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We Have aGreekment!

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 pm, July 13th, 2015 - 124 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , , ,

Breaking news that a deal has been struck for a third bailout of the Greek economy. There will be no Grexit. The deal involves liquidity for the banking system, secured against a 50 Billion  fund that will have a hold over significant public assets.

Syrisa will be reeling and they will have to backtrack on some promises. However, it does forestall what appears to be an attempted coup by German negotiators. While the deal appears to be more favourable in some aspects (particularly that the asset fund will be run from Athens, not Luxembourg) the agreement still has to be ratified by the Greek parliament. Could take some convincing to get them to say ‘Nai’ instead of ‘Oxi’.

Guardian live reports here. And a good backgrounder on the damage done to Europe by the BBC’s economics editor Robert Peston here.

 

Edit: Changed the home page photo. This seems more appropriate:

legarde

124 comments on “We Have aGreekment!”

  1. millsy 1

    Folded like paper bags.

  2. AmaKiwi 2

    NO Brussels talking head ever mentioned how these proposals will restore Greek economic growth. It won’t. Undisguised EU greed and neo-liberal panic.

    Whatever is decided, Greece will descend into economic chaos and the EU is mortally wounded.

  3. Paul 3

    The corporations take over a country.
    Welcome to our future post TPPA.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      The corporates may take over Greece, but the Greek’s sacrifice has been eye opening and invigorating for the Left worldwide.

      Neo-liberalism is exposed as ruthless greed void of theories about how to increase living standards for anyone except the wealthy.

      Did you notice the Brussels talking heads never mentioned “economic recovery,” “trickle down,” or related b.s.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        Why didn’t the Greeks just leave the Eurozone then? They do have that choice.

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          You should get over there and help them with their negotiations gosman – perhaps they haven’t noticed that simple solution yet

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            Why do you think they haven’t just left the Euro zone vto?

            • vto 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Why do you think they haven’t just forced Greece out of the eurozone gosman?

              They have that option. Why haven’t they done it?

              • Gosman

                Too divisive. Countries like France and Italy don’t want to see that occur. They are discouraging the German’s and other northern European nations from this course of action hence why the ‘temporary’ exit option was withdrawn from the table.

                • vto

                  so why your silly comment at 3.1.1.?

                  • Gosman

                    The Greeks CAN choose to leave the Eurozone. It would be difficult to do it is true but it is still an option. To do it they would first have to set up some sort of parellel payment method such as Government back IOU’s. These would initially be denominated as Euro’s but the market would immediately discount them massively which would be effectively like a devaluation. They would only be transferrable in Greece so they would become a currency. Greece would then have to nationalise the banks to save them from collapse at which point it would crash out of the eurozone by default.

  4. vto 4

    farce upon farce

  5. Paul 5

    It’s starting to make sense why Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned despite the referendum win.
    He knew his some of his fellows were about to betray the people.

    Roger Douglas all over again.

  6. Total and utter betrayal! But hey if you believe steel framed buildings collapse because of an office carbon fire, you believe anything! Banking scum mean well, they are honest and the government never conspires!

    Varoufakis walked away. I wonder what he knew!

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I reckon the game is still afoot 😉

      • AmaKiwi 6.1.1

        CV, it definitely is. This Greek drama is far from over.

        • Gosman 6.1.1.1

          Sure. The Greeks could reject the deal. Then their banks and economy would collapse further causing even greater pain and it would be months before they could replace the Euro properly.

    • Reddelusion 6.2

      Nothing just an amature who spent 6 month pissing off people greece needs and not having the balls to stick around to see the result. He did not even turn up to parliament to vote

  7. lurgee 7

    “And a good backgrounder on the damage done to Europe by the BBC’s economics editor Robert Peston”

    I’m not sure it was all Preston’s fault.

  8. The lost sheep 8

    you can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    From the Guardian: – read this and see if it doesn’t sound like a coup by the banksters over the people of Greece –

    The Eurogroup document said experts from the troika of creditors – the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank – would be on the ground in Athens to monitor the proposed bailout programme. The trio would also have a say in all relevant Greek draft legislation before it is presented to parliament. Furthermore, the Greeks will have to amend all legislation already passed by the Syriza government this year that had not been agreed with the creditors.

