Greece

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NorthReport
Greece

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NorthReport

I'm tired of the BS in the msp.

What actually happened and what is going on here?

Is it as I suspect, and often the cause of these situations, in that the rich just have not been paying their fair share of the taxes.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/02/15/f-vp-stewart-greece.html

NDPP

The New Mediterranean Oil and Gas Bonanza Part II - by F William Engdahl

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/03/04/the-new-mediterranean-oil-gas...

"The discovery in late 2010 of the huge natural gas bonanza off Israel's [and Gaza-Lebanon] Mediterranean shoes triggered other neighboring countries to look more closely at their own waters. Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and potentially Syria..

Tulane University expert David Hynes told an audience in Athens recently that Greece could potentially solve its entire public debt crisis through development of its new-found gas and oil...

Notably the IMF and EU governments, among them Germany, demand instead that Greece sell off its valuable ports and public companies, among them of course, Greek state oil companies, to reduce state debt.."

NDPP

Reminder: Austerity Doesn't Work! (and vid)

http://rt.com/programs/big-picture/reminder-austerity-work-thom/

"Thom talks with economist Richard Wolff about the endless economic problems facing Greece and whether their economic devastation is heading to the US.." (This segment is about 31:00 min in )

Hedge Funds Speculate on Greek Default

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/gree-m08.shtml

"...What is already clear, however, is that three and a half years after the Wall Street crash the most aggressive sectors of speculative finance capital have been able to significantly expand their activities and influence. Furthermore, the global financial system, far from having been stabilized by massive injections of public funds, is inexorably heading toward an even deeper crisis.."

NDPP

Moody's: Greece Has Defaulted

http://rt.com/news/moody-s-greece-default-debt-241/

"Moody's Investors Service considers Greece to have defaulted per its default definitions. Greece is experiencing its worst economic crisis since World War II and has been on the brink of a default with debt equal to 160 percent of its GDP.."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..here's more on the default.

Financial organisations declare Greece to be in default

Immediately after Greece struck a deal with its creditors late Thursday night, European Union officials hailed the agreement as an important step toward alleviating the European debt crisis. French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that the Greek problem was settled and added that a “page in the financial crisis is turning.”

A closer look at the deal reached Thursday, however, reveals it to be a further step in shifting the burden of the financial crisis onto the public purse, i.e., the taxpayers, while deepening the agony of the population in Greece and Europe as a whole.

Just a few hours after the agreement had been finalised, following frantic haggling between international financial organisations and the Greek government, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), comprising 15 global banks and investment funds, announced that the deal involved a so-called “credit event.” The ISDA argued that Greece had forced nearly 10 percent of its creditors to accept a haircut on their bond holdings by invoking so-called collective action clauses, resulting in a default on its debts.

This means those hedge funds and banks that insured against a Greek default by means of credit default swaps (CDS) are eligible for payment. The payout of CDS due to the default of a euro country sets a precedent that is expected to drive up interest payments on the sovereign debt of larger European economies such as Spain and Italy. The announcement by the ISDA was followed by statements from the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch concurring that the Greek debt swap represented a default.

Far from warding off insolvency, Thursday’s deal represents a significant step towards the official bankruptcy of Greece....

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29707

NDPP

The Greek Crisis Is Only The Beginning  - by Nick Beams

http://wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/pers-m19.shtml

"...Recalling the methods first developed by British imperialism in the nineteenth century, Greece has been turned into a virtual semi-colony of international finance capital. In all the mass media reportage, the operations of the global financial elite and the debt crisis are shrouded in mystifying and arcane language. But the essential class content is clear: the sovereign debt crisis and the consequent gutting of social spending is one of the central mechanisms of a worldwide social counterrevolution.."

Fidel

Geithner Turfed Out by EU Bankers March 13 (A podcast interview with renegade economist Michael Hudson)

At about 11:33 into the interview Hudson explains what happened, in layman's terms and he's good at it,  at a meeting between EU bankers and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner at the beginning of March. All in all it sounds like Obama will be screwing U.S. taxpayers to pay EU bankers for the insurance they bought from Wall St casino banks to cover Greek debt defaults. In Hudson's terms, they told Geithner to Get the hell out of here, you bastard. And it sounds like more of the same ongoing financial warfare between Obama's real constituents on Wall Street and EU banksters. Goldman Sachs is a crime gang. Bank of America is a crime gang. And EU bankers are even more the fascists.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

How the Greek economy shares a pie


A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.
Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937)


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Go to hell!

