Will Syriza take power in Greece?

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KenS

Its funny when people who preach about politics in command, just dont get it when someone else is talking.

"Varoufakis either doesn't understand what he signed or thinks he can implement his own plan"

You know, it is possible he is right- that they CAN implement their own "plan." Who can say whether anything that is being done will work. But the path Syriza is on is one approach to get where you want to go by pushing the envelope all the time. That just because there is no guaranteed path to get there from where you start, and you do not know what exactly is going to happen along the way as you adapt your strategy.. that does not mean your plan is delusional.

Apples to apples. Take on the same standards that you demand of Syriza- give us evidence that the hard path of repudiating debt from the beginning and living with a massively devalued drachma is going to produce better results.

It is worse than that, the Syriza leadership is sneered at for being unrealistic, deluded, having no idea how things work. 

Show us how the hard path works better.

jerrym

An analysis of the crisis from outside the MSM - namely Michael Hudson.

 

Quote:
 

What’s at issue really is a class war. It’s not so much Germany versus Greece, as the papers say. It’s really the war of the banks against labor. And it’s a continuation of Thatcherism and neoliberalism.

The problem isn't simply that the troika wants Greece to balance the budget; it wants Greece to balance the budget by lowering wages and by imposing austerity on the labor force. Instead, the terms in which Varoufakis has suggested balancing the budget are to impose austerity on the financial class, on the tycoons and tax dodgers. He proposes that instead of lowering pensions for workers and retirees, instead of shrinking the domestic market, instead of pursuing a self-defeating austerity, we’re going to raise two and a half billion euros from the powerful Greek tycoons. We’re going to collect the back taxes they owe. We’re going to crack down on illegal smuggling of oil and the other networks and on the real estate owners that have been avoiding taxes, because the Greek upper classes have become notorious for tax dodging.

This has infuriated the banks. It turns out the finance ministers of Europe are not all in favor of balancing the budget if it has to be balanced by taxing the rich, because the banks know that whatever taxes the rich are able to avoid ends up being paid to themselves. So now the gloves are off and the class war is back.

Originally, Varoufakis thought he was negotiating with the troika, that is, with the IMF, the European Central Bank and the Euro Council. But instead they said, no, no, you’re negotiating with the finance ministers. And the finance ministers in Europe are very much like Tim Geithner in the United States. They’re lobbyists for the big banks. And the finance ministers said, how can we screw this up and make sure that we treat Greece as an object lesson ...

If Greece ends up not going along with austerity and saving its workers, then Spain’s Podemos Party is likely to win the next election and the ruling elite will be out of power. So Spain’s leaders are trying to make sure that Varoufakis and the SYRIZA Party is a failure, so that it can tell the working class, ”You see what happened to Greece? It got smashed, and so will you if you try to do what they do. If you try to tax the rich, if you try to take over the banks and prevent the kleptocracy, there’s going to be a disaster.”

So Spain and Portugal want to impose austerity on Greece. Even Ireland has chimed in and said, my God, what have we done? We have imposed austerity for a decade in order to bail out the banks. Even the IMF has criticized us for going along with Europe and bailing out the banks and imposing austerity. If SYRIZA wins in avoiding austerity in Greece, then all of our sacrifice of our population, all of the poverty that we’ve imposed, all of the Thatcherism that we’ve imposed has been needless and we didn’t have to do it.

So there’s a whole demonstration effect, which is why they’re treating Greece almost as a symbol for labor saying, wait a minute, we don’t have to impose austerity, we can collect taxes from the tax dodgers.

Remember a few years ago when Europe said, Greece owes 50 billion euros in foreign debt? Well, it turned out that the central bank had given to the Greek parties a list of tax dodgers, ... featuring Greek tax dodgers who had Swiss bank accounts. These Swiss bank accounts added up to about 50 billion euros. So in a sense, Greece could pay off the debt that it’s borrowed simply by moving against the tax dodgers.