    Frankly, I do not believe this “agreement” will pass the Greek parliament this week; the Syriza government will likely disintegrate over the next couple of days. And it will be fresh elections in a month while Greece’s banking system falls over the Europe airlifts humanitarian supplies in.

    • miravox 9.1

      “Frankly, I do not believe this “agreement” will pass the Greek parliament this week”

      Before the referendum it wouldn’t have passed – nothing would have. Since the referendum the leader of the opposition has resigned and the opposition backed the negotiations. There is confidence it will pass, but yes, it’s likely that Syriza will disintegrate and fresh elections will be called. The EU hawks will be cheering that.

      However, I don’t know what choice Tsipras had. As Yanis Varoufakis says

      Greeks, rightly, shiver at the thought of amputation from monetary union. Exiting a common currency is nothing like severing a peg, as Britain did in 1992, when Norman Lamont famously sang in the shower the morning sterling quit the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM). Alas, Greece does not have a currency whose peg with the euro can be cut. It has the euro – a foreign currency fully administered by a creditor inimical to restructuring our nation’s unsustainable debt.

      To exit, we would have to create a new currency from scratch. In occupied Iraq, the introduction of new paper money took almost a year, 20 or so Boeing 747s, the mobilisation of the US military’s might, three printing firms and hundreds of trucks. In the absence of such support, Grexit would be the equivalent of announcing a large devaluation more than 18 months in advance: a recipe for liquidating all Greek capital stock and transferring it abroad by any means available.

      Is it a coup? Seems like it. Was their any other option that would not have made the Greek people worse off? Unlikely. The only ironic plus side is that Syriza was elected in part as a counterpoint to the corruption in previous governments. They can and will (courtesy of the EU) implement basic administrative reforms so at least Greeks won’t be ripping off Greeks.

      • AmaKiwi 9.1.1

        It will be a disaster until the Greeks have cash Drachmas again. One sliver of sunshine is that ten Euro notes are printed in Greece.

        The Greeks have the tools and technology to print their new currency.

        I wonder if Yanis Varoufakis’ wife (a renowned artist) is working on some designs.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          In my dreams I think of Greece adopting an electronically transacted Crypto-drachma based on block chain technology. That could happen very fast.

          And both China and Russia have the capability to print New Drachma notes very quickly, and fly them in.

          Designs already exist:

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-22/if-troika-says-nein-tomorrow-heres-what-new-drachma-will-look

          • David 9.1.1.1.1

            Why would they do that? They could just buy redundant Zimbabwe dollars that are surplus to requirements. They are already denominated in the right kind of numbers helpfully too.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              You sound like a dickhead who doesn’t even know that Greece has defaulted on its debt 5 times since 1800 and should do so again right now.

              • Gosman

                They probably should. But then they wouldn’t get access to any further funds very easily and would have to cut spending dramatically and recapitalization their banking sector.

              • David

                Well, that’s why I’m suggesting that 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 dollar notes are helpful for a country like Greece….they’ll be using wheelbarrows as wallets in less than a year.

          • Gosman 9.1.1.1.2

            Have you ever asked yourself why the Greece haven’t taken this approach C.V.? Syriza is full of people more inclined to your ideas than to mine yet they look set to sign up for policies that I support. Do you not find that mind blowing that hard core lefties like you don’t implement leftist policies?

            • David 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Greek GDP per capita triple following it’s entry into the Euro and still remains more than double what it was before. The Greeks know full well that outside the euro zone they will be much poorer.

    • Gosman 9.2

      Which would just serve to illustrate the failure of the syriza government even more. 6 months and all they could should for it was a country that is likely to be suffering a collapse of the financial sector and dependent on European humanitarian relief to feed it’s more vulnerable. Bravo quasi-Marxist ideology. You have once again proven how ineffectual you actually are in the real world.

