Greece to reclaim its future?

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, January 27th, 2015 - 248 comments
Categories: capitalism, debt / deficit, International - Tags: , ,

Greece now has an anti-austerity government after “the radical leftist Syriza” achieved a majority (by reaching an agreement with a small right-wing party). The result is very much a rebellion against long-standing problems in the Greek economy and the austerity measures put in place after the “global financial crisis”. The Guardian:

Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs

The IMF predicted Greece would grow as the result of its aid package in 2010. Instead, the economy has shrunk by 25%. Wages are down by the same amount. Youth unemployment stands at 60% – and that is among those who are still in the country.

So the economic collapse – about which all Greeks, both right and leftwing, are bitter – is not just seen as a material collapse. It demonstrated complete myopia among the European policy elite. In all of drama and comedy there is no figure more laughable as a rich man who does not know what he is doing. For the past four years the troika – the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank – has provided Greeks with just such a spectacle.

As for the Greek oligarchs, their misrule long predates the crisis. These are not only the famous shipping magnates, whose industry pays no tax, but the bosses of energy and construction groups and football clubs. As one eminent Greek economist told me last week: “These guys have avoided paying tax through the Metaxas dictatorship, the Nazi occupation, a civil war and a military junta.” They had no intention of paying taxes as the troika began demanding Greece balance the books after 2010, which is why the burden fell on those Greeks trapped in the PAYE system – a workforce of 3.5 million that fell during the crisis to just 2.5 million. …

It’s hard to argue with the reasoning of the Greek voters. They have been screwed by the austerity measures, they want their future back. The situation raises some interesting questions for Europe:

Greek elections: Syriza gives eurozone economic headache

Syriza’s election victory has renewed questions about the future of the eurozone and more precisely about whether Greece itself might leave – what has become known as Grexit.

In the short term, eurozone mechanisms will prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt. But we do not know in advance the upper limits of all these new tools of European monetary integration and its long-term impact on a default crisis.

The aim of the new government is to renegotiate some of the terms and conditions of the €240bn bailout agreed with the so-called troika (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) since 2010.

A haircut would be the preferred solution. …

No doubt Greece will be looking to the Iceland precedent. In the wake of the crisis Iceland defaulted on its debts. There was short term pain, but in the longer term it is working out well for them (e.g. here here here here).

If Greece follows suit, perhaps voters in other debt=laden countries will start asking questions too…

248 comments on “Greece to reclaim its future?”

  1. nadis 1

    The big difference between Iceland and Greece though is that Iceland had its own currency. Without the ability to devalue (Syriza has unequivocally stated they will remain in the Euro, and why not when they are subsidizing you in the 10s of billions per annum), Greece cannot follow the Icelandic model.

    The Icelandic response was nothing more than a standard bank nationalisation, currency devaluation approach to a fiscal/balance of payments crisis which led to a period of high unemployment, high inflation but ultimately the devaluation led to the conditions for economic growth.. And they did add in some nice populist touches.

    We’ve had the same thing here in NZ in the past as well as in numerous other countries.

    Greece’s only option (based on announced Syriza policy) seem to be beg the EU for better terms on existing debt. Locked into an unsustainable currency, and without the ability to borrow Greece has no other options. Defaulting on debt would lead to what? A withdrawal of EU support, massive fiscal deficit and no ability to fund any domestic spending. And in return for being a good EU citizen they’ll probably get what they need – relief on EUR10 billion of debt repayments in the next 5 months, a face saving de-troika- ing, higher domestic taxes especially on the avoiders, subsidies for the very poor.

    I actually think Tsipras’ toughest job will be meeting the expectations of the bulk of his supporters. Very easy being a radical in opposition, but whenyou are in charge of a bankrupt country with no resources, reliant on external charity – well that’s a bit harder.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Getting the country’s wealthy to pay some tax might help.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        They have been trying that for the past few years. I would agree it would help but it is unlikely to fund the sort of social spending Syriza wants. Also in terms of stimulating an economy simply taking money from one group of people and giving it to another is much less effective than borrowing or printing money.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          The most valuable resource they have is eleven million people who all need to eat, be housed, entertained, and cared for in times of hardship, and in turn to farm, build, etc.

          In any event, Syriza can’t possibly do a worse job than the wealth destroyers.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1

            I believe North Korea and Cuba have similar ideas. Subsistence economies don’t end to be terribly productive nor have high standards of living.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1.1

              What? Is that feeble dreck the best you can manage? Denying the value of human resources while pretending that Cuba and North Korea are somehow interchangable.

              Pfft.

              • Gosman

                Yep. Human resources only get you so far. Capital investment is what drives economic growth in the modern world. Greece can’t magic capital out of the air due to not controlling their currency. Hence the problems they face.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  The key to understanding this is that the top tier EU countries (France, Germany) and their banks are staying afloat on the back of the bottom tier EU countries (Greece, Spain, Portugal).

                • vto

                  Nope. You identify but fail to recognise the problem in your own comment, namely economic growth. Not needed except to pay the interest on the printed money.

                  Continued growth is both unsustainable and unnecessary.

                  You highlight the flaw in the entire system gosman, thanks.

                  • Gosman

                    Good luck with pushing that idea in the wider population. Not even Syriza is foolish enough to try that approach. I also think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what economic growth is about. I’ll give you a clue. It isn’t about consuming more and more resources.

                    • vto

                      Gotta fly but I would suggest that your answer there reflects the fundamental flaw your own approach. You are too wedded to the existing system and as such are unable to view it objectively, thereby missing its fatal flaws. Fatal flaws coming to fruition in front of our very eyes.

                      The world has more debt than it does money to repay it, for example. Bizarre. Head in the clouds stuff.. wake up fulla.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yeah, actually it is.

                    • Gosman

                      What uses more resources – An old boombox stereo or an Ipod?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ever noticed how growth is based around GDP and GDP is based upon sales? So that means that to grow GDP means more sales and more sales means more utilisation of scarce resources.

                      Basically, you can’t have GDP growth without a corresponding increase in resource use.

                      Sure, an old boombox used up more resources in its production than an iPod but a lot more people have iPods.

                    • Mike S

                      “It isn’t about consuming more and more resources.”

                      Really? Please explain how economic growth occurs then if not by increased consumption.

                • JonL

                  If they don’t drop the Euro and revert to the drachma, they will remain, basically, buggered!

            • sabine 1.1.1.1.1.2

              because their standard of living is high right now?

              Yes? 25% unemployment amongst the adults and 60 % unemployment amongs the young make for a high living standard…..yeah right, TUI.

              go home Gosman, look in the mirror and find your soul, your brain, your heart and your guts. You are lacking all of these vital organs.

      • Grantoc 1.1.2

        Getting anyone in Greece to pay tax would help even more.

        Thats the starting point.

        Dropping plans to re introduce one of the world’s most generous state funded superannuation plans, would help too.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          Help whom?

          Is the Greek proposal similarly generous as (for example) Germany’s? Perhaps you can cite the other countries you’re using to make the comparison. I expect the sky has fallen in at least some of them, with their unaffordable schemes 🙄

          • English Breakfast 1.1.2.1.1

            The current arrangement is that Greek citizens are eligible to a pension at 61, the Germans at 67. My understanding is that Greece’s social security arrangements have been unsustainable for years, as has been the tardiness of their tax paying habits, particularly amongst the rich.

    • nadis 1.2

      Another difference between Iceland and Greece is the level of national indebtedness. Iceland was mostly bank debt, Greece is mostly sovereign debt. Sov debt is harder to default on and remain a connected member of the international community.

      Note lso that the Icelandic crisis pushed Iceland closer to Europe with a formal EU application in addition to existing membership of EEA and NATO. On hold now while they wait for a referendum but it is supported by the largest left and right parties.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        The problem is that your prescription and that of the euro members to date has been to destroy the economy and all hope of any recovery.

        So rather than being a simple critic, why don’t you start pointing towards a viable way out. God knows even a fool could have been doing a better job than the financial troika have been doing in the last 7 years.

        • Gosman 1.2.1.1

          The Greeks have been very reluctant to implement the sort of policies you would regard as austerity. Additionally policies that should help them get through the crisis with less cuts such as privatisation of their (largely) loss making parastatals has pretty much stalled.

          They should have taken a leaf out of how the Baltic nations addressed the challenges of the GFC. A short sharp contraction followed by a sustained fiscally sound expansion.

          http://intereconomics.eu/archive/year/2013/5/austerity-in-the-baltic-states-during-the-global-financial-crisis/

        • nadis 1.2.1.2

          I thought I had been quite clear – Greece should leave the Euro, devalue, default, collect taxes properly and start living within its means. Do you need more clarification?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.1

            Always amused when the political right talk about “living within means” as they always deny that or means are limited. Point out peak oil and climate change and how that limits or means and they claim that there’s no such limits.

            • nadis 1.2.1.2.1.1

              i don’t think you are talking to me because I don’t think I have ever claimed those things that you seem to be attributing to me. Feel free to back up with a link or withdraw the claim.

              What i did say or imply was Greece has to live within the following equation:

              Government spending – Government revenue <= borrowing capacity

              The means applying to Greece are quite clearly and obviously limited.
              .

              • Draco T Bastard

                i don’t think you are talking to me

                No, it was just a general observation. The right-wing always demand that we live within our means but that means is always centred around money and not actual resources.

                Government spending – Government revenue <= borrowing capacity

                The means applying to Greece are quite clearly and obviously limited.

