The Greek referendum

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 am, July 6th, 2015 - 302 comments
Categories: capitalism, Europe, Financial markets, International - Tags: ,

Greece referendum protest

(Photo from AFP)

By the time you read this the Greeks will have voted in a referendum on whether or not they should accept austerity.  The stakes are high.  Next week either they resign themselves to continuous austerity imposed hardship or they move into unchartered waters and give the bankers the middle finger.

Opinion polls suggest the result will be close.  Those with nothing to lose, the young and the poor will vote no, the middle and upper class will tend to vote yes.

Clearly the status quo is not acceptable.  Unemployment rates are at 25%, and youth unemployment rates are upwards of 60%.

Economists are split on what should happen.  Progressive economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Thomas Piketty, and Jeffrey Sachs would vote no essentially because this is the only option if Greece is to have a future.  Others including 246 professors at economics schools and universities in Greece  have urged a yes vote, obviously because of their views on economic orthodoxy.

And the EU may have blinked and may have acknowledged that Greece should be allowed to break out of the straight jacket the EU has put it into.  From the Guardian:

After more than five months of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation between Alexis Tsipras’s radical left-led government and Greece’s creditors, and with only hours to go before voting began, one of the most hawkish of the lenders appeared to blink. Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, until now even more of a hardliner than his chancellor Angela Merkel, suddenly turned a more conciliatory face towards Athens.

Having previously insisted that a No vote on the lenders’ last terms would see their country forced out of the euro, Schäuble told the Bild newspaper that the choice before them on Sunday was between holding on to the euro and being “temporarily without it”.

It was far from clear what Schäuble had in mind, but economists have mooted the notion of a period in which Greece might go back to its national currency, the drachma, while its economy recovered.

Polls close at 4 am New Zealand time and results should start to come through from 6 am.

302 comments on “The Greek referendum ”

  1. Sable 1

    Give the bankster a-holes the boot Greece….

    • Chooky 1.1


    • Foreign waka 1.2

      The boot does not land with the bankers but with the population of the wider European Union. We are talking about those countries who have taken millions (! in true numbers) of refugees – economic or otherwise, have given ALL of them shelter, clothes and food on a continued basis. They are also the one being now in debt for it, inclusive of the money they gave as a loan to Greece. This is the same money that is needed to keep payment of increasing social bills happening.
      Meanwhile, no one mentioned the 10% very rich who have brought their fortune into save heaven (Swiss, Luxembourg, etc) over the last 5 years. Tax free of cause and ample time provided to do just that. Everybody in Europe and many outside it (except the ones being hoodwinked by the media) know about this.
      How naive! The whole of Europe will stand up as they are not able to foot the bill on any default, the increasing unrest is already visible. Lets hope this is not another great war in the making.

      • This sort of problem is exactly what Europe signed up to handle with wider entry into the Euro. If Europe is not committed to keeping Greece in after they democratically rejected the (objectively unreasonable and stupid) creditors’ proposals, then they are fundamentally giving up on the idea of a shared currency.

        Not to mention the proposed cuts might allow short-term payments but will tank Greece’s economy in the medium and long term, just like every other measure proposed with the “help” of the IMF.

        If you believe in keynesianism, solidarity, or even just shared regional currencies like the Euro, you should be cheering that Europe doesn’t try to kick greece out after this vote. And regardless of what you think of the decision, if you believe in democracy, you should respect that Greece has made its decision and that now it’s a matter of whether the bankers adopt a reasonable compromise that doesn’t throw greece into a nationwide austerity-induced debtor’s prison, like the IMF has been doing to less developed countries for decades.

  2. just saying 2–eu-euro-bailout-live

    Updated above. The “no” vote is now predicted to win by a landslide.

    Restoring my faith in human nature.

  3. Sirenia 3

    Sort of appropriate that Greece is leading the way on democracy.

  4. BM 4

    That’s it for Greece.

    Expect emigration to rise sharply.

    • Paul 4.1

      Oh it’s BM, here to derail another thread………….

      • BM 4.1.1

        You don’t think the 30-40% of the population who voted Yes can’t see the writing on the wall?

        As said above the ones who voted Yes, would be the most intelligent and wealthy of the Greek population, I doubt they’re going to hang around.

        • Matthew Hooton

          It won’t be too long before they are forced to introduce exit visas. Syriza will be forced to take Greece down a totalitarian path. It’s what always happens when countries follow this type of economic “thinking”.

          • just saying

            You mean the wealthy might have some of their “rights” curtailed?
            Like the poor have been prgressively disempowered and disenfranchised by the rich these past 30 years. Never heard you complaining about that – or calling it “authoritarian”.

          • te reo putake

            Preview of coming attractions, Matthew? I take it this is the line you’ll be using on Nine to noon. Any thoughts on the people of a country democratically choosing to tell neo-liberalism to go fuck itself?

            • Wayne

              the roe uptake

              Of course the Greek people can vote for to end “neo-liberalism” and introduce Greek socialism. But they can’t vote to force other countries to lend to them.

              Greece could easily become the Venezuela of Europe. A charismatic leader winning successive votes, except of course Greece does not have oil. So it might be harder for Tsipras to emulate Chavez in giving good things to his supporters. If Tsipras fails to force the Eurolenders to bend to his will, Greece is going to have introduce a new (perhaps parallel) currency.

              While that might be good for Greece in the medium term, it will be painful in the short term. An effective devaluation of perhaps 50% is going to make all imports much dearer. If too much of the new currency is issued, there will be inflation, and if they mess the whole thing up it could even mean hyper inflation.

              In short no easy choices.

              I guess the Greeks are hoping the Tsipras is as good as his word. That he will get a better deal from the Eurolenders, that they will led more money on easier conditions and that they will also write off a good chunk of the existing debt. Just writing this paragraph makes me think this is not likely. Unless of course you think Merkel will be just putty in Tsipras hands. Maybe she will be.

              • mickysavage

                Wayne why should the world bail out merchant banks but not countries?

                  • Pascals bookie

                    And yet, it does. Let’s not forget that the abnks who originally owned the Greek debt had it balied out by taxpayers. Those govts who took on that unsustainable debt were then re-elected.

                  • Generally countries are larger collections of people than banks. If we’re bailing out banks we should DEFINITELY be bailing out countries.

                • Wayne

                  micky savage,

                  Well, that is exactly what the Eurolenders have been doing. Continuing to lend Greece more money over the last three years. That is why the Greek debt has been increasing. And if there is a new deal the Eurolenders will continue to do so.

                  But as with merchants banks, lending is not indefinite. Some banks do not get further advances and go to the wall, i.e. become bankrupt and are liquidated. And Greece could easily do so as well.

                  Countries, of course are never wound up, they merely default and are cut out of international debts markets for a few years. Like Argentina, which despite protestations of the Left, is hardly a success story.

                  Countries, being the collectivity of millions of people, are perfectly capable of making bad choices, just as individuals can do so. Argentina has been doing that for decades, mostly due to the voting choices people have made, which why Argentina is in the state that it is.

                  • Olwyn

                    Countries, being the collectivity of millions of people, are perfectly capable of making bad choices, just as individuals can do so. Argentina has been doing that for decades, mostly due to the voting choices people have made, which why Argentina is in the state that it is.

                    Do you ever ask yourself why countries make choices that you consider to be bad? The system to which you subscribe has long since given up promising a better life all round – merely a tedious manta of ‘musts’ – sell your assets, cut taxes, cut spending, stifle the unions and dismantle your manufacturing. It should not surprise you that those harmed by this sort of thing will vote against it if they have the chance. Pockets of disquiet are popping up all around this system – the Scottish Nationalist support, the growing support for Bernie Sanders, the increasing support for Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for the UKLP leadership, and of course the Greek “no” vote. Neo-liberalism, understood in the above manner, has not succeeded in establishing itself as “just the way the world is.”

                  • Pascals bookie

                    How much of that extra lending has been going on debt servicing?

                    As far as I can make out, pretty much everyone from the IMF down agrees that the only way forward is debt relief, ie, that the debt load is simply too high, and that sticking with it will only make the situation worse. the debt to GDP ratio has blown out mostly because the economy has shrunk so drastically following the reform demands, which have largely been followed.

                    If the EU genuinely wants to carry n with its long term project, then they need to, at crisis points, act in ways that signal commitment to the EU project. But instead the core EU shows it only really wants the benefits of the EU. Germany enjoys the lower rates the Euro affords it compared to the DM, but pretends there is no benefit to Germany from having the Euro periphery locked in.

                    There is hypocrisy all around to be sure, but this myth that it’s all just Greek fecklessness is some bullshit Wayne, and I’m sure you’re aware of it.

                    • RedLogix

                      Exactly. The current Euro policy is really no more sophisticated than the old idea of debtors prison.

                    • RedLogix

                      Incidentally here’s Steven Keen’s take on the outcome.
                      (Since moving to Kingston University in London Keen’s gained a rapid profile in Europe and seem to be doing very well.)