  10. GregJ 10

    Effectively the deal as it appears to be emerging (especially over the assets to put beyond the Greek state so they can be sold to pay off debt) has made Greece a German protectorate by stripping away elements of its sovereignty. And it is clear from the reporting that this deal has a strong element of “punishment” in it – for the “No” referendum, to not agreeing earlier to all of the demands of the troika.

    It’s hard not to see this as “coup”.

  11. Facetious 11

    Syriza and Tsipras folded under pressure from the evil capitalists. Mao, master of those Greeks, would have called them paper tigers.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      the game is still afoot

      • Jim Nald 11.1.1

        As long as the pile of punitive and crushingly massive spreadsheet debt exists, there will continue to be the long and painful Greek drawn-out drama that will be played out, with or without the return of the drachma.

        Most sad for a nation of people. I felt quite sad last night and my first thoughts this morning on waking up was for the Greeks in their home country as well as the diaspora. (On the home front here, we are building up a mountain of debt on our books and the question should be – what next further down the track? IMF ‘rescue’?)

        Looking back, when Yanis Varoufakis resigned from his position, that put them on the path of return to the previous way of doing things, indeed folding themselves. Seems that it was only him and another who got out voted by the four others in the core Cabinet team who chose not to press on with embarking on (or perhaps bluffing about, as leverage for) alternatives – see coverage and interview (link at the end of that piece) at:

        http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/07/exclusive-yanis-varoufakis-opens-about-his-five-month-battle-save-greece

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    Yanis Varoufakis exposed the Big Lie . . . that EU neo-liberalism is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

    Now is our time to do the same here.

    • nadis 12.1

      Varoufakis is an idiot. Because of his game theory approach Syriza wasted 5 months when they could have been reforming the economy – crazily enough, many of the things the northern Europeans wanted are what Syriza wants – better tax system, remove patronage, marginalise the oligarchs, reduce defense spending etc, yet Yanis’s games (there’s no doubt he was the primary voice in the Greek strategy) just made the Greek economy implode (they actually had positive GDP growth in 2014), destroyed any positive relationship with Europe, and then he sails away at the last minute (literally) to his fancy holiday home (available to rent for EUR5000 per week) on a Greek island with his oligarch heiress wife. Don’t worry, Yanis won’t be sharing the pain of the Greek poor. He argued as an ideologue when Greece needed a pragmatist. Unless Greece was prepared to leave the Euro, an ideological argument was worse than useless, it was destructive. When the histories of this saga are written there will be many painted badly, but Varoufakis will be right up there as the biggest idiot. Syriza is now forced to cull the 30+ anti-deal MPs and rely on PASOK for support to keep them in Govt. That’s irony.

      No-one is forcing Greece to take this deal. Greece should do the thing that is right for Greece – negotiate an exit from the Euro, receive humanitarian assistance, devalue the currency by 40%, restructure the debt to (say) 25 cents in the dollar and then experience Icelandic style growth (assuming of course that the Greek government doesn’t conspire with their cronies to continue stealing from the people).

      Greece doesn’t and never has belonged in the Euro – they have never had a political, legal and economic society effective enough to cope with the loss of sovereignty that Euro membership implies. There are so many ridiculous things about the mindset of the Greeks, least of all expecting pensioners in the (old) eastern Europe who survive on less than 25% of a Greek pension to bail out the Greeks.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        too bad in the EU, what Germany wants, Germany gets. Thats crystal clear now.

        • Mike the Savage One 12.1.1.1

          I’m not so sure. The German Greens and the Left Party there have been sympathetic with the Greeks, and wished for another solution. Even some in the SPD are not happy with what the coalition government has pursued and apparently pushed through.

          But the hard line German finance minister seems to somehow have got things his way.

          The conditions are so harsh, and put Greeks through the wringer yet again, it may sooner or later lead to the Grexit that Schauble had suggested and recently considered inevitable.

          But with that, Greece may leave the Euro, perhaps the EU, and become friendly with Russia, a traditional friend to the Greek, as they also share a similar orthodox religious faith.