                But what are their actual physical resources?

                See, I agree with you that Greece staying in the EU will actually prevent them from utilising their economy. This could easily be corrected if they looked at what resources they have available and created the money they need to get those resources moving.

                Defaulting on the debt would also help. In fact, I think it may be critical but that’s just a feeling.

                • The right-wing always demand that we live within our means but that means is always centred around money and not actual resources.

                  +1000

                  Though it’s not just people who lean toward the right side of the political spectrum.

                  This is the specific reason I had so much trouble doing econ 101 way back when.
                  Coming from an academic family, and having done no econ papers at school, I had formed my own assumption that economies must fundamentally run on sunlight (whether that be solar power, or stored as potential energy in oil or water falling etc), material resources and people activity (not just their paid labour).

                  What was taught at uni was more akin to how monetary constraints affect human behaviour with regard to consumption choices and production.

                  • greywarshark

                    But the consumer economy is a major business sector now. With fewer jobs and the mass of people getting wage rises below real inflation and even headline inflation, it is necessary for people to keep using their credit to keep the country buoyant. So RWers are lying through their teeth, which are false.

                    I have just been checking up on CPI to fill in the gaps in my info and pass on some info for others.
                    Our common inflation tool is called the CPI Consumer Price Index.
                    Consumers Price Index
                    This quarterly release provides information on the price change of goods and services purchased by private New Zealand households.
                    (The rate of change between the CPI price level today and the CPI price level one year ago is commonly referred to as the inflation rate, or sometimes “headline CPI inflation”. )
                    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary_policy/inflation_calculator/

                    dept of Stats.NZ:
                    Price indexes measure the change in price for a fixed ‘basket’ of goods and services between two time periods. This change is often called inflation.
                    We collect prices for a wide variety of goods and services that we use…
                    There is also –
                    Food Price Index

                    What is the consumers price index?
                    The consumers price index (CPI), New Zealand’s best known measure of inflation, measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by households.
                    The CPI consists of a basket of goods and services that represent purchases made by households. The goods and services in the basket, and their relative importance, are reviewed every three years to ensure the basket remains up to date.

                    There are about 690 goods and services included in the basket. They are classified into 11 groups:
                    food
                    alcoholic beverages and tobacco
                    clothing and footwear
                    housing and household utilities
                    household contents and services
                    health
                    transport
                    communication
                    recreation and culture
                    education
                    miscellaneous goods and services.
                    These groups are then broken down further into 45 subgroups and then into 107 classes. The CPI is reported each quarter down to the class level.

                    The available price deflators are:
                    General – uses the ‘all groups’ Consumers Price Index (CPI), published by Statistics New Zealand. Estimates for the years between 1862 and 1914 have been included but should not be regarded as being official, or of the same quality as the published CPI.
                    Food – Food Price Group from the CPI, Statistics New Zealand.
                    Clothing – Clothing and Footwear Group from the CPI, Statistics New Zealand.
                    Housing – House Price Index, PropertyIQ.
                    Wages – Hourly wage in dollars (private sector, ordinary time) from Quarterly Employment Survey, Statistics New Zealand.
                    Transport – Transport Group from the CPI, Statistics New Zealand.

                    Housing and renting –
                    http://www.stats.govt.nz/tools_and_services/newsletters/price-index-news/Apr%20-14/purchase-of-housing-and-rentals-in-the-cpi.aspx
                    and
                    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/cpi_inflation/rented-dwellings-in-the-cpi.aspx
                    (House prices aren’t in CPI but rent and building costs are.)

                    Headline inflation
                    Definition
                    A measurement of price iinflation that takes into account all types of inflation that an economy can experience. Unlike core inflation, headline inflation also counts changes in the price of food and energy. Because food and energy prices can rapidly increase while other types of inflation can remain low, headline inflation may not give an accurate picture of how an economy is behaving.
                    Headline inflation is more useful for the typical household because it reflects changes in the cost of living, while core inflation is used by central banks because core inflation is less volatile and shows the effects of supply and demand on GDP better.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.2

        Greek has defaulted on sov debt several times in the last 200 years, no big deal as it will be a few years of pain either way.

        • nadis 1.2.2.1

          Yeah but the point is they cant default on sovereign debt AND remain in the Euro. Defaulting is a sensible option but first they need to leave the Euro, otherwise all default does is reduce Greece to even more of a beggar nation than it currently is.

          • Gosman 1.2.2.1.1

            Agree and that is why Syriza is not really a change from the politics prevalent in Greece over the past 30 odd years. They are still pretending the Greeks can have it both ways. They essentially lied to the Greek electorate to get elected. It will be interesting to see what happens to them when the reality inevitably sinks in.

            • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Agree and that is why Syriza is not really a change from the politics prevalent in Greece over the past 30 odd years

              Oh good please call the German FM and tell him he can relax, status quo holds.

              • Gosman

                How are the Greeks going to force the Germans to continue funding them if they want to stay within the Euro?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The Greeks don’t need to be funded by the Germans. That’s pretty much true of all societies – they do not need foreign money.

                • Mike S

                  They don’t need to. The last thing the euro elite want is for it to be seen as possible to leave the EU. They will do almost anything to keep Greece in the EU and Syriza knows this.

              • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                Any questions surrounding the possibility of Grexit in the near future (as compared with a few years ago) would have implications in a slightly different context. What’s different? The potential of Grexit at this time would hurt the German-led EU more than it would hurt Greece itself.

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 1.2.2.1.2

            first they need to leave the Euro

            what? they get forced out of the Euro by the greatest defaulter of the 20th century who is now in charge of the Euro??

            bwahaha

            don’t think so!

    • lprent 1.3

      It is going to be a really interesting place to watch from afar over the next few years.

      Greece’s only option (based on announced Syriza policy) seem to be beg the EU for better terms on existing debt. Locked into an unsustainable currency, and without the ability to borrow…

      As far as I can tell, they badly need to get out of the euro and to readjust their economy (probably starting with the tax structures and losing some of their more wealthy citizens). Of course this will cause massive problems for the rest of the euro because it really points to the underlying fragility of the euro – the lack of political management due to the effective vetoes of doctrine bankers.

      And in return for being a good EU citizen they’ll probably get what they need – relief on EUR10 billion of debt repayments in the next 5 months, a face saving de-troika- ing, higher domestic taxes especially on the avoiders, subsidies for the very poor.

      None of which will get past the Germans except possibly the debt relief (and there will be political screaming about that). Their citizens and corporations have too much invested in Greece in its current tax status and to date they haven’t shown much forward thinking.

      • Gosman 1.3.1

        The Greek culture of tax invasion is not restricted to the super wealthy. It is prevalent through out the nation. Attacking a few super wealthy people won’t really cut it. They need to come down hard on the middle classes.

        • Tracey 1.3.1.1

          when were you last in greece gosman?

        • Tom Jackson 1.3.1.2

          Not really. The main problem in Greece is a sclerotic elite, and that has been a problem for years. It’s just a more acute version of what most of us have to deal with: a sclerotic class of people in charge of things who have outlived whatever use they had and need to be forcibly replaced.

          The solution to this is simple. If the Greeks don’t get much from the EU, they will have to leave it. But they really ought to wait and see if Podemos wins the Spanish election, at which point all bets are off.

    • r0b 1.4

      Thanks for the comments nadis – very interesting (you know a lot more about this stuff than me!).

  2. Gosman 2

    Where is Greece meant to get the money to fund all these spending promises? Certainly the German’s aren’t likely to roll over and cough up the billions of Euro’s they need. As nadis points out they can’t follow the Icelandic model. In fact Iceland is not even following that model which is more myth than reality.

    http://fightback.org.nz/2013/03/05/icelands-peaceful-revolution-myth-and-reality/

    • vto 2.1

      Maybe they could set up a Ponzi scheme central banking system like the EU and just print money into circulation.

      Precedent for this is all over the whole planet.

      You would support replication of what is seen by those on the right as a successful system of money-creation, yes?

      • nadis 2.1.1

        Yes, very possible, but to do that they need to withdraw from the Euro which Syriza has already stated they wont do.

        Haven”t you been listening?

        Greece has, is and likely will decide to continue to exist on the charity of the Germans. Unless they decide to man up, leave the Euro and regain the tools to manage their own economy, all this talk of “Greece taking contro;”, “Greece showing the EU who is boss” etc is fantasy, a dangerous fantasy that will continue to punish the poor of Greece.

        Exit the Euro, devalue the currency by 50%, haircut Greek debt by 60%, and get on with being under-productive waiters for the rest of Europe – thats what Greece should do.

        For a country with the tradition and intellect of Greece, it’s a disgrace where they are now, but that’s what widespread corruption and decades of living beyond your means on the charity of others does for you. London, Frankfurt, Paris and New York are full of extremely smart, well educated able Greeks who have voted with their feet.

        • vto 2.1.1.1

          No what is a disgrace is the monetary system and the imposition of usury. The problem is bigger than Greece – the problem is worldwide and Greece is just the canary in the mine.

          Haven’t you been watching?

          • nadis 2.1.1.1.1

            Ok – but in the non-fantasy world that the rest of us live in what are you going to do that is within the power of Greece to execute?

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Apparently Greece is the catalyst of some sort of world wide revolution that will sweep away the old regime and replace it with a brave new world. Or at least that is what I suspect many on the left are hoping.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s just it. The fantasy world is actually the one that’s been built up via capitalism, the one we have now. The fantasy is collapsing.

