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What's happening in Greece right now
#91
The Syriza project is an American crowbar designed to prise restraining German fingers off the EU printing-presses. Nothing more:

Greek parliament to vote on new cuts-for-cash plan to break deadlock

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras has submitted proposals to European creditors for €13bn worth of cuts that include rises in taxes and pension age

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/ju...k-deadlock

Quote:Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will on Friday seek the backing of MPs for a harsh new round of austerity measures totalling €13bn in an attempt to break the deadlock over its bailout.

A 13-page document sent to Greece's creditors on Thursday night outlines plans to cut fiercely protected privileges such as pensions, tax breaks for the country's islands and military spending. In exchange, Greece wants a three-year €53.5bn loan deal to save the nation from bankruptcy and kickstart its wrecked economy.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#92
THE PRICE OF TSIPRAS

BY Alexander Mercouris
10 July 2015

https://www.facebook.com/alexander.merco...6080977304

Quote:Prior to the referendum there were claims from some people that Tsipras had called it in the expectation that there would be a Yes vote so that he could then sign the bailout plan which he had rejected.

This made no sense to me since it was clear to me that if Tsipras had lost the referendum he would have been finished politically.

The truth is actually even more bizarre. It was first disclosed by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Daily Telegraph in a piece that seemed to me so weird that I couldn't quite believe its truth (I attach it below). In the hours after it appeared I was assured by several people it wasn't true.

I am afraid it turns out that it was true. I believe that the source of the story was either James Galbraith - the US economist who is advising Tsipras - or Varoufakis, and probably both of them.

It seems that Tsipras did indeed call the referendum in the belief that he would lose and the Yes vote would win. His plan was not to use the Yes vote as cover to sign the bailout plan as some had suggested. It was to use the Yes vote to resign and leave active politics.

A "national unity government" headed by Antonis Samaras would then have been formed, which would have signed the bailout plan. Syriza - minus Tsipras - would have gone into opposition. New elections would have been called, which Syriza would have lost. It would then have finally been in a position to campaign against the bailout and (possibly) demand a Grexit when the latest bailout failed.

This by the way explains the strange meeting between Samaras and the Greek President, which led to calls for a "national unity government", which had so alarmed me.

As with most overcomplicated political strategies this one ended in abject failure when the Greek people, instead of voting Yes, backed Tsipras (as they thought) by a landslide and voted No.

It is perhaps understandable that Tsipras and his political advisers (including in this connection Varoufakis) got this so completely wrong.

Before the referendum opinion polls were showing overwhelming support for retaining the euro and majority backing for accepting the bailout.

Here I am going to say something about Greek opinion polls. Though they are normally reliable I have been hearing from several people of increasing doubts that they are still so. Paul Krugman - who I believe is far more heavily involved behind the scenes than he lets on - has also publicly hinted as much on his blog and I suspect he has been told privately the same thing.

The Greek media that commissions the opinion polls is overwhelmingly oligarchic controlled and pro-EU. I am afraid it is beginning to look as if the opinion polls it has been publishing during this crisis reflects this bias - a sign by the way of how polarised opinion in Greece has become.

Anyway the fact that the actual results of the referendum proved the opinion polls so utterly wrong should act as a warning against putting any excessive trust in them.

A few months ago when Syriza won the election there is no doubt Greeks did overwhelmingly want to keep the euro. Though many still do, everything I am hearing points to a big swing away from that position, which the opinion polls are not reflecting.

Anyway, returning to Tsipras, the referendum result did not deliver him from what he has clearly come to see as an impossible situation. On the contrary, since the Greek people took him at his word, it has left him high-and-dry.

What I am hearing about Tsipras is that he is a personally charming man with good intentions. However like many charming people he relies too much on his charm, making him intellectually lazy and causing him to behave in ways that are frankly devious and manipulative.

The result is that he has brought both himself and Greece to a point of genuinely existential crisis.

