Greece

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NDPP

Greece: New Elections After Governmental Failure  - by Christos Kefalis

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/05/greece-new-elections-after-governmenta...

"The establishment of a left government in Greece could be the sign for a broader radicalization in other European countries as well. The fear with which the ruling classes react to this prospect makes clear it is a valid prospect, which may not lead to a direct overthrow of capitalism, but will move a big step forward.

If however, the government of the left fails to materialize or be followed properly, then all kinds of dangers from the ultra-right and the right will become intensified.."

abnormal

Fidel wrote:
Greeks don't have to pay if they don't want to.

Absolutely.  They have a choice.  Accept an externally imposed austerity package or accept austerity as result of being booted from the Euro.  The second option is going to be far worse.

Aristotleded24

abnormal wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Greeks don't have to pay if they don't want to.

Absolutely.  They have a choice.  Accept an externally imposed austerity package or accept austerity as result of being booted from the Euro.  The second option is going to be far worse.

No, being booted from the Euro will force Greece to use her own currency. Once this happens, she will have more control over monetary policy and will have more options to pull out of this mess.

The whole idea of the Euro is ridiculous anyways. There are far too many differences in culture, politics, and economics for a unified Europe to work anyways. This is not the first time it's been tried. It's been tried by the Romans, by Napolean, and by Hitler. Each time it failed miserably, and this current go around will be no different. If the EU project doesn't fail outright, it will certainly be constrained.

NDPP

The Real Deal : George Galloway (and vid)

http://presstv.com/Program/241135.html

Galloway discusses Europe, austerity and Greece

Greece Reflects Growing Economic Turmoil - by Stephen Lendman

http://warisacrime.org/content/greece-reflects-growing-economic-turmoil

"Straightjacket Eurozone rules trap 17 dissimilar countries. Greece proved most vulnerable. It's cratering under imosed austerity. Expect hard times to get harder unless public rage forces revolutionary change. That's a bridge not yet crossed..."

West Coast Greeny

I know austerity isn't working out too well for Greece; but defaulting on all of thier sovereign debt, abandoning the Euro, introducing the drachma isn't a solution either.  

For the world, it's a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, scaled up a little:
Greek bonds instantly hit zero, indeed, all assets any Euro bank carries is now set at about 1/3 it's value and falling. Overleveraged banks (and there are far to many of them) become insolvent, economic confidence tanks, Italian and Spanish soverign yields skyrocket, and Europe (and possibly the rest of the world) is faced with either: 1) Spending trillions of taxpayer dollars to, yet again, bailout these insolvent banks or 2) Letting these banks go under, finding that banks holding assets in these other banks are now ALSO insolvent, and then that banks will no longer lend to other banks and buisnesses, and then that scores of buisnesses fail and GDP crashes and unemployment skyrockets, and then and only then, spending more trillions of taxpayer money bailing out the banks to save the financial system.

Greece, meanwhile is so, so much worse off:
The drachma devalues to a level of 2:1 to make it's exports viable. Virtually every single bank becomes completely inviable as goes under as the value of the government bonds it holds hits zero. The Greek government is forced to print scores of drachmas and devalue its currency further to simply allow personal deposits and a banking system to simply exist in the country. This causes the drachma to devalue even further to about 4:1. Unemployment might go down, yes Greece's manufacturing sector boots up, but everyone's bank accounts and paycheques have been slashed by 70-80%. To put this in perspective, try budgeting for yourself when gas is $4.00/litre, milk is $20.00/gallon, a computer is $5000 and that Audi you've been eyeing is now the price of a Ferrari. 

West Coast Greeny

Meanwhile, with the recent mini-bank run and increased fears over the idea of the stuff I wrote out above (again, most Greeks recognize going to the drachma is not a good idea) the pro-austerity parties have closed the gap.

Last two polls (May 17):
NDs (pro-austerity conservatives) 19.5 to 23.1% 
SYRIZA ("radical left") 21 to 22%
PASOK (pro-austerity social democrats)  13.2 to 14%
Independent Greeks (anti-austerity nationalist conservatives) 7.2 to 7.5%
Democratic Left (SYRIZA and PASOK dissidents) 5.5% to 5.6%
KKE (communists) 5.1 to 5.3% 
XA (fascists) 4.3% to 5.5%
No other party over 3% threshold 

Scenario 1: NDs 123, SYRIZA 66, PASOK 41.
Pro-austerity coalition: 163 seats (13 seat majority)

Scenario 2: SYRIZA 119, NDs 60, PASOK 43, Ind Greeks 24, KKE 17, Dem. Left 17, KKE 17
SYRIZA+KKE+Dem. Left = 153 seats (3 seat majority)

KenS

The Greek banks are only held 'slvent' artificially anyway- even if there is no default and they stay with the euro.