              • Gosman

                Because the Greeks can’t pay their debts? As someone has pointed out here (a lefty too so not from the right) the Greeks have defaulted on their debts numerous times before. This is nothing new.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And that fails to address anything I said and so I can only assume that you’re trying trying hard to distract from what I did say.

                  • Gosman

                    You claimed the fantasy world is collapsing. I pointed out that if the Greeks defaulting was evidence of this then it must have been collapsing for a long time. During this time an incredible amount of economic development has taken place.

                    • It’s been about to collapse and just needing a bit of a push since the 1840s, which is not as impressive as the length of time Jesus has been about to come back, but still quite an impressive performance from a collapsing structure.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You claimed the fantasy world is collapsing.

                      And it is but I didn’t point out how long it had been collapsing. I figure it’s more in it’s beginning of the beginning of the end and not at the end. Basically, more and more people are waking up to the Ponzi Scheme that is modern banking and capitalism in general.

        • johnm 2.1.1.2

          Hi nadis

          ” Exit the Euro, devalue the currency by 50%, haircut Greek debt by 60%, and get on with being under-productive waiters for the rest of Europe – thats what Greece should do. ”
          100% right. It’ll be a wrench I hope they can do it. Also nationalise everything that’s been privatised, they have nothing to lose except their financial slavery.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.2.1

            As well as billions more Euros or whatever currency they end up using.

            • The Murphey 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Q. How is billions of printed Euros any different from billions of printed drachma ?

              • nadis

                The Greeks control drachma and can therefore run an integrated fiscal and monetary policy, rather than a Greek fiscal policy and be hostage to a German/Dutch/French monetary policy.

                It is why the Euro with its current members is inherently unstable. The monetary policy settings can never suit the entire zone.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      How about the people currently paying no tax pay some tax? Thirty billion euros per annum is a tidy sum.

      • nadis 2.2.1

        Absolutely. They need to address a national culture of corruption which is why tax collection – the most fundamental government power – doesn’t properly exist in Greece.

        • adam 2.2.2.1

          Actually, it is the tax avoidance which makes me respect the Greeks. Why pay taxes to a corrupt government, doing deals with corrupt banks, for the interests of the very rich? Why hold together a system which punishes the poor, so a few get very wealthy? There is a point where it becomes your duty to stand up against corruption, rather than just moan about it.

          • Gosman 2.2.2.1.1

            Except that any government in Greece regardless if it is corrupt or not has to make up the shortfall in revenue by borrowing to fund their social spending such as pensions and the like. This is why they are in the mess that they are in. If you think the Greeks are suddenly going to start paying their taxes now that a government is supposedly not in thrall to the elite I suggest you are sadly mistaken.

  3. saveNZ 3

    It’s not just Greece rebelling, Spain has a rise in left wing support… and they are not using immigration as their catalyst but more accountability to political elite….extract

    Podemos is founded on the politics of hope: its English translation is “we can”. It was founded only this year but won 1.2m votes and five seats in May’s European elections. And now it has topped opinion polls, eclipsing the governing rightwing People’s party and the ostensibly centre-left PSOE – the Spanish Socialist Workers’ party. There are few precedents for such an explosive political ascent in modern western Europe; in Spain, a discredited political elite appears to be tottering.

    Not that Podemos simply materialised out of nowhere. In the buildup to Spain’s 2011 general election, hundreds of thousands of indignados took to the streets in protest at the political elite. Yet without political leadership and direction, such movements – although they can mobilise the disengaged – invariably fizzle out. As Iñigo Errejón, the Podemos election supremo, has written, before May’s European elections, “social mobilisation had been in retreat. Among large sections of the left the most pessimistic assumptions prevailed.” But Podemos was the child of the indignados movement, a party that emphasises bottom-up democratic participation: where the indignados had neighbourhood assemblies, Podemos has “circles” that take similar forms. There are even circles among Britain’s Spanish diaspora in London and Manchester. The funding for its European campaign was largely crowdsourced, and its policies and priorities are decided partly through online voting.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/16/podemos-left-crisis-ukip-anti-immigrant

    Viva Podemos: the left shows it can adapt and thrive in a crisis
    The explosive ascent of Podemos in Spain proves there is nothing inevitable about Ukip-style anti-immigrant politics

    • and it’s not just ‘also spain’..

      ..portugal has a similar party rising up..

      ..so has ireland..

      ..and scotland is about to throw both the tories and labour out of scotland..and has replaced them with the scottish nationalist party..

      ..there is some ‘revolution’ at the ballot-box..in the air..

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    New Greek PM visits site where 200 Greeks were massacred by Germans in WWII

    Seems like Tsipras has a keen sense of history.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-26/greeces-new-leader-sends-germany-loud-and-clear-message-his-first-act

    • nadis 4.1

      He’s a smart guy, and will need to be to balance domestic expectations with foreign reality.

      • vto 4.1.1

        You mean domestic reality with foreign expectation

        • nadis 4.1.1.1

          If Greece wants continued support from the EU, the IMF, the EBRD then unfortunately it is the foreign reality.

          • Pascals bookie 4.1.1.1.1

            Nothing is fixed in stone.

            If Greece goes, a precedent is set. Spain and Italy could go too.

            Germany benefited greatly from having a periphery built in to the EU. Till it went pear shaped, not least due to Germany’s own short-termism. If your success is built in part on the debts you hold from crack addicts, it’s a problem you aren’t blameless in.

            • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1.1

              if they go and default on debt, and italy and spain do too, wont germany suffer terribly as a result both economically and politically? germany may have to let greece stay in eu and forgive some debt and lower interest to save itself?

              • Jones

                It may result in the end of the Euro. Apparently Germany has been reprinting and stockpiling deutsche marks since 2011 in case an exit from the Euro is required. The Netherlands has been doing the same with the guilder.

                • Tracey

                  So, germany has quite the vested interest (no pun intended) in Greece staying in the EU and repaying its debt.

                  • Jones

                    Absolutely… Deutschebank’s colossal US$75 trillion exposure to derivatives needs to be mitigated somehow.

                    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-28/elephant-room-deutsche-banks-75-trillion-derivatives-20-times-greater-german-gdp

                    The pending printing of Euro by the ECB will barely scratch the surface.

                    • Gosman

                      You are using the Notional value of the contracts in question. This may or may not be a problem but is usually not as big an issue as a simplistic reading such as yours makes out. It is the overall exposure which is important rather than the total notional value of all contracts.

                      For example A bank might have an call option for a particular underlying financial product but also a put option for the same product. Theoretically they should zero out the position if they are for the same quantity. This explains why the finance economy is many times larger than the ‘real’ economy.

                      Another way of looking at it is the matter of reinsurance. An insurance company creates an insurance contract which has a notional value but the cost of such a contract to a customer is not the full amount of the contract but whatever risk premium has been decided upon. The insurance company can then onsell this risk to another party by creating another contract. That party in turn can decide to do the same. In this way the insurance market can have a reinsurance market many times the notional value of the original sum insured. Doing this is a vital method of risk mitigation.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      It’s just a casino. Most of the time its not anyone with any interest in the underlying taking out the “insurance”, rather various financial entities making speculative bets.

                      Of course the theory is that most of it nets off to zero…until there is a liquidity crunch and counter party risks zoom up. Then its GFC 2.

                    • gsays

                      to jones @12.59 pm

                      i have got access to a photo copier if they need a hand.

                      bill hicks: “.. its going to f#@k up the economy,
                      the economy thats fake anyway.
                      which would be a real bummer”

            • linda 4.1.1.1.1.2

              German benefited by having Greece in the Euro along with the other pigs it kept the value of the Euro down and retained Germany comparativeness if German had the mark at this point in time Germans exports would collapse because of the value of the currency

          • vto 4.1.1.1.2

            Ponzi scheme banking systems being described as reality is an interesting definition

          • IMESS 4.1.1.1.3

            It’s balancing the domestic reality with the foreign reality that’s their problem.

    • Gosman 4.2

      Their plan seems to be to try and guilt trip the Germans to forgive debt and pay compensation for the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Not very sophisticated and unlikely to work I think.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.2.1

        Also to remind the Germans of the deal which enabled them to grow at the end of WWII: 60% write off of debt, moratorium on all interest and debt repayments.

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        if greece defaults… germany suffers. if greece italy default germany suffers. so it is not guilt tripping its a game of chicken.greece has nothing to lose but germany.

        • The Murphey 4.2.2.1

          Germany were a key driver of the eurozone formation and knew what the likely outcomes would be

          This is a situation of their own making

          • Tracey 4.2.2.1.1

            agree but gosman seems to think that Greece cant stay in the EU and default on its loans but germany, imo, has a huge amount to lose if Greece leaves EU and defaults. Better for germany to forgive debt and restructure interest than to have Greece default entirely.

            Greece has nothing left to lose that puts germany in the weaker position, imo.

    • joe90 4.3

      Seems like Tsipras has a keen sense of history.

      Alexis Tsipras is a clever man.