                      So now it’s time for Syriza to return the hardball tactics that the Troika has thrown at them. Go back to the meeting with a plan for debt restructuring—and a significant one. Include not only the restructuring that the IMF admitted last week is needed, but also a write-off of the 20% of the debt that effectively represents the failure of the Troika’s program. Submit a budget with a 3% deficit as allowed by the Maatricht Treaty (the Treaty also insists on a maximum government debt ratio of 60% of GDP, but even Germany breaches that with a ratio of about 75% of GDP). A 3% primary budget deficit would provide a huge stimulus to the Greek economy, and end the Great Depression the Troika’s failed austerity program has caused.

                      If the Troika still refuses to negotiate, to compromise on its own failed program, then Syriza should threaten total default—a move that would send shock waves through Europe while simultaneously taking a major burden off the Greek economy. That would then present the Troika with a choice: what are you more committed to? Austerity, or the Euro?


                    • Gosman

                      Ummm… if they default with a 3 % planned deficit how will they fund this deficit given they can’t borrow or print Euro’s?

                    • RedLogix

                      The point of Keen’s proposal is that it still fits within the Euro rules. Persist with a failed austerity program, or admit the Euro project is dead. Pick a lane.

                      Of course the Russians may well be happy to help …

                    • maui

                      Gosman, the Greeks can print Euros – they have their own 10 Euro note printing press. But it’s more likely they will issue IOU’s to cover the next wee while.

                    • Keen is appropriately named. His advice is good and Greece’s only real move here is to go guns-blazing and say that austerity has failed, has been rejected, and now measures need to be taken to alleviate the debt that will actually help Greece’s economy, and that will include some degree of debt forgiveness, or a default will be inevitable.

              • Lanthanide

                “and that they will also write off a good chunk of the existing debt.”

                The IMF already published a report saying that even if Greece agreed to all of the terms and conditions they’re proposing, by 2050 the debt level will still be unsustainable, and as such there is no other option but to give them debt relief.

                The debt will never be repaid, it’s only a matter of whether the lenders write that down in their copy-books now, or later, and whether they accept the ramifications of that now, or later.

              • Wayne

                te reo putake
                Apologies for wrong name. An auto correct function I think.

              • Tracey

                Of course like many lenders who see that they aren’t going to be repaid $1 for $1 some might choose a much lesser pay back just to get something. Which could see a division amongst the lenders…

                These lenders might not lend any more but, like Donald Trump has shown us, there is always someone lining up to lend to a financial basket case.

            • Matthew Hooton

              People can vote anyway they like, and try to build an economy where people won’t work nor pay tax. It will be an interesting experiment.

              • They’ve already tried that system, Matthew, and that’s why they’re in the poo. The Greek bourgeoisie have been used to not contributing for so long that the country is on the verge of financial collapse. I have faith that the majority can reverse that mindset.

                • DoublePlusGood

                  Hopefully New Zealander’s learn the lesson that we can’t afford have people like BM, Matthew Hooton and Wayne Mapp not contributing to the economy…

              • linda

                Its the wealthy who don’t pay taxes workers have no choice are all those off shore bank accounts some sort of left wing conspiracy theory

                • Naki man

                  “Its the wealthy who don’t pay taxes workers have no choice are all those off shore bank accounts some sort of left wing conspiracy theory”

                  Its not just the wealthy who are not paying taxes, have you never heard of working under the table. Very few are paying tax. There were 40,000 people fraudulently collecting pensions often for dead relatives and that is just one of the many scams going on there.
                  Greece is screwed and they only have themselves to blame.

                  • Tracey

                    “There were 40,000 people fraudulently collecting pensions often for dead relatives and that is just one of the many scams going on there.”

                    date for your source?

                    • Tracey

                      good one Bob… seems they clamped down on it though from 2012, and the conservative governments running the show knew about i before that and didn’t stop it…

                      WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

                      That can’t be they would have chased it down, closed the loopholes, like any good capitalist government, wouldn’t they Bob????

                    • Bob

                      Tracey, Naki Man said “Greece is screwed and they only have themselves to blame” he also gave you an example of how, you got snarky and showed an inability to use Google so I helped you out.
                      I don’t give a shit if it was a conservative, socialist, Marxist or a communist party in charge at the time.
                      But to answer your question “That can’t be they would have chased it down, closed the loopholes, like any good capitalist government, wouldn’t they Bob????” You’re right, any good capitalist government would crack down on benefit fraud, to the howls of “bene-bashing” from those on the left, go figure.

              • dv

                How much tax did Onassis and the shipping lines pay?

              • Pat

                and the lies continue ad nauseam

          • BM

            Yeah I agree, they’ll start locking it down pretty soon.
            The window of opportunity to flee won’t be long.

            That’s one advantage about being in EU, it’s all rather easy to go live somewhere else.

          • dukeofurl

            Totalitarian state ?

            Of course, that Icelandic prison state tells it all. Capital controls for 5 years means no can leave ( with their money).

            What it isnt ? Tell me it aint true !

            or is this Hootons biggest fail since …. since I he said Bill English was only borrowing $500 mill this year instead of over $6 bill.

          • Paul

            Shill for the 1%

          • half crown

            @8.23 Hooton said

            “It won’t be too long before they are forced to introduce exit visas. Syriza will be forced to take Greece down a totalitarian path. It’s what always happens when countries follow this type of economic “thinking”.”

            You mean like the Ukraine. The right have done wonders there haven’t they

            I would not be at all surprised if there was a coup in Greece organised by the right, CIA and the bankers just like the Ukraine, and earlier on Chile. If there is, no doubt it could be another Pinochet led Chile type of coup. We all know the type of exit visa’s that bit of filth gave, thrown out of the door of a helicopter at 2000 ft over the Pacific…
            The world is still suffering from Pinochet’s economic “thinking” when he gave oxygen to that prat Friedman from the Chicago Business school.

            If there is a coup I feel will be like the one in Chile as the conditions are very similar. Allende was a popular socialist democratically elected and when he came to power inflation was at 30% unemployment was at 20% and about 50% of children under the age of 15 were suffering from malnutrition. To try and resolve some of these problems, he nationalised the copper industry and the banks, That went down like a lead balloon, Pinochet aided and abetted by the right and the CIA forced a coup, Later on he was helped by Thatcher, as he conducted a war on the unions. The sort of thing Thatcher had orgasms over


          • Kevin

            Or Greece could be playing poker in the hopes that they will be offered a better deal. Although even if they are I doubt they will be offered anything better.

            • fisiani

              Poor poker player.
              Merkel is not bluffing
              Greeks with liquid assets will fill planes.
              The government has no money for state servants or for pensioners.
              Unemployment could double.
              The poor will suffer most due to the stupidity of Syriza.

              • They’ve been suffering for five years under austerity. Today they decided they’ve got nothing to lose, so they’ve gone all in. Merkel’s the one with the tricky hand, now. Syriza called her bluff and now she and her neo lib mates are going to have to decide whether they fold or risk losing more on the next deal.

                (How’s that for a poker based argument?)

                • Foreign waka

                  trp – you are reading the situation completely wrong. Merkel is under enormous pressure from the people in Europe as they face already millions of refugees that must be fed and housed. Who is going to pay for that?
                  It was Tsipras who played poker and it will be Greece which will pay the price because Europe has no money left – they are indebted up to the eyebrows. Wait and see, you might witness history repeating itself.
                  BTW – NZ would never allow a 20% increase of the population and then having to pay for food and shelter. Just think about what would happen here and what is under the surface stirring in Europe right now.

                  • Actual illegal immigration to Europe is a tiny percentage of Europe’s current population. Not 20%. Not 10%. Not even 1%. And most of them pay for themselves by working. So, nah, Merkel’s under no pressure on that front.

                    • Foreign waka

                      The amount of people moving into Europe is now so great that it effectively destabilizes the continent in its financial and societal coherency.
                      Western Europes population: 379.5 million, that includes
                      Immigrants since 2013:
                      Germany: 9.8 Mil or 11.9% of their population
                      United Kingdom: 7.8 Mil or 11.6% of their population
                      France: 7.4 Mil or 11.6% of their population
                      Spain: 13.8% of their population
                      Sweden: 21% of their population
                      Norway: 15.6% of their population
                      Denmark: 11.6% of their population
                      Italy: 8.2% of their population

                      In July alone, 1300 illegal immigrants have crossed the alps and lets not forget the ones that try by boat or truck. There is an estimate of 400,000 illegal immigrants being smuggled every year into Europe.
                      My word, your comment is as distant to the reality as NZ is from Europe.

                  • Europe faces the problem of dealing with these people whether they migrate out of Greece to the rest of the EU or not. The only way to avoid the problem is to admit that the EU is a failed system and kick Greece out, which they are VERY unlikely to try and do, because then they will face an exodus from other countries and the EU will at best be left with its core members, a less desirable economy situation than actually dealing with the problem of how to help Greece. If they restrict movement from Greece, then they admit that freedom of movement is a failure. If they force Greece to exit the Euro, they admit a shared currency is a failure. There is LITERALLY no way for Europe to solve this problem while still fundamentally remaining the EU as it currently is, other than trying to get Greece out of debt. They claim to have been trying the last three years by forcing austerity on Greece. We all see how poorly that’s worked out.