As many have pointed out Tsipras got himself elected on a totally false promise that he could persuade the Europeans to ease up on austerity whilst keeping Greece in the euro. It doesn't seem to have occurred to him that if such a thing was possible previous Greek governments would have done it.

In the event, when it became clear that it was not possible he had a clear choice: either capitulate or go for a Grexit. Either would have meant breaking an election promise but he would not have been the first leader elected to have done so.

Since his promise to end austerity and bring growth back to the economy was what caused the Greek people to vote for him in the first place, political and economic logic should have pointed him towards a Grexit.

Had he at that point engaged in conventional diplomacy instead of grandstanding he would have quickly discovered that in seeking an orderly Grexit he had in Wolfgang Schauble a powerful ally capable of trumping any obstruction from elsewhere in Europe and from the European Commission and the ECB.

It is possible to see how the outlines of an agreement for an orderly Grexit might have been reached had a more conventional and clearheaded approach been taken.

The Russians could have helped with the technical issues of creating a new currency, whose problems Varoufakis is exaggerating (see below) - one should not mistake an alibi for a failure to do something as the truth.

Schauble could have put together a coalition - possibly including the Chinese and the Russians - to provide Greece with the necessary bridging finance to support the new currency.

Schauble could also have made sure that the ECB continued to provide liquidity support to the Greek banks until the new currency was up and running and the job could be taken over by the Bank of Greece.

To those who doubt whether Schauble would have done any of these things the short answer is that he has been pushing for months to do all these things.

Regardless there was no sense in demonising the most powerful Finance Minister in Europe, turning him from a potential ally into an enemy, when there was no Plan B.

As for the US, it could have been appeased with pledges of Greece's continued loyalty to the EU and NATO, whilst the international financial community could have been given promises that Greece would continue to cooperate with the IMF to carry out "reforms" so as to be able to resume its debt payments later. Some of these reforms are actually needed and who knows IMF help might even have helped with them.

More probably, with a Grexit the whole "reform" agenda - and the debt repayments - would have been quietly shelved.

A strong and self confident politician such as Greece has had in the past (eg. Kapodistrias, Trikoupis or Venizelos) could have done it. Unfortunately Tsipras is simply not cut from that cloth.

The result is that we now have the worst of all worlds with Greece facing either an indefinite prolongation of austerity or a chaotic Grexit for which it has not been prepared. Of the two I still definitely prefer the latter despite the very real horror it will cause since at least it offers some hope of an eventual end. Tsipras's amateurism and incompetence however means that either way the decision is no longer in Greece's hands.

Meanwhile there is a serious risk of a political collapse. Most Greeks have not yet fully understood that their government is now signing up to an even tougher austerity package than they one they rejected in the referendum last Sunday. When they do the legitimacy crisis some talk about will hit home hard.

Tsipras himself is toast and I cannot see his Syriza party holding together for much longer. The problem is that 5 years of austerity have hollowed out the political system. There is no obvious alternative other than a return to the discredited old oligarch parties.

Many young people in particular will feel betrayed. Many will emigrate but in a country as politically divided as Greece, further alienation of the young is potentially dangerous.

It is easy to see how many young people could become attracted to parties like Golden Dawn or the KKE or (much more probably) whatever new left wing party splinters from Syriza.

However given Greece's history there is also a very real risk of a return of political violence with some young people turning to terrorism. It is little more than a decade since political terrorism ended in Greece, when it already had the sympathy of many young people. Some of them are now certainly angry enough to return to that as I have experienced from occasional bruising encounters myself.

It is also unfortunately true that Tsipras's incompetence has severely weakened Europe's emerging anti-austerity front. There must be serious questions now whether Podemos will win in Spain or whether Marine Le Pen (whom Syriza gratuitously insulted) will win in France given the disaster that an anti-austerity party has led to in Greece.

I was never a supporter Tsipras or of Syriza and I have never hidden my doubts and concerns about them since before the election that brought them to power. With a heavy heart I have to say that they have all come true - and with a vengeance.

I am truly sorry because I never wished Tsipras or Syriza ill. However it is the people of Greece - and of Europe - that are going to pay the price.