      Back in 1953, under the London Debt Agreement, America asked European countries, including Greece, to agree to write off 60 percent of Germany’s debts from World War II and to put a moratorium on debt repayments. That was accepted as a solution. What we are asking from Germany is basically the same.

      http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2013/ten_miles_square/the_monthly_interview043312.php?page=all

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.3.1

        “Germans are world class debt defaulters and soccer players”

        Damien Kiberd in the (Irish) Independent on the Germans defaulting more than any other country in the 20th century:

        .. 132bn Goldmarks in reparations after World War I (but paid only 22.78bn Gm) … defaulted under Nazi rule in 1933

        .. Post World War II – 1953 London Debt Agreement: half of German national debt was simply written off at a stroke

        .. Some 85% of Marshall Aid given to Germany after WW II was ultimately treated as a grant, not a loan

        http://www.independent.ie/business/damien-kiberd-on-greece-germans-are-world-class-debt-defaulters-and-soccer-players-30937381.html

        • Psycho Milt 4.3.1.1

          So, all the Greeks have to do is lose a world war, get saddled with ruinous reparations debts by the victors, then have the victors write off the debts when they finally have to accept that the country they just destroyed isn’t in any position to hand over wads of cash? it’s fine in theory, but I suspect the “lose a world war” part would be a hard sell to the voters…

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.3.1.1.1

            mmm depends on what kinds of wars are being fought and with what types of weapons?

            • Tracey 4.3.1.1.1.1

              they could say they were ground into submission by capitalism

              • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                wars with financial weapons of mass destruction and prisoners of debt
                wars waged against the ‘have got’ and ‘have nots’ by the ‘have yachts’

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.1.2

            Seems pretty simple really. Declare war upon the rest of the world, fire at a few people (ensuring they miss of course) wait until someone fires back and then surrender and tell the new victor that the debts are all theirs 😈

            Really though, what happened to Germany after WWII is proof of the non-existence of money and that defaulting on a debt can do wonders for an economy that’s been trashed.

  5. i wd like to repeat my theory that the sudden/surprising u-turn on q.e. by the eu..

    ..is in part to give them wriggle-room/funds..

    ..to be able to do a deal with greece..

    • nadis 5.1

      Don’t often agree with you, but I think there is some truth in what you say especially around timing. Europe was doing a QE anyway and thats been quite obvious since middle of last year because of deflationary pressures, but the timing of the announcement was pretty good and market response after the election has been very positive.

      Greek debt isn’t eligible for the QE purchases.

  6. Pascals bookie 6

    There’s another good piece here, by a voter explaining why he voted the way he did:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/26/greece-dignity-why-i-voted-for-syriza-alex-andreou?CMP=share_btn_tw

    “Gone were the story’s roots in Wall Street and the City of London. Gone was the collapse of subprime lending in the US. Gone was Iceland. Gone was the accusation that the very institutions we paid to bail out were speculating against the euro and fuelling volatility – an accusation articulated by the German chancellor Angela Merkel herself in 2010. Instead, the story mutated into one focused exclusively on lazy, feckless Greeks.

    Attempts to point out the patent absurdity of the idea that Greek train drivers retiring early in 2009 could be responsible for Lehman Brothers folding in the US a year earlier were dismissed as “Greeks not taking responsibility”. This anger, this feeling of being globally bullied, intensified when the troika of the European commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank imposed their programme of austerity. Many of the measures were horizontal and caused most hurt to those who had least to do with the crisis. Not only that, but the loans secured in exchange mostly went to propping up the very banking institutions that were seen as responsible.”

    • saveNZ 6.1

      Very interesting.

    • Olwyn 6.2

      That is one brilliant article Pascal’s Bookie – just about every sentence, every paragraph, is quotable. I picked out just one short sentence, on the the subject of Tsipras’s campaign, for Andrew Little to take heed of, “To start from priorities and then define the method.”

    • Olwyn 6.3

      This is a good article as well, looking at what Syriza’s win means for the wider left, at this time: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/26/syriza-victory-lifted-greek-politics-cynicism-hope

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      In this context, to have a party like Syriza in power, neither indebted nor connected to the past, is the healthiest thing.

      And this also applies in NZ. We need change but we won’ get it from the old guard parties.

      • Tracey 6.4.1

        sadly we have to wait until we have the societal realisation of Greece, with nothing left to lose.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 6.4.2

        One of the key successes of Syriza in bringing about change is that their leaders are (quite possibly) not bought or they have not sold their souls to corporate donors and banksters.
        Cf the old guard parties around the world with their leaders, MPs and candidates.

  7. Ovid 7

    In the wake of the crisis Iceland defaulted on its debts.

    Technically, Iceland didn’t default, it was bailed out by the European Central Bank and the IMF. By 2012, Iceland was in a position to start repaying the bailout loans. Further, its problems were mainly caused by a banking collapse, not by its central bank. Iceland also has its own currency, so it can adjust monetary policy as needed.

    Greece has already had a bailout and unlike Iceland, they are now looking to renegotiate the terms of the bailout. Greece’s problems are founded in a tax system that didn’t meet the country’s spending needs (the 2004 Olympics didn’t help, either) and high deficit spending that came with the cheap credit it enjoyed through being part of the eurozone. Its fiscal policy (ie taxation and spending) didn’t align with the monetary policy set by the European Central Bank. Once the GFC hit, it couldn’t borrow any more and here we are. A reversion to the economic policy that led to 2008 would be unwise. If I were Greek, I’d be looking to leave the eurozone so fiscal and monetary policy would be under the control of Athens, but there’d be a great deal of immediate pain in a devalued drachma. Their future borrowing would be tempered by interest rates that more fairly reflect the strength of the Greek economy, rather than Europe as a whole. It’s my understanding that the new Greek government has ruled this out, though.

    They’re in a difficult situation and there’s no easy way out.

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      Giving up currency sovereignty, similar to us giving up the NZD and going with the Australian dollar, makes you a simple district of the overarching monetary authority. You have no ability to control your own monetary policy/interest rates.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Yep. Hence their lack of policy options beyond begging to be let off the harsher elements of their current arrangements with their creditor nations. They don’t want to leave the Eurozone so therefore have to ask nicely if they can get some more flexibility.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/26/greece-dignity-why-i-voted-for-syriza-alex-andreou?CMP=share_btn_tw

    The Greeks have basically decided it is better to die free Greeks than live as the shackled slaves of Berlin. It is the electoral equivalent of a slave revolt, with wild optimism born from utter despair. Perhaps the echo of the spirit of Sparta lives on in Greece.

    BTW – It is an interesting commentary on the modern western corporate media that Syriza is described by it as “far left” and the western media regard as “moderate” policies that have reduced the Greek economy by 25%, created massive unemployment, seen the emergence of malnutrition, well over doubled child poverty, and seen massive migration from Greece.

    • Gosman 8.1

      The Greeks have never followed ‘moderate’ policies in terms of sensible economic policies. They have always seen the need to utilise the power of the State to intervene and provide social services while avoiding paying for them directly.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        That’s overly simplistic. The truth is that the Greek 0.1% ruling class have led the nation to this disaster, and have pocketed money each step of the way at the expense of the ordinary citizen.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          Largely by using the power of the state to do so. Also you ignore that many of the policies were designed to provide support for large sections of the society (at the middle and lower ends of the income demographic) many of whom were not very productive.

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.1.1

            Oh look, repeating the German PR line of the “lazy feckless Greeks.”

            Personally, I think the Greek elite have fucked their country and its time they pay up their share.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              The problem is the Greek elite probably have much of their wealth hidden in tax havens such as Cyprus or further afield. Attempting to grab it would be largely futile. The only people who can be forced to cough up will be the middle and upper middle income earners in the country. These are the same people who haven’t generally been paying their taxes. Of course hitting them up has a raft of unintended consequences both politically and economically.

              • Pascals bookie

                They undoubtedly have many assets inside the EU though 😉

                • Gosman

                  And if the Greeks want help getting access to these assets a sure way of making life difficult for them is to default on their debt obligations.

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.2

          In other words the Greek rich have just behaved like every other human acting to their own advantage, a creed so beloved by neo libs. They held tightly to this ‘selfish-gene’ idea even in the face of financial meltdowns, overproduction, gold rush mentality. etc. The story of Midas is ancient, and based on human basics which learning just gets ignored when we are educating ourselves.

    • Daveinireland 8.2

      “The Greeks have basically decided it is better to die free Greeks than live as the shackled slaves of Berlin.”

      They have done no such thing. They have decided it’s better to be free Greeks while their slaves in Berlin keep picking up the tab.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.1

        If your premise is true, how is it that the Greeks are living in utter poverty, social disarray and infrastructure collapse, while the “slaves in Berlin” have the highest income and employment levels in the entire EU?

        Or is it that you argue like a fuckwit.

        • nadis 8.2.1.1

          Well the counterfactual is that Greece is currently living like a poor south american country. Without their charity in Germany, Greece would be more like a poor african country.

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.1.1.1

            Charity is given through generosity and wishing the other party well.

            That’s not Germany’s attitude to the Greeks.

        • Tracey 8.2.1.2

          A number of Greeks left Athens and headed back tot heir villages when they lost their jobs. The homes in the family village have come down through generations and usually had no mortgage. The cities on the other hand are full of homes with big mortgages. The whole mortgage/Credit card thing is very new to Greece compared to the rest of the western world.

          A job in civil service was seen as a job for life and retirement at 55. Accordingly it was a goal to get family members into those jobs and at election times jobs were offered as a way to salve the palm of the voters. In any event in the private sector it is western BS to say they were all retiring at 65, they were not. And since the GFC no one retires at 55.

          In many ways Greece is a very good example of what happens when rampant capitalism (mortgages and cc from banks) mixes with human greed below. they advertised the loans and CCs as though they were free money, easy to repay, easy to get and suckered everyone in, as they do here… So the greeks borrowed and borrowed like children with no history of money management mixed with electoral greed.