                    Best thing to do here would be to actually take constructive measures to help Greece with its corruption problems, institute rules that stop the wealthy from tax-dodging, and actually support the people through the economic recovery. But good luck convincing a bunch of right-wing politicians and bankers to go for that!

                    • Foreign waka

                      Your last paragraph shows that there is not much understanding of the situation. The tax dodging is known for years and when tax was to be collected, the rich just took off and took their wealth with them. They had 5 years reprieve to do so, and everybody in Europe knows that.
                      As for immigration, these are from the middle east and Africa mostly.
                      There are Burroughs in Britain that are entirely claimed by people from the middle east and no white person is allowed to cross (at their own risk as some found out).
                      The ghettoisation of people never has had a good outcome.

                      Talking about Europe – it is not the USA- for a starter.
                      Firstly, there are 28 nations and languages, cultures – each of them look back of a few thousand years development.
                      Secondly, the history that has left its own scars still does play a role and is not the “glue” that will bind anything.
                      Thirdly, most have tried for quite some years now to make a go of it and all that came out of it was that most are worst off, the change to the EURO inflicted in some countries double digit inflation figures.
                      Last but not least, Greece will not be the only country leaving the EURO ZONE. Even if the reasons are different.
                      You seem to forget that with the joining of the Euro zone the nations have given away their sovereignty and are basically financially ruled by Brussels. There are demands that makes one eye water. And the worker has to pay.
                      Here in NZ people march on the street protesting against the TTPA – well this is no different, only people did not vote for it.
                      So my prediction is, another 3 nations will leave in the next year.

                    • You seem to be reading a very different post from the one I made, and trying to educate me about things about Europe I already know.

                  • Tracey

                    and yet, she says the door is open… which is odd given so many predictions the loan door would be slammed and Greece trhown out of EU by now.

              • McFlock

                interesting prediction, fizz-bang: Greece defaults, no debt relief, leaves the euro, 50% unemployment across the board (~100% for youth), capital flight of the parasites, EU destabilised as the nations it’s been picking up for 20 years see the downside of membership and start to rethink their allegiences…

                Still, even then it’s better than being run by tories, or so the Greeks think.

                • fisiani

                  Greece will have to learn the price of not getting all workers and traders to pay tax. It will mean massive unemployment and a Greek diaspora of youth, I feel sorry for them as they will be made an example of to discourage other countries from following their financial suicide path.

                  • McFlock

                    cry your crocodile tears as you pray for validation of your corrupt and evil economic faith, fisi.

                    Because if your prediction is wrong, Greece joins Iceland as an example that there IS an alternative to neoliberalism.

                    • David

                      Iceland is a completely neoliberal economy and doesn’t have a faction of Greece’s problems. The Greek’s have voted for abject poverty, rather than a decade of pain. Outside the Euro their GDP will collapse.

                    • McFlock

                      completely neoliberal? Have they sold the bank they nationalised yet?

                      As for the “decade of pain”, even with the IMF requirements were the greeks looking to have the monkey of their back by 2025? What about 2050?

                      If you’re gonna spend a lifetime in abject poverty either way, you might as well own the country. That way you can run it with autonomy, and if you run it well then you keep the dividends.

                  • I like that to you this is about ordinary people not having to pay taxes, rather than corruption in government, bank-imposed austerity and tax-dodging by millionaires. What a brilliantly fictional world you live in, Fisi.

                  • Tracey

                    Given your understanding of this crisis, how long was it going to take (under the plans whereby Greece made its payments) for unemployment to stop rising and a reduction in the 35% increase in suicides in Greece?

           (data not collected from 2012 by these researchers)


                • Tracey

                  his predictions are reliable though McFlock

                  this one is quite funny in hindsight


              • Tracey

                psychological tsunami fisiani, it’s a psychological tsunami.

                This notion some of you have that Greeks haven’t already been leaving if they can find work elsewhere and that the poor aren’t suffering under austerity beggars belief, unless you all have only just tuned in and are basing your “opinions” on some sound bites?

                merkel has said today the door is still open which is odd cos apparently Greece were to be thrown out of the EU and the loan door slammed by now…

                unemployment has already skyrocketted under austerity measures…

                The poor may well CONTINUE to suffer but continuing to repay billion dollar debts which sees money leave the greek economy is ridiculous as a solution. Even the NZ Institute can see that. That doyen of Socialism in NZ.

                Still, I am repeating myself. There is no “right” answer to this mess, no matter what you think, it is still only an opinion and economists and others are divided.

          • kenny

            So the troika have not been taking a totalitarian path over the last 5 years Matthew? Just like all bullies they don’t like it when someone stands up to them.

          • urchin

            Matthew,so you are happy for Greece and countries like ours to accept financial dominance of our sovereignty by us capitulating to the requests from organizations like the I.M.F. who!s interests lay with the Banking moguls profit and their protection of their dominant way of profit exploitation usury for their meglomaniac control of selfish need,with the known but unspoken caveat,don!t look, lean, or turn left..Or like the other piece on the board the corporation and its feudal dominance,give us this tax incentives or tax money ponyied up if you wish for us to invest.

            Well you have to accept Matthew,that the people can only take so much talked about prosperity for all if we only believe as the market and their paid lackey!s keep talking it up.

        • te reo putake

          I don’t think you should use intelligent and wealthy in the same sentence, BM. As we learned from Puddles Hooper over the weekend, the terms aren’t synonymous. And if the bludger class wants to take their loot and flee, well, so what? Greece would be better off without the people who got them in the shit in the first place. And there’s plenty of ambitious, brave immigrants entering Greece every day on little boats to take their place.

        • Tracey

          you dont think those who can get jobs elsewhere have already left? Cos they have.

      • Kevin 4.1.2

        Oh look it’s another standardista who can’t handle dissenting opinion …

        • Paul

          It’s not the dissenting that makes me comment.
          It’s the nuisance value.
          You and BM are here simply to derail.

        • half crown

          I don’t think so, I think TRP was pointing out too many think that intelligence does go with wealth or the other way round. Whatever.

        • gnomic

          Clear off you egg. What is objectionable are rightist trolls who spout nonsense and sneer at the left on the basis of some supposed intellectual superiority.

  5. just saying 5

    Interesting figures.

    I reckon it is about 30 percent of New Zealanders that have a strong vested interest in inequality. That number will decline somewhat over time, but it is a rough approximation of the numbers who have so-far benefited from neoliberalism, (some through their spouses and/or parents) and enjoyed the fruits of wealth and power being systematically stripped away from the majority.

    I realise that there will have been many wealthy people who voted “no” in Greece but they were probably slightly over-balanced by those voting against their own best interests – 15 percent aspirational or toadying idiocy.

    (edited to make sense)

  6. Clean_power 6

    Syriza and Mr Tsipras have no alternative now: they must deliver on their election promises of getting better terms from the lenders.

    Unfortunately, the radical demagogues will fail and the Greek people will pay the heavy price. They voted No, and will have to live with the consequences: financial ruin.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      You sound angry—nearly as angry as poor old Oliver Hartwich from the right wing pressure group New Zealand Initiative.

      Democracy: you’ve got to hate it.

      • Paul 6.1.1

        It’s interesting how all these right wing trolls hate democracy so much.
        Must all be harking back to their Fascist roots in the 30s.

        • Gosman

          You can’t vote for other nations to give you money and expect they will respect your ‘democratic’ decision. That is nonsensical. They can vote to leave the Eurozone and set up their own currency. That is not what they were voting for though and is why the referendum is a mockery.

      • Clean_power 6.1.2

        Not angry at all. Just pointing out thet the Greeks have chosen self-immolation. Let’s them have it.

    • Kevin 6.2

      Thing is how is Greece going to come up with the money now? At least the bailout would have given them a chance to start rebuilding their economy.

      • adam 6.2.1

        Well done kevin, I think you take the the cake for most stupid comment by a Tory today.

        And look who you beat out – almost all the Tory apologist are on the standard today. All we need is Cathy honest Odgers, and we’d have the band back together.

    • DoublePlusGood 6.3

      Hmm, financial ruin or financial ruin? I’d take the financial ruin that still leaves me with some control of my own affairs over being run as cattle for EU vampires every time.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    There were no good options for Greece – it will be hard whatever happens. But – rolling over to neo-liberal orthodoxy would only have briefly deferred Greece’s default. And – if Europe breaks Greece, Germany’s finance packages for submarines will fall with them. The Greek PM was wise to seek a popular mandate – something our troughing tyrant would avoid like the plague because his mandate was limited to improving our situation, and he has only plunged us into debt and misery.

    • Gosman 7.1

      The Greeks will be forced to undergo a form of Austerity regardless of their decision in the referendum. Leaving the Eurozone will mean their banks will collapse and the Government will be forced to impose even stricter capital controls and then start printing their own currency which will cause inflation and make everyone poorer in comparison.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        Yes, but staying means being forced to adopt the failed neo-liberal policies which punish but do not enliven the shrinking economy.