As far as the banks and the financial system goes, there is little difference: euro or drachma, default or not.

No question that the short term with default, exit and drachma is going to be worse going. But the doom and gloom that it never stabilizes is just doom and gloom. There is a more predicatble end to it than there is with the endless agony of trying to stay in the euro.

The only way Greeks would be better off with the euro is if SYRIZA and partners can negotiate that default be accepted, allowing Greece to ease off on the austerity measures some, stay in the euro, and the fiscal rules on everyone for staying in the eurozone go out the door.

I can't see that is remotely possible- though it is what hardball negotiators will be looking for. Germany can afford to buy social peace in Greece [though I cant see Merkel and the CDU surving that]. But then Italy and Spain are next. And that just is not possible.

I think the new government's strategy will be hardball to get everything-back way off on austerity, while keeping the euro. But they will be able to do that because they are ready for what they are more likely to get: "we tried, but it looks like we're on our own."

KenS

We cross-posted.

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Meanwhile, with the recent mini-bank run and increased fears over the idea of the stuff I wrote out above (again, most Greeks recognize going to the drachma is not a good idea) the pro-austerity parties have closed the gap.

Which is why the left does not advocate ditching the euro. And I think they will make a sincere effort to get everything, but... [as noted above]. I suspect that most Greeks also understand this basic strategy, even if it is never explicitly articulated by a party.

Temporary voter shifts aside, the pro-austerity parties are never going to get a majority. And with the 50 seat bonus, if SYRIZA comes in first, thats it. They might even be in the drivers seat if they end up a shade behind ND, just because of the continuing stalemate. They only need a mandate to play hardball (and chicken). Greeks may not have complete confidence in that, but they are not going to give the mandate back to pro-austerity forces ( who have to glue themselves together). I think that slim majority by the pro-austerity forces is unlikely. But even if they get it, they wont have a mandate, and they may continue to not agree to try.

Fidel

abnormal wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Greeks don't have to pay if they don't want to.

Absolutely.  They have a choice.  Accept an externally imposed austerity package or accept austerity as result of being booted from the Euro.  The second option is going to be far worse.

How did austerity work for Latin Americans since the 1980's? 

The banks have no power to enforce anything. They have the power to bribe politicians, though. 

West Coast Greeny

Fidel wrote:

abnormal wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Greeks don't have to pay if they don't want to.

Absolutely.  They have a choice.  Accept an externally imposed austerity package or accept austerity as result of being booted from the Euro.  The second option is going to be far worse.

How did austerity work for Latin Americans since the 1980's? 

The banks have no power to enforce anything. They have the power to bribe politicians, though. 

There is a third choice - halt or drasticly slow austerity, help Greece crack down on tax evaders, write down a big chunk ... say 65% ... of Greece's sovereign debt, and figure out some way to get that country to actually start producing s**t.

Fidel

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Fidel wrote:

abnormal wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Greeks don't have to pay if they don't want to.

Absolutely.  They have a choice.  Accept an externally imposed austerity package or accept austerity as result of being booted from the Euro.  The second option is going to be far worse.

How did austerity work for Latin Americans since the 1980's? 

The banks have no power to enforce anything. They have the power to bribe politicians, though. 

There is a third choice - halt or drasticly slow austerity, help Greece crack down on tax evaders, write down a big chunk ... say 65% ... of Greece's sovereign debt, and figure out some way to get that country to actually start producing s**t.

 

I think some of the talk surrounds devaluing the Greek Euro. There is no such thing as a Greek Euro, and so they believe slashing Greek wages and pensions will bring Greece in-line with the most efficient and productive economies, like Germany. And we know how devaluing the currency worked for Germany paying reparations in the 1920s and 30s. 

They need someone other than a bunch of corrupt stooges in the pockets of banksters to come up with a real plan. Debts which can not be repaid, won't be. The very neoliberal EU and ECB are one big con job on Europeans and wannabe Euros. The neoliberal financial regime in Europe is even more dictatorial than anything they've tried here in the western hemisphere. And our own corrupts in Warshington and Ottawa are watching to see how it all turns out over there. We could be next if Euro oligarchs can pull it off. In that case we could say goodbye to any notion of democracy in the northern colony and U.S.

West Coast Greeny

KenS wrote:

We cross-posted.

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Meanwhile, with the recent mini-bank run and increased fears over the idea of the stuff I wrote out above (again, most Greeks recognize going to the drachma is not a good idea) the pro-austerity parties have closed the gap.

Which is why the left does not advocate ditching the euro. And I think they will make a sincere effort to get everything, but... [as noted above]. I suspect that most Greeks also understand this basic strategy, even if it is never explicitly articulated by a party.