          Banks got bailed out, learned nothing, and are back earning big bonuses and heading back toward GFC type times (particularly in the USA in the form of car loans etc). Greece is much more a victim of the banking system than the banks ever were.

          making money the centre of everything, the number one priority the number one goal (rather than further down the list) is a strategy for failure… for everyone except those in power (elected or financial).

          I hope Greece defaults and gives the two fingered salute to the system that crippled them. I hope they have the sense to restore integrity to their political system.

          • Daveinireland 8.2.1.2.1

            “So the greeks borrowed and borrowed like children with no history of money management mixed with electoral greed.”

            This isn’t new though is it? Greece has spent more time in default on sovereign debt than any other country. Anyone who thought that Greece joining the Euro would make them as credit worthy as Germans was seriously deluded.

            • Tracey 8.2.1.2.1.1

              it is relatively new because mortgages and CCs arrived into their communities much later than most western countries.

              “more time in default… than any other country”

              source?

            • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.1.2.1.2

              This isn’t new though is it? Greece has spent more time in default on sovereign debt than any other country. Anyone who thought that Greece joining the Euro would make them as credit worthy as Germans was seriously deluded.

              Why don’t you bitch to Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole who seemed more than keen to lend to the Greeks, it is their judgement at the end of the day that you are criticising for lending to spendthrift Greeks.

        • Daveinireland 8.2.1.3

          Very simply because Greece is living with an income that is largely provided by others. Without that cash, Greece would be about as wealthy as Albania.

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.1.3.1

            I disagree with you. The oligarchs have done very well out of impoverishing Greece and putting it under the boot of the economic hitmen.

            The banksters now want access to Greece’s economic assets at cents in the dollar.

            It’s the age old game of extortion dressed up in an IMF suit and tie.

            • Gosman 8.2.1.3.1.1

              You could easily confirm your view. Of the Billions of Euro’s in debt racked up by Greece over the past 15 odd years where was the majority of it spent? If it was spent by government on subsidies to wealthy people then you would have a case. If it was spent instead on such areas as pensions, health care, and supporting loss making parastatals then this is not supporting the wealthy oligarchs as you suggest.

  9. Karen 9

    Keith Ovenden has been running a live blog from Athens about the election from a left viewpoint.
    http://left-flank.org/2015/01/23/dispatch-athens-greek-election-liveblog/

    If you are alarmed by the coalition with a right wing party there is a good analysis of the reasons behind it, although Ovenden does not support it. Scroll down the posts to 2 posts below the Mae West clip for this. The Mae West clip also explains the reasoning – when caught between two evils she preferred to choose the one she hadn’t tried.

    • The coalition with Independent Greeks will trap Syriza into serving the interests of the Greek bourgeoisie and German imperialism. It is a rightwing bourgeois party similar to UKIP. It will prevent Syriza from becoming more ‘anti-capitalist’.
      The leadership of Syriza favours this as the price to pay for the power to negotiate with the Troika. The left in Syriza is opposed to this.
      The Communist Tendency in Syriza is arguing that Syriza must abandon this coalition and put more pressure on KKE MPs to defect to provide a majority.
      This is more likely to occur as events make compromise with the Troika very unpopular and a break with the Euro comes closer.
      Failing this Syriza should have the guts to try a minority government, and face another election.
      Far from pissing the masses off, another election will send the message that Greece needs a radical break from the big European imperialist powers which will rally popular support to return Syriza to power with an absolute majority.

      http://www.marxist.com/against-a-coalition-of-syriza-and-independent-greeks-decleration-by-the-communis-tendency-of-syriza-26-january-2015.htm

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        Which makes sense if Greece wants to leave both the EU as well as the Eurozone. However these are not the policies that Syriza campaigned on. Why do you think they want to remain in both?

        • dave brown 9.1.1.1

          Read the article and find out.
          The short answer is that the Syriza leadership are reformers who think that they can negotiate a deal with the EU that will stop austerity.
          They pin their hopes on becoming beneficiaries of QE.
          As yet the majority of workers are going along with this in “hope”.
          Now they have Syriza in power, though hamstrung by a right wing partner, this strategy will fail as QE is inflationary unless the working class is whipped to produce more commodities to exchange for these bits of paper.
          Debt bondage is the ultimate whip held over the working class.
          It is a mortgage on the labour of this and future generations of workers.
          They will soon realise that they are still the being played as pawns to pay for the crisis of EU finance capital the can’t make real profits.
          So the radicalisation of the Greek masses will move inexorably towards a break with the EU sooner or later.
          The more that the left in Syriza presses for cancellation of the debt the sooner it will happen.
          Once this happens in Greece, or while it is happening, the other heavily indebted PIGS will join the fray. Spain is well on the way already.

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 9.1.1.1.1

            hamstrung by a right wing partner

            dave brown:

            Just very quickly as I can’t fact-check for now …

            From memory, this “right wing partner” are the Independent Greeks who had broken off from Samaras’ party and government because the IGs want to renegotiate with the troika.

            IGs were quick yesterday to offer their support to Syriza and they (IGs) did not even ask what kind of governing arrangements they (IG) would seek.

            So on the matter of going back to the table to renegotiate, both Syriza and IG are at one. If they see eye to eye about that, then both of them get what they want and can deliver what they have promised to their voters.

            As to other IG policies, I recall there might not be much alignment with Syriza. But that is another chapter for later. Get over this one on the debt and Greece’s economy first, before moving on to other policies, would be my way of looking at the issues if I had to advise Syriza.

      • Olwyn 9.1.2

        However, they would face another election with their moment of triumph past, and give those opposed to them, no doubt with bags more money to spend, a chance to regroup. I say, get hold of the levers first, and sort out how you are going to proceed second, without losing sight of your priorities. After all, the coalition with the Independent Greeks could well bring about defections from the KKE into the Syriza camp, with a view to strengthening the left’s position.

        • dave brown 9.1.2.1

          Two things wrong with this.
          The dynamic of Greece being squeezed to death by Eurobanksters radicalising the working class does not allow for an electoral reversal away from Syriza back to the right. Another election would reflect that increasing radicalisation.
          Second, the reason that KKE won’t join Syriza is that it wants to break from the EU.
          The dynamic is heading in the direction of a break from the EU.
          So Syriza rejecting Independent Greeks and fighting to cancel the debt and break from the EU will rally working class supporters of the KKE and even PASOK which could lead to MPs breaking ranks to give Syriza the majority.
          It will also increase the influence of the left in Syriza over the ‘central committee’ and bring the parliamentary struggle into line with the militants in the streets.

  10. Pascals bookie 10

    And this post on the political options they faced in forming a govt:

    https://theirategreek.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/strange-bedfellows/

    • Karen 10.1

      This is an interesting analysis. Keith Ovenden preferred a minority government but this article from theirategreek suggests the reason for going into coalition was the impending renegotiating of the EU package which would require a stronger mandate. The question is whether by going into a coalition with the Independent Greeks do they give them more legitimacy, which would be dangerous in future elections.

      Best case scenario is they stick together for the debt recovery negotiations, then Syriza get support from KKE members breaking ranks in order to thwart the ambitions of the Independent Greek Party.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 10.1.1

        It seems to me from reading the little that I have done in past months about Tsipras that he is grounded and is clear sighted about what necessary outcome to achieve. Rather than being just a radical, he is – what I would call – a new realistic radical.

        Here’s an insight into how far he went, or didn’t go, during the late 1990s student protests:

        Many of the students, particularly on the leftist fringes, were pushing for a radical overhaul of the country’s education system. “We didn’t want exams, we didn’t want grades, we wanted an open school,” recalls Matthaios Tsimitakis, an Athens journalist who was one of the student leaders at the assembly.

        But not Mr Tsipras. Despite his leftist credentials, Mr Tsipras urged only one demand: withdraw the reforms. Although the protests would grow tense — a teacher was killed in clashes between rival groups in January 1991 — Mr Tsipras, who became one of the main negotiators with the government, held his line. And, three months after they were proposed, the government sacked its education minister and withdrew the reforms. The protests ended.

        http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/301636be-a2e6-11e4-9c06-00144feab7de.html#axzz3PytkOWXo

  11. Undecided 11

    Will be interesting to see how Greece goes, its always better when the experiment takes place in another country

  12. joe90 12

    Richard Wolff on the situation leading up to the Greek elections.

  13. Colonial Rawshark 13

    CNN – how austerity kills. Greek public health budget had been slashed by 40%; 35,000 public health workers laid off: disaster in suicides, depression, HIV infections and drug use.

    On a per capita basis the NZ equivalent would have been laying off 10,000 or so public health workers.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/09/business/europes-public-health-disaster-how-austerity-kills/

    This is the kind of tragedy that Gossie thinks is a joke.

    • Gosman 13.1

      They couldn’t afford to pay for it to begin with. It would be like a pacific Island borrowing for top of the line health care in the nation and then being forced to cut back. The top line health care may have led to improvements in healthcare and extending the life of the general population by a number of years but it would be inaccurate to suggest being forced to cut back is the cause of an increase in deaths occurring earlier. The Greeks do also have choices. If they want to fund health care they can stop funding their loss making state owned enterprises like their National railway company.

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        Sorry mate, but your idea of subordinating an entire society’s wellbeing to the international financial markets is stupid.

        • Gosman 13.1.1.1

          The new Greek government is not suggesting it removes itself from the world financial system. Indeed it seems to be very keen to stay within it but ask to be treated better.