        Better to go it alone and cope with depression than fight both depression and crazed Friedmanite economic saboteurs at the same time.

  8. Clean_power 8

    It has the hallmarks of Sparta all over it. Ah, the idealistic radical Greeks are going to plunge their country into a catastrophe.

    • Kiwiri 8.1

      Of course, as you might know the Greek dramatic structure and sequence, catastrophe follows after protasis and epitasis (or you can include prelude and catastasis in there), and leads into conflicts being resolved.

    • maui 8.2

      The country is not already in crisis? Ah, those comfortable middle-class greeks just decided to torpedo their own economy just for the hell of it. Damn, why did they vote in this radical leadership and why are they still listening to them…

    • McFlock 8.3

      The hallmarks of Sparta?
      What, you mean the 10% of the population in control periodically “declaring war” on the 90% of them that does the actual work in the fields?

      Tend to agree – the problems remain, even if the methods differ. At least this time the helots have kicked their overlords in the nuts.

    • Tracey 8.4

      “plunge their country into a catastrophe.”

      I know this is very hard for many who think Greece should have voted yes to grasp, but


      This vote is about some people saying the last 5 years haven’t worked for Greece, unemployment rising and rising and rising…

      So, let’s try another way out of this disaster.

      I know it’s a complex notion, but, please, try.

      • Gosman 8.4.1

        Pray tell where is Greece going to find the money to try another way? They seem reluctant to reform their tax system in any meaningful way and even if the repudiated 100% of their debts the damage infliicted on their economy by the hamfisted way Syriza has managed things to date means that they will require external support just to maintain the level of spending they have at the moment.

        • Tracey

          Pray tell how did Trump go bankrupt 4 different times…. unless there were people greedy enough to hope that this time he wouldn’t throw their money down a toilet. And now he is running for President.

          Well, Gosman under austerity unemployment has skyrocketted, how long do you think ti was going to take to work, on paper?

          • Gosman

            It is quaint you think that a specific law in the US enabling people to declare bankruptcy protection is somehow applicable to a nation state like Greece.

            My position is that Greece has never really followed a proper austerity regime. They have attempted to resolve their structural problems by increasing taxes more than they have cut their spending. This is not generally regarded as the best approach. But perhaps you can advise where they can get extra funds to avoid the cuts they look likely to have to make.

            • Tracey

              i thin it is quaint that you so easily dismiss the parallels to avoid having to address what was then asked of you

              “Well, Gosman under austerity unemployment has skyrocketted, how long do you think ti was going to take to work, on paper?”

              “a proper austerity regime. They have attempted to resolve their structural problems by increasing taxes more than ”

              Both involve living beyond your means on other people’s money and finding someone stpuid enough to keep lending to them in the future.

              Please lay out your proper austerity scheme, that has time-lines til it works, your measurement for defining “working”, what tax structures they should have introduced and so on,. When you have laid that all out I will answer your question..

              Perhaps Greece should have given more tax cuts to the top earners, that was English’s economic answer to our recession.


              • Gosman

                English hardly cut taxes at all. However even if he did that is a standard Keynesian approach to combating a recession so I’m not sure why you would object. Greece should have raised taxes but they should have cut spending more. That is what is generally regarded as the best structural approach to getting government finances back in shape. The Greeks can’t seem to get enough of big government it seems though.

                • dukeofurl

                  “hardly cut taxes at all ”

                  “Across the board personal tax cuts worth $14.3 billion over four years” is what he said at the time

                  plus the cuts to company tax rate. another $1.2 bill

                  All up it was a $17.5 bill of tax cuts over 4 years

                • Richard Christie

                  English hardly cut taxes at all.

                  Gosman gets it right from one perspective.

                  For those on middle and low incomes he sure as hell hardly cut income taxes by a meaningful amount, but equally surely knifed them with the subsequent GST increase.

        • Pat

          pray tell how does an economy restructure when in freefall?….where does the funding for new systems, training et all come from when every last euro and then some is being siphoned off to save euro banks that made the unwise loans in the first instance…..there was neither funds nor time given for the demanded reforms…..and that was before Syriza was elected FFS.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9

    Shoddy reporting incorrectly stating the their membership of the EU hangs by a thread.

    The fact is that leaving the EU requires unanimous vote by ALL member countries including Greece itself. Either way this looks like a fresh start for Greece which may eventually lead to more prosperity, the break up of NATO, and a stronger allegiance with Russia and China.

    In other news…just over 260K Austrians have signed a petition (threshold is 100K) for a referendum to be held as they wish to exit the EU. What’s that cracking sound?

    • Tracey 9.1

      My understanding is the only way for way country to exit is that it must ask to leave, not through other countries voting.

      • I did read somewhere on the weekend that there is no clear mechanism to remove a country. Apparently the writers of the constitution never considered the possibility that the issue would ever come up.

        • Tracey

          Yup, the ONLY mechanism is a country deciding it wants to leave

          • adam

            So the Greeks are just a bit smarter than the Tory scum commenting on here would like us to believe.

            Mind you what’s new – when you get the whole gaggle swooping in – your know they are worried.

  10. Oxi, Oxi, Oxi, The Greek Voted No, What’s Next?

    John Key made his fortune selling crap financial products to unsuspecting pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. One of the side effects was the enslavement of countries such as Greece and Ireland and of course the multitude of third world countries. With $ 112 Billion and counting of derivatives and about $ 95 billion of debt on New Zealand’s books we are heading that way too. Here is some information you might want to share with your farming and National voting mates!

    This is about educating ourselves so we may face our future a bit more informed when the bankers try to extract their pound of flesh!

    You might also want to read up on what Iceland is doing to their bankers.

    A good alternative to bending over and letting ourselves be ravaged by the likes of John Key and his mates! I say!

  11. weka 11

    Anyone know what the turnout was?

    • The only figure I’ve seen was 80%, weka. Given the intensity of the debate, I guess it was always going to be high. Key’s flag referendum … maybe not so much.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        I heard on RT it was 50%.

        But remember some may have been opting out cos they are so pissed off that they have been failed they don’t trust any politicians.

    • Kiwiri 11.2

      as at Greece local time 1:15am, 6 Jul 2015

      Registered 9.383.870
      Reporting 95,40 %
      Voted 62,49 %
      Invalid/Blank 5,79 %

      Yes: 61,31 %
      No: 38,69 %

      source: from the link I pointed out above at #2.1

      i’ve reproduced the decimal comma as used in continental Europe.

      (i guessed, with their notation, the ‘Registered’ figure indicates there were 9,406,166 people who were registered. note that first time 18yo voters can participate in this referendum, unlike at the January 2015 election called by the conservative right-wing when the 18yos were excluded due to so-called bureaucratic reason)

    • Olwyn 11.3

      A total of 6.16 million Greeks voted in Sunday’s referendum, or 62.5 percent of eligible voters. The poll needed a minimum 40 percent turnout to be valid.

      • weka 11.3.1

        thanks everyone, it’s does seem to be in the 62.5%, which strikes me as low* and I’m curious now who was voting and who wasn’t.

        *maybe not outside of a general election.

  12. Chooky 12

    Support for the Greeks and their sovereignty and liberty against the corporate banksters across Europe is wide-ranging …from the socialists to the right wing

    ‘Monstrous democratic slap to EU’: Le Pen hails Greek anti-austerity party victory’

    “….The Greek election debate is one of freedom, she believes.
    “Do we want to be free? With the European Union, we are not… Neither our immigration policy, nor our monetary policy or agriculture.”
    Sunday’s elections in Greece are “opening the trial of the ‘euro-austerity’,” according to Le Pen.
    “When we try to avoid democracy, the boomerang always returns with increased speed.”….
    “There is a fracturing in Europe, which is seeing the people taking power against the totalitarianism of the European Union and their accomplices, the financial markets,” she added.
    Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who led the National Front party from its foundation in 1972 until 2011, welcomed “the defeat of the European Union in Athens.”

    Syriza’s win was welcomed by France’s Socialist party, several MPs from which protested France’s President Francois Hollande anti-austerity policies last year.
    “The victory of a party on the left is always good news for the Socialist party in France,” said First Secretary Jean-Christophe Cambadélis.
    Jean-Luc Melenchon, France’s most prominent far-left politician described Syriza’s success as “pure happiness.”

    • Kiwiri 12.1

      I’d personally be circumspect and cautious when quoting Marine Le Pen who is of the far-right and has Farage-like aims that would see the failure of the socio-political European project.

      At no point has Syriza or Tsipras indicated they want the break-up of that project and indeed, Varoufakis has said they will consider an injunction if there are moves to push Greece from the euro.

      • Chooky 12.1.1

        my statement is not endorsing Le Pen or the far right …but stating a fact ….that the Greeks have wide support in Europe across the political spectrum, from hard right to hard left…interesting! ( incidentally they also have support from many left wing Germans)

  13. ianmac 13

    Greece is highly indebted and disaster strikes. On a different plane but isn’t NZ also highly indebted?