Temporary voter shifts aside, the pro-austerity parties are never going to get a majority. And with the 50 seat bonus, if SYRIZA comes in first, thats it. They might even be in the drivers seat if they end up a shade behind ND, just because of the continuing stalemate. They only need a mandate to play hardball (and chicken). Greeks may not have complete confidence in that, but they are not going to give the mandate back to pro-austerity forces ( who have to glue themselves together). I think that slim majority by the pro-austerity forces is unlikely. But even if they get it, they wont have a mandate, and they may continue to not agree to try.

You and I pretty much entirely agree KenS. I was arguing against Fidel and the KKE's idea of straight up ditching the Euro.  

SYRIZA's "mad bomber" approach probably will work. In scaring the crap out of Merkel and friends (and in some ways, me) they have way more negotiating power than the governing coalition ever will; just the threat of SYRIZA getting elected has moved the Eurozone shift towards the idea of growing out of debt.

wage zombie

I'm under the impression that Greece was spending a comparable amount of GDP on social services compared to other Euro countries.  And that the problem was not the spending, but the tax collection.

abnormal, do you dispute this?

flight from kamakura

i have the feeling that the good guys are going to win this one:

Following is a table of recent Greek poll results    
 Agency    Date**  ND     SYRIZA  PASOK   I.G.   KKE    D.L.  G.D.
 P. Issue  May 19  24     28      15      8      5      7     4.5
 *Alco     May 19  23.1   21.4    13.5    7.3    5.2    6.0   3.8
 *MRB      May 19  24.4   23.8    14.5    8.5    5.9    6.9   5.8
 *Metron   May 19  23.8   25.1    17.4    7.8    5.8    6.3   4.8
 *MARC     May 17  26.1   23.7    14.9    8.1    5.8    6.3   4.8
 *Pulse    May 17  21.5   24.5    15.5    8.0    6.0    6.0   6.0
 VPRC      May 16  14.5   20.3    10.9    3.7    4.4    6.1   2.2
 Kapa      May 13  18.1   20.5    12.2    8.4    6.5    5.0   5.8
 *Metron   May 12  21.7   25.5    14.6    10.5   5.3    5.4   4.7
 Marc      May 10  20.3   27.7    12.6    10.2   7.0    4.9   5.7
                                                              
 Election  May 6   18.9   16.8    13.2    10.6   8.5    6.1   7.0

Ken Burch

And once again, abnormal, even if the Greek government had, in fact, gone on a reckless spending spree, it's really inappropriate for you to act as if the PEOPLE of Greece are responsible for that spree and should have to be punished for it.  It's not as if every pensioner and social service recepient in the Hellenic Republic "has it coming", you know.   

I mean...if Canada were in the same situation, caused solely(as the Greek situation was caused solely)by the actions of the Canadian  government would you say that every Canadian, and especially every Canadian receiving any form of social assitance, should be collectively punished for what the politician( many of them didn't even vote for) happened to have done?

What the hell did the Greeks ever do to you, buddy?

Fidel

West Coast Greeny wrote:

You and I pretty much entirely agree KenS. I was arguing against Fidel and the KKE's idea of straight up ditching the Euro.  

SYRIZA's "mad bomber" approach probably will work. In scaring the crap out of Merkel and friends (and in some ways, me) they have way more negotiating power than the governing coalition ever will; just the threat of SYRIZA getting elected has moved the Eurozone shift towards the idea of growing out of debt. 

 

Banksters and financial oligarchs are screwing with people's minds today similar to the way parasites in nature take over the brain of the host and convince it that it is a natural part of the body requiring regular nourishing. The parasite works like the mafia and convinces the host that there is no other option but to live with a parasitic appendage. There is an alternative, however. The last 300 years of pre-neoclassico political economy strove to get rid of landlords, banksters and free lunch oligarchies. This is not the class war spoken of 100 years ago - it is a financial one.

There are alternatives. Many.

abnormal

Aristotleded24 wrote:
No, being booted from the Euro will force Greece to use her own currency. Once this happens, she will have more control over monetary policy and will have more options to pull out of this mess.

But if other people won't give them free money anymore how are they going to pay for anything?  Increase taxes (in a culture where tax evasion is regarded as the norm)?  Cut expenditures (otherwise known as austerity)?  What are their options?

 

Fidel

abnormal wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
No, being booted from the Euro will force Greece to use her own currency. Once this happens, she will have more control over monetary policy and will have more options to pull out of this mess.

But if other people won't give them free money anymore how are they going to pay for anything?  Increase taxes (in a culture where tax evasion is regarded as the norm)?  Cut expenditures (otherwise known as austerity)?  What are their options?