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1.1.1

            is the point of the financial system to support an oligarchy made up of the 0.1% (and their helpers), or is it to support the people within a society allowing citizens to apply their energy, talents and education to boost the real economy.

            The Greeks think it should be latter. I would tend to agree with them.

            • Gosman 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Yet they don’t want to remove themselves from such a system. Why do you think that is CV?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Dunno, ask them. But they did tone down their anti-EU sentiments markedly in the last 6 months which political commentators saw as their reaching out to the broader aspirational middle class.

                • Tracey

                  and they are doing what we are told is the keystone of capitalism and our moneyed society, they are negotiating a better position 😉

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Ha!

                  • Gosman

                    Which suggests they aren’t offering a radical departure from the current system. Thjey are merely wanting a better deal. Personally I don’t think they have much show mainly because if they achieve their goals then the Italians and Spanish may get similar ideas.

                    • Tracey

                      except you have this idea that germany is in a strong position because it has loaned them the money. It appears to me Germany is in the weaker bargaining position precisely because if Greece defaults, then so may Italy and Spain. Ergo, Germany will negotiate with greece to keep them repaying and in EU. behind closed doors, as part of the negotiation, the new government can say “fuck you, we will leave EU, default and you get nothing. Our people cant be worse of than they are today. Your move.”

                    • Gosman

                      Germany hasn’t really loaned them this money. The money is from a number of sources some of which includes German banks and some of which also includes the ECB. Ultimately the losses will be whoever holds the liability which I suspect will be more the ECB than any privately controlled banks who have probably written off much of the debt already.

                    • Tracey

                      so you think a full default by Greece won’t have an adverse impact on the German economy?

                    • Pascals bookie

                      This may help Gos:

                      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/26/greece-think-flows-not-stocks/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto&_r=0

                      “But as both Daniel Davies and James Galbraith point out — with very different de facto value judgments, but never mind for now — is that at this point Greek debt, measured as a stock, is not a very meaningful number. After all, the great bulk of the debt is now officially held, the interest rate bears little relationship to market prices, and the interest payments come in part out of funds lent by the creditors. In a sense the debt is an accounting fiction; it’s whatever the governments trying to dictate terms to Greece decide to say it is.

                      OK, I know it’s not quite that simple — debt as a number has political and psychological importance. But I think it helps clear things up to put all of that aside for a bit and focus on the aspect of the situation that isn’t a matter of definitions: Greece’s primary surplus, the difference between what it takes in via taxes and what it spends on things other than interest. This surplus — which is a flow, not a stock — represents the amount Greece is actually paying, in the form of real resources, to its creditors, as opposed to borrowing funds to pay interest.”

                      Now be sure to read the rest, but the point is that the numbers on the debt aren’t maral, or even sensible, hard numbers. They are fictions. The real value of the Greek debts is nothing, unless there is a deal. So there will be a deal.

                    • Gosman

                      The Euro zone Creditor nations and the financial system has had a good number of years to reduce major exposure to Greece. Spain and Italy are the greater risk if they decide to renegotiate or default. This is why the Germans and others will be playing hard ball with the Greeks. If the Greeks get an easy ride then the Spanish and/or Italians may be tempted to try it on as well and that would spell real problems.

                    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                      and that would spell real problems

                      and that would spell real problems for the bankster class and casino-capitalists.

                    • Gosman

                      Also to hard saving northern European households as the value of their savings and pensions plunge. Instead of Athenian pensioners suffering it would be Berlin pensioners.

                    • Tracey

                      get off your pensioner bandwagon. The problem is way more deep and complicated than this whole “everyone retired at 55” false meme.

  14. hoom 14

    The thing which amazes me is that even the rightwing press always refers to Austerity stuff as punishing, painful, crippling etc. because it very obviously is, yet its supposedly the only solution to economic issues.

    If its always punishing, painful, crippling etc. then its goddamn not a solution.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      Its not painful and punishing for the bankster class who are collecting the interest payments from the Greeks.

    • Gosman 14.2

      Okay then. Perhaps you can offer a solution for the Greeks that doesn’t involve someone somewhere having to suffer some sort of impact on their economic wellbeing. Remember the new government still want to remain within the Eurozone. What path can they follow that would enable them to do this at the same time as having less painful policies.

      • Paul 14.2.1

        Tell the banks to depart.
        Not in a polite way.

        • Gosman 14.2.1.1

          What Banks? The Greek banks? That won’t lead to lower unemployment. In fact the opposite will occur as the economy will contract further and credit dries up completely.

          I suspect you are meaning foreign banks lending to both Greeks individually and to the State. Where will the Greeks get the Billions of dollars in Euros to pay for the social spending they want to undertaken given they don’t have enough revenue at the moment to cover it?

          • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.1.1.1

            The ECB is about to print hundreds of billions of Euros out of thin air to gift to the bankers.

            Why don’t you ask them.

            • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Ho Ho Ho

              Excellent point, CR.

            • Gosman 14.2.1.1.1.2

              Do they expect the same bankers they are going to stop paying back to just give them some of this new money ? I think they are going to be sadly mistaken if they do.

            • Tracey 14.2.1.1.1.3

              gossie doesn’t believe in printing money. He may still be waiting for Key to tell the EU leaders they are loonies.

              • Gosman

                I’ve never denied that governments can print money. I just acknowledge the likelihood of negative consequences as a result.

                • Tracey

                  And yet, that is what the Eu is going to do… and Mr key just doesn’t quite have the courage to call them loonies, does he?

                  There are negative consequences to continue doing things the same way decade after decade after decade unless you are in the top 1-5% of our nation. Still a system that only fails 95 to 99% is usually seen as a success, right?

                  • Gosman

                    Are you in this top 1-5% Tracey?

                    What I find so galling is that leftists like yourself make out that the system is so screwed up that the only ones who benefit are the top1-5% and everyone else slowly becomes poorer and poorer yet to are able to propagate this nonsense on a machine that the super rich would only have dreamed of owning not 20 years ago.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      20 years ago we may not have been able to buy today’s computers, although what we could buy weren’t too bad. I think this was more than compensated by being able to afford to live in a reasonable house. We could also swim in most rivers. Most of us were not getting spied on. Atmospheric carbon dioxide was quite a bit lower. Stop thinking just in terms of money. If you can.

                    • Tracey

                      I am not in the top 1-5% based on my annual earnings. My partner earns close to 6 figures so is. We have 800k equity in our home. I know I am well off Gosman and I know why. I am not a “leftist”. You can try to put me in a box but I am me, my own thoughts, my own journey and am accordingly a hybrid of notions.

                      If you are referring to a computer I find it galling when rightists like you cling to a system that has largely failed to deliver on its own promises but prattle on “it’s not perfect but it’s the best system we have” always assuming that there is only one answer, socialism or capitalism, which means keeping everything as it is now. You sound like Collins and Bennett berating Turei for dressing very well and thereby purporting to negate her credentials or right to speak for the poor. You have a computer so the system isnt so bad. Really?

                      And finally when everything else you have repeated ad infinitum today doesn’t get resounding approval from everyone, you resort to strawmen and ad hominem.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I think this was more than compensated by being able to afford to live in a reasonable house.

                      And that’s the point. Material trinkets have got dirt cheap while the basic cost of living has gone sky high.

                      A months groceries for a family of 5 can easily add up to the same $$$ as a 50″ LED TV, which once upon a time would have been considered a “luxury”.

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.2

        No one benefits from Greece consumers being unable to buy the EU’s goods and services.

        The problem is that the large financial institutions don’t care about that detail; they just want their pound of flesh.

        It is now a truism to say that debt which cannot be repaid will not be repaid. Steve Keen echoes your view – it’s now simply a matter of figuring out how not to repay it.

        One of Syriza’s finance spokespeople Yanis Varoufakis has already answered this question in depth.

        • Tracey 14.2.2.1

          finance companies just stopped paying their clients when they had misspent the money or misinvested it. Misinvested is just another word for “used”.

          the greeks have used more than they could repay, liquidate seems the obvious answer, isn’t that the capitalist way… and just start up as a new country with a different name. 😉

      • meconism 14.2.3

        Write the rest of Europe an invoice. Charge them for the knowledge, science rhetoric, maths and architectural brilliance that the following worked out for us. Off the top of my head, Socrates, Plato Aristotle, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristotle. Make the invoice total, oh I dunno 100 billiion per annum multiplied by 3000 years and tell them they have until the end of the month to pay in full otherwise penalties will start accruing on the outstanding amount. Then sit back and wait.

  15. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 15

    Well worth listening (or reading the translation) as well as hearing the questions put by The Guardian to Tsipras early last year to gain some understanding of where Syriza is coming from and what they will do next:

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 15.1

      Ok, the clip is almost ten minutes.

      Given the importance of the material, and for busy people, if the following can be excused (an exception made here for the Penny Bright-like pasting job!), here is a rough transcript that I put together:

      [Question: … How do you explain Syriza’s success and explosion, politically, in the last couple of years in particular?]

      “I think it is a very natural development
      given the crisis in Greece
      and that barbaric adjustment that has been chosen.

      It has torn apart the social fabric and has
      caused the political system to disintegrate.
      It has severed the links of political representation
      between the traditional political parties
      and the social groups that they once represented.

      Particularly, the links between social democracy
      and the middle classes
      in terms of the rights, demands and interests of the middle classes.
      So it’s natural for the Left to occupy that space
      that has consequently become vacant in Greece.”