But this would be at the expense of the Swiss banks and the other banks. ... And they don’t want to pay themselves. They want to squeeze income out of labor and let the tax dodgers and the Greek tycoons succeed in stealing from the government. So, in effect, the troika – not the troika really, as much as the finance ministers – are backing the tax dodgers and tycoons in Greece that SYRIZA is trying to move against.

http://michael-hudson.com/2015/02/greece-austerity-for-the-bankers/

 

 

NDPP

I think that some members of what I call the Canadian political  cuckoldom, have been so screwed over, so many times by political promises, compromises and betrayals and accepted this as their lot - that they assume Greeks should do the same. Unlike Canucklheads that appear to have 'learned to live with it' some Greeks are already calling it as they see it.

WWII Greek Anti-Fascist Hero and Left Politician Slams Capitulation of Syriza

http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/2015/02/25/wwii-greek-anti-fascist-hero-a...

"I ask the Greek people to forgive me for contributing to their illusions.' With this phrase, veteran left politician, WWII resistance fighter and SYRIZA MEP Manolis Glevos slammed the Greek government for handling the negotiations with the country's lenders.

In an article uploaded on the website of his Movement for Active Citizens, the historic member of the Greek Left expresses his deep disappointment about the way Syriza handles the negotiations and calls for party members to decide if they accept the situation."

KenS

We've got the same people here- you among them. What makes you think they play a different role in Greece?

The left as a whole is much bigger proportionaly in Greece now. And all the flavours of it are also bigger than their like-mindeds here.

So they are more visible. But does that visibility mean anything more? Do they have any more traction?

Remains to be seen.

KenS

NDPP wrote:

I think that some members of what I call the Canadian political  cuckoldom, have been so screwed over, so many times by political promises, compromises and betrayals and accepted this as their lot - that they assume Greeks should do the same.

This is among the romances you think are/were different in Greece.

Historically, there was exactly the same phenomena in Greece of what you call cuckolodom. If anything, more of it and more dominant.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Syriza MPs revolt against the agreement

It seems that the SYRIZA government is having a difficult time gaining support for the deal signed between Varoufakis and the Eurogroup.

At a twelve hour-long meeting of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group held on Wednesday 25th February, parliamentarians criticised the deal signed between the Greek government and the Eurogroup.  The meeting culminated with an indicative vote for or against the deal. Panagiotis Lafazanis, the leader of the Left Platform and current minister for productive reconstruction and energy, requested that the votes be counted, but this was rejected.  Nonetheless, with about thirty MPs having left the room when the vote took place, a third of the MPs present rejected the deal either with a ‘no’ or a ‘blank’ vote.

All deputies of the Left Platform and several others – amongst them Zoe Konstantopoulou, the President of Parliament; Nina Kasimati and others – voted ‘no’ or blank.  Government ministers such as Panagiotis Lafazanis, Nikos Chountis, Dimitris Stratoulis, Kostas Isichos, Nadia Valavani and Thodoris Dritsas voted blank.  Many of those deputies who voted blank expressed disapproval of Varoufakis’s manoeuvres....

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/syriza-mps-revolt-against-the-agreement/

NDPP

@Ken

I think that given the harsh austerity, the stakes are now very much higher in Greece than Canada. This tends to focus and clarify the mind.  Canada continues to live in blissful denial because this is a privilege accorded to those who think they can still afford to. Not so in Greece. Once stung twice shy - repeatedly so and one's toleration for the insects diminishes dramatically. As you say, we shall see what ensues. There and here..

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Canada has "blissful denial" because it is better at collecting taxes from its rich, and it has its own currency. The recent drop of the Canadian dollar was a luxury that Greece could not afford, because Greece is stuck in a deflationary hard currency regime beyond its control. Russia has the same advantage. The rouble can get beaten up a bit, but there is an internal economy and things can turn around. Some things get more expensive, and others get cheaper.

The pure equation is

inflation --> workers and poor

deflation --> rich.

If you have money, you want prices to fall. If you have no money, you want wages to rise. Any good investment book will tell you that inflation is the biggest enemy of your portfolio.