-------------------------
From the Daily Telegraph:

Quote:Like a tragedy from Euripides, the long struggle between Greece and Europe's creditor powers is reaching a cataclysmic end that nobody planned, nobody seems able to escape, and that threatens to shatter the greater European order in the process.

Greek premier Alexis Tsipras never expected to win Sunday's referendum on EMU bail-out terms, let alone to preside over a blazing national revolt against foreign control.

He called the snap vote with the expectation - and intention - of losing it. The plan was to put up a good fight, accept honourable defeat, and hand over the keys of the Maximos Mansion, leaving it to others to implement the June 25 "ultimatum" and suffer the opprobrium.

This ultimatum came as a shock to the Greek cabinet. They thought they were on the cusp of a deal, bad though it was. Mr Tsipras had already made the decision to acquiesce to austerity demands, recognizing that Syriza had failed to bring about a debtors' cartel of southern EMU states and had seriously misjudged the mood across the eurozone.

Instead they were confronted with a text from the creditors that upped the ante, demanding a rise in VAT on tourist hotels from 7pc (de facto) to 23pc at a single stroke.

Creditors insisted on further pension cuts of 1pc of GDP by next year and a phase out of welfare assistance (EKAS) for poorer pensioners, even though pensions have already been cut by 44pc.

They insisted on fiscal tightening equal to 2pc of GDP in an economy reeling from six years of depression and devastating hysteresis. They offered no debt relief. The Europeans intervened behind the scenes to suppress a report by the International Monetary Fund validating Greece's claim that its debt is "unsustainable". The IMF concluded that the country not only needs a 30pc haircut to restore viability, but also €52bn of fresh money to claw its way out of crisis.

They rejected Greek plans to work with the OECD on market reforms, and with the International Labour Organisation on collective bargaining laws. They stuck rigidly to their script, refusing to recognise in any way that their own Dickensian prescriptions have been discredited by economists from across the world.

"They just didn't want us to sign. They had already decided to push us out," said the now-departed finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

So Syriza called the referendum. To their consternation, they won, igniting the great Greek revolt of 2015, the moment when the people finally issued a primal scream, daubed their war paint, and formed the hoplite phalanx.

Mr Tsipras is now trapped by his success. "The referendum has its own dynamic. People will revolt if he comes back from Brussels with a shoddy compromise," said Costas Lapavitsas, a Syriza MP.

"Tsipras doesn't want to take the path of Grexit, but I think he realizes that this is now what lies straight ahead of him," he said.

What should have been a celebration on Sunday night turned into a wake. Mr Tsipras was depressed, dissecting all the errors that Syriza has made since taking power in January, talking into the early hours.

The prime minister was reportedly told that the time had come to choose, either he should seize on the momentum of the 61pc landslide vote, and take the fight to the Eurogroup, or yield to the creditor demands - and give up the volatile Mr Varoufakis in the process as a token of good faith.

"They just didn't want us to sign. They had already decided to push us out"

Everybody knew what a fight would mean. The inner cabinet had discussed the details a week earlier at a tense meeting after the European Central Bank refused to increase liquidity (ELA) to the Greek banking system, forcing Syriza to impose capital controls.

It was a triple plan. They would "requisition" the Bank of Greece and sack the governor under emergency national laws. The estimated €17bn of reserves still stashed away in various branches of the central bank would be seized.

They would issue parallel liquidity and California-style IOUs denominated in euros to keep the banking system afloat, backed by an appeal to the European Court of Justice to throw the other side off balance, all the while asserting Greece's full legal rights as a member of the eurozone. If the creditors forced Grexit, they - not Greece - would be acting illegally, with implications for tort contracts in London, New York and even Frankfurt.

They would impose a haircut on €27bn of Greek bonds held by the ECB, and deemed "odious debt" by some since the original purchases were undertaken by the ECB to save French and German banks, forestalling a market debt restructuring that would otherwise have happened.