      [Question: … regarding the growing threat at the same time from the far-right, fascist Golden Dawn party … and the {Samaras} government increasingly trying to play the security and immigration cards against {Syriza} …]

      “I think the only way to confront this phenomenon
      is by, once again, inspiring the people in Greece
      to believe that through their struggles, and through a democratic path,
      they are able to deal with this barbaric assault against them.

      The only way to combat the spread of neo-Nazism
      is by halting this barbaric austerity programme.
      That is what is causing the spread of neo-Nazis across Greece.

      The Greek people do not have a tendency to follow such tendencies.
      On the contrary, they have crushed fascism during,
      before and after the second world war.
      They were a people who were at the core of resistance in Europe.”

      [Question: Syriza has opposed the idea of Greece leaving the Euro … what leverage would a Syriza or Left-led government have when negotiating?]

      “Greece, like any eurozone member, has a strong bargaining chip. What is this?
      Well, if any of the 17 eurozone members were to exit,
      the next day the euro would be unsustainable.

      In such a situation, Germany would be the one to revert to the Mark.
      This strong bargaining chip has not been utilised by any Greek government so far.

      And so far all Greek governments have accepted all these cruel austerity measures without negotiation.
      Look, there are no landlords and tenants of the eurozone.
      If this is something that Mrs Merkel cannot understand,
      well, then she must be convinced
      that this is how it is in terms that,
      unfortunately, may not be very polite.

      However, in politics and the economy,
      we are often forced not to be polite.

      When, presently, in Greece one and a half million people are unemployed
      there are 700,000 families with not a single breadwinner
      and we are confronted with such
      an unprecedented humanitarian crisis
      we cannot be particularly polite
      to those who have caused this crisis.”

      [Question: no question that Syriza has a very radical programme of complete opposition to a failed neoliberal model: a programme of public ownership of the banks and utilities for the redistribution of wealth and income, for pulling out of Afghanistan and NATO, and for workers rights … do you think there might be a danger of a Syriza government in practice having to make compromises on such a scale that it would alienate its support and base?]

      “This is a long discussion
      that is also taking place in Greece
      as to whether Syriza would be coming closer
      to what some refer to as ‘realism’.

      However, in light of the current brutal reality
      in Greece and Europe,
      there is nothing more realistic than to demand to change such reality.

      These days, the only realism is to overturn
      this social injustice, to overturn these inequalities,
      and to overthrow this model of casino-capitalism
      of profit-seeking capitalism that
      devours the flesh of European societies.

      I believe that Syriza can be the spark
      that sets the field alight.

      We are at the tail end of existing neoliberal capitalism in Europe.

      This crisis is not coincidental. It’s a structural crisis of capitalism and of its neoliberal model.

      Syriza – and a European south following the electoral success of a government of the Left in Greece – are capable of constructing an example for Europe.
      Europe has always played a decisive role in developments in world events.

      We believe that at times of such barbaric events,
      what are demanded are radical solutions.

      If we gain power and do not try to change everything, then we have no chance of remaining in power.”

      – Ends –

      • Tracey 15.1.1

        Thanks for this

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1.1

          +1

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 15.1.1.1.1

            Cheers for the responses.
            I wondered if the material might be of value to readers here but decided that, at least for greater awareness about Syriza and Tsipras, I would spend part of my morning going through that video.

            Indeed, watching the video had strong impact but going through the transcript provided a lot more to reflect upon.

            I am glad that Tracey summed up, for e.g. 17.1.2, what I wanted also to say.

            Thanks for providing the illuminating and insightful perspectives this morning, CR.

            p.s. Tsipras posed the hypothetical about “17” members of the Eurozone making an exit (there are a total of 19 members, as I understand). And even counting in Greece, that would be 18 … well, that perhaps leaves one more very obvious one to be counted … who would probably not (also) be contemplating an exit.

  16. Andrew Welsh 16

    Drop all the rhetoric, especially about ‘the left reclaiming Greece’s future’ (my pick is you are about to see the left instrumental in Greece’s demises).
    There are some bloody good lessons to be learnt, including living within your means (Greek population) and bond holders taking a hit and learning a thing or too about lending to basket cases like Greece (financiers).
    Greece should bankrupt; no great loss to the German and Swedish banks given the ECB is about to embark on a 1.1trillion qe programme so guaranteeing deposits is no problem.
    As for Greece’s future?, who cares as its hardly a mecca for banking or industrialisation, cheap place for a holiday with a lazy population that thought it could provide a million dollar standard of living on a pensioners income.

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      Individuals like you who view human beings from the standpoint of international capitalists who don’t give a flying fuck about a country or the welfare of its peoples can fuck off.

      Although you deserve credit for at least being honest about it.

    • Tracey 16.2

      when the finance companies didnt live within their means, or mis-used their clients money, or didnt live up to their promises, they just closed the door, shut the company and often didn’t even say sorry to their clients.

      when banks didnt live within their means they got injections of taxpayer dollars. No consequence for them. So take your lazy greek memes and try to understand that your smugness is misplaced.

    • Murray Rawshark 16.3

      Thanks for expounding the racist view so eloquently.

  17. johnm 17

    Paul Craig Roberts has made some very perceptive comments on the Greek situation: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/01/25/freedom-america-europe-pcr/

    ” This is what Goldman Sachs did to Greece, intentionally or unintentionally:
    This established a new principle in Europe, one that the IMF has relentlessly applied to Latin American and Third World debtors. The principle is that when foreign lenders make mistakes and over-lend to foreign governments, loading them up with debt, the bankers’ mistakes are rectified by robbing the poor populations. Pensions, social services, and public employment are cut, valuable resources are sold off to foreigners for pennies on the dollar, and the government is forced to support US foreign policy. John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man describes the process perfectly. If you haven’t read Perkins book, you have little idea how corrupt and vicious the United States is. Indeed, Perkins shows that over-lending is intentional in order to set up the country for looting.”

    ” It took the Greeks a long time to realize it. Apparently, 36.5 percent of the population was awoken by rising poverty, unemployment, and suicide rates. That figure, a little over one-third of the vote, was enough to put Syriza in power in the just concluded Greek election, throwing out the corrupt New Democracy party that has consistently sold out the Greek people to the foreign banks. Nevertheless, 27.7 percent of the Greeks, if the vote reporting is correct, voted for the party that has sacrificed the Greek people to the banksters. Even in Greece, a country accustomed to outpourings of people into the streets, a significant percentage of the population is sufficiently brainwashed to vote against their own interests.

    Can Syriza do anything? It remains to be seen, but probably not. If the political party had received 55% or 65% or 75% of the vote, yes. But the largest vote at 36.5% does not show a unified country aware of its plight and its looting at the hands of rich banksters. The vote shows that a significant percentage of the Greek population supports foreign looting of Greece.

    Moreover, Syriza is up against the heavies: the German and Netherlands banks who hold Greece’s loans and the governments that back the banks, the European Union which is using the sovereign debt crisis to destroy the sovereignty of the individual countries that comprise the European Union, Washington which backs EU sovereign power over the individual countries as it is easier to control one government than a couple of dozen. ”

    ” Already the Western financial presstitutes are warning Syriza not to endanger its membership in the common currency by diverting from the austerity model imposed from abroad on Greek citizens with the complicity of New Democracy.

    Apparently, there is a lack of formal means of exiting the EU and the euro, but nevertheless Greece can be threatened with being thrown out. Greece should welcome being thrown out.

    Exiting the EU and the euro is the best thing that can happen to Greece. A country without its own currency is not a sovereign country. It is a vassal state of another power. A country without its own currency cannot finance its own needs. ”

    ” The West has devolved into a police state in which government is no longer accountable to law or to the people. There are no jobs for young people, and no income security for the elderly. The West is actually in the process of looting itself. Just look at what is happening in Greece. In order to guarantee the profits of the private banks from outside Greece, the Greek people have had their pensions cut, their employment cut, their social services cut, and they have had to sell their valuable public properties at low prices to private purchasers from outside their country. The same looting is now going on in Ukraine, and Italy, Spain, and Portugal face the identical fate. “

    • Gosman 17.1

      Except the lenders to Greece have already take a haircut on their debt so they haven’t come away unaffected.

      Question for you. You state that Greece should welcome exiting the EU and Eurozone. Why do you think that isn’t Syriza policy given it seems to have a massive upside according to you?

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1

        Syriza is indicating that it wants a debt write down and repayment moratorium on the scale of what German received in the 1950s. Under those conditions I think that staying in the EU is a good idea.

        • Gosman 17.1.1.1

          Yes but that is purely pie in the sky wishful thinking.

          • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1.1.1

            It worked to create a massive post-war German recovery and rapid European economic growth in the 50s and 60s.

      • Tracey 17.1.2

        you are assuming, wrongly in my view, that Greece has something to lose from requesting a debt write down but staying in the EU. It is in a situation of nothing left to lose. Germany on the other hand will probably blink first if it thinks it will have its entire debt defaulted upon. SO, in that scenario Syriza is looking to reduce its debt significantly and stay in the EU. A pretty good strategy

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.2

      Wayne Mapp reckons that the western system is a better alternative to the Russian or Chinese way of doing things, and it sure is – as long as you are part of the top 5% and don’t live in a capitalist sacrifice zone like Greece (a term that Chris Hedges uses)..

      Mind you I suppose if you are in the top 5% of people in Moscow or Shanghai, there ain’t too much wrong with the system there either.

      • Wayne 17.2.1

        Colonial Rawshark,

        No doubt about it that Greece is better than China. The Greeks have genuine freedom of expression. They have regular elections with real choices, which they have just exercised.

