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Greece to have a Referendum June 27, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in European Politics.
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Greece to have a Referendum on the bailout package that they have been offered

Following an emergency meeting of his cabinet, Tsipras said his leftist-led government had decided a package of austerity measures – made in a last-ditch effort to avert default – would be put to popular vote. The referendum will take place on Sunday 5 July.

Paul Mason has a good piece on it here

Comments»

1. dublinstreams - June 27, 2015

and then the Eurogroup signalled the deal was “too soft” and the voters of Finland, Germany etc would not accept it

what it got to do with them? are they really going to vote in the next election based on the deal greece got? No.

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WorldbyStorm - June 27, 2015

It’s madness isn’t it? That Mason piece is powerful stuff.

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An Cathaoirleach - June 27, 2015

The Germans are expected to pay for it, as such it has a lot to do with them. As a party to the International agreement, the support of the Bundestag is required. If the Greeks can have a vote on the agreement, then of course the German Parliament is just doing the same.

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dublinstreams - June 27, 2015

he didn’t say the German Parliamentary members he said the German and Finnish voters.

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2. Pasionario - June 27, 2015

Has Tsipras called for a No or a Yes in this referendum? None of the reporting I can find addresses what seems like the crucial issue.

I haven’t a clue what’s going on anymore and who’s trying to get whom to do what.

But the following thought occurs: Syriza were elected on two incompatible pledges: end austerity AND stay in the euro. Even leftist Syriza MPs pointed out the contradiction at the time.

However, the Greek public has heretofore overwhelmingly supported continuing euro membership. Syriza might well have never been elected if they had made an explicit commitment to default and thereby exit the euro.

So bringing things to a head like this could be one way of ensuring domestic political backing for Grexit which would not otherwise have existed.

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CL - June 27, 2015

By calling a referendum Tsipras has changed what is on offer,-or what will be on offer when the referendum is held. So its unclear what the Greek people will be voting to accept or reject. Much depends on what happens in the coming week. Maybe an accelerating bank run, Unknown territory.

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Tomboktu - June 28, 2015

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fergal - June 28, 2015

Why is she being interviewed in fornt of a euro flag- she represents the imf? of course the imf is now, hey presto ‘the international community’ Is the subtext a kind of I also speak for the eu? intereting optics, giving the splits in the toika and the fact that the imf can do sod all about the ecb continuing emergency liquidity assistance to greek banks

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benmadigan - June 27, 2015

here’s the first english translation of tspiras’s letter to the greek people, setting out his position https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/greek-democracy-in-action/

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3. Tomboktu - June 27, 2015

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4. Alibaba - June 27, 2015

It may be tactically clever for Tsipras to dump the decision on what to do on the electorate. Whether they vote No or not, it seems to me that a deal will inevitably be cut, that is, Greece will default, but stay within the Eurozone. Default will apply to the public sector; private sector and creditors will be sorted. Debts will be conveniently rolled-over by EU/IMF to keep monies available. And who knows what can happen after that?

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shea - June 27, 2015

its fair as well.

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richotto - June 27, 2015

Agree with the first bit about dumping the decision as a tactical manouvre. I can’t see it working out as benignly though as it did with Argentina for example which was semi democratic with an obvious elite who abused the people. In this situation a fully democratic country which freely decided to borrow money from other soverign countries is now being advised by its present government to be massively delinquent on its debts in a referendum. I can’t see the creditor countries being afraid to stand up to that course of action.

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WorldbyStorm - June 27, 2015

Not a word as to whether it makes economic sense, not a word as to the effects on those citizens within the Greek polity. Not a word indeed as regards the lack of oversight brought by European and international and/or financial institutions across the last decade and a half who were happy to at best turn a blind eye and at worst be willingly collusive in the equivalent of fraud. Not even a word as to who those governments were (let’s not mince words about elites of the ‘social democratic’ or ‘conservative’ kind there – or indeed the way that those on Greece’s equivalent of PAYE have had to shoulder burdens elites have and continue to get away with).

It’s all about ‘delinquency’.

Your leftism is very peculiar.

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Tomboktu - June 28, 2015

“Economic Policy Conditionality, Socio-economic Rights and International Legal Responsibility: The Case of Greece
2010-2015”

http://www.lse.ac.uk/humanRights/documents/2015/SalomonDeSchutterGreekDebtTruth.pdf

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5. gendjinn - June 27, 2015

NPR’s coverage of Greece (over here in yankee land) is simply appalling. It is entirely reminiscent of Londoners commentary on the Famine/Ocras Mor.

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6. Dan Turpin - June 27, 2015

I wish the Greeks the best of luck. At least they are being given a say in their future. When we voted in Fine Gael and Labour we thought we were voting against austerity. How wrong we were.