"They were trying to strangle us into submission, and this is how we would retaliate," said one cabinet minister. Mr Tsipras rejected the plan. It was too dangerous. But a week later, that is exactly what he may have to do, unless he prefers to accept a forced return to the drachma.
Syriza has been in utter disarray for 36 hours. On Tuesday, the Greek side turned up for a make-or-break summit in Brussels with no plans at all, even though Germany and its allies warned them at the outset that this is their last chance to avert ejection.

The new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, vaguely offered to come up with something by Wednesday, almost certainly a rejigged version of plans that the creditors have already rejected.

Events are now spinning out of control. The banks remain shut. The ECB has maintained its liquidity freeze, and through its inaction is asphyxiating the banking system.

Factories are shutting down across the country as stocks of raw materials run out and containers full of vitally-needed imports clog up Greek ports. Companies cannot pay their suppliers because external transfers are blocked. Private scrip currencies are starting to appear as firms retreat to semi-barter outside the banking system.

"We have to put our little egos, in my case a very large ego, away, and deal with situation we face"

Yet if Greece is in turmoil, so is Europe. The entire leadership of the eurozone warned before the referendum that a "No" vote would lead to ejection from the euro, never supposing that they might have to face exactly this.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission's chief, had the wit to make light of his retreat. "We have to put our little egos, in my case a very large ego, away, and deal with situation we face," he said.

France's prime minister, Manuel Valls said Grexit and the rupture of monetary union must be prevented as the highest strategic imperative.

"We cannot let Greece leave the eurozone. Nobody can say today what the political consequences would be, what would be the reaction of the Greek people," he said.

French leaders are working in concert with the White House. Washington is bringing its immense diplomatic power to bear, calling openly on the EU to put "Greece on a path toward debt sustainability" and sort out the festering problem once and for all.

The Franco-American push is backed by Italy's Matteo Renzi, who said the eurozone has to go back to the drawing board and rethink its whole austerity doctrine after the democratic revolt in Greece. He too now backs debt relief.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#93
GREECE IN THE MINCER

By Alexander Mercouris

12 July 2015

https://www.facebook.com/alexander.merco...5654249680

Quote:Having capitulated yet again despite his referendum "victory", Tsipras now finds himself in exactly the same position he was in when he capitulated before just a few weeks ago when he accepted the IMF-EU's demands only to be faced with new demands, which caused him to call the referendum.

With the Germans and the French now quarrelling, they are looking for compromise with each other at the expense of the Greeks.
Another way of putting it would be to say what I have said previously - Tsipras finds himself in the same position as someone being blackmailed. The moment he submits to the blackmailer, the blackmailer steps up his demands.

To be clear the demands now being made of Greeks even by the so-called "moderates" who want to keep it in the Eurozone (France, Italy and the EU Commission) go far beyond what was being asked of Greece when Tsipras and Syriza were elected.

Moreover what I am hearing is that this time Tsipras and Tsakalotos are meekly conceding everything that is being demanded of them. Since they have made no preparations for a Plan B (i.e. a Grexit) they presumably feel they have no choice.

Lost in any of this is any understanding within the EU - except possibly on the part of Wolfgang Schauble - that what has failed repeatedly over the last 5 years is hardly going to succeed now.

I remember when Syriza came to power Varoufakis said that it made absolutely no sense to lend more money to a bankrupt country and that doing so would make the situation still worse. Yet that is exactly what the government of which until a week ago he was a member is now doing by asking for another 50-80 billion euros (!) as part of a third bailout package.

Is there anyone who seriously believes that Greece will ever be able to pay back this money? Is there anyone who honestly thinks Greece will be able to run a primary budget surplus of 3.5% from 2018, which is what is now being demanded? Does anyone honestly think that trying to run a primary budget surplus of that scale will not push Greece into even deeper recession?

Yet this is the lunacy we are now looking at - all because the leadership of the "revolutionary" Syriza party cannot bring itself to take the step of seriously contemplating a Grexit.