        Now I guess the negotiations begin. Unclear yet whether it is better for the Greeks to keep the Euro or get out. I guess it all depends on the deal. And the extent of the patience of Angela.

        • Tracey 17.2.1.1

          Ms Merkel

          • Ovid 17.2.1.1.1

            Dr Merkel. She has a PhD in chemistry.

            • Tracey 17.2.1.1.1.1

              I prefer to only call DR to people who have medical degrees… 😉

              • nadis

                Arent you technically supposed to call them Mr or Ms?

                • Tracey

                  No, that’s specialists. Ordinary, hard working GP’s and residents are Doctors (Dr). Specialists are intellectual and financial snobs who want to be called “Mr” to differentiate themselves from the hard working worker bee doctors.

                  and then the academics who get DR cos they did a post-post graduate degree (thesis on a topic of their choice).

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Well, PhDs and other similar advanced degrees are doctoral degrees. People who have gained one of those have earnt their doctorate and the title “Dr.”

                    Your basic medical doctor has two bachelors degrees. They have not earnt a doctoral degree, but are by convention given the title “Dr.” However the title which is actually protected in law is that of “medical practitioner” not “Dr”.

                  • nadis

                    Well, just so long as they know how to fix my rash…….

              • Murray Rawshark

                I prefer to use “my learned colleague” for people who actually know a thing or two.

        • Colonial Rawshark 17.2.1.2

          Greece wants to stay in the EU; no EU country wants Greece to go. But having 40% of Greeks in poverty or near the poverty line is not going to secure that positive future.

          • Wayne 17.2.1.2.1

            I think it is more about staying with the Euro that is the issue. You can be out of the Euro but still in the EU. And I am pretty sure nearly 100% of Greeks want stay in the EU, but I imagine are more mixed on the merits of the Euro.

            • Colonial Rawshark 17.2.1.2.1.1

              Fair enough point.

              • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                Fine but for suffering people and their families in Greece, they will likely put their hungry stomachs, heating, shelter and jobs ahead of financial- or political-constructs.

      • nadis 17.2.2

        Aside from the risk of polonium poisoning, a “random” mugging or being arrested on make believe charges, I think being in the top 5% in Russia would great.

        • Colonial Rawshark 17.2.2.1

          Yeah you mostly only get randomly shot or imprisoned on trumped up charges in the USA if you are poor and black.

    • greywarshark 17.3

      johnm
      That just makes me think again of Ron Brierley and all the asset stripping that started in about the 1980s whereby companies got bought and eviscerated.

      Since then we have had leverage buying where companies are bought with the purchaser raising huge debt which is underwritten on the value of the assets of the company which are then repaid by selling off parts of the company. Think vultures, think scrap metal merchants, both do necessary tasks but when they kill to get the goodies they are vicious insatiable predators.

  18. Pascals bookie 18

    “The ruling New Democracy party is still wondering how its platform of Endless Suffering For Everyone was defeated by Syriza’s competing message of Maybe Not That.

    Athens voter Elena Mitropoulos said: “I was going to do the responsible thing and vote for continuing austerity, because I know how important it is not to damage the German economy, but madness overtook me in the polling booth.”

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/greeks-vote-to-stop-having-shit-kicked-out-of-them-2015012694755

  19. Skinny 19

    Default and start again with a clean slate. Pretty much what the bankers got away with. What comes around goes around, so the Germans can suck it up their economy can handle it.

    Rework their tax system and load up the rich dodgers till their arse is hanging out. Jail them and strip them of their assets if they are caught tax dodging.

  20. Jim 20

    whats the beat they suddenly start getting attacked by “AlCiada” ??

  21. TheBlackKitten 21

    Its all very well to say that the rich should be paying more tax but exactly how is this new party going to achieve that? Did they outline how they will do that during their campaign and will it work? These rich people have avoided paying tax for ever and a day and I am guessing that they will be pretty up on the play with fancy lawyers & plenty of money to pay for the best in trying to wriggle out of increasing tax bills.

  22. Philip Ferguson 22

    Piece on left victory in Greece with links to stories about important workers’ occupation:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/big-left-victory-in-greek-elections-shows-growth-of-anti-austerity-movement/

    Phil

  23. joe90 23

    The rent is too damn high.

    His position: that years of budget-cutting required by Greece’s bailout deals has created a humanitarian disaster, with vast unemployment and cuts to the social safety net leading to hunger and health crises. It is time, he argues, to renegotiate those deals, particularly now that Greece has reached the point of having a “primary surplus,” meaning that its budget is in balance excluding the costs of interest payments on old debt.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/upshot/the-surprise-isnt-that-an-extreme-party-won-in-greece-its-that-it-took-this-long.html?

  24. greywarshark 24

    Discussion in Yes Minister on who runs the UK as shown by which newspaper they read.
    Perhpas they have some similor yardstick in Greece.

  25. Once was Tim 25

    This is a really interesting thread to have been following (and to have thus far, refrained from comment).
    Early on the tr^7&s with a RW bent are present. Then the ECON101 sages committed as they are to their ‘learnings’ that have become trad.

    I smell fear amongst the right wing (i.e. the ‘far right’ – if we’re now talking about centrist left as being far left). I smell fear alright. I smell the growth in firms offering personal security options; bullshit gating and fencing; consultants offering various lobbying services.
    Tik Tok Tik Tok …. and what’s so pathetic is that it’s all been needless.
    Greece is an interesting case. If those concerned with 60% youth unemployment and 28% generally; the loss of sovereignty; the privatisation of the people’s assets for private gain: …. etc,. etc. if that party is considered “FAR” left …. how about we judge those moderate Right wingers on the same terms. I think we’d probably have to acknowledge that they’re coming close to “FAR” right. That’s the trouble with fascism – it creeps up and bites ya on the bum before you know it.
    I’ll now sit back and watch and wait for all and sundry to start quoting various academic’s ‘laws’ (lores).
    I’m fucking glad Greece has happened!. Fucking sight better than seeing what have could have eventuated (but might still).

  26. greywarshark 26

    Julbilee 2000 debt relief. Time to rescurrect the scheme and promote it and institute and move forward. If Greece can now pay its way then most of the debt should be wiped. As citizens we have had occasions when people were totally wiped out by business. Well business can take its own medicine.
    http://www.just1world.org/debt-relief.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_2000

    http://valuesandframes.org/casestudy/the-jubilee-2000-debt-campaign/

    Post Jubilee 2000. How it went and and how it might be done again.
    http://www.cgdev.org/article/what-ever-happened-jubilee-10th-anniversary-assessment-debt-relief-movement

    The Rolling Jubilee debt terminator might be something that we could be doing ourselves. Bringing good by being good and just a bit generous.
    http://rollingjubilee.org/

    But watch out for vulture funds!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_Debt_Coalition

  27. Observer (Tokoroa) 27

    Onya Greece !

    The flaw that distorts Banking, is their printing of money. The Banks risk nothing. So lets save our crocodile tears for real sufferers.

    The Banks print money at wiil, and then immediately make borrowing customers pay interest on the money which has cost the Bank only a bit of printing ink.

    Therefore, if customers default they are not hurting any bank in any way shape or form. Except of course, for the cost of printing ink.

    Capitalism does not make true wealth. It makes Debt. And the debt costs the Bank nothing.

    But it sure costs the borrower, For the borrower pays back from his hard earned wages and pays interest on top.

    The customer risks all! The banks are the rats who lose nothing. Capitalism in action Huh? C’mon Greece!

    If Capitalism is to survive, it will need to gut itself of fraud and deceit and the printing of money.

    • Colonial Rawshark 27.1

      I think everybody should be realising just about now how arbitrary this contrived scam of money creation is.

      And how creating $500B to bail out a bank’s board of directors, senior management and shareholders is seen as sensible while creating $500B to allow a country to invest in its people, its services and its infrastructure is seen as “unrealistic” and “impossible.”

  28. JonL 28

    Greg Palast had a good article on the situation last week.
    He should know – he used to be a Forensic Economist in the IMF and studied under Friedman………

    http://www.gregpalast.com/trojan-hearse-greek-elections-and-the-euro-leper-colony/

  29. SPC 29

    The coalition partner choice of Syriza (a group that wants to leave the EU) gives them more negotiating power with the EU.

    Defaulting on debt and withdrawal from the Euro being the fall back option – given the budget is near balance without historic debt cost this is possible. Especially if Russia or China (their other IMF in development) is prepared to provide bridging finance.

    Given the EU would expel them for debt default, the EU is in the role of enforcing the will of banks on member states (note the use of EU taxpayer resources to subsidise debt repayments to banks).

    The Greeks have two options, seeking the best deal they can for themselves or a EU wide programme that benefits Greece and other member states of the EU.

    The latter would be using QE to buy back 50% of debt of EU nations. This does not involve using taxpayer resources and will not inflate asset values (nor labour cost) in a deflationary environment with high unemployment.

    Our interest in the matter is the health of global finance – given we are currently dependent on finance created offshore as loans to our banks to finance our home mortgages.

    If QE is used to buy back debt by the ECB, it should coincide with increased capital requirements for banks. Loosening should have an equivalent tightening that stabilises the EU economies (greater growth) and secures the banking system.

    Another area of reform is a common debt cost or at least a debt band for Euro nations (c3-5%), rather than some countries paying 2% and others 8%. Germany would be in crisis if it was paying 8% on its debt.

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    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
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