I feel great empathy for the Greeks, who are showing the world how the world works. This privatization of wealth/socialization of risk model HAS TO GO!
The Greeks are the one’s in position to blackmail the EU. All they have to do is flirt with Russia and China, make noise like they will lease them an island for a naval base in exchange for a bailout, and the EU will freak! The EU will have to bail them out further, no matter what the Greeks say or do, or that whole crappy structure will collapse along with the euro. I have to hand it to the Greeks, they know how to play high stakes poker with the best of them.
Let’s hear it for real democracy. I await the people’s decision. And don’t both those ideas sound just outrageously radical?
Yes! Democratic decisions in the cradle of democracy. I’m certain the people will reject this extortion!
Let the people decide !!!
No leaders to blame or glorify. The people will abide by their own decisions. Continuing popular referendums would shape the world, not a tiny rich and powerful few.
Let’s hope they don’t have voting machines. Go
Greece! The whole (99%) world is behind you! We love you!
Throw the money changers and the neo-liberlism usury parasites out of Greece and declare your own debt jubilee.
Beyond “Fast Track,” we need to demand access to and a referendum on the TPP.
I see it more like a cancer that needs to be surgically removed and pain and recovery time unfortunately are part of that process.
Good idea. Now, contrast this to the secretive negotiations in the USA regarding TPP. Not too late to tell the Troika to f-off and go the way of Iceland.
That’s a clever idea, and one that would work, I bet. I wonder whether they’ve considered that yet.
Helena Smith refers to Greece’s receiving €240 billion (around $269 billion) as “the biggest rescue programme in global financial history.” Wikipedia provides a table showing annual U.S. Defense Budget figures since 1996, as gleaned from “Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2015” (United States Government Publishing Office. 2015). It shows the U.S. Defense Budget at $266 bn in 1996, $270 bn in 1997, thus surpassing Greece´s “rescue programme” by nearly $2 bn. The Defense budget is then shown to increase every year to a high of $721 bn in 2010, after which it drops down to a 2015 estimate of $637 bn. For FY 2015 the National Priorities Project shows $598.49 billion in discretionary spending being allocated to military spending, and $609.3 bn in total discretionary, mandatory and interest spending, or $27 bn less than the earlier cited Defense budget estimate for FY 2015. Now, I don´t want to be accused of blurring distinctions or making unfounded accusations, but I´ve got a creeping suspicion that there´s a species of serious economic rescue built into all this, perhaps to a far greater tune than the “biggest rescue programme in global financial history” of $268 bn for Greece. So, I´d appreciate whatever help those of you with keener financial minds than mine could offer to clarify these matters for me. Thanks and God bless!
[quote=“JonnyJames, post:11, topic:10070, full:true”]
“I think the devil is in the details here. The referendum will present people with a black and white, take it or leave it choice”
The answer is not one referendum, but a series of continuing referendums to address each issue as it comes up. This is something much easier to accomplish today with the help of modern electronics and encryption as an adjunct to older, unsafe voting methods. Leaving things in the hands of oligarchy politicians is and always has been a recipe for disaster.
I wrote something about this a couple of days ago (where I also called the referendum play) but Russia is probably not an option at this point because of the pressure they’re getting over the Ukraine. China might still be in play, but things are tense there, too, what with the goofy escalation of the island territory claims going on and military threats flying. and, of course, the chinese human rights report just released probably didn’t help relations there, either.
Syriza is led by some very smart people, and all of this I’m sure they’ve considered, tried, and ultimately rejected. The game has always been to get the Greek people off the fence about their desire to remain Greece while also in the EU, a contradiction that is becoming more stark for a lot of European countries by the day.
Understand that there are many things in motion here: not just the domination of the Troika, but also the longer term viability of a real left party in Greece (PASOK is a joke), so they had to consider making sure Syriza could survive getting toppled.
The only way ultimately for Syriza to go–and I think even the cretin Germans understand this to some extent–is to get the Greek people to make a fundamental decision between sovereignty or membership in a club that despises them.
Now they get to make that choice. And now things are finally getting interesting. I hope they choose correctly.
My semi-educated understanding is that Greece is more deeply afflicted with entrenched predatory wealth, also with longstanding ties to the Greek military. So “the way of Iceland” is much more likely to be interrupted by these bad actors in Greece, with tragic consequences.
The article only has one problem. It refers to Greece being bailed. Contrary claims that Greece received the largest bailout ever, Greece has not received a penny of bailout. Before the crash, Greek politicians (mostly conservatives) disguised some of their debt as investments in derivatives. That is, it look as if they were investing money when in reality they were borrowing money. That allowed Greece to pile up a debt they could never pay back. When PASOK the moderate social democratic party was elected after the 2008 crash they of course soon noticed this fraud, and revealed immediately. At that point the banks held worthless Greek debt (essentially bonds) that they would never save a penny of. This was mostly German and French banks. The EU and the French and German governments agreed to bail out the banks by committing to buy these worthless papers over the course of a year. They insisted on a 40% discount (which is counted in public discourse as a bailout of Greece). Really they were bailing out Greece. But Greece still could not pay the interest on the remaining debt. That would have been impossible. So, the Troika (ECB, EU and IMF) lent them the money to pay most of the interest on the debt. In return, they insisted on Greece paying back slightly more than was lent to them, also instituting vairous austerity measures. So neither the initial write-off nor any of the funds subsequently lent to Greece ever benefited the Greek people. On net every cent euro when to the banks and bit besides. The austerity measures required of Greece in return for being allowed to launder the Troika bailout of its banks was devastating and resulted in constant shrinkage of the Greek economy. I know everyone commenting here so far is as sympathetic to Greece as I am, but I thought that this point might be useful to know.
The Greek people should look to Argentina for inspiration (Argentina chose bankruptcy in 2001 and in short order saw its struggling economy accelerate, once free of onerous debt to the global bankers), and to Russia and China for help.
They are doomed to a kind of neo-colonial status in Europe if they continue to let the Troika dictate debt terms to them.
The Greeks are screwed no matter what happens. Leaving the Euro may appear a clever move, but a transition to the Drachma would be catastrophic for them too, and I’m sure when the different scenarios are costed and presented at the referendum, the Greeks may not be as enthusiastic about leaving as you might think.
A Greek tragedy if ever there was one…