 

I think it best for Greece to exit now. although they might choose not to. Fascists here in the west are working hard to collapse the whole western monetary system at some point. Wall Street fascists continue to lobby Warshington for a return to full deregulation of the financial sector, or in other words, more of the same crookery, thieving and gambing with federally insured deposits. It's not just Greece that wants to put off the inevitable, the crooksters and banksters also don't want Greece and other too big to fail countries to burst the western world financial bubble. And it's a big one. What blows up must implode at some point. Financial capitalism is destined to blow another gasket big time just a matter of when. Greeks shouldn't blame themselves for this global pyramid scheme gone awry.

NDPP

Greek Leftist Leader Alexis Tsipras: 'It's a war between People and Capitalism'

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31400.htm

"I don't believe in heroes or saviours,' says Alexis Tsipras, ' but I do believe in fighting for rights...no one has the right to reduce a proud people to such a state of wretchedness and indignity..

It was chosen as the experiment for the enforcement of neo-liberal shock policies and Greek people were the guinea pigs. If the experiment continues, it will be considered successful and the policies will be applied in other countries. It will not just be a victory for Greece but for all of Europe..."

Doug

Greek hospitals resort to an extreme measure to get patients to pay medical bills, telling mothers their new baby will be kept by the hospital until there is payment

 

Like hundreds of thousands of people in Greece, Anna (not her real name) is not eligible for free non-emergency healthcare. The Greek state only provides that for people who are employed and making regular national insurance contributions, or, when people are unemployed, if they are fully up to date with tax payments.

With unemployment at over 21% and new "solidarity" taxes appearing each month, many people have been left without any kind of medical coverage, says the director of the charity Medicins Du Monde in Greece, Nikitas Kanakis.

 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

Video: Black Metal Bassist Elected to Greek Parliament

 

Quote:

 

The election to parliament of a bass player from the Greek Black Metal band Naer Mataron has the Greek media scrambling to find connections between facism and heavy metal.

Chaos, as Greeks like to say, is a Greek word. And Greeks might agree that the election of a Black Metal musician to a country's legislature does not bode well for political stability.

This is the band that everyone in Greece is talking about these days. Its called Naer Mataron

Its not often that a Black Metal band gets to bask in the glow of the mainstream media spotlight. But its even less common that the bassist from a Black Metal band becomes a member of parliament. Stefanos Stefanopolous from webzine Rockway.gr explains.

 

 

Thats him on the left... Now if he only wears the makeup and costume while in parliament...Laughing

Slumberjack

Looks like a reaction to the anarco-capitalists that have been running everything thus far.  For every action....as the saying goes.

NDPP

The Pseudo-Left Unmasked in Greece  - by Alex Lantier

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/may2012/pers-m24.shtml

"It has taken only a few days since the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) became the front-runner in Greece's elections for the bankruptcy of its politics to become clear.."

 

SYRIZA Leader Tsipras in Berlin  - by Dreier Christoph

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/may2012/tsip-m24.shtml

"Tsipras spoke as a defender of capitalist order and its international institutions. 'We are proposing a way to save the euro,' he said. 'Our possible election victory offers the prospect of stabilizing Europe, not causing more instability as feared."

NDPP

Crisis-Led Suicide Epidemic: Greek Mother and Son Jump to Death

http://www.rt.com/news/greece-double-suicide-crisis-136/

"A 60 year old Greek musician and his 91 year old mother jumped to their deaths from their 5th floor apartments, driven to despair by financial woes. This double-death is the latest in a rising epidemic of crisis-induced suicides in Greece.."

Ken Burch

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

 

Video: Black Metal Bassist Elected to Greek Parliament

 

Quote:

 

The election to parliament of a bass player from the Greek Black Metal band Naer Mataron has the Greek media scrambling to find connections between facism and heavy metal.

Chaos, as Greeks like to say, is a Greek word. And Greeks might agree that the election of a Black Metal musician to a country's legislature does not bode well for political stability.

This is the band that everyone in Greece is talking about these days. Its called Naer Mataron

Its not often that a Black Metal band gets to bask in the glow of the mainstream media spotlight. But its even less common that the bassist from a Black Metal band becomes a member of parliament. Stefanos Stefanopolous from webzine Rockway.gr explains.

 

 

Thats him on the left... Now if he only wears the makeup and costume while in parliament...Laughing

That's not out of the question actually...he was elected as a deputy for Golden Dawn, the neo-Nazi group-which reinforces the theory some of us have had for awhile that there were connections between fascism and at least some forms of heavy metal-starting with the Teutonic schtick a lot of those groups go in for.

(no offense intended to any anti-fascist metalheads...to them I say "Party on, dude!".)

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

It figures. I didn't know about all that. I just ran into the article on a heavy metal page, it didn't really cover his politics.