    • Paul 14.1

      Funny how the Tory trolls despise democracy so much and just love the banksters.
      Oh, and btw, using the Daily Mail as a source is hardly a recommendation. Did you know the Daily Mail was an ardent supporter of Hitler?

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        He neither knows nor cares, Paul. Reading and reflection are clearly not on his agenda.

      • Gosman 14.1.2

        You can’t vote for other people to give you more money and expect them to agree.

        • adam

          So if you have a policy of no more asset sales – then start selling assets????

    • greywarshark 14.2

      I remember hearing how one of the USA presidents had employed such good lawyers and accountants that he had managed to avoid paying any income tax one year.

    • Big Al 14.3

      You could also google “Greek for a week” – a UK TV4 doco (about 45 mins) shot in 2012, highlighting the differences between working in UK (and rest of Europe) and working in Greece. No wonder the EU powers want Greece to restructure their modus operandi.

      • Tracey 14.3.1

        you are aware that the greeks HAVE implemented austerity measures and fraud clamping measures for over 4 years, right?

        • Gosman

          The point is that they really haven’t implemented any meaningful structural changes to their economy at all. Certainly their tax system is as arcane as it ever was.

        • Foreign waka

          Tracey, over the last 5 years the very rich have siphoned all their money out of the country – what is left are middle class and poor people. Since I know the Greek people very well, they will have “found ways” to make live easier. The point is though that everybody tries to get out of paying their taxes. Which they did, and the government has borrowed to make up for the lack of tax take. This is where it is at. Given that the mentality wont change, the problems will not go away. Europe as a whole, inclusive of Britain have their own issues with the millions and millions of economic and political refugees. There is no housing left and debts are piling up to feed these people. Just wait a while longer and Greece will be a faint memory of what is about to come.

          • Tracey

            Foreign waka

            I also know some Greek people and to stereotypically put them all in a single boat is fruitless.

            I, and no one I know, is suggesting that voting no casts a magical spell over the situation and everything will be fine in the morning. It is also patronising to the nth degree for anyone to suggest the greeks all think they will wake up their Monday and everything will be tikkety Boo.

            As for the alternative of continued and stronger austerity, well “Just wait a while longer and Greece will be a faint memory of what is about to come.”

            In the country where I live lots of people pay for their building work and maintenance and anything they can with cash … so they save the sales tax, and the tradie doesn’t have to pay any tax at his/her end. People who earn middle to high income form trusts and companies to reduce their tax.

            • Foreign waka

              Tracy, your last paragraph is called tax avoidance and you surely do not want to say that there is one law for one people and another one for others? Are you? Because this would point to a truly corrupt society.

              And talking about Greece, I lived there for a while so I think I know what I am saying.

              BTW – all of Europe is/will be on the same Austerity diet as the millions of refugees moving there need to be fed and housed. Europe will not be just “taking another one for the team” again. The unrest is already widespread and it is just a matter of time until the European Union dismantles by default. Austria just had a petition put to parliament to vote on the very issue. Hungary wants to build a wall (!) and separate itself completely. England wants to get out too. But none of those countries expect someone else to pay for their living cost.

      • Naki man 14.3.2

        ‘You could also google “Greek for a week” – a UK TV4 doco (about 45 mins) shot in 2012″

        Thanks, excellent Doco

        • Iron Hoof

          Cupcake likes to watch people suffering and offer commentary on what he does not know or understand

          Aren’t you just the cutest little hill billy


          • Naki man

            Iron Hoof you are an idiot
            No one is suffering in the doco, just living the high life on other peoples money. Next time watch the doco before one handed typing.

            • Pascals bookie

              ‘Reality tv show’ is what most google cites call it, rather than ‘doco’. But whatevs

              • Weepus beard

                Reality TV is the new documentary for the right wing.

                Devoid of analysis and intellect, just as Naki man and friends like it.

      • joe90 14.3.3

        There’s lots of good stuff on Channel 4 – How to Get a Council House, My Daughter the Teenage Nudist, Bums Boob and Botox, My Mad Fat Diary….. and a vile character assassination of Greek society (which has some dreadful flaws) in support of the banks.

    • Tracey 14.4

      And was it a right wing or left wing government presiding over that Naki, cos they definitely knew it was going on…

  14. Morrissey 15

    Why can’t New Zealand have a referendum about “austerity” too?

    • maui 15.1

      Such referendums have been banned in the People’s Republic of Key.

    • stigie 15.2

      Morrissey, do you think New Zealanders are hard done by ?

      • Paul 15.2.1

        Do you?

        • stigie

          No !

          • Paul

            I think NZ has become a most unequal country.
            And a significant number of New Zealanders are hard done by.

            • Gosman

              Most unequal compared to who exactly? Out GINI coefficient ratio is around the OECD average. That is hardly indicative of a nation becoming a most unequal nation.

              • Iron Hoof

                Sweetums, your parrot impression has come along in leaps and bounds hasn’t it

                Still a bit of a dummy though ain’t ya

                Dummy’s sometimes get the girl, but not this one


                [Getting a bit tired of your regular use of patronising putdowns like sweetums, cupcake etc. Knock it off, please. And you might want to lose your homophobic handle while you’re at it. TRP]

              • Weepus beard

                We should be aspiring to become the most equal, bar none. Traditionally that is one of the things which has identified New Zealand, its egalitarianism and sense of a fair go for all.

                Not under this government though…

          • adam

            So my work day of trying to find emergency housing, (which there is none, as it’s all used up) , medical advocacy for third world medical conditions, helping people deal with housing NZ, anyone seen the letters that department sends out lately? – true newspeak, it’s like 1984 is the department go to manual. Getting someone into Whanua Ora, no wait can’t do that funding’s all on hold. So sending them back into a medical system, which I pray this time won’t make them try to kill themselves. Getting a disabled person access to get a job, no wait funding’s all under review – so can’t get to job interview. Not that having higher education helps when you have a disability. Helping a another disabled person file for bankruptcy, because their company has been ripped off them by some so call able bodied friend.

            Oh wait it’s only Monday, and thank goodness it’s the school holidays – that means were quite.

            stigie – your so far out of touch and away with the fairies. It’s called Tory dream land, or Planet Key – where you bury your own head up your ass and sign, la la la la la la la la.

            Because tomorrow I can come up with another list just as dam long, worse in some case, and still I’m thankful it’s the school holidays, because were quieter than usual.

    • Gosman 15.3

      You want a greater public debt do you?

    • Tracey 16.1

      The Germans have forgotten 1953 which laid the foundation to them becoming the European economic powerhouse…

      • Gosman 16.1.1

        A few differences between Greece now and (West) Germany in 1953. The most obvious one being the Germans have a reputation of being incredibly productive. The Greeks on the other hand have the opposite reputation.

        • tracey

          what was Germany’s reputation in 1953?

          you and I hold different opinions on this Gosman. It seems until veryone says “you are right gosman”, you will just bang on and on and on and on and on… so

          you are right Gosman.

          • Weepus beard

            what was Germany’s reputation in 1953?

            I hate to think, I really do.

          • Psycho Milt

            Germany’s reputation in 1953? First Iron-Curtain country to attempt an uprising against Soviet occupation. Unsuccessful, but weren’t they all? That’s a pretty good reputation. However, I presume you’re referring to the war reparations debt write-off of 1953. It was indeed generous – 50% of Germany’s debt was just written off. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, 50% of the debt consisted of ludicrously punitive reparations inflicted by the Versailles treaty. None of the debt was incurred by the German government borrowing to fund lavish lifestyles for its citizens.

            As to a reputation for productivity, the Germans have had it for centuries. The Greeks, er… haven’t.

        • TeWhareWhero

          Germany would not be in a position to loan money at high interest rates to Greece and to strong arm the Greek government into ‘austerity’ measures without the massive post-WW2 loans it received from the USA, and the cancellation of 60% of its foreign debt in 1953 plus the extraordinarily flexible and generous repayment terms on the balance – e.g. repayments not to exceed 3% of export earnings.

          If Germany had been forced into harsh ‘austerity measures’ to repay all its foreign debts owing from the Treaty of Versailles as well as repay post WW2 US loans at the levels being demanded of Greece, it would not have been able to rebuild its economy at the speed it did and would not be the economic powerhouse it is today. In fact the entire map of Europe would be very different.

          Claims that Germany’s reconstruction was all due to the hard working, clever, disciplined, tax paying Germans (in contrast to the lazy, dumb, ill-disciplined, tax-dodging Greeks) are crass and simplistic and as ahistorical as they are ideological.

          • Foreign waka

            And lets not forget that all of Germany’s Gold was taken in lieu for the debt – it was not forgiven. Belief me they paid, with their brightest scientist and all all the wealth they had. But alas , unlike lazy people, they work and work hard and efficient. Yes, this will not make them the most liked but it does make them the best wealth creators.

            • TeWhareWhero

              The ‘economic miracle’ that occurred in Germany after WW2 was a combination of massive investment from the USA (motivated by a fear of the Soviet Bloc) and being excused a large part of their foreign debt.