In today's world, there are millions of people lining up to do our day's work at a fraction of the price we charge. This is a labour deflationary force which will not end until the world is free of poverty. Globalization is now allowing the workers of the world to compete for our wages. This is the structural fact of the world economy which was ushered in by the housing crash in the US and the bursting of the subprime bubble and everything which flowed from that. The days of the unskilled North American working class earning enough to buy a big house are gone, and probably forever.

In addition, another force holding wages down is the "internment". The internment is another severe labour deflationary force.

In deflationary times, austerity is suicide.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...'s hard-line position never was realistic[/url]

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Germany, through it's ridiculous hard currency program through the ECB is only able to manage $44,000 per capita GDP, which is at the same level of Quebec.

This supposedly miracle efficiency economy of Germany itself is screwed by the idiocy of maintaining a hard currency in a permanently deflationary environment.

The Germans (and much less the Finns) have no business telling the Greeks how they should be running things. Making different economies which run at different speeds take on a common currency was a completely idiotic idea, which is now proven.

Bring back the DM, and Gemany will go back up to $80,000. Bring back the drachma, and all of this nonsense will be over. If you don't want to make the rich pay their taxes, you need a constantly inflating drachma, as it was in the old days.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
He proposes that instead of lowering pensions for workers and retirees, instead of shrinking the domestic market, instead of pursuing a self-defeating austerity, we’re going to raise two and a half billion euros from the powerful Greek tycoons. We’re going to collect the back taxes they owe. We’re going to crack down on illegal smuggling of oil and the other networks and on the real estate owners that have been avoiding taxes,

Then Greece should do exactly this.

Put all that money in a big sack, deliver it to their creditors, and say "here's the money we owe".

If the creditors refuse it and say "no, No, NO!  We only want the money of the poor!!" then Hudson is right.

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because the Greek upper classes have become notorious for tax dodging.

What of the non-upper classes?  How do they fare, as far as the paying of taxes goes?

Bacchus

They all dodge taxes

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

So, if no one in Greece wants to pay taxes, issue a drachma. When that runs out, issue more. Eventually you will revaluate 1 to 100 or 1 to 1000 as they used to do it in the old days. Then the inflation would continue. The government and the workers would have enough money and the rich could put all their ill-gotten gains in offshore accounts, which would be continually diminishing because of inflation.

KenS

They all dodge taxes. But that doesnt mean they always will. Force the rich to pay theirs, and Syriza can prevail on its base that we all need to do our share.

For the "popular classes" dodging taxes is closely connected to generalized corruption. Why should I pay taxes while they rob us?

Getting people to feel they should is the necessary start. Its foing to take a lot of popular education to get people to stop dodging. But better enforcement will help. Enforcement plus shaming... worked for getting the vast majority to stop smoking in North America.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

With regressive sales taxes they can jack the 'middle' (and lower) classes who need to pay these taxes to buy the essentials of life. In some neoliberal regimes, even food is taxed by this VAT/GST type tax.

In many economies, the consumer spending is the lion's share, definitely higher than 50% of GDP, and as high as 80% in places like the States. If you can tax 15% VAT out of that, you are going to see a nice tax inflow (imposed, essentially, as an extra income tax when it involves things we cannot avoid buying).

Tax more workers at source, and you have the tax burden for the whole state nicely arrayed. Anyone who does not need to make wages essentially avoids tax.

KenS

There is a lot to be said for consumption taxes. North American progressives are reflexively opposed. In Europe they are always tied to substantial income transfers- and that would obviously be the case in Greece. Consumption taxes are therefore preferred because they are simple to collect, and much more difficult than income taxes to avoid.

So you increase your taxes from the middle classes (as well as the rich) many of whom can and do avoid paying income taxes. Cant get away from most consumption taxes. Lower income people get new transfers that more than equal the new consumption taxes they have to pay.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A deal that traps SYRIZA in neoliberalism

quote:

The following is a statement of the Red Network, an alliance of socialist organizations that is part of the Left Platform within SYRIZA, challenging the concessions made in the government's deal with the Eurogroup, and calling for SYRIZA to return to its commitments to oppose the Memorandums and reverse the austerity agenda....

http://socialistworker.org/2015/03/02/the-deal-that-trapped-syriza

...