 

I listened to some of the bands recordings... they pretty much suck.

kropotkin1951

That picture is the face of a racist nazi.  Here is a good essay for you Bec that sets out the history. Neo-nazi's use this music as a recruiting tool and unfortunately a new generation of Brown Shirts is beginning to arise as the economy crumples.

Quote:

If white power music remains big business in the United States, it is even bigger in Europe, and especially Eastern Europe. Racist music is found in every one of Europe's 30 countries, but it is especially widespread in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia. Perhaps most troubling is that racist skinhead culture, which has always sought the extreme, has even come to seem normal in places. In Germany, where the neo-fascist National Democratic Party (NPD) has openly sold white power music to raise money for elections, racist skins boastfully call some neighborhoods "National Liberated Zones" – no-go areas for any foreigners, blacks or Jews who want to avoid a beating or worse.

Interpol estimated in 1999 that the European neo-Nazi music industry was worth $3.4 million a year and said profit margins were better than for selling hashish — and since that time, the industry has clearly grown. In Poland, some racist bands now sell as many as 30,000 albums, comparable to successful local pop bands. In the early 2000s, that country of 39 million people had about 15,000 individuals intimately involved in the racist skinhead scene, according to Rafal Pankowski of the Polish anti-fascist group Never Again. In Germany, before the neo-Nazi music organization Blood & Honour was banned in 2000, there were about 180 white power concerts a year – or one every other day – according to Antifaschistische INFO-Blatt (AIB), a German anti-fascist organization. In Sweden, a 1997 survey showed that 12% of those aged 12 to 19 listened to white power music.

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology/racist...

NorthReport

It's probably time to start challenging/dismantling these groups before they get too big for their britches. We don't need more repeats of some of our terrible recent past.

NDPP

Thanasis Pafilis on the Second Mnemonium (and vid)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJeaPGGcgtU

"On 12/2/2012/the day the second mnemonium came to Parliament, Thanasis Pafilis of KKE, the Communist Party of Greece, gave a speech.."

What a shame we have no one in the House of Commons who comes even close

Sven Sven's picture

If Greece gets booted from the euro, then I suspect that there will be a pitched battle between the extreme left and the extreme right -- and, either way, life will suck. There'll be no money to fund their chronic deficits...so government spending will be forced to align with tax receipts, which will be plummeting. If I were in Greece and had any money in the bank, I'd be pulling it out and sending it to Switzerland. 

NDPP

"life will suck"...apparently it already does

Greek Suicide Epidemic Continues

http://www.rt.com/news/greece-pensioner-suicide-crisis-619/

"A 61-year old Greek pensioner has hung himself from a tree in a public park after succumbing to the pressure of crushing debt A note in his pocket indicates he is merely the latest  in a rash of economic crisis-induced suicides.."

Sven Sven's picture

Point well taken, NDPP.  Maybe I should have said "...life will suck even worse than it does today -- far worse..."

That pensioner who tragically hanged himself would likely have seen the value of his pension permanently cut in half if/when Greece exits the euro.

The suicide's note referred to Margaret Thatcher, and that made me think of one of her observations about socialism ("The problem with socialism is that eventually you will run out of other people's money"). Well, Greece has finally "run out of other people's money"...and it's not pretty. 

quizzical

Sven wrote:
Point well taken, NDPP.  

i don't think ya took it t'll

Quote:
The suicide's note referred to Margaret Thatcher, and that made me think of one of her observations about socialism ("The problem with socialism is that eventually you will run out of other people's money"). Well, Greece has finally "run out of other people's money"...and it's not pretty. 

do you think white people are ever going to run out of our First Nations money they're using here in NA?

Sven Sven's picture

quizzical wrote:

Quote:
The suicide's note referred to Margaret Thatcher, and that made me think of one of her observations about socialism ("The problem with socialism is that eventually you will run out of other people's money"). Well, Greece has finally "run out of other people's money"...and it's not pretty. 

do you think white people are ever going to run out of our First Nations money they're using here in NA?

And how, exactly, is that even remotely relevant to this thread topic about Greece?

quizzical

Sven wrote:
quizzical wrote:
Quote:
The suicide's note referred to Margaret Thatcher, and that made me think of one of her observations about socialism ("The problem with socialism is that eventually you will run out of other people's money"). Well, Greece has finally "run out of other people's money"...and it's not pretty. 

do you think white people are ever going to run out of our First Nations money they're using here in NA?

And how, exactly, is that even remotely relevant to this thread topic about Greece?

ya seem to think you're superior to the Greek people. or have superior beliefs.  yet here ya are in NA living off avails that belong to First Nations. First Nations at the very least. a good argument could be made for including blacks and other Indigenous to NA and Central America. 'cause after all NA would look like a far different place today if  that- not so distant past- gross exploitation and murder hadn't taken place. you're living in a glass house and throwing stones at other people. smug without a leg to stand on.

then let's delve into the reality of the Greeks being driven into massive debt. a lot of debt that happened through a forced  gala-aka Olympics- for the corporations and 1%ers by their lying politcians. not going to even waste more time by speaking to the other actions of their lying politicians. i went back and read the threads on this. you can too. not that ya will it's too much truth for ya.