          That would send extreme worries through Europe’s capitals, as there may be a pro Russian country then between NATO member Turkey and other NATO states in the rest of Europe, and there may also be a country that will not bother much with dealing with the hundreds of thousands of refugees coming from the Middle East and North Aftrica, and rather just send them on northwards, for the rest of Europe to deal with.

          I can realistically see this happen, as too many Greeks will now be totally disillusioned with their non-loyal European “partners”.

          • Gosman 12.1.1.1.1

            So they will leave in a huff because other European’s won’t just give them more money and debt relief will they? In that case I think it would be good riddance to Greece.

            • RedLogix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              And ‘good riddance’ to Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland – all with unpayable debts vastly beyond their ability to ever repay.

              As indeed this country will probably never repay the $100b odd of debt this govt has piled up.

              • The lost sheep

                Speaking of Portugal, Spain, and Italy…..
                I don’t imagine Syriza’s utterly inept mishandling of the last 6 months has done much to boost the electoral chances of the Far Left in those countries?

                Unbelievably stupid of Syriza to play their hand in such a way as to gift the Neo Liberal establishment the opportunity to demonstrate the perils of voting in inexperienced Governments making unrealistic promises.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Bullshit mate, Syriza did everything they could while the banksters of Europe decided to crush the entire nation under foot to make them an example of what would happen if you defy the financial masters of the continent.

                  The “European Union spirit” has been amply proven now.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Syriza hideously miscalculated their position right from the beginning, wore the Greek economy to ruins during 6 months of futile posturing, while at the same time deliberately destroying the trust of the only people who were willing to help them.
                    When they finally did come screaming out of the tunnel from La La Land this week and run smack into the concrete wall of reality…
                    They were in a far worse bargaining position they they were six months ago and so had to concede to demands far beyond those they refused at the start.

                    Yes CV, this is a glorious victory for the Far Left.

                  • Gosman

                    Name me one thing that the Syriza government did in the last 6 months that is likely to have a lasting positive impact on Greece?

      • Galeandra 12.1.2

        Try reading Varoufakis’s own words regarding what he could and couldn’t do before you label him an idiot & timewaster- there’s a link supplied above by Jim Nald. He met calculated intransigence which is chilling in its coldness and inhumanity; be very afraid if National’s borrowings come home to roost while our exports are still tanking.

      • Reddelusion 12.1.3

        Give that man a prize, spot on

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    It is not so much a “Greekment” (or agreement), it rather seems as if the Greeks were given no options, that is Tsipras as head of their government. Take it or leave it, seems to have been the agenda by the Eurozone leaders, particularly some unforgiving ones as Merckel and a few others. They also have to face pressures, from their voters, as many Germans seem to have given up all hope for Greece and are not willing to have yet another “rescue package” offered to them.

    I fear this will be the political end for Alexis Tsipras, as he and his former finance minister turned down a package and conditions prior to the referendum just over a week ago. Then they had 60 percent of Greeks vote in support of the government’s stand, but now Tsipras appears to have accepted yet more stringent terms, by the Eurozone and ECB. This will be a very hard “sell” for the Greek government, and there are signs of more opting out of Syriza.

    We may have new elections again soon in Greece, and this “agreement” is also only just the beginning of a new phase of further negotiations and discussions about details for a third “rescue package”.

    What it looks like is no end for the hardship that so many Greeks already suffer, years of more hardship into the future. Many younger Greeks will simply pack their bags and emigrate.

    • Gosman 13.1

      What do you mean? Take it or leave is still an option. What would you have preferred? That they presented the proposal and stated that the Greeks could change it if they wanted.

      • Paul 13.1.1

        Gosman – shill for the banks of the world.

        • Gosman 13.1.1.1

          There are hardly any bank money involved in this.This is about taxpayers money. As typical for many leftists you seem very happy to spend other people’s tax money it seems.

          • Paul 13.1.1.1.1

            Really…hardly any bank money at all?