Greece runs out of funding options despite euro zone reprieve (with video)

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Greece is running out of options to fund itself despite a four-month bailout extension, raising pressure on Athens to quickly implement reforms it has vocally opposed or default on debt repayments in a matter of weeks.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/27/us-eurozone-greece-funding-idU...

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Getting people to feel they should is the necessary start.

Certainly nobody loves paying taxes, and certainly everyone has the right to try to pay as little in tax as the laws say they must, but wouldn't living through a situation where your government lacks the revenues for social services be a bit of a wake-up call??

I do find it kind of funny that if you're an American or a Canadian who doesn't think they should have to pay taxes you're a deluded  Libertarian who's living in some bizarre fantasy bubble (and you've effectively forfeited any right to expect any government services that typically require funding).

But if you're Greek and you don't think you should have to pay taxes then that's perfectly understandable.  Just a charming cultural quirk.  Certainly nothing to do with your government having to go cap-in-hand to other governments and private creditors in order to pay the bills.

Slumberjack

Where Greeks are concerned the example at the top of the entire national tax evasion society should change for the better before people are expected to fall in behind.

Slumberjack

But that doesn't make any sense at all.  Your logic suggests that the politically connected and the rich should benefit from anti-littering laws that they themselves do not have to follow in the context of Greece.  When people assume the role as deciders, leaders, what have you, is it really up to the proles to set the example for them, or should it be the other way around?  Where it concerns the matter of paying taxes to the state, this is one area where I think the upper crust should be at the front of the line.  To paraphrase your own offering here, the Greek govt should expect that everyone will pay their share without exception.  If that is not the case, and exceptions are provided for in that society to benefit the well heeled, then the tax laws are unjust and the people would thus be within their rights to ignore them, and to perhaps overthrow the ones enforcing such laws.

Mr. Magoo

That's as stupid as saying that I'm only going to stop littering when everyone else does first. Nobody is obligated to be the first to stop littering.

As I see it, the Greek government should expect EVERYONE to pay their taxes, and in turn, everyone should. I don't see making special exceptions for anyone as helpful in the least.

And, if it's what the Greeks really want, no taxes for anyone! But hopefully if they don't wish to fund government services, they won't start crying crocodile tears when those services understandably disappear.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Your logic suggests that the politically connected and the rich should benefit from anti-littering laws that they themselves do not have to follow in the context of Greece.

Where have I suggested that anyone should not have to follow the law?  I thought I made it very clear that everyone should.

Quote:
When people assume the role as deciders, leaders, what have you, is it really up to the proles to set the example for them, or should it be the other way around?

Why should ANYONE have to be the role model for the rest?  If it's everyone's duty to pay their taxes and to not litter, then everyone should pay their taxes and not litter.  We're not children.  Do we really need heroes to emulate in this regard?

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then the tax laws are unjust and the people would thus be within their rights to ignore them

Sorry, but it doesn't work that way.  Libertarians believe tax laws to be unjust.  So?  When did any of us get the right to stop paying taxes because we don't agree them?  Seems to me people have tried that excuse in the past -- e.g. "I disagree with spending on the military, so I shouldn't have to pay taxes!!".

That dog won't hunt.

All that said, Greece is now governed by The Coalition of the Radical Left.  If the tax laws as they existed two months ago are unjust, fixing that should be one quick legislative vote away.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

To beat austerity, Greece must break free from the euro

quote:

In February the Greek negotiating team fell into a trap of two parts. The first was the reliance of Greek banks on the European Central Bank for liquidity, without which they would stop functioning. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, ratcheted up the pressure by tightening the terms of liquidity provision. Worried by developments, depositors withdrew funds; towards the end of negotiations Greek banks were losing a billion euros of liquidity a day.

The second was the Greek state’s need for finance to service debts and pay wages. As negotiations proceeded, funds became tighter. The EU, led by Germany, cynically waited until the pressure on Greek banks had reached fever pitch. By the evening of Friday 20 February the Syriza government had to accept a deal or face chaotic financial conditions the following week, for which it was not prepared at all.