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Why you think that blaming the Greek people for the theft of the 0.1% has any relevance to a discussion under the terms of babble.

Retiring at age 50 is "theft of the 0.1%"?  That kind of a system is, as the Greeks are finding out, simply unsustainable.

MegB

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thx Quizzical I thought your question was very appropriate.

Fuck you Sven and your contribution to this thread, socialism is spending other peoples money.  I can't believe the shit you spew.  It seems to me to be provocative baiting and since you do it often it feels to me like trolling as well. 

WTF does that oppressive quote from the Iron Lady have to do with a progressive discussion about Greece. Maybe you have some gems from her buddy Pinochet you would like to throw into the discussion. Why you think that blaming the Greek people for the theft of the 0.1% has any relevance to a discussion under the terms of babble.

As tempting as it is, we need to avoid phrases like "fuck you".  I'm all for swearing, so long as it isn't used to insult and abuse someone.  Lots of words that can do a better job.

Ken Burch

quizzical wrote:

Sven wrote:
quizzical wrote:
Quote:
The suicide's note referred to Margaret Thatcher, and that made me think of one of her observations about socialism ("The problem with socialism is that eventually you will run out of other people's money"). Well, Greece has finally "run out of other people's money"...and it's not pretty. 

do you think white people are ever going to run out of our First Nations money they're using here in NA?

And how, exactly, is that even remotely relevant to this thread topic about Greece?

ya seem to think you're superior to the Greek people. or have superior beliefs.  yet here ya are in NA living off avails that belong to First Nations. First Nations at the very least. a good argument could be made for including blacks and other Indigenous to NA and Central America. 'cause after all NA would look like a far different place today if  that- not so distant past- gross exploitation and murder hadn't taken place. you're living in a glass house and throwing stones at other people. smug without a leg to stand on.

then let's delve into the reality of the Greeks being driven into massive debt. a lot of debt that happened through a forced  gala-aka Olympics- for the corporations and 1%ers by their lying politcians. not going to even waste more time by speaking to the other actions of their lying politicians. i went back and read the threads on this. you can too. not that ya will it's too much truth for ya.

The truth is, with the degree of global economic integration we now have, EVERY economy on the planet is based on "spending other people's money", and every bazillionaire has a fortune made up OF other people's money.  Nobody's wealthy, anywhere, is based solely or even primarily on her or his own efforts

We ALL owe everything, at least in part, to other people.  It's impossible not to.  The day of the "self-made man/woman" is gone forever.  It was gone before Thomas Jefferson even started fantasizing about his "yeoman farmers" in the 18th Century(a fantasy he engaged in while living exclusively off of the sweat of his slaves).

Ken Burch

Sven wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Why you think that blaming the Greek people for the theft of the 0.1% has any relevance to a discussion under the terms of babble.

Retiring at age 50 is "theft of the 0.1%"?  That kind of a system is, as the Greeks are finding out, simply unsustainable.

Greece would never have had a financial problem at all if only the wealthy had paid their taxes(and if the ND government hadn't massively overspent on the Athens Olympics).  It really is that simple.  The pensions had nothing to do with it.  The size of the Greek public workforce had nothing to do with it.

Also, it's not nearly as bad for a Greek worker to retire at age 50(actually, in Greece, it was usually more like 55 or a little older)and some ultrabazillaire bubble beneficiary deciding to spend the rest of his life playing tennis at age 45 or so(having generally made his or her money solely off of the bundling of predatory home loans and unjustified mass layoffs of long-term employees, most of which seemed to happen around Christmas, for some twisted reason).

quizzical

Ken Burch wrote:
The truth is, with the degree of global economic integration we now have, EVERY economy on the planet is based on "spending other people's money",

i hear what you're sayin. i don't agree. well i agree with the premise not the deluting of what's still ongoing through minimalization. the minimalization occurs when you- maybe inadvertantly- diminish NA settlers responsibility by saying it is happening everywhere. 

very, very few are doing it on a global scale. 10's of millions are doing it on a NA scale. Canada's whole economy is based on resource extraction. the main bulk of those resources belong to the First People's. settlers to NA would like to forget this.

Ken Burch

Letting "settlers"(of whom I am a descendant)off the hook was the last thing I intended to do with that post.  Yes, the "settlers" bear a large global responsibility...but that doesn't change the point that the economies of most, if not all countries on the planet these days are at the mercy of non-local, non-individual wealth.

