deaths serve as a warning by leftists and anarchists that anyone who dares to work during a declared strike will lose his life.  At the time of this writing, the killers are still at large, perhaps an indication of the unwillingness of the socialist government to arrest and prosecute them.

Of course, their arrest would tarnish the left’s image and uncover the unholy alliance between the government and the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary left in liberalizing social relations.  If among the killers there were immigrants, as witnesses and police suggest, there would be an uproar against the new naturalization law.  As the November municipal elections are approaching, the government’s political dilemmas continue to grow.

On May 5, during a mass antigovernment demonstration, anarchists and left-wing activists noticed that people were working at Marfin Bank, which was in their path.  They broke the glass of the branch office with sledgehammers and threw flammable liquids and Molotov cocktails inside.  Then they cheered as the bank employees were burned alive.  One of the victims was a young woman who was four months pregnant.

The cause of the demonstration was the new “austerity measures” imposed on Greece by the troika (the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank), in response to skyrocketing debt.

Greece’s debt is now undermining all capital markets around the world, threatening a domino effect on the economies of the West.  Though the French and the Germans initially disagreed, the European Union ultimately decided that a rescue package of €110 billion (roughly $140 billion) will be granted by the troika over a three-year period in order to save the country from bankruptcy.

Social-democratic policies have ruined Greece.  Now, a socialist government in Athens is, under the guidance of the U.S.-born president of the Socialist International, George Papandreou (an advocate of global governance), applying neoliberal policies to prevent bankruptcy.

PASOK, the ruling socialist party of Greece, has always been a vehicle used by local financial interests to pass their “reactionary” (to use a progressive term) agenda.  Now PASOK is being used by the IMF (and Goldman Sachs) to subjugate the Greek economy.  And Greece is not the only target.  As the weak link in the eurozone, Greece has become the launching pad for an attack of the international hedge funds on the euro.

At present, Portugal, Spain, and Italy look particularly vulnerable, with their governments trying to ward off speculators.  That will prove a rather difficult task.  Dogmatic devotion to the free flow of capital and distaste for government intervention have drastically weakened the national defenses of the E.U. states.  A crisis in one state immediately affects the rest.

Whenever Greece has a critical political battle to fight, violence and terrorism take the field.  Anarchists and left-wing extremists, taking advantage of university asylum, turn demonstrations into skirmishes with riot police, then hide on university campuses.  With the silent approval of the left-leaning intelligentsia, these people engage in military-style operations, attacking the police and burning stores, government facilities, and cars.  Of course, they claim they are attacking the “ruling class,” but it is obvious that their actions are a benefit to the government, disorienting citizens, who might otherwise be outraged at its socialist policies.

The murder of those four people, and the terrorist attacks that followed, are the strongest indications that Greece is heading toward catastrophe.  Such a catastrophe can still be prevented, if the citizens are willing to blast the socialist government at the municipal polls in November.