The resulting deal has extended the loan agreement, giving Greece four months of guaranteed finance, subject to regular review by the “institutions”, ie the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF. The country was forced to declare that it will meet all obligations to its creditors “fully and timely”....

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/02/austerity-greece-eu...

quote:

In short, the Syriza government has paid a high price to remain alive. Things will be made even harder by the parlous state of the Greek economy. Growth in 2014 was a measly 0.7%, while GDP actually contracted during the last quarter. Industrial output fell by a further 3.8% in December, and even retail sales declined by 3.7%, despite Christmas. The most worrying indication, however, is the fall in prices by 2.8% in January. This is an economy in a deflationary spiral with little or no drive left to it. Against this background, insisting on austerity and primary balances is vindictive madness.

Pondering

Maybe those articles are helping Syriza and maybe Syriza is smarter than people think.

Four months is not a long time to take control of a country but it's better than a week or two. They need to have as many people as possible in positions of trust and the population has to be convinced that they have things under control. 

By making a deal Syriza has proven they were willing to negotiate and did try to stay in the euro, which they said they would. They will have spent 4 months attempting to negotiate with Europe in good faith while running the country. They will be able to say they tried everything to stay in the euro but it was either give up on Greek democracy or leave and regain independence through managing its own currency.

Syriza can also use this time to prepare for leaving the Euro if it comes to that. I would think that it is a fairly complicated change to make. Some of these articles seem to be suggesting that Syriza is selling out but prior to being elected he did say that he wanted to stay with the Euro. He owes it to the population to make an honest effort and to be seen making an honest effort. It will give him the moral authority to finally call it quits on the euro if and when he does.

Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras both strike me as stand up guys that are nobody's fools. They need to go about this the right way to maintain credibility and the support of the people for what could be very difficult times.

Pondering

http://michael-hudson.com/2015/02/greece-austerity-for-the-bankers/

This is the problem that Varoufakis wrote about in an article earlier this month in The Guardian on how he came out of the Marxist movement. He said, the problem that we’re facing in Greece is that if we withdraw from the euro, if we’re forced out, there’s going to be an economic trauma. The left wing throughout Europe, as in America, doesn’t really have an economic program. It has a political program, but not really an economic program. So the only alternative to SYRIZA with an economic program are the New Dawn movement and the neo-Nazis. And what Varoufakis is worried about is that he’s not only contending with the European finance ministers on one front; he’s also contending on the Greek front with the right-wing parties that are the nationalist parties, like Marie Le Pen in France – the parties that are saying, yes, we have an alternative: withdraw from the euro.

But it’s not the kind of withdrawal and alternative that the left wing would have, because there really isn’t much of a left wing in Greece, apart from the small SYRIZA party, certainly not Papandreou’s socialist party, and certainly not the nominally socialist party in Spain, which is a Thatcherite party, and it’s certainly not the British Labour Party, which has gone the way of Tony Blair.

So the problem is that Varoufakis has about four months to educate the Greek public in the fact that, yes, there is alternative, here’s what it is. The alternative to neoliberalism doesn’t have to be right-wing nationalism. There is a socialist alternative, and we’re trying to work out as many arrangements we can, so if we’re driven out of the euro and if the banks go under, we have a fallback plan. He can’t come right out and say this is the plan right now, because it has to be made very clear that it’s the finance ministers of Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Finland that are driving Greece out, not the IMF, not the European Central Bank, and not even centrist governments.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

You cannot run a socialist (or even social democratic) solution within the Euro. The Euro goes by neoliberal rules. Greece should reissue the inflationary drachma, and as they grow they can feed the euro debt and not need any more money from the idots at the ECB. As a member of the EU it could still use the Euro as an accounting currency, much like Britain. Britain is growing faster than most european economies, mainly because they have the pound and not the euro. They still have atrocious neo-liberalism there. If Britain can have its own currency, why can't Greece? Grexit now.

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Where have I suggested that anyone should not have to follow the law?  I thought I made it very clear that everyone should.

If there are such laws about taxes, then everyone should observe them is right.  If loopholes exist for the well connected, then the law becomes more of a protection racket aimed at the less influential.  Pay your taxes or we'll come and get you.