I just read this post by a well-known Greek blogger, Kartesios. I decided to translate it (the link to the original post is here). The illustration is by Manos Symeonakis and I decided to add it here with the text below. It’s dedicated to those who believe that the recent haircut saved Greece from bankruptcy. I don’t know about the economy and the banks, but the society and the welfare state (what?) is already bankrupt. Here you go with Kartesios’ post:

...........

I haven’t been writing for the past couple of days because I thought I’d get over it, I’ll calm down and won’t swear. I hoped that if I start writing I won’t be moved, I won’t cry like an idiot. But apparently this is not possible.

It’s not possible because it’s not something that I was told of but something that I lived. He was looking me straight in the eyes and telling me “I’m gonna sell my kidney, mate, but I’ll save her”. He was angry and decided about it. I knew he meant it.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

On yogurts as a form of political protest in Greece

The co-ruling PASOK party had its national conference today. Its goal is to elect the new party leader who will succeed George Papandreou and will lead the Socialists in the coming elections. The candidates are Christos Papoutsis and Evangelos Venizelos. At some point, an old man, member of PASOK himself, approached Venizelos, complained about the cuts in his pension and then threw him a yogurt before being carried out by bodyguards outside the hall....

http://whenthecrisishitthefan.com/2012/03/10/on-yogurts-as-a-form-of-pol...

 

NDPP

For A Reorientation of Greece

http://currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=1724

"Mr Papandreou had already begun his conspiracy against the Greek people since the summer of 2009 when he met secretly with Strauss-Kahn, with the objective of driving Greece under the domination of the IMF. The information concerning this was released by the former President of the IMF himself.

FOr the situation to reach that end, the country's real financial status had to be distorted, so that foreign Banks would become nervous and raise the loan interest rates to prohibitive figures. What followed was the systematic campaign by Mr Papandreou and the Ministry of Finance throughout Europe that lasted 5 months, during which they tried to persuade the foreigners that Greece was a Titanic about to sink.

After each of their declarations the interest rates increased, so that it became impossible for us to borrow any more, giving IMF and the European Bank the appearance of being our salvation, when in reality it was the beginning of our death..."

NorthReport

Greece may hold US$510B trump card in potential bailout talks

 

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/05/10/greece-may-hold-us510b-trum...

Sven Sven's picture

Indirectly related to Greece, Portugal's parliment has revoked four public holidays in an effort to help revive the country's ailing economy.  They are now down to twelve public holidays.

NorthReport

Hard left, eh! Laughing

Greece hurtles towards new election; hard left leads

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/11/us-greece-idUSBRE8440DG2012051...

NorthReport
flight from kamakura

i'm really looking forward to the next election, to the point of looking to go to greece to do campaign work.  this will be the first re-constructed communist party to be democratically elected since allende, and their alter-monde take on european austerity seems exactly right: they have the eu completely cornered, they can extract whatever concessions they want from the bankers, and the domino effect that's felt among norther european tax-payers will only serve further to discredit the neo-liberal consensus and anti-democratic rule that typifies the eu project.  in a funny and great way, precisely the lack of democracy that european elites have always found the most appealing feature of continental-level government is precisely what has been fundamentally discredited over the past months (in greece, and elsewhere soon) and, assuming that there are indeed new elections, the non-KKE communist coalition seems poised to capture an outright majority and to direct to make greece something like a laboratory for how to do it differently. 

small country, but the very first one.

Sven Sven's picture

No matter what happens next in Greece, the Greeks are in for a very long period of substantially lower living standards. 

Doug

I think that's generally understood. The question is whether this drags on for over a decade with austerity followed by more austerity or Greece tries something different like defaulting, which might be even nastier in the short term but at least offers hope of improvement within five years.

Fidel

Philip of Greece should offer to help them out in his birth country. I hope all his loyal subjects in Greece remember Phil for abandoning them like this. Tsk tsk.