Meanwhile claims that Tsipras had at least secured a debt write-off, which I can now reveal I was given in a furious telephone conversation I had with someone in Athens a few days ago, have as I said in that call proved to be so much hot air.

Schauble has emphatically ruled the idea out saying (falsely) that it is incompatible with membership of the Eurozone.

Anyone anyway who seriously thinks that the Europeans would simultaneously lend Greece the 50-80 billion euros the Greeks are now asking for and write-off a large part of Greece's debt is living in the land of the fairies.

As it happens the proposal for a write-off appears nowhere in any of the proposals the Greeks have made (which were drawn up for them by the French because they were incapable of doing it themselves) and apparently the issue is not even a subject for discussion.

The referendum was Tsipras's last chance. Once it was clear the Greek people - and the overwhelming majority of those under 35 - could stand austerity no longer, his only proper course was to negotiate a Grexit as soon as it became clear that the Europeans were not going to budge.

Instead - because he never planned to win the referendum in the first place - he did the diametric opposite with the unfolding disaster we are seeing now.

In the midst of all the madness I note with relief that there is one island of sanity left.

Reports coming out of Russia confirm that the government there is preparing plans to supply energy directly to Greece and that this will start "shortly".

http://tass.ru/en/economy/807949

I interpret this to mean that the Russians are in their quiet and practical way preparing plans for the emergency supply of energy to Greece in the event of a chaotic Grexit - a contingency that no one else shows any sign of preparing for.

I am constantly asked why I take such an interest in Russian affairs. I have never be able to come up with a fully satisfactory answer even for myself.

This news - combining a tough minded practical realism with a basic humanity refreshingly free of sermonising and posturing - perhaps provides the answer
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#94
What Tsipras sold out for was at least 5 times that and then some.

Paul Rigby Wrote:The Syriza project is an American crowbar designed to prise restraining German fingers off the EU printing-presses. Nothing more:

Greek parliament to vote on new cuts-for-cash plan to break deadlock

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras has submitted proposals to European creditors for €13bn worth of cuts that include rises in taxes and pension age

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/ju...k-deadlock

Quote:Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will on Friday seek the backing of MPs for a harsh new round of austerity measures totalling €13bn in an attempt to break the deadlock over its bailout.

A 13-page document sent to Greece's creditors on Thursday night outlines plans to cut fiercely protected privileges such as pensions, tax breaks for the country's islands and military spending. In exchange, Greece wants a three-year €53.5bn loan deal to save the nation from bankruptcy and kickstart its wrecked economy.


Oh, and look here, no, actually don't look here. Nothing to see here. Move along now.

Quote: [TABLE]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"][/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


Fund they want to transfer the Greek property is managed by the ... Schaeuble



"In addition, valuable assets in Greece (almost 50 bn. Euros) will be transferred to an existing external and independent fund, as the Institution for Growth in Luxembourg, to be privatized in the long term and reduce the debt"
Newsroom
Sunday, July 12, 2015

[Image: soble1436746014.jpg]
Aris Oikonomou / SOOC


The idea of foreign fund in Luxembourg, up to 50 billion euros in Greek public property is a decision of the leaders at the summit. If no agreement could be offered in Greece negotiated a time-out from the euro zone, with a possible debt restructuring Valuable Greek assets of [EUR 50 bn] shall be transferred to an existing external and independent fund like the Institution for Growth in Luxembourg , to BE privatized and Decrease debt. "In addition, valuable assets in Greece (almost 50 bn. euros) will be transferred to an existing external and independent fund, as the Institution for Growth in Luxembourg, to be privatized in the long term and reduce debt ". The Institution for Growth has in the council of the same German Finance Minister, the Second. Schaeuble, as can be seen here . Provided that alternately chaired by the finance minister and the finance minister of Germany. The discussion about it had already done in 2014 ( here ), but then transferred money. What is this bank? Created to manage the resources of the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of the German economy and is involved anymore in more than 1600 projects abroad in developing economies. It is a German state bank to reserve half a trillion , ie approximately twice as much as the World Bank. In 2011 he lent 70 billion, taking on international markets at low interest rates, thanks to evaluate Adam has. O Leon Macioszek explains that if the state invested 1.5 billion there, it takes 3 to 4 billion. In Greece already involved in the financing of lignite plant in Ptolemaida, for which they have expressed environmental concerns . The most important information but it gave 300 million euros to Lehman Brothers on the same day that went bankrupt. The Bild, which we all know and love, wrote then that "the most stupid German bank." Not all were convinced that it was a mistake. We are confident that our money is in good hands and honestly.