Quote:
Why should ANYONE have to be the role model for the rest?  If it's everyone's duty to pay their taxes and to not litter, then everyone should pay their taxes and not litter.  We're not children.  Do we really need heroes to emulate in this regard?

Yes, it is a bit old fashioned to say that people claiming to be the leaders of society should observe their own laws, but that is the tradition as it's been handed down.  We didn't make it up recently.  In part, laws and exceptions to the laws are based on precedence.  An equally applicable law also includes equally applicable exceptions.  What's good for the goose in other words. If exceptions are not provided to all, then I'm fine with the notion of citizens taking exceptions for themselves.

Quote:
Libertarians believe tax laws to be unjust.  So?  When did any of us get the right to stop paying taxes because we don't agree them?  Seems to me people have tried that excuse in the past -- e.g. "I disagree with spending on the military, so I shouldn't have to pay taxes!!".  That dog won't hunt.

It's typically the case that tax loopholes and shelters are available to just some.  Anyone else evading taxes are typically dealt with accordingly, while the few get to shift their money around in secret.  Now the idea of people revolting against unjust, arbitrary laws may not resonate in some quarters as is obviously the case here by what you're saying, but opinions like that can only be counted on to act as a deterrent for so long.  The dog has been known to hunt after all.

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All that said, Greece is now governed by The Coalition of the Radical Left. 

Lol.  Obviously you're working from a rather loose definition as to what constitutes the 'radical left.'

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If the tax laws as they existed two months ago are unjust, fixing that should be one quick legislative vote away.

It's true that no one should be holding their breath at this point.

Mr. Magoo

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If loopholes exist for the well connected

Right.  Like "hey dude, I know a guy who can set you up with a really sweet deduction!"

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Yes, it is a bit old fashioned to say that people claiming to be the leaders of society should observe their own laws

They should definitely observe Greece's laws.  I think I've said that a few times already.

But this special obligation to be "role models" remains nonsense.

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Lol.  Obviously you're working from a rather loose definition as to what constitutes the 'radical left.

Um, no.  I'm working from the translation of the acronym SYRIZA.

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Right.  Like "hey dude, I know a guy who can set you up with a really sweet deduction!"

Isn't that not so far from the truth depending on one's status, who you know, and who your banker is?

Quote:
But this special obligation to be "role models" remains nonsense.

It's the term 'role model' that introduces nonsense into the conversation, particularly if this constitutes the extent of your appreciation of the average person's view of corporate party politics as we know it.  But certainly a special obligation resides with those who vote the law into existence and who are charged with enforcing the law, ie: those who claim to lead a law abiding society.  Otherwise, there would be no point in anyone observing anything if the so called leaders could skip out on that.  As far as I know the courts often consider the relative gravitas between an accused so entursted with certain public responsibilities, but who commits fraud, and your average fraudster who is not so entrusted.  It isn't so much about my wishful state of affairs, but one that has been long established.

Quote:
I'm working from the translation of the acronym SYRIZA.

So, the 'new' in New Democratic Party must be convincing for you as well.

Pondering

montrealer58 wrote:

You cannot run a socialist (or even social democratic) solution within the Euro. The Euro goes by neoliberal rules. Greece should reissue the inflationary drachma, and as they grow they can feed the euro debt and not need any more money from the idots at the ECB. As a member of the EU it could still use the Euro as an accounting currency, much like Britain. Britain is growing faster than most european economies, mainly because they have the pound and not the euro. They still have atrocious neo-liberalism there. If Britain can have its own currency, why can't Greece? Grexit now.

They probably need at least a couple of hours to get the printing presses up and running.

KenS

There would be ZERO similarity between Grexit and the UKs use of the euro.

Britain is a financial powerhouse with a currency that has always been at least equal in strength and stability.

The drachma would start in free fall- with everyone just making wild guess about when the devaluation would even slow down

It wouldnt be just the Greek banks, every element of the financial system would be in distress. As well as the direct effect of the free fall in people's incomes, every enterprise- not just the ones dependent on trade- would be scrambing to meet their euro needs. That would be the tipping point even for many businesses whose trade is largely or wholly within Greece.