Not sure what you're saying when you say "very, very few are doing  it on a global scale.  10's of millions are doing it on a NA scale").

Yes, North America is reponsible for a lot of it, but it is happening in economies all around the world...significantly through the influence of "the West" and the banks, to be sure, but is is happening everywhere.  There are almost no countries on the planet whose economies are based primarily on locally-generated revenues and individual effort.  The profit motive ignores most, if not all, borders.

 

NDPP

Greece: SYRIZA Presents its Economic Program  -  by Christopher Dreier

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/gree-j02.shtml

"Yesterday afternoon Alexis Tsipiras presented the economic program of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) for the upcoming June 17 elections. Tsipras promised in the event of an election victory to terminate the loan agreements with the European Central Bank, The European Union, and the International Monetary Fund and reverse the social cuts imposed on Greece in recent years.

'The first act of a government of the left, as soon as the new parliament is sworn in, will be a cancellation of the bailout and its implentation laws,' he said in Athens.

'There is no more or less bad memorandum,' he said referring to the bailout agreement. 'You either implement the memorandum or you cancel it...We want to cancel it. Let people know there is still democracy in Greece..."

Jacob Richter

[url=http://www.policymic.com/articles/9029/syriza-party-in-greek-debt-crisis...SYRIZA Party in Greek Debt Crisis Shows How OWS Groups Can Change Politics[/url]

 

By Cristina Maza

For the past several weeks election polls have demonstrated that Greece’s left-wing coalition, the anti-bailout SYRIZA party, is likely to win the general elections in June. Previously a relatively insignificant coalition that gained between 4%-5% in general elections, SYRIZA is now expected to win between 21%-28%, gaining exponential importance in Greece’s political playing field and increasing the likelihood that it will become the country’s next governing coalition. Politicians around Europe have been speculating over the effects a SYRIZA victory will have on Greece’s willingness to renegotiate the terms of debt repayment and bailout.

The upsurge in SYRIZA´s popularity has taken place in the context of the global economic crisis, Greece’s surmounting debt, and the influence of the Occupy movement and other resistance movements that have gained influence in Greece as a result of economic hardship. The desperate economic situation has demonstrated to the Greek population that it needs parliamentary politicians that protect their interests as opposed to those of the banks. The victory of the SYRIZA coalition could have widespread consequences for European politics, demonstrating to the world the way in which resistance movements are changing the face of politics as we know it.

On May 25, 2011 Athens´ Syntagmata Square was occupied along with another 60 squares around the country. People stayed occupying the square for two months until Greek riot police entered, declaring the camp illegal, and began forcibly removing the encampment’s infrastructure. According to one Greek professor, the lessons learned during those two months, in which activists organized workshops and major discussions, are what allowed a coalition like SYRIZA to gain in popularity. The people in the square learned communal and democratic thinking, and came to the conclusion that they needed to find parliamentary parties that represent these idea, taking the wisdom from the squares and translating it into parliamentary politics.

SYRIZA, an acronym meaning “Coalition of the Radical Left,” was in the perfect position to gain the support of this widespread and diverse movement. Itself an umbrella organization of the far left, that includes such diverse members as the original Greek communist party (KKE), Eurocommunists, ecologists, and the left-social Democrats, SYRIZA represents both the diversity of the Occupy movement and the anti-austerity sentiment that the movement is calling for. The ability of SYRIZA to gain the votes of everyone from anarchist youth to middle-class and professional workers whose job security has been threatened, to migrants and the urban poor, is what will account for the coalition’s success in June.

The possibility of a SYRIZA victory has politicians around Europe visibly nervous. Many European politicians have even speculated over the possibility of Greece quitting the euro zone if the new government does not wish to comply with the austerity program linked to the 130 billion euro bailout. The Greek population, however, has vehemently demonstrated its anti-austerity convictions through frequent strikes, violent demonstrations and even a public suicide staged in front of parliament. Now it is only left to see if these sentiments will be translated into political change in the June elections, bringing SYRIZA to power for the first time in the country’s history.

Jacob Richter

My take: A "workers government" coming to power in Greece should roll the lessons of Argentina, Iceland, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador all rolled into one. The first two countries implemented Post-Keynesian monetary and labour measures, plus Argentina defaulted to screw the IMF. Venezuela's cooperative, social, and co-management measures, and also its drive for energy and general economic sovereignty, is welcome. Bolivia is more focused on agriculture, but Greece is somewhere in between the two Latin American countries with regards to urbanization. Ecuador shows how to deal with neoliberal media barons from the get-go, plus Venezuela shows measures for later on.

There are radical criticisms to be made of this combination, of course, but this big punch would be a good start.

kropotkin1951

Thx Quizzical I thought your question was very appropriate.