"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#95

What Assets Did Greece Just Hand Over To Europe: "Airports, Airplanes, Infrastructure And Most Certainly Banks"


And islands. Lot's of them.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
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#96
John Pilger nails it:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/13/t...-is-a-lie/


The Problem of Greece is not Only a Tragedy: It is a Lie

by John Pilger


An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week's landslide "No" vote and secretly agreed a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a "bailout" that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least 13 billion euros from the public purse 4 billion euros more than the "austerity" figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in a referendum on 5 July.

These reportedly include a 50 per cent increase in the cost of healthcare for pensioners, almost 40 per cent of whom live in poverty; deep cuts in public sector wages; the complete privatization of public facilities such as airports and ports; a rise in value added tax to 23 per cent, now applied to the Greek islands where people struggle to eke out a living. There is more to come.

"Anti-austerity party sweeps to stunning victory", declared a Guardian headline on January 25. "Radical leftists" the paper called Tsipras and his impressively-educated comrades. They wore open neck shirts, and the finance minister rode a motorbike and was described as a "rock star of economics". It was a façade. They were not radical in any sense of that cliched label, neither were they "anti austerity".

For six months Tsipras and the recently discarded finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, shuttled between Athens and Brussels, Berlin and the other centres of European money power. Instead of social justice for Greece, they achieved a new indebtedness, a deeper impoverishment that would merely replace a systemic rottenness based on the theft of tax revenue by the Greek super-wealthy in accordance with European "neo-liberal" values and cheap, highly profitable loans from those now seeking Greece's scalp.

Greece's debt, reports an audit by the Greek parliament, "is illegal, illegitimate and odious". Proportionally, it is less than 30 per cent that of the debit of Germany, its major creditor. It is less than the debt of European banks whose "bailout" in 2007-8 was barely controversial and unpunished.

For a small country such as Greece, the euro is a colonial currency: a tether to a capitalist ideology so extreme that even the Pope pronounces it "intolerable" and "the dung of the devil". The euro is to Greece what the US dollar is to remote territories in the Pacific, whose poverty and servility is guaranteed by their dependency.

In their travels to the court of the mighty in Brussels and Berlin, Tsipras and Varoufakis presented themselves neither as radicals nor "leftists" nor even honest social democrats, but as two slightly upstart supplicants in their pleas and demands. Without underestimating the hostility they faced, it is fair to say they displayed no political courage. More than once, the Greek people found out about their "secret austerity plans" in leaks to the media: such as a 30 June letter published in the Financial Times, in which Tsipras promised the heads of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF to accept their basic, most vicious demands which he has now accepted.

When the Greek electorate voted "no" on 5 July to this very kind of rotten deal, Tsipras said, "Come Monday and the Greek government will be at the negotiating table after the referendum with better terms for the Greek people". Greeks had not voted for "better terms". They had voted for justice and for sovereignty, as they had done on January 25.

The day after the January election a truly democratic and, yes, radical government would have stopped every euro leaving the country, repudiated the "illegal and odious" debt as Argentina did successfully and expedited a plan to leave the crippling Eurozone. But there was no plan. There was only a willingness to be "at the table" seeking "better terms".

The true nature of Syriza has been seldom examined and explained. To the foreign media it is no more than "leftist" or "far left" or "hardline" the usual misleading spray. Some of Syriza's international supporters have reached, at times, levels of cheer leading reminiscent of the rise of Barack Obama. Few have asked: Who are these "radicals"? What do they believe in?