              I do not take anything away from the workers who rebuilt Germany – including the hundreds of thousands of of Italian, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Moroccan, Portugese, Tunisian and Yugoslavian Gastarbeiter.

              • That “massive US investment” myth is just that. The US put about as much into Britain and France as it put into Germany. Neither Britain nor France had as fucked an infrastructure or as decimated a population as Germany, but a few decades later the Jerries were (again) completely outstripping them technologically, scientifically and economically.

              • Foreign waka

                If you speak of the Marschallplan, one also have to add that the German Government was effectively entmachted (made to abdicate) with the demand of observance of some time to have a central government installed. There was the directive that the landeszonen (county bounderies) within western Germany have to be observed and the Besatzungsstatute was implemented where people are taking on responsibility whilst under the Hoheitsrecht (authority of the state) of the USA, Britain and France until 1951. Polititions, economists (i.e. Ludwig Erhard) worked on a plan that was later on agreed by the allied forces. The moneys supplied were overwhelming loans and not gifts that were meant to be repaid.
                The main increase in wealth came from production and exports growing from 6 to 10%. It was the currency differential that Germany used to their advantage that helped with their export of mainly cars and engines and their fast increase in national wealth.
                As for the Gastarbeiter – they were predominantly Yugoslav by nationality and the first came to Germany in 1955.
                The London Debt contract 1953 which you point out saw allied loans (before the war and moneys for the reconstruction after the war) partially “repaid” as long as Germany adheres to the “Wiedergutmachung” which means financially as well as politically- todate 108 billion DM.
                In addition, the Luxenburger Abkommen secured that Germany pays 3 Milliarden DM worth of weaponry an Israel and 450 Milliarden DM an the Jewish Claims Conference. The wealth that was left behind by the Jewish has either already been smuggled out of the country (not necessary by the owners) and the rest was fought over by the allied forces.
                876 Millionen Mark on top of all that is payable to other west European states under a contact concluded in 1964.

                Comparison? Not really. But I do belief that they must be very resilient, hard working, willing to build their nation with every one that can contribute.

        • adam

          Racist comment much?

          I heard those stupid comments from the skinheads in Melbourne back in the 90’s. Tards one and all.

          Good to see racism is alive a well on the right in NZ. If all else fails, blame it on there skin colour.

  15. Kiwiri 17

    Tsipras’ post-referendum speech (Google’s auto-translation) from his Facebook page:

    Greeks, Greeks
    The current referendum has no winners and losers.
    It is a great victory in itself.
    Today, all together, we wrote a brilliant page in modern European history.

    We have shown that even in the most difficult circumstances democracy does not are extorting and is dominant value and choice outlet.

    Also proved that when a people has faith and collective conscience, can endure and overcome even the greatest difficulties.

    I want to thank each and every one of you separately.
    Regardless of what you have chosen the ballot box, by tonight we’re all one.
    And our duty is to do our best to overcome this crisis and to ξανασηκώσουμε high greece.
    διαφυλάττοντας always jealously national unity, by restoring the social cohesion and economic stability.

    I also wish to thank from the bottom of my heart, the thousands of European citizens in all major cities of Europe who took to the streets looking practice their solidarity to the Greek people.

    Greeks, greeks,
    Today, given the unfavourable situation last week, you made a brave choice.
    However, I am well aware that the mandate for giving me is not mandate rupture with Europe but mandate for enhancing our negotiating power to achieve a sustainable agreement.

    In terms of social justice, in terms of perspective and απεγκλωβισμού from the vicious circle of austerity.
    And this command will serve the without delay.
    We all know that there are no easy solutions.
    But there are just solutions.
    There are viable solutions.
    Suffice it to pursue both sides.

    I would also like to point out that with Today’s historic and brave choice of the Greek people responded to the right question and simultaneously changed and the question of dialogue in europe.

    Don’t answer the question inside or outside the euro.

    This question should be long gone from the debate.
    Don’t can Europe is the application of the memorandum of austerity.

    The Greek people today to answer to the question: What kind of Europe we want.
    And replied: We want a Europe of solidarity and democracy.

    From tomorrow Greece will come to the negotiating table.

    Immediate priority the rapid restoration of the functioning of our banking system and economic stability.

    And I am sure that the ecb fully understands not only the general economic situation and the humanitarian but has become the crisis in our country.

    At the same time we are ready to continue this negotiation.
    With a shot reliable funding.
    With a draft reforms, but one which will have the acceptance of Greek society.
    On the basis of social justice, the transfer i.e. weights of the weak to the economically powerful.
    And with a credible plan direct development investment, in cooperation with the European Commission.

    At the same time, this time at the negotiating table will be located and the issue of debt, how even when the same the IMF in his report he admits it.
    Report which was absent so far from the negotiations, since, just the other day I saw the spotlight, and confirms the Greek positions for the necessary debt restructuring in order to reach a viable solution final exit from the crisis, both for Greece and for the Europe.

    Greeks, Greeks
    This time, the place needs more than ever unity and cohesion, solidarity and honest understanding to overcome the difficulties.

    Right after we visit the President of the Republic and ask him tomorrow morning the cabinet political leaders, in order to inform about the immediate initiatives of the government, but also to hear their own proposals.

    Today we celebrate the victory of democracy.
    From tomorrow all together we continue and we are completing the national effort for a bargain outlet.
    With Powerful Ally the faith of our people to the forces of.
    With powerful ally democracy and the right, which is on our side.
    We’ll manage.


    • Tracey 17.1

      Thanks Kiwiri

      I think some of the Right persuasion want to make people believe that the Greeks think everything will be easy now so that when it is hard, as it is going to be, they can say “see it didn’t work”.

  16. Paul 18

    Just listening to Hooton’s drivel on 9 to noon.
    How does this nincompoop get such air time?
    It seems our media gives a soapbox to many with objectionable and nonsensical viewpoints…..Glucina, Hooton, Hooper etc.
    The children of privilege lacking any empathy.

    • Which bit didn’t you agree with?

      • Paul 18.1.1

        Pretty much everything you said about Greece.

        • Gosman

          Are you going to expand on the reasons he is wrong in your view or do we just take your view as being true?

        • gnomic

          What he said. Sounded like bullet points regurgitated from a review of the browser bookmarks during breakfast, or maybe just Faux News, the Telegraph, and the Economist. Along with a bit of nothing to see here. And what the hell would Hoots know about Greece anyway? Anyone got a link to that? Plus the sneering tone. Not every one lives in your smug wee bubble Hoots.

      • Tracey 18.1.2

        which part of the austerity measures was getting Greece back on its feet and its unemployment dropping Matthew? Bear in mind this has been going on for a few years, or does it need longer, 10, 20, 30 years to turn it around through austerity? Let me know how many years you think and how to deal with the side effects of everything until then? Who was austerity working for most effectively?

  17. millsy 19

    Well this wasn’t in the script….

  18. Philip Ferguson 20

    Excellent article by the always reliable Michael Roberts:

    Hopefully the great result in Greece (61.39% to 38.61%) will put more wind in the sails of anti-austerity feeling and movement in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.


    • Jones 20.1

      “Hopefully the great result in Greece (61.39% to 38.61%) will put more wind in the sails of anti-austerity feeling and movement in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.”

      This, I believe, is one of the primary reasons the troika in Europe have been so heavy with Greece. If they were to grant any concessions to Greece, the countries quoted above, as well as France, will be demanding the same.

  19. Philip Ferguson 21

    Yes, they can’t let anyone off. Of course, such intransigence also runs quite heavy risks. Greece may be small and weak compared to the Franco-German axis at the heart of the EU, but crushing Greece can undermine the euro and do some damage to the EU.

    The two problems that the serious left faces in Greece are that the working class is not starting to take over workplaces and organise an alternative economic model – it’s still all very much within the framework of capitalism – and the European working class are not ready to support Greece yet. However, there have been some promising stirrings – some very big Podemos demos in Spain against austerity, for instance.

    On Saturday, there was a demo of thousands in Dublin in solidarity with Greek resistance to austerity. And, of course, in Ireland there is mass resistance to the austerity being imposed by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition there.

    Labour got devastated by Sinn Fein last May in the Euro elections and in the local council elections and Labour will go down to a big, big defeat in the next general election in the South; much of their current support will go over to Sinn Fein, which is already a significantly bigger force than them in the most deprived working class areas in Dublin and elsewhere. (Unfortunately, SF isn’t really opposed in principle to austerity, so them overtaking Labour is a step sidewards for workers, but it does indicate that workers are not wedded to any party any more.)

    Labour supporters in this country, meanwhile, should ponder the behaviour of the Labour parties in Greece and Ireland (and Spain) in being keen imposers of draconian austerity on the working class. If we have a deep recession here and Labour gets back into power, watch out for your backs and your throats. Because Labour here will be in stabbing and slashing mode.

    The European examples are another indication of how we desperately need a new political movement: of, for and by the working class.


    • Nigel 21.1

      Well put.
      I don’t trust Labour either…..they are no longer a party of the working class.

      As you say we are all stuck in the Capitalist model and seeing our living standards reduce. Those doing the best seem not to produce anything.