            • Gosman 13.1.1.1.1.1

              The vast majority of the money involved in the discussions is either government funds or additional support from the ECB. If you weren’t aware of that how can you make an informed comment on the Greek situation?

              • RedLogix

                So therefore why does 90% of this bailout money go straight to the banks?

                • Gosman

                  You have a link to an article stating that? I presume you are meaning the Greek banks though. If you think that they should just fail, destroying the Greek financial and payments system, then argue that point. Syria doesn’t agree with you for some reason. Why do you think a party that contains radical leftists are not calling for the Greek banks to fail?

                  • RedLogix

                    I’ll correct myself. The original Greek debt was created by various banks – and the Eurozone bailed them out.

                    Now the Germans are imposing economic war on Greece. The Greeks will respond – they have history on this.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Correct – in 2010 the vast majority of Greek government debt was owed to the private banks – Deutsche Bank, Agricole France, etc

                      They convinced EU countries to take the toxic Greek debt off their hands, making them whole again, while fucking the European tax payer at that point – setting taxpayers of various nations against each other.

                      All we have seen now is how that has played out. The key thing to remember is that the private banks got all their money out early in the game and have been laughing the last 5 years.

                    • Gosman

                      How they should respond is to become an economic powerhouse and then use their economic might to dictate terms to lesser nations. What they will likely do is sulk and blame others for the mess they largely caused by themselves.

                    • Gosman

                      Maybe but even if they did that doesn’t change the state of play now. Greece can’t stiff those ‘evil’ bankers because as you point out they are largely no longer available to be stiffed. The only people the Greeks can shaft now are fellow European nations.

                  • GregJ

                    Probably start from here from Al Jazeera.

                    Some to Greek Banks (to pay back other European banks – predominately German Banks) and the rest to other financial institutions and banks who bought up Greek debt directly.

                • Paul

                  Gosman is a shill for the bankers and global elite.
                  Sad to see someone reduced to such serfdom.

                  • Gosman

                    You keep ignoring the fact that it is taxpayers stumping up for Greece not bankers. If I’m a shill for hard working taxpayers in Europe and around the world then I wear that moniker with pride.

                    • GregJ

                      You keep ignoring the fact that it is taxpayers stumping up for Greece not bankers.

                      Except of course it isn’t – which economist after economist has made the point (watch France 24, Al Jazeera, RT BBC, MSNBC and they’ve had a cavalcade of economists coming through debunking that myth) or read The Economist of FT – the claim is made by politicians for political reasons – economists know it’s not true.

      • Mike the Savage One 13.1.2

        Even the IMF considers that a partial debt write off is necessary, for Greece to manage and recover. They were not given a “hair-cut” (debt relief), and now even harsher terms than before the previous round of talks (before the referendum in Greece).

        Also 50 billion of Greek assets will effectively put under the control of the European Central Bank, IMF and European Commission.

        Austerity will continue, and it looks like no light at the end of a dark tunnel.

        Surely a fairer package could have been possible, had it been wanted by the Eurozone leaders. But the unforgiving forces prevailed, and will keep Greece and Greeks in quasi bondage. Democracy means little, nothing much now, as it shows. The banks and corporates, who also pull the strings behind the scenes, they already influence who gets into government in European countries, maybe not quite as easily as in the US, but they are heading that way.

        Any challenges to the system are quashed, and “solidarity” amongst Europeans is an empty slogan now.

        • Gosman 13.1.2.1

          What would a ‘fairer’ package entailed in your mind beyond some non specific end to austerity?

          • Mike the Savage One 13.1.2.1.1

            Firstly twenty to thirty percent debt write-off, then the Greeks can start seeing a shimmer of hope again, I suggest.

            • Gosman 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Except they will still require additional funding even if they repudiated ALL their outstanding debt. Where will this funding come from?

  14. Facetious 14

    Will the Greek parliament, dominated by Syriza, approve the deal? That will show the true colours of the government.

  15. Wayne 15

    Does anyone of the Left have any idea that it if you ask of 50 billion euro there will be conditions attached. Or do you think the Eurolenders were/should just going to shower Greece with 50 billion euro as if as it was confetti?