Frelling Hell Sven WTF is with your contribution to this thread, socialism is spending other peoples money?  I can't believe the shit you spew.  It seems to me to be provocative baiting and since you do it often it feels to me like trolling as well. 

WTF does that oppressive quote from the Iron Lady have to do with a progressive discussion about Greece. Maybe you have some gems from her buddy Pinochet you would like to throw into the discussion. Why you think that blaming the Greek people for the theft of the 0.1% has any relevance to a discussion under the terms of babble.

Sven Sven's picture

Jacob, it will be enlightening to examine the relative condition of, say, the Swiss or German economy versus the Greek economy twenty years from now if the radical left gains power in Greece in June and holds it indefinitely thereafter.  My guess is that there will be a yawning gap between the two compared economies. 

Good luck to the Greeks. They'll need it. 

kropotkin1951

Yes and it will nice to compare the price of oranges to apples in 20 years.  Last time I looked the Swiss have never had fascists directly in power and Germany has avoided them for over 65 years. The people of Greek have still not recovered from the fascist regime of 40 years ago and the quasi democratic governments its had since.

I agree Jacob that there are models in various places in the world that show countries how to escape the economic and financial control of the US NATO Axis of Evil.  I fear that for the Greek people the election of a government prepared to take an independent path from the Euro bankers demand will lead to a new junta being in place by September 1.

socialdemocrati...

Hate to be a pessimist, but Greece is gonna be screwed no matter what.

The vicious cycle of austerity has already begun screwing the nation. Laying off the public sector may have "saved" some money, but it also killed a lot of jobs, took money out of peoples' pockets, and slowed the economy. Now that the economy is shrunk, they're arguing about what to do to grow it again. (More austerity! Because it's worked so well in the past!)

There's only a few ways this could play out. Most of them bad.

First off, Syriza has no guarantee of victory. There's a lot of powerful forces invested in the austerity agenda.

Second, even if Syriza wins, there's enough powerful bankers and their political spokesmen to ruthlessly exert pressure on the new Greek government. Look at what happened to PASOK, which was supposed to be an alternative to the austerity of the centre-right. The alternative to austerity might end up austerity-lite.

Third, even if Syriza wins, and attempts ANTI-austerity, there's no guarantee they'll be able to do it intelligently. It's a new party comprised of Maoists, Trotskyists, eurocommunists, alter-globalists, ecologists, and social democrats. They've never really worked together before in Greece. (I'd venture to say they've never really worked together anywhere. Just try to find any agreement on babble about what an anti-austerity budget should include. It's like watching a satire of the left, except without any sense of humor.) It's a huge assumption that they'd be able to come up with a coherent budget. It's just as likely to become a circular firing squad.

And let's say that all the factions of this coalition are able to work together, and somehow assemble a coherent "anti-austerity" agenda out of completely different ideologies. What are the chances it's made of proverbial sausage meat? A few good ideas, combined with a lot of bad ideas to placate the most moronic demands in the coalition. (Good luck deciding which faction is the most intelligent, and which is the most wrong. Cue the circular firing squad.) And then there's a huge assumption they'll be able to implement it without corruption or incompetence. Things are so bad there that money just might "disappear".

And let's say a miracle happens: Syriza wins, and ignores the external pressure for austerity, doesn't get sucked into a bunch of terrible concessions between bickering factions, and creates a coherent anti-austerity strategy. There's still no guarantee this strategy will be able to grow the economy and improve living standards. The financial class can still be ruthless and try to sabotage trade and investment in Greece. There's still the possibility that it's too little too late, and the best Greece can do is patch up a broken economy. There's also plenty of economic disasters looming: the collapse of the Euro-zone, America on the brink, another investor-created bubble, a dramatic shift in oil prices... Another unexpected disaster might completely undermine Syriza's plans, let alone destroy any sense of co-operation or credibility among their new government.

Anyway... I've already ranted too much. The real point is, as someone considered "left" on the Canadian political spectrum, I would never point to Greece as a role model for an alternative to American-style capitalism.

Apples and oranges, indeed.

kropotkin1951

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

The real point is, as someone considered "left" on the Canadian political spectrum, I would never point to Greece as a role model for an alternative to American-style capitalism.

Apples and oranges, indeed.

Indeed anyone who would say such a thing would be displaying an extremely limited understanding of the issues.  I am hopeful though since you are the first to raise this strange idea.

quizzical

Ken Burch wrote:
Letting "settlers"(of whom I am a descendant)off the hook was the last thing I intended to do with that post. 

i  see the colonization as continuing...it's still in the process. in Canada  more than the USA or parts of the USA. Alaska is still being taken over by settlers. sometimes not intending doesn't mean that it's not happening. 'cause you just let yourself off the hook.

i know you're an ally. and i appreciate this discussion.

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