    • Wayne 21.2


      In case you hadn’t noticed we are not Greece. Our economy has grown about 20% at the same time as the Greek economy has shrunk 25%. Unemployment in NZ is 5%, in Greece 26%. Govt debt in NZ is 38%, in Greece 180%.

      So if Labour wants to follow Syriza, they can look forward to lets say 20 years in opposition.

      • RedBaronCV 21.2.1

        We have grown 20%!!?? Where’s my share or is it all in your pocket Wayne

      • Weepus beard 21.2.2

        Yes, it has shrunk 25% because of mismanagement by the right, the IMF, and the Euro-bankers. These were the people who were in control.

  20. Philip Ferguson 22

    Yes, they can’t let anyone off. Of course, such intransigence also runs quite heavy risks. Greece may be small and weak compared to the Franco-German axis at the heart of the EU, but crushing Greece can undermine the euro and do some damage to the EU.

    The two problems that the serious left faces in Greece are that the working class is not starting to take over workplaces and organise an alternative economic model – it’s still all very much within the framework of capitalism – and the European working class are not ready to support Greece yet. However, there have been some promising stirrings – some very big Podemos demos in Spain against austerity, for instance.

    On Saturday, there was a demo of thousands in Dublin in solidarity with Greek resistance to austerity. And, of course, in Ireland there is mass resistance to the austerity being imposed by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition there.

    Labour got devastated by Sinn Fein last May in the Euro elections and in the local council elections and Labour will go down to a big, big defeat in the next general election in the South; much of their current support will go over to Sinn Fein, which is already a significantly bigger force than them in the most deprived working class areas in Dublin and elsewhere. (Unfortunately, SF isn’t really opposed in principle to austerity, so them overtaking Labour is a step sidewards for workers, but it does indicate that many workers are not wedded to any party any more.)

    Labour supporters in this country, meanwhile, should ponder the behaviour of the Labour parties in Greece and Ireland (and Spain) in being keen imposers of draconian austerity on the working class. If we have a deep recession here and Labour gets back into power, watch out for your backs and your throats. Because Labour here will be in stabbing and slashing mode.

    The European examples are another indication of how we desperately need a new political movement: of, for and by the working class.


  21. Nessalt 23

    Interesting, Do the oxi crowd have a mandate? only 36.1% of all elegible votes cast for Oxi. With voter turnout so low compared to general elections (normally 80%+ compared to 60% for this referendum), you’d have to question whether anti-austerity campaigners have actually won?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Would “you”? How’s it going to work? Abandon all pretence of democracy and make up a different result, the way the National Party does in Canterbury?

    • Turnout at the last Greek general election was 63.9%, so no great difference. But, yeah, I agree with you, John Key had no mandate for the theft of strategic assets. That was the point you were making, wasn’t it?

      • Bob 23.2.1

        Right, so the Greek referendum was a waste of time then? No mandate gained so…as you were?

        • te reo putake

          Nah, I’m just kidding. Key and English (and their fanbois here) have regularly claimed National had a mandate to flog off the assets to mom and pop investors overseas, but that’s a spurious argument.

          At least the Greeks were voting on a single issue and if I remember correctly, the turnout has to be 40% for it to be legit. Given the number of people who have left because of the lack of jobs and related economic reasons, the turnout was probably always going to be a bit lower than the General election. And, like the recent Scottish referendum, you had to be in the country to vote.

          On the numbers, the No vote won comfortably, and got 38.31% of all potential votes. 37.5% didn’t vote and 24.18% voted Yes.

          • Bob

            Fair enough, I’ll give you that (even though I am currently one of those fanbois…)

          • Clean_power

            Nobody is arguing with the numbers, TRP. The No won convincingly. What remains to unfold is the financial ruin that will hit Greece if Syriza and Tsipras fail to deliver. People will remember and hold the radicals accountable.

            • McFlock


              Lucky they’ve enjoyed the brighter future so far then.

              Hell, they’ll probably be better off in the longer term just saying no.

              • Clean_power

                McFlock: It is easy to say that from a safe distance. Different if you were a Greek citizen caught in the middle of financial storm. The next days will be critical. I think Mr Tsipras will surrender to the lenders.

                • McFlock

                  Greece is already in financial ruin, in case you hadn’t noticed. That’s why they elected Syriza.

                • Tracey

                  Actually the greeks already know they are in the middle of financial storm. I don’t get that some here are finding that so hard to comprehend. Stop listening to Mike Hosking for his take on the state of the average Greek. He is, as always vacuous in his opining.

                  Mr Tsipras is in a much stronger bargaining position today than he was a few days ago. Greece is still fucked but he is in a position to make a better deal than the one he would have got had he done what the likes of Gosman suggested and just rolled over and produced the payments out of the mouths of his people.

        • dukeofurl

          Look at it like polls do. A tiny number becomes statistically significant.

          That way 60% of of those who voted becomes 60% of the electorate easily.

          There is no one who will say that the numbers werent high enough.

        • Tracey

          I think you meant to reply to Nassalt

  22. Smilin 24

    News Key says Europe will fight to keep Greece in the Euro
    Ah really all they want to do is make an example of Greece that this is how your country will be be if you dont play ball with the banksters
    Tell them banksters to take a hike
    And Key you can to if you think your TPPA- “trans payment punishment agreement ” that is all the wealth of this country that will be owned by the multinationals who are goin to enslave us thanks to Key
    There will be currency value like the price of oil little shift in value until it finally collapses the real result of the TPPA. Another ladder to the tower Key lives in so he doesnt get caught when we all realise we are in prison in NZ created by THE IMPENDING DOOM of TPPA
    Hello Greece we really know how you feel

  23. G C 25

    Historically Speaking: The Greeks were conquered by the Romans and the seconded leg of the Roman Empire saw the rise of the Papacy….

    History is said to ‘repeat itself’.

  24. miravox 26

    Varoufakis resigns because the Troika don’t want to negotiate with him.

    I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.
    We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government.

    Something for the soft centre-left to think about.

    As for Christine Lagarde – your turn now. Your silence is deafening.

    • maui 26.1

      Hmm, surely now would be a good time to keep your finance minister. Hopefully they’ve thought all this through.

      • te reo putake 26.1.1

        Could be a stroke of genius. Removes an area of unnecessary conflict, gets Merkel off her high horse, and signals a willingness to get down to doing a deal.

        • maui

          So potentially they could get a good deal on writing off their debt and they could remain with Euros instead of going back to the Drachma? A lot of drama in the end with a simple resolution.

          • te reo putake

            That debt write off is the key. Much like the Greeks did for the Germans at the end of WW2. If that deal hadn’t been done, Germany would be a generation behind, economically. And subject to the kind of social distortions Matthew Hooton was speculating about this morning. Really, there’s no incentive for Greece to sign a deal that locks them into penury for decades. And the irresponsible banks and European institutions that encouraged Greece into this situation need to take some responsibility for the situation too.

        • miravox

          Yeah, there was not a lot of hope for reasonable negotiation with him in the room, the mood is too bitter and full of recrimination. He’s done his job in paving the way for a more sustainable debt load, even if it does mean leaving the Eurozone.

          I’d like to see Christine Lagarde go now. Her passive-aggressive approach has lost the IMF its money and unnecessarily attempted to humiliate the Greek government. She also negotiated for no debt relief against the advice of her own organisation . The referendum may never have happened but for her stance. She should resign.

        • Pat

          and relaxes Schauble’s sphincter…

      • Tracey 26.1.2

        “Hopefully they’ve thought all this through.”

        That’s a tad patronising don’t you think? My best guess is that strategising and planning and thinking through options and permutations and consequences is all this Greek Government has done since it was elected.

    • mickysavage 26.2

      Obviously the Greeks still want to do a deal. Over to the bankers …

      Of course Spain and Portugal and Italy are looking on. It is strange where we get to the situation that bankers have higher expectations than sovereign nations …

      • Tracey 26.2.1

        Of course they do, they are, and have been, strengthening their bargaining position. Many of our right wing commenters have suggested they just roll over and do as they are told… which is funny when you consider that success in captialsim is about screwing the other guy for as little (or as much) as you can anyway you can… no wonder so many of them like John key, he is the “how high do you want me to jump” negotiator on behalf of NZ.

        • Reddelusion

          Strange view of capitalism Tracy. I thougt it’s more about letting the market determine what people want Screwing people is not a very sustainable model at the micro business level I think most people go with capitalism even lefties, where the differ is how much to leave up to the market and self regulation vs state intervention and possibly level of redistribution I think most sane people would argue good capitalism is the best model we have

      • Gosman 26.2.2

        You keep mentioning Bankers when the vast majority of the debt being discussed is between Governments or muliti-lateral institutions controlled by Governments. Bankers are hardly going to be impacted by any Debt restructure. It will be taxpayers.

  25. old school 27

    And what yous recon just continue,with look we can say this nothing of value just dare say.Will i be sacked tomorrow and look away from our kind as they speak,looking at our exploiter class and waiting for the sun to set or rise,shall i just get on my knees .Dare we get off our knees or do we just crawl share the value compromise see how they close the door as you pass bye,dare we get to look see this is all over the place.