Everyting except purely local service businesses needs supplies and material that has to be paid for in euros [and cash on the barrel, no 30 days terms]. And if you need machinery or major parts expenditures to kepp the machinery going- good luck.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Reform Within the Euro-Zone is a Delusion for Greece (video or transcript)

quote:

LASCARIS: Well, that's true, and it's quite striking that that's happening in the face of the relentless criticism that SYRIZA is facing from outside of Greece. The most recent poll, which I think came out over the last couple of days, shows that SYRIZA enjoys the support of 41.3 percent of voters. You may recall that in the election it garnered a little more than 36 percent of the popular vote. New Democracy, which I think was in the range of 26 or 27 percent in the election has plummeted to 19 percent or so. SYRIZA's coalition partner, Independent Greeks, is more or less at the same level that it was at the election. There hasn't been a dramatic change in that regard.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...

Bacchus

Ahhh so they have a phony majority

Mr. Magoo

Could be, though the Greek electoral system has a bit of a quirk:  only 250 of the 300 seats are contested in the election itself, and 50 more are given to whichever party (either standalone or part of a coalition) wins a plurality.

Pondering

epaulo13 wrote:

Reform Within the Euro-Zone is a Delusion for Greece (video or transcript)

quote:

And I think there are particularly--the electorate is particularly reacting well to the fact that this government, whatever difficulties it's confronting, is willing to speak the truth....

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...

I think voters appreciate the truth even when it is difficult.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..recent history

100,000 peaceful anti-austerity protesters in front of the Greek parliament in 2011

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Capital Control May Become Necessary in Greece

Avoiding capital flight appears to have support among the people, says Nantina Vgontzas, PhD student at New York University

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...

NDPP

Greek Debt Crisis Sharpens Geostrategic Tensions Between US, Europe, Russia  -  by John Vasilopoulos

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/03/06/gree-m06.html

"...As NATO seeks to crush Russian influence amid bloody wars in nearby Ukraine and Syria, some in the Western media have openly raised that a Greek default could risk undermining the integrity of the NATO alliance.

'Geopolitics, far more than economics, is what is at stake. The cost of a blunder would be incalculable..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Syriza on a Tightrope

quote:

The debates have not gone unnoticed, with even the mainstream noting that this is a party divided over its strategic choices and which has little inclination to bear the fetters imposed on it by the European Union (EU) leadership.

Nonetheless it seems that both Tsipras’s intervention at the central committee and the ministerial announcements that followed have sought to strike a new balance. The government is currently shifting toward a sort of “controlled disobedience” with regard to its European supervisors.

Tsipras announced the imminent presentation of five new bills: for emergency measures to deal with the humanitarian crisis; rearranging the payment of tax arrears, to the advantage of lower-income taxpayers; a ban on people’s main residences being seized because of debts; the reinstatement of the public broadcaster; and the constitution of a commission of inquiry into those responsible for signing Greece up to the memorandums.

The legislation seeking to resolve the humanitarian crisis has now been presented to parliament, though we ought to emphasize that this is no more than a heavily revised (indeed, downgraded) version of the “first pillar” of the Thessaloniki program, particularly as concerns the restrictive conditions for accessing the aid that will be offered. For example, Greeks below an “extreme poverty” threshold will have the right to have their electrical supply reconnected. This mark has been set at €4,800 a year for a family of four, allowing 150,000 households to benefit from this measure — half as many as originally planned in the program....

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/03/greece-syriza-eurogroup-tsipras-varou...

iyraste1313

Britain is a financial powerhouse with a currency that has always been at least equal in strength and stability......

can´t let this statement pass....a financial powerhouse?

Ironic ststement considering that the devolution of the global capitalist system into chaos took a critical downturn this week...what with the 2 key financial bubbles...of energy and emerging market finances showing signs of extreme strain, which the Greek Government must be watching intently....a major junk bond energy corp based in the shale oil fields of Colorado just defaulted on its junk bond payments...as ifn of what is soon to come!
And who are the counterparties to the loans?