Bacchus

Abandoning?  His father was arrested and in danger of execution when he was banished from the country. He was kicked out at a year old, he didnt abandon it. He doesn't really have any ties there since leaving at a year old and never having been back since

 

Sorry to interrupt you with facts

Fidel

I was jesting. He should buy himself a real name. I read that Phil once spent some time in Greece during his days as a dashing young man. Some girls on the beach asked him what his name is, and he replied: Philip of Greece. They couldn't believe someone would not have a proper surname and that his fake name was silly. I don't imagine he uses that handle anymore. I think he just goes by Phil.

Bacchus

Not a true story but does sound charming.  His surname was mountbattern.

Fidel

Bacchus wrote:

Not a true story but does sound charming.  His surname was mountbattern.

 

Yeah old Phil was a real charmer with the ladies apparently.  And like your previous claims to fact, Mountbatten is another fake name adopted by a family of frauds.

Bacchus

Regardless of how you may feel about them, that is his surname. He was never without a surname.

NorthReport

One more kick at the can before new elections are called

NorthReport


The extremism of Greece's centre ground

Golden Dawn has become a useful tool in the hands of those who try to equate neo-Nazism with the anti-bailout movement

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/12/extremism-greece-cen...

NorthReport

Superb article athough you may not be able to get beyond the NYT paywall.

 

Leftest Party's Rise Upends Greek Political Order

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/12/world/europe/in-greece-leftist-party-s...

Doug
Fidel

Bacchus wrote:

Regardless of how you may feel about them, that is his surname. He was never without a surname.

 

So why doesn't Charlie have the same surname as his dad and Phil's former Uncle Dickie, Leggy Mountbatten? It's pretty odd if you ask me. I still think it's a fake name.

I'm thinking of changing my legal name to Fidel Fifi Inigo Trixibelle Racer Maximillio Steven Mo cuishle Nobody THE Krrrraken-nuh! Harald Bufo Adada Bazaark of the North.  

Slumberjack

I had to do a double take before realizing it wasn't one of your usual musings.

Fidel

The superrich can't afford actual military occupations anymore. Vietnam was the first indication of that. And so now they want to be able to conquer countries with a Trojan horse named marauding international capital. I think the Greeks saw it coming, though. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://paulmasonnews.tumblr.com/post/22914870033/greece-trying-to-unders... to understand SYRIZA[/url], by Paul Mason

This is a useful backgrounder to SYRIZA. An excerpt:

Quote:
The success of SYRIZA then seems down to its ability to attract voters and activists from all these groups, eating into almost every part of the left including the old Moscow-style KKE.

In the process of negotiations over the past seven days, Tsipras and his close advisers have further upped their own credibility by being seen to play the game of constitutional negotiations; sticking to their economic rejection of austerity stance, but in general not going out of their way to alienate, rhetorically, natural PASOK, Dem Left or KKE voters.

In the NET poll, taken while Tsipras was making his doomed attempt to form an anti-austerity government of the left, SYRIZA scored 27% - compared to its election showing of 17% - clearly demonstrating that it had created momentum as the pole of attraction for left voters wanting a showdown with the EU. PASOK was losing ground to both SYRIZA and the Dem Left. Some KKE voters were saying they would switch votes to SYRIZA in a second election.

Caissa

Greece is set to go to the polls again after days of coalition talks failed to produce agreement on a new government, says the leader of the Socialist Pasok party, Evangelos Venizelos.

A final round of talks on Tuesday morning broke up without a deal.

In elections on 6 May, a majority of Greek voters backed parties opposed to austerity plans demanded by the EU and IMF in return for two bailouts.

The Greek president will appoint a caretaker government on Wednesday.

President Karolos Papoulias will meet all political leaders at 13:00 (10:00 GMT) on Wednesday to put in place an interim government until the new vote, which is expected to take place on 10 or 17 June.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18076757

NDPP

Half of Greek Cops Go Ultra-Nationalist At Elections

http://rt.com/news/greek-police-vote-nazis-350/

"More than half of all police officers in Greece voted for the far-right ultra nationalist party Golden Dawn - described by many as neo-Nazi - in the elections on May 6. This gave them a record 7 percent of the vote, securing 21 seats in parliament. It campaigned heavily on an anti-immigrant platform using the slogan 'So we can rid this land of filth'. The unprecedented rise of the far right has already caused alarm in the country.."