  26. Tanz 28

    Socialism is a con and Greece just proved it. As Thatcher said, the money always runs out…

    • Tracey 28.1

      so is Capitalism and Greece just proved it…

    • Wow, socialism works fast, eh. The Greek left’s only been in power a few months, Tanz. It’s not them that got Greece into this situation, it was right wing governments and right wing ideologies that did that.

      • Reddelusion 28.2.1

        Hard pressed to call Greece a hot be of neoliberal economics over the last 30 years TRP. If so I doubt they would be in the mess they are in

        • te reo putake

          Surely you jest! 35 years of neo lib governments, mostly led by New Democracy, but also including a few years of PASOK cynically betraying their roots in a way that would make Rodger Douglas blush.

          • Reddelusion

            Neoliberal economics last time I looked, government contolling deficits, privatisation, free float currency ( before euro), broard tax base, efficient state, good and enforceable legal system, removing trade barrier and protectionism including state monopolies, where can you point to any of that in Greece in the last 30 years. Joining the euro, financial liberalisation yes but the Greeks simply pigged out on their old ways with cheap money and hence the result. They should never have been accepted into the eu monetary union for their own good

          • Tracey

            it’s always the fault of socialists TRP, even when the government is not. Some of our right wing commenters here for example think that Key runs a socialist government.

            Of course it is a hybrid, as are most but they like to think it is always the socialist side that is the reason for failures.

    • les 28.3

      got things around the wrong way there sport…capitalism has been shown up….its big on theory and woeful on reality!

      • Reddelusion 28.3.1

        And socialism can roll out successful case study after case study. Capitalism has pulled 100s of million out of poverty over the last 50 years, not to mention developments in technology on every level of human endeavour, it is unsurpassed as a system of innovation and wealth creation

        • half crown

          “And socialism can roll out successful case study after case study. Capitalism has pulled 100s of million out of poverty over the last 50 years, not to mention developments in technology on every level of human endeavour, it is unsurpassed as a system of innovation and wealth creation”

          I have read the book, very thin though, and I did not realise the time I took to read it could be measured in such miniscule amounts.

          • Gosman

            Have you got any evidence of the success of Socialism?

            • mickysavage

              Would a pure capitalist system give a damn about child poverty?

              • Gosman

                Poverty world wide(including presumably child poverty) has fallen to its lowest level ever in the history of humanity. This is largely the result of Capitalistism and Globalisation. The surplus that Capitalism provides enables Governments the flecibility to determine how best to tackle any additional challenges around poverty that the free market throws up. Just as Greece is doscovering now, if you don’t have a productive economy you can’t afford to have a generous welfare state.

                • Tracey

                  and Socialism gives Governments the drive to support its most vulnerable (thus also lifting them out of poverty). This bullshit argument about

                  socialism versus capitalism is a very big strawman on all fronts because no governments today run a PURE system of either, exclusively.

                  • I guess it’s possible Gosman imagines we got the 40-hour working week, public education, universal adult suffrage etc because capitalists could see an excellent return on investment for it. Ideology can make people highly delusional.

            • half crown

              “Have you got any evidence of the success of Socialism?”

              By my own experience pal. If it was not for socialistic systems set up after the second world war I would not be here today, and I doubt if I would have been successful like I have. I feel for the Precariat. and do my utmost to help out when I can. Incidentally some of the people involved were NOT socialist but they had a social conscience, and a lot of them were officers and gentleman/ladies. Something the right wing fucking Neo Liberal prats of today don’t know the meaning of, let alone practice.

              • Tracey

                but they weren’t pure socialist governments were they half crown? A hybrid of some sort, yes?

                • half crown

                  “but they weren’t pure socialist governments were they half crown? A hybrid of some sort, yes?”


        • Tracey

          actually “capitalism” hasn’t. It is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism that has pulled people out of poverty.

          not one or the other but a combination, unless you can name 10 purely capitalist governments in the world (which would be a useful but not great sample)

    • half crown 28.4

      Ah Thatcher the darling of the right, lover of that bit of filth called Pinochet. Could not afford welfare for the unfortunates but spent millions on the Falkland war to save her political neck, and the stupid poms fell for the Rule Britannia shit and voted her in
      Famous saying “There is no such thing as society.”

  27. venezia 29

    With reference to the turn out in the Greece Referendum…….. remember that many Greek eligible voters have had to leave to get work overseas. Because you must return to Greece to vote, many thousands could not do so. Like the two who were labouring away on my earthquake repairs today – thrilled to bits about the outcome of the referendum!

  28. Reddelusion 30

    Until the Greeks accept controlling government deficits , a braord simple and enforceable tax base, removing state protectionism, remove corruption at all levels, reform welfare and that the private sector creates wealth not the state they are truly rooted They got by for many years on other people’s money, the game is up. , It is intellectually dishonest to not claim that Greek society as a whole has played no part in their demise, all society, all classes not simply the bankers and the rich as the left try to claim The only innocent here are young Greeks who have been handed a basket case by the Greek political class for unforgivable economic management , left and right, fruit loops the lot of them

  29. gnomic 31

    There is a fruit loop in the house, but not in Greece. Perhaps consider some remedial classes in writing understandable English prose?

    ‘It is intellectually dishonest to not claim that Greek society as a whole has played no part in their demise.’

    Good grief. The adults are trying to have a conversation here. Perhaps come back when you can talk like a grown-up?

    • Reddelusion 31.1

      Every one loves a corrector, intellectual snobbery or just an ass hole, the former me think

      • gnomic 31.1.1

        Nope, still fail. Consider taking up some other activity you might be good at. Spewing out semi-literate regurgitations of RWNJ talking points is not it.

        • Gosman

          Do you have a point gnomic beyond attempting to score points over another persons grammar on a blog comment thread?

          • Psycho Milt

            Expecting participants in a written discussion to be able to write a coherent sentence isn’t ‘point-scoring.’

            • Gosman

              Reddelusion’s point was understandable even if the mistake made does render one sentence difficult to comprehend.

              • Tracey

                hasn’t everyone agreed you are Right yet Gosman? Bugger, I had hoped yesterday to get the ball rolling.

                • half crown

                  Forgot about that Tracey, Of course Gosman is RIGHT, though I have to agree with him over this one. English to some of us is a second language and also some of us may have had our education interrupted and struggle. I know from my own experience my English at times leaves a lot to be desired.
                  I don’t find it clever when people try to point score when someone makes a spelling or grammar mistake.

                  • Tracey

                    unless I am grading papers ( 😉 ) I try to read what I think someone is trying to say.

                    My comment @ Gosman is that he reserves such responses in defence only of those he sees as being on “his side”. I am sure he will come by and correct me but I am sick of the repetitive nature of it all.

                    I challenge anyone to prove to me that there is a definitively RIGHT answer about Greece’s problems AND to lay out how the RIGHT answer will work, with more tha njust generalities.

                    • Gosman

                      What do you mean ‘RIGHT’ answer? There are simple facts on that leave Greece in a very unpleasent position. The facts are as follows:

                      The Greek economy has had very low productivity.

                      The Greek Tax system is very inefficient and Greek people are generally unwilling to pay the taxes that they State thinks they should pay.

                      The Greek State plays a large role in the economy and has provided support for Pensioners at a high level in the past.

                      A combination of failure to collect enough Tax and excessive spending by successive Greek governments (on a variety of areas including outright corruption and military spending) led to a situation where the Greek Sovereign debt ballooned over the years. This got worse after the Greeks joined the Eurozone as they got the benefit of lower cost capital.

                      Greece’s debts are unsustainable long term. They required a massie restructuring of them.

                      The ‘Troika’ refinanced Greece’s loans in return for reforms.

                      The Greek government have been very reluctant to follow through on promised reforms.

                      The Greek economy fell by about a quarter mainly as a result of fall in investment.

                      The Greeks want further restructuring of their debt despite there being quite a bit before now.

                      The German and othe Eurozone members (mainly based in Northern Europe) don’t wish to give the Greeks more money or any debt relief unless they undergo further reforms.

                      The Greeks need further money even if they repudiated all the Debt.

                      The Greeks don’t want to leave the Eurozone.

                      Without an injection soon the Greek banks will collapse and the economy will slide in to even worse situation.

          • gnomic

            You are another one. Clear off and take that halfwit bluedelusional with you. Why not start your own site where you can fascinate each other with your drivel and spare the rest of us. My point was that the post was nonsense from start to finish as you ask. Not only irrelevant drivel, but close to incomprehensible.

  30. Reddelusuon 32

    Wannabe moderator gnomic, get back to your porn sites you seem frustrated

    • Tracey 32.1

      Gosman must have missed this one so I will do it for him.

      Do you have a point Reddelusion beyond attempting to score points over another persons through ad hominem on a blog comment thread?

    • gnomic 32.2


  31. Tanz 33

    Key does run a socialist government, if anything he has been our most leftist PM in history. Just look at the last budget for starters. Key is both progressive and socialist. He is the darling of the left and the media.

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