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richotto - June 27, 2015

The fiscal treaty referendum in 2012 or Thirtieth Amemdment to the Constitution was on exactly that issue. It was held after a legal defeat for the Govt on its constitunality so not as stage managed as has been prone to happening lately. Voted through by 60.3% at a time when the No side would have been at its peak popularity.

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EWI - June 27, 2015

…and on a promise that a debt deal was going to be done, like the Greeks are looking for.

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7. EWI - June 27, 2015

He’ll want to watch himself. The last Greek leader who wanted to hold a referendum on this woke up to find a horse’s head looking at him. This is a privilege reserved only for right-wing governments like the Tories, it appears.

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8. Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

Calling a referendum is a very dangerous tactic from the perspective of the Greek working class. Over the next two weeks the elites will use every tactic at their disposal to undermine the SYRIZA government. The right-wing (who have been in Brussells all week in ‘discussions’ with the troika) will present the referendum as a vote on EU membership and present themselves as an alternative government of ‘national unity’.

Tsipras is caught between a rock and a hard place – he had agreed to 90%+ of what will actually be put to a vote and he will undermined if he argues for a rejection of the deal.

At this stage the basis for opposing the troika is argue for default, for exit from the Euro and to present a democratically planned socialised economy as an alternative to anarchy of the markets. Tsipras and the SYRIZA leadership will not do this and the left will have to take up the responsibility to present a class alternative to the troika. The KKE could and should play a leading role in this but are likely to adopt their normal sectarian attitude and attack SYRIZA rather than the right.

The international left also have a responsibility to support the Greek working class and campaign for a class alternative for the crisis.

The next two weeks are going to see Greece lurch from crisis to crisis and I hope I will not have to buy a new TV before this is done.

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9. Jim Monaghan - June 27, 2015

My hopes are with the Greek people. I think they should vote no. But I regret to say it is a leap in the dark. I don’t think they have much choice.
The Greek SWP co-thinkers have this
http://www.socialistworkeronline.net/statement-by-greek-swp-on-troika-referendum/ of which “In this battle we have support from the working class throughout Europe. They showed rallies against the EU and the IMF in all major cities.”
Am I being pessimiostic, when I say if only

More here
http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article4099

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10. roddy - June 27, 2015

Maybe they could link up in “a socialist federation” with some imperialist country like you would have Ireland do with the Brits.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

Roddy – remind me again who have hopped into bed with British Imperialism and the homophobic, sectarian bigots of the DUP?

Now – do you have anything constructive to add to the discussion.

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11. Ian - June 27, 2015

When the Greek state can’t pay pensioners and civil servants any wages or social welfare in a few weeks time then we will see possibly the worst form of austerity and social chaos imaginable. It’s going to be tragic but at least Syriza will still have a clean conscience. Right?

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Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

And what do you think the impact of €7.5 billion in cuts will have on the Greek working class.

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12. roddy - June 27, 2015

Your SP brethern never seem to mention British imperialism whilst addressing a Northern audience,lest questions be asked by the civil servants of North Down.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

I see you are wearing your green-tinted glasses again – while dodging the question.

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13. Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

Statement from Xekinima (CWI Greece)

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que - June 27, 2015

Calling a referendum is a very dangerous tactic from the perspective of the Greek working class.

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CMK - June 27, 2015

Why? The Greek working class is not in great place as it is, how much worse can things get? Were the ‘Institutions’ proposals an advance for the Greek working class? Would the hundreds of thousands of Greek working class families, three generations, surviving on pensions be better or worse off after a referendum or after the implementation of the Troikas proposals? Something big is on the way, I think, and we won’t be unaffected by it.

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que - June 27, 2015

Ah check out the posts above. A funny example of group think over riding individual assessment.

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CMK - June 27, 2015

Don’t get you? Will the referendum be an unequivocal disaster for the Greek working class? What tactics should SYRIZA adopt? If we’re all honest all we can say about the current Greek conjuncture is: we don’t know, no-one knows. One of the few occasions post 1989 when everything is up in the air.

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Ed - June 29, 2015

I think he’s referring to JRG’s immediate reaction, which doesn’t scan especially well with the statement above.

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14. roddy - June 27, 2015

Ouch,jrg tells us “calling a referendum is a very dangerous tactic” and then Murphy via his “sister party” tells us that “syriza finally took the right decision”! And he still has’nt shown me where his Northern colleagues denounce British imperialism.(And by the way that obscure document by Peter whatshis name in 197? doesnt count because its too long ago and no member of the general public ever heard of it even then!)

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Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

Roddy – clearly you are more interested in making snide petty comments than actually engaging with the issue at hand. Maybe it has something to do with your narrow nationalistic outlook.