KenS

Brian Topp:

Understanding the crisis in Greece

This particular piece is running only in his Rabble blog, not also in the Globe.

Quote:

Canadians owe the people of Greece our solidarity in the face of this overwhelming crisis. A large Greek-Canadian community is living its consequences through their families. We also owe ourselves a detailed understanding of all of this. So that we can bear it in mind the next time a populist politician tells us that taxes can be cut easily, spending can be increased easily, and the budget can be balanced easily -- a formula we have been experimenting with recently in our modest Canadian way. Look how that is working out for Greece.

Slumberjack

Merkel:  Sacrifices had to be made

Quote:
Merkel was speaking as Greeks withdrew hundreds of millions of euros from banks, prompting the president of the country's central bank to warn that a panic was possible, but not taking place.

Greeks pulled about 800 million euros out of the banking system Tuesday, President Karolos Papoulias said, citing Central Bank Governor George Provopoulos.

"There is, of course, no panic.

KenS

This also sets in motion the spin-off of capital flight across Southern Europe. Regular folks do not have large amounts in financial institutions. Other than the paranoid among them, they'll wait to get cash and/or move their euros out of the country. But people with any means know that if [when] the crisis continues, there will be currency controls. So they start moving now when the controls are still relaxed.

Caissa

Greece will hold elections on June 17, and a court official will be appointed to head the interim government until then, Greek state television reported Wednesday.

Council of State head Panagiotis Pikramenos is to be named interim prime minister.

Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga said party leaders agreed that the interim government won't be able to make any internationally binding decisions. She spoke after a meeting of leaders convened by President Karolos Papoulias.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/05/16/greece-euro-crisis.html

West Coast Greeny

NDPP wrote:

Half of Greek Cops Go Ultra-Nationalist At Elections

http://rt.com/news/greek-police-vote-nazis-350/

"More than half of all police officers in Greece voted for the far-right ultra nationalist party Golden Dawn - described by many as neo-Nazi - in the elections on May 6. This gave them a record 7 percent of the vote, securing 21 seats in parliament. It campaigned heavily on an anti-immigrant platform using the slogan 'So we can rid this land of filth'. The unprecedented rise of the far right has already caused alarm in the country.."

Not saying we're going to see some kind of far-right coup in Greece, I really, really don't think Nazis can take power in any western country.

But that can't be good.

NDPP

I agree not good - sounds distinctly nasty. And shows you where the fascist palookas of the police are at..The knuckleheads think they know which side their bread is buttered on..

Sven Sven's picture

If you were in Greece and had some money in the bank, would you be pulling your euros out now?

Vansterdam Kid

That seems unlikely while Greece is a member of NATO and the EU. A pseudo-facist state like Hungary perhaps, but nothing so overt.

NDPP

Greece and the Global Crisis of Capitalism

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/may2012/pers-m17.shtml

"Global financial institutions have a $536 billion exposure to Greek debt, but the Institute of International Finance estimates the true global cost of a Greek exit to be closer to $1.2 trillion, entailing 'killer' losses. Wirtschaft Woche magazine says an exit would cost eurozone governments alone $300 Billion. More importantly, a Greek exit will inevitably hasten the collapse of much bigger economies that are teetering on the brink such as Spain, Portugal or Italy.."

 

Fidel

wsws.org wrote:
The proposed solution advanced by the Greek Communist Party (KKE)-exit from the euro and a return to the drachma-is also fielded by numerous international commentators. But this would still leave Greek workers at the mercy of the global financiers and keep the rule of the Greek capitalists intact, while the value of workers' homes, wages and what little savings they have would be immediately slashed by as much as 80 percent.

How much more valuable can home sweet home be? 

Overall I'm liking this solution the most. The government could start printing its own currency again, and Greeks could tell creditors they aren't paying. The country could be back to work on Monday. It could be the start of a trend.

KenS

1st Prize for Understatement:

Quote:
 

"There is, of course, no panic, but there is fear that could develop into panic. [The central bank governor] also said that the strength of banks is very weak at the moment," President Papoulias said.

The only question is WHEN the banks collapse, and what precisely happens after.

Greeks will take everything they can get out of the banks.