    And Greece did have a choice; they could have left the euro, but that would have also been a painful adjustment.

    By the way I completely agree with Nadis in his analysis of Varoufakis. In the circumstances he was the worst possible Finance Minister that Greece could have chosen. And ordinary Greeks have paid the price, including the governments absurd decision to hold a referendum with the encouragement to vote “No.”

    From what I can see the new deal is probably tougher than the on offer two weeks ago.

    • Gosman 15.1

      Many leftists here it seems think Euro members should just funnel funds from the wealthier (or not so wealthy but fiscally prudent) nations to countries that can’t control their spending or collect enough taxes. They seem to think the Euro zone should be some sort of pan-national welfare state where Greeks can fund their early retirements and inefficient State owned enterprises using other people’s money. Well that is what I think they must think because I haven’t seen anything in the way of a coherent plan from them other than an end to austerity and getting debt relief.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        Ending austerity is a no-brainer: even the World Bank now says it harms economies, although I note they have yet to apologise for helping to enable it.

        Debt relief is a separate issue. Take it out of Goldman Sachs for all I care.

        • Gosman 15.1.1.1

          This is intellectually dishonest. Simply banging on about 3rd in Austerity is not a serious policy. You have to explain how you will end Austerity. Where does the money come from to pay for an end to Austerity and what policies should Greece (or wherever) pursue instead?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1.1

            Countries that don’t pursue austerity and yet miraculously thrive. Are you pretending you don’t know of any modern examples? Which one of us is being dishonest?

            • Gosman 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Those countries have access to capital. Greece doesn’t very easily. Now I ask you again – what is the alternative and how will it get funded?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’m a simpleton, so I’d simply declare a global jubilee, if necessary. Then I’d regulate and especially police the banking and financial sector more diligently.

                There’s too much work to be done to let stupidity prevail.

      • Paul 15.1.2

        And what is your solution Gosman .
        More and deeper austerity?
        That’s worked well so far.

        • Gosman 15.1.2.1

          My preferred solution is for the Greeks to knuckle down to some serious reform of their economy and State. Austerity has worked in a number of different nations such as the Baltic States and looks to have made a difference in Ireland, Spain and Portugal. The reason why it failed miserably in Greece was the Greeks have been reluctant to follow the policies they have been asked to follow and relied more on attempting to raise taxes rather than cut spending and making the State more efficient. The every fact we are 5 years down the track and the Greeks are still being asked to do some pretty basic things such as opening up their business environment for more competition tells me that they really haven’t done much in the way of austerity before now.

      • Mike the Savage One 15.1.3

        You present more BS arguments, the Greeks have already conducted many reforms, actual retirement entry age is now well over 60 years there, not unlike in other European countries, they have also done heaps of other things that were previously demanded. But the way the former “deals” were enforced, they only worsened things. Greece only barely “recovered” a bit last year, from the bottom it had reached with skyrocketing unemployment and economic recession.

        Even the IMF agrees, same as leading international economists, that some debt had to be written off, but the German government and a few others in Europe were not willing to do this, which is one major hurdle for Greece to get into a situation that is manageable.

    • Wayne 15.2

      Actually it is 86 billion euro. And for the Hard Left, it should have been just given as a present without any strings attached.

      Since many of the commenters on this thread seem to supporters of Mana (does it even exist anymore) perhaps that is not surprising.

      • RedLogix 15.2.1

        Well just a few years ago a lot of big global banks got trillions of dollars showed on them like confetti. With almost no conditions attached.

        You were perfectly cool with this as I recall.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.2

        How much debt relief was swallowed by the banks who created the GFC again?

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.3

        Wayne do you really think the political complicity of how Greece has been treated is not obvious for all to see?

        Look at Ukraine, in a state of civil war, with dysfunctional right wing military units out of the control of the government, admitting that it cannot make any more repayments, with suspicions of using money from Europe to fund the buying of arms – and the IMF hands them even more billions of dollars in a third huge bail out programme when the first two bail out programmes have already been utter failures.