Now – there is nothing contradictory in what I said and the statement from Xekinima. Tsipras called the referendum because he was not willing to outrightly reject the deal himself. Given that Tripras and the SYRIZA leadership have been bending over backwards to accommodate the troika for the past few weeks, calling a referendum instead of caving into the troika is absolutely the right decision – that doesn’t take away from the fact that now the referendum is called the SYRIZA leadership must throw everything into campaigning to defeat the troika proposals. Yet we still do not know if Tsipras will even advocate a vote against the troika. Furthermore SYRIZA need to go a lot further than just calling for a no vote – as the statement outlines – it is absolutely necessary to put forward a coherent alternative to austerity and drive to defeat the troika’s plans for regime change.

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CL - June 27, 2015

The Greek government said it would recommend Greeks vote “no” in the referendum, but Varoufakis was far from certain the voters would agree. He spoke of “the high possibility that the Greek people will vote against the advice of the Greek government.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/27/world/europe/ap-eu-greece-bailout-.html

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Jolly Red Giant - June 27, 2015

The Greeks will accept the deal if SYRIZA fail to put forward an alternative and that is the responsibility of Varoufakis and Tsipras.

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WorldbyStorm - June 27, 2015

‘there is nothing contradictory in what I said’

Don’t want to diss you, but hmmm…

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15. Tawdy - June 27, 2015

It seems to me that the Greek people are in the mire if they say yes and in the mire if they say no

There is a lot to be said ( and possibly gained in time ) for taking a leap of faith by saying NO!

OXI to blackmail I say.

Vencermouse to the Greek people.

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16. roddy - June 27, 2015

WBS ,OF COURSE there was nothing contradictory in what JRG said!.Just like when he accused SF of selling out to British imperialism and I called him out on his party’s less than noble record in regards to said imperialsm,he could only stoop to denouncing my “narrow nationalism”!

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17. Logan - June 27, 2015

“Vencermouse to the Greek people”

Is Vencermouse the younger brother of Dangermouse?

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18. roddy - June 27, 2015

He meant MICKEY mouse but did’nt want to sound like a “narrow nationalist”! VENCER sounds much more “roight on goys”

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Liberius - June 28, 2015

Again would you like to give us a list of your enemies of the people Roddy? If not then why not fuck off with all this bollocks you’re spouting about people who’s background you’ve fuck all knowledge of.

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que - June 28, 2015

Am I wrong in saying that Tawdy was taking a position a few threads back that was pointlessly argumentative. Roddy was on the receiving end if I recall.
I reckon he has enough of a read on him to be able to pull the piss out of him when he gets all Spanish.

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Liberius - June 28, 2015

Is “roight on goys” really acceptable in your books que? Surely it, the rubbish in comment #22 below and the continued disparaging comments towards anyone with third-level education (something I don’t have incidentally) is an indication of the sort arsehole he is? I don’t see why he deserves to be taken any more seriously than a troll.

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

Just on the substantive issue – which is of interest even if the way its phrased here isn’t, I don’t like prolier than though stuff, surely the name of the game is getting people over to the left, whoever or wherever they are from in terms of their original (and in fairness involuntary) class position.

Moreover, the most working class organisations I ever encountered were the Workers’ Party in terms of its general membership, Militant and Sinn Féin (across the last decade or two – at least in the South). Nothing wrong with that, it makes sense in terms of their class base. But nothing wrong with middle class or upper middle class people being involved as long as there’s strong anchors to the working class.

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que - June 28, 2015

I ain’t he to defend Roddy but Tawdy was being a bit much before. Vencermouse is a bit silly but a shooting offence?

Not sure what comment 22 was but if its JRGs then he was right to pull him up. It’s a bit much to be so on message that you have your own opinions until you see the presser from your own crowd at which point your previous position disappears and there wasn’t any conflict in the first place.

Look Roddy has a place here and so does JRG and the rest of us.

If every so often we call each other out for talking nonsense and dressing it up with a banner or slogan then that has a real role.
I don’t think there is harm in pilloring some one for being right on and firing off Spanish slogans. No hay un problema para me. It is a bit pretentious even if its meant with all the best will in the world.
But for all that if he slags people who have college degrees for having them then that makes no sense either since for loads of them he has no idea what people went through to get their kids there or who they are as people. In a way its the same as the roight on crowd he dislikes so ciarog eile stuff.

But this is okay because we should not all agree and act the same on everything. A while back someone said a person had been soundly left on many questions but they supported hunting.
A dumb founding non sequitur as if you couldn’t hunt and be socialist. I like that Roddy won’t fit into boxes and doesn’t want to fit into boxes. Its this box ticking sound on all points and in agreement with all points which is more problematic than the occasional poking fun.
Grand so.