1.] They dont want anything in the banks when they collapse [even if you get your money, there is a delay].

2.] Looking slightly further down the road.... they want cash [or deposits outside Greece] for when Greece pulls out or is ejected from the euro.

 

So, "panic" does not apply to something that is totally predictable.

 

abnormal

As I see it, Greece has a choice.  The can accept the austerity budget or they can STFU, default on its debts, get booted from the Euro and take the consequences. Honestly, the Greek people seem to want the moon on a stick. YOU racked up the debt. YOU defrauded your way into the Eurozone. YOU were happy to have a culture that turned a blind eye to rampant tax evasion (and not just by the rich). YOU were happy to go on an unsustainable spending spree once you'd been admitted to the Eurozone.

Don't want the austerity package? Fine. Walk away and don't expect any other country to bail you out for your folly. You had a good run and now you've been found out. Just remember, YOU DID THIS.

NorthReport

Greece isn't buying into the austerity nonsense, which is strangling their country, as well as many, many other countries, so yes of course according the rich, who hold the bonds, Greeks are bad people. Even Merkel and Obama are saying slow down the austerity. Go figure! Laughing

 

Ken Burch

NDPP wrote:

Half of Greek Cops Go Ultra-Nationalist At Elections

http://rt.com/news/greek-police-vote-nazis-350/

"More than half of all police officers in Greece voted for the far-right ultra nationalist party Golden Dawn - described by many as neo-Nazi - in the elections on May 6. This gave them a record 7 percent of the vote, securing 21 seats in parliament. It campaigned heavily on an anti-immigrant platform using the slogan 'So we can rid this land of filth'. The unprecedented rise of the far right has already caused alarm in the country.."

the polls released this week, which you can see at this link:

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

seem to show Golden Dawn(it's Greek abbreviation is XA)losing siginficant support, at the same time the prospects of a SYRIZA-led independent Left coalition coming to power are increasing dramatically.  If this is correct, and if the claim that there is heavy police support for Golden Dawn, there's at least the possibility of a right-wing coup(which would require the army to get out of the barracks again, but this is the sort of situation in which armies like that TEND to do such things)between now and the election. 
You'd have to wonder if those cops would be able to tolerate the idea of their new political heroes being voted out of parliament almost as soon as they were voted in, especially if, on the same day, you had the people who the cops have been teargassing essentially pulling off an electoral revolution.

I really, really HOPE it doesn't go down like this, but this is the sort of situation in which a repeat of 1967 is a real possibility.

 

 

 

Fidel

abnormal wrote:

YOU racked up the debt. ...YOU were happy to go on an unsustainable spending spree once you'd been admitted to the Eurozone.

What did Greeksbuy with their spending spree? They printed a lot of IOU's which was not money spent by Greeks but which were given to Euro banks and the one percent. Goldman Sachs and other banks were the ones who sold them debt fraudulently and without ensuring the Greeks could even pay it back. In America it's called fraudulent conveyance. In Europe it's not legal since formation of the ECB. 

Greeks don't have to pay if they don't want to. They weren't allowed to have a referendum on bailing out the banks because the bankers and finance industry know that oligarchy would lose out to democracy. 

Ken Burch

"You had a good run and now you've been FOUND OUT"????

For the love of Goddess, abnormal...

The Greek people didn't "defraud (their)way into the Eurozone"-THE GREEK GOVERNMENT DID THAT.

It was the bad books kept by the ND government(mainly hiding the massive cost overruns of the Athens Olympics)combined by massive tax cheating, especially by the rich (and a badly underfunded tax collection agency)that caused the problem.  You can't hold the workers, the pensioners and the poor.  You can't impose collective punishment on an entire country for the shady financial dealings of its rulers.

Also, it's not as if you've been funding the Greek social welfare system entirely out of your own pocket, so how can you feel so bloody entitled to pass collective sentence like that?

The economic-royalist arrogance reflected in your post is what is driving people all over Europe, the rest of the world(and, coming soon, perhaps, North America)closer and closer to revolution. Are you really sure you want to associate yourself with people who are the moral equivalent of the residents of "The Capitol" in THE HUNGER GAMES?  Trust me, they wouldn't even let you try on one of those wigs, buddy.

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