        Yet Ukraine gets treated better than Greece.

        • Gosman 15.2.3.1

          How is Greece not being treated well? It is due to receive billions of Euro’s in extra funding when it is essentially bankrupt. That is very generous to me.

          • RedLogix 15.2.3.1.1

            Because a nation is not the same as a person.

            A person goes bankrupt and the debt is effectively written off (or heavily discounted) – and after a period of some minor restrictions on owning a business they get a fresh start. Crucially you will note that it is the creditors who take the loss on the risk they took.

            But a nation is a different thing to a person. When a person goes into bankruptcy they are still only an infinitesimal fraction of an otherwise functioning society. They will still have access to public goods like welfare, education, hospitals and so on.

            What the Europeans are doing here is pretty much the equivalent of trying to put the whole of the Greek nation into debtors prison – and crippling the economy. This isn’t the same thing as a ‘fresh start’. It’s just pure vindictiveness.

            • The lost sheep 15.2.3.1.1.1

              What the Europeans are doing here is pretty much the equivalent of trying to put the whole of the Greek nation into debtors prison – and crippling the economy. This isn’t the same thing as a ‘fresh start’. It’s just pure vindictiveness.

              It isn’t vindictiveness, it is because the Greek Nation as a whole needs to change it’s mindset.

              How have they ended up the basket case of Europe?
              What can they do to get themselves out of this situation?

              There are tough questions the Greeks have been very reluctant to confront, and obviously were not going to do so while they were able to maintain the current model through inappropriate borrowing.

              Maybe they will have the incentive to do so now?

              • Colonial Viper

                How have they ended up the basket case of Europe?

                By giving up their currency sovereignty, and by tying themselves to someone elses currency which is set at far too strong a level for the Greek economy to cope with.

                Yes, Greece needs to change its mindset, but to some people that means driving ordinary Greeks to suicide and fleeing their own country.

                Is that price really worth it to pay the banksters and loan sharks back?

                • The lost sheep

                  The People could start by electing a Government committed to genuine, realistic, and far reaching reform of the Greek Political and economic structures?

                  As opposed to using the upcoming snap election to try the next Party that is offering to wave a magic wand and create an easy way out….

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    How about, the global community gets together and unravels all the money laundering and other global banking malfeasance that’s gone on in the last five weeks, and then instead of imprisoning the guilty, gives their ill-gotten gains to Greece in a plea-bargain?

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.3.1.2

            How is Greece not being treated well? It is due to receive billions of Euro’s in extra funding when it is essentially bankrupt. That is very generous to me.

            You idiot.

            Greece doesn’t want the money. It is being forced on to them. European tax payers should not be shelling out more tax payers money to an insolvent Greece.

            But you know all of this. Yet insist on being a professional fuckwit.

            • Gosman 15.2.3.1.2.1

              If the Greeks don’t want the money they shouldn’t have requested it in the first place. Remember it was the Greek PM who asked for a third bailout. You seem to have very selective memory. Also you are not answering the question. Why don’t the Greeks just up and leave the Eurozone?

  16. Nadis 16

    Yes. Hardly any bank money at all. Non Greek banks own less than 5% of Greek debt

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Yeah that’s because they passed off all the risks to naive gullible EU governments in 2010.

      Oh you forgot to mention that part.

      • Gosman 16.1.1

        And many of them suffered a haircut on their original loans in 2012. You forgot to mention that part.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          So what? They got most of their money back up front form tax payers. Which is far more than they would ever have got otherwise, without a socialised payout from EU governments.

          • Gosman 16.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps but you will have to ask the Eurozone governments why they agreed to such a rescue package back in 2010 and 2012. The fact remains though they did and the result id Greece owes hardly anything to Private banks and a shed load to fellow European nations. Perhaps Greece should pursue financial redress against the Banks via the international legal system. Do you think that would solve Greece’s immediate and long term structural issues?