In 2013, Yanis Varoufakis wrote: "Should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising capitalism? To me, the answer is clear. Europe's crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism …

"I bow to the criticism that I have campaigned on an agenda founded on the assumption that the left was, and remains, squarely defeated …. Yes, I would love to put forward [a] radical agenda. But, no, I am not prepared to commit the [error of the British Labour Party following Thatcher's victory].

"What good did we achieve in Britain in the early 1980s by promoting an agenda of socialist change that British society scorned while falling headlong into Thatcher's neoliberal trip? Precisely none. What good will it do today to call for a dismantling of the Eurozone, of the European Union itself …?"

Varoufakis omits all mention of the Social Democratic Party that split the Labour vote and led to Blairism. In suggesting people in Britain "scorned socialist change" when they were given no real opportunity to bring about that change he echoes Blair.

The leaders of Syriza are revolutionaries of a kind but their revolution is the perverse, familiar appropriation of social democratic and parliamentary movements by liberals groomed to comply with neo-liberal drivel and a social engineering whose authentic face is that of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's finance minister, an imperial thug. Like the Labour Party in Britain and its equivalents among former social democratic parties such as the Labor Party in Australia, still describing themselves as "liberal" or even "left", Syriza is the product of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, "schooled in postmodernism", as Alex Lantier wrote.

For them, class is the unmentionable, let alone an enduring struggle, regardless of the reality of the lives of most human beings. Syriza's luminaries are well-groomed; they lead not the resistance that ordinary people crave, as the Greek electorate has so bravely demonstrated, but "better terms" of a venal status quo that corrals and punishes the poor. When merged with "identity politics" and its insidious distractions, the consequence is not resistance, but subservience. "Mainstream" political life in Britain exemplifies this.

This is not inevitable, a done deal, if we wake up from the long, postmodern coma and reject the myths and deceptions of those who claim to represent us, and fight.


John Pilger can be reached through his website: http://www.johnpilger.com
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”
― Leo Tolstoy,
Reply
#97
Screw the cradle of Western civilization. The banksters will plunder and loot it all.

http://time.com/3956017/greece-bailout-selloff/

Of all the aspects of Monday's bailout deal that Greeks found humiliating, nothing drilled into their sense of pride quite like their government's promise to sell off "valuable Greek assets" to the tune of 50 billion euros. The seven-page agreement, which European leaders thrashed out over the weekend, made no mention of where Greece is supposed to find that much property to sell. But as they scrambled for options, officials in Athens saw no way around the blood-curdling prospect of auctioning off Greek islands, nature preserves or even ancient ruins.

"It's an affront," says Georgios Daremas, a strategist and adviser to the Greek Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Social Solidarity. "It's basically saying sell the memory of your ancestors, sell your history just so we can get something commercial for it," he tells TIME on Monday. "This is an idea to humiliate Greeks."

The idea of selling the Acropolis came up early in Greece's debt crisis. In 2010, two conservative German lawmakers caused a furor in Greece by suggesting that ancient ruins should not be off limits to privatization. "Those in insolvency have to sell everything they have to pay their creditors," Josef Schlarmann, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party, said at the time. Since publishing those remarks, the Bild newspaper, Germany's most popular tabloid, has continued to irritate Greeks by asking why the Acropolis cannot be sold to repay debts to Germany.
Reply
#98
He came in like this:

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=7204&stc=1]

And now he deserves what Mussolini got:

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=7205&stc=1]


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"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
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#99
I don't think Tsipras will be doing any zipping around on his motor scooter alone in the streets of Athens any more. I suspect there will be a nice safe job for him on a corporate payroll somewhere outside Greece.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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What a terrible sellout. It proves that no politician is to be trusted or believed because their allegiance is to the prevailing system and they merely smirk at the concept of honesty.

To be perfectly honest, I thought following the referendum they would have to follow the will of the public. But no. They went against it.

This more than anything else I can think of demonstrates today what democracy amounts to.

Absolutely fookin' zero.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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