Not just Russia and the oil countries of South America and Eastern Europe continuing to slide, but this week Mexico and Turkey and Brazil have taken dives in their currencies and bond trading...so who are the counterparties in derivative trades for these currencies...what with the English financial powerhouse at the top of the totem pole, and with their oil industry in trouble!

Soon not just Greece, but many of the EM countries will be at a point of default, what with their payments in US dollars? And will King dollar, the haven of the global elite speculators, not take a hit with threats of default?

Surely Greece, hanging in their for time, must be talking with these other potential European allies?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Next Four Months

quote:

But opinion surveys aren’t enough. In the new period that lies ahead, the people must take center stage. The degree of popular mobilization will be of paramount importance for the success of the negotiations and the prospects for any real change. Time and again, Syriza has argued that political representation requires the active involvement of the electorate. Taking to the streets in solidarity and support is one way forward, as is holding the government true to its promises.

But Syriza’s popular mandate is to combat austerity within the existing European framework. A disorderly Grexit could well spur the rise of the fascistic Golden Dawn. The political support for the Greek government and the fight against the far right in Europe cannot and should not be confined to Greece. Now is the time to strengthen the links between Greece’s new progressive forces and leftist movements across the globe.

NDPP

Paul Craig Roberts with Ellen Brown on Greece

http://thesaker.is/very-interesting-interview-of-paul-craig-roberts-with...

PCR on Russia/China option.. starts about 9:30 minutes

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Syriza's Only Choice: A Radical Step Forward

Spyros Lapatsioras, John Milios and Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos

1. Introduction

The transitional “bridge Agreement” of the 20th of February is a truce intended by the Greek government and welcomed by the other side (the European “institutions”). Within the truce period (the next four months), the conditions for negotiating the next agreement will be shaped. This could mean that everything is still open. However, that is not true for two reasons. First, the very transitional agreement changes the balance of power. Second, the “hostilities” will continue in the course of the next four months (i.e. the review of the commitments and the re-interpretation of the terms by each party)....

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1089.php#continue

iyraste1313

Could Europe lose Greece to Russia? By Giorgos Christides (BBC)

Greece Greece may need new loans to avoid bankruptcy when its bailout extension expires at the end of June 

Deepening ties between Greece's new government and Russia have set off alarm bells across Europe, as the leaders in Athens wrangle with international creditors over reforms needed to avoid bankruptcy.

While Greece may be eyeing Moscow as a bargaining chip, some fear it is inexorably moving away from the West, towards a more benevolent ally, a potential investor and a creditor.

Europe is not pleased. Should it also be worried?

 

A drove of Greek cabinet members will be heading to Moscow.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May, accompanied by coalition partner Panos Kammenos, defence minister and leader of the populist right-wing Independent Greeks party.

The timing has not escaped analysts.

Greece's bailout extension expires at the end of June and the worst kept secret in Brussels is that Athens will need new loans to stay afloat.

KenS
josh

Uh, isn't the Greek leadership going to Moscow in May to take part in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis. The article makes it appear to be some mysterious one on one visit.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Syriza - a Necessary Compromise or Avoiding an Inevitable Conclusion?

Dimitri Lascaris and Leo Panitch discuss the Greek government's negotiating strategy and whether it should be preparing to leave the Eurozone

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...

KenS

Literally HUNDREDS of babble posts where people can discuss how many angels on the head of a pin- the captivating drama of what do you think about great power politics [Ukraine, Russia, Putin, ISIS, etc].....

... at the same time as there is ONE post about the unfolding of a popular struggle that we could not be much closer to, and which has major implications for dynamics throught Europe.

KenS

IWhen hearing about the Left Platform perspective, and prescriptions about what the government SHOULD be doing... what comes to mind is the same criticism as comes from Leo Panitch:

Where is the preparation for what Grexit really means?  This is rationing and 'War Communism,' circa 1921 Russia. Where is the discussion of that, let alone preparation?

KenS

Most people probably dont know about, or dont know enough about, War Communism in revolutionary Russia.

This much you can take on trust: no matter how necessary you argue it to have been [or not]... it was not pretty.

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