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1.1

              This whole situation comes from not making Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole, RBS, BNP Paribas etc. write off their Greek debt in the first place, and instead socialising their losses on to EU tax payers – which was a critical mistake.

              Good for the bank shareholders though.

              • Paul

                Not worth discussing with these Tory trolls.
                I feel sorry for them.
                Imagine having to argue the banks’ side.

                • Gosman

                  Who is arguing in favour of the Bank’s? I for one would have been happy with a much bigger haircut back in 2012 to teach the Banks the danger of lending to a nation that was so corrupt and spendthrift. You seem to ignore the facts that the issue is not about Banks anymore.

              • Gosman

                Most likely. However dwelling on the past doesn’t make the present reality go away.

  17. Clean_power 17

    Am I wrong in remembering that Syriza and Mr Tsipras were lauded as heros of the Left when they gained political power a few months ago? Some people could not contain the superlatives. Famous yesterday, infamous today. How quickly things change, after all.

    • Actually, nobody with a brain sees it that way. Syrisa were always up against it and they did their best to repair the damage done by the right internally and externally. Good on them for putting up a fight. For a few months Greece lived under hope, and that won’t be forgotten.

      • Gosman 17.1.1

        Hmmm… That is not how I seem to remember it. If memory serves me correct many here were lauding the election of Syriza as some sort os sea change against neo-liberal right wing fascists blah blah economics/politics. When I pointed out that it would unlikely make a blind bit of difference to the outcome because Greece had very little options I was castigated as a know nothing fool who didn’t understand the true power of the left (or words to that effect).

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          The powerful in Europe wanted to crush Greece as an example to other countries, and they have succeeded.

          Cheer them on for their win, Gossie, cheer them on.

          • Gosman 17.1.1.1.1

            Please advise me why countries like Finland and the Baltic states (the nations most opposed to extra help for Greece) qualify as powerful?

            By the way here is the link to the Blog post and associated comment thread when Syriza was first elected back in January.

            Greece to reclaim its future?

            Makes interesting reading.

        • The lost sheep 17.1.1.2

          I was castigated as a know nothing fool who didn’t understand the true power of the left

          That’s pretty much how I remember it too Gosman.

          Pity it’s against the TS policy for anyone to ever concede they were wrong. Would be quite a few lining up to concede you were right on the money if so.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.2.1

            As I recall, it was a few individuals who (probably drawing from experience) said Gossie was full of it. The Standard, being a machine, doesn’t have an opinion, you see.

            Other voices from the Left have pointed out that the Troika’s policies have done little but increase Greece’s liability.

            The emperor, poor fellow, has no clothes.

  18. Gosman 18

    From that link Tracey very kindly transcribed a Guardian Online interview with Mr Tsipras. The most pertinent question and answer for the current situation went as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Well I suppose they tried to change some things at least but looks like they have no chance of staying in power.

  19. Mike the Savage One 19

    107 total comments so far, and about 32 or 33 from ‘Gosman’ alone, wow, what “balance” of discussion we have. I wonder who pays our “friend” to spend so much time on this thread, same as others, and some other progressive blogs.

    But as for “Greekment”, this is not an “agreement” on equal terms.

    Even ordinary citizens can use bankruptcy laws to get some protection and a chance to get back on their feet, and not be punished with eternal de-facto “slavery” and being disowned for decades to come.

    I feel sorry for the Greek people, who suffer from not only some corrupt business magnates, some corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, but now more so from “banksters” trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

    • Paul 19.1

      I know.
      The only interesting thing is which posts he is paid to frequent the most.
      There are clearly some subjects his masters want him to derail more than others.

      • Galeandra 19.1.1

        Well, as others have said, don’t engage with Gosman. He adds little extra in the way of ideas or information to any thread that I’ve read, and his views are predictable right wing ones which anyone could supply by rote if they were needed.
        He’s not clever enough to derail a thread, so I guess he’s just here stirring for fun.

    • Reddelusion 19.2

      Yep and the only one making any sense,

  20. Facetious 20

    Mr Tsipras will find tough love at home. See this http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33517252

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