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

+1 que. Just one hunting, wasn’t Engels famously fond of hunting or this my imagination. I don’t much purity tests anyhow. People muddle along and it’s often complex and contradictory but as long as they’re going in broadly the left direction that’s fair enough.

Also in fairness, let’s put this in context. This isn’t Politics.ie or elsewhere. It’s all pretty low level and mild. A little bit of flexibility is called for and allowed on all sides.

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RosencrantzisDead - June 28, 2015

It has become clear that Roddy’s greatest sin is not his solipsistic belief that he is the only working class man in the world, but rather his failure or refusal to use the bloody reply function.

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Liberius - June 28, 2015

Que, isn’t all of that just an elaborate way of letting Roddy off the hook by implying that it’s about something that it isn’t? Plurality of opinion is one thing, but the sort of rubbish that Roddy spouts about people who disagree with him being ‘toffs’, having affected D4 accents, or carping about their educational level is quite another. Now you may well be happy with Roddy’s paranoid take on those who don’t support his opinions, but I’m not, and I don’t think it helps create that plurality of opinion that you’ve taken as being under threat by him being called out on over it.

@WbS. How flexible is flexible though? What would I, or Roddy, have to write to be out of order?

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

That’s a good question Liberius. I think the answer is that something that is foolish or uninformed is not as bad as something that is malicious or has an intent of disrupting the site as a whole.

I think roddy is completely wrong in his characterisation of people, and he’s got some incorrect caricatures. But… perhaps it’s just me, I can’t take what he writes in that regard seriously. It just doesn’t concern me. It’s an idiosyncracy of his. I have asked him on occasion to rein it in and when asked he does. And you haven’t done anything I can think of that’s problematic, though I would very hesitantly suggest that there’s no need to take what he says on that very specific topic of so called middle class lefties seriously either, but that’s for you to decide.

But there’s been people whose only function was to genuinely troll this site, some in a fairly subtle fashion, some in a non too subtle fashion. With them there’s no reason, never an agreement on issues with any of us, it’s just pick pick pick.

I just don’t think that a comment about ‘roight on’ is in the same league. Not least because it’s so wide the truth of people here or more broadly on the left.

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que - June 28, 2015

@Liberius

I don’t think it’s a way to let him off the hook. For what it’s worth I think the position he has on college degrees sounds stupid and I have no issue telling him that if he asked or if I saw a comment like that. But I am not bothered by him being cantankerous. I think genuine crankiness on some issues is much better than talking about left unity all the time before shanking your erstwhile comrades and being on message in a nearly politically correct way.

So yeah free pass for Roddy but moderated by telling him to not talk shite if he is talking shite. That’s all that’s required for us all.

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19. benmadigan - June 27, 2015

Once again for all of you that want Syriza’s position from the horse’s mouth – here’s the first english translation of tsipras’s letter to the greek people https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/greek-democracy-in-action/

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

Thanks a million BM.

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20. richotto - June 28, 2015

Syriza have acted in bad faith all along with the EU and their own people by making out that they were serious about staying in the Euro in order to win the election on 37%. If they wanted a serious referendum it would have been done months ago. The problem with that is that the probable pro Euro result would have inconvenienced them in stringing out negotiations till it was too late to stay in. This is just a stage managed stunt now when all the deadlines have expired. When the Banks don’t open and the default takes place the natonalist rhetoric of humiliation etc will just take over.

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

I guess it couldn’t possibly be a ‘serious’ referendum, not after months of engagement and discussion and negotiation, months which hadn’t existed ‘months ago’, months where they sought to gain additional advantage – as anyone sensible, indeed ‘serious’ would. Again, no word of the aspects of all this made before, that they inherited a certain situation from supposedly ‘moderate’ political forces, that that situation was ushered into being and waved through by international agencies including the EU itself across a decade and a half, the appalling measures already inflicted upon citizens who knew none of this and cannot and should not be held responsible or the sheer knuckle headed stupidity economically of the measures currently being proposed by the IMF and the EU.

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que - June 28, 2015

What deadlines?

You are buying into the deadlines hook line and sinker. The Greeks could get a deadline extension from the IMF through the notification process. The Euro boys have said even if Greece details on the IMF its not a default for Europe. So much for the unity of the troika.

Look at it this way. You are proposing they be the worst sales people of all time and having been told no they just walk away and say ah well we tried. A sales man who worked that way would go hungry.
Your approach to the referendum is the equivalent of a sales man who walks up to a door and says this hers product is shit would you like to buy 2 of them.

Its a weird approach you want them to take. You seem to believe mid negotiation statements from the troika at face value.
If this were only so easy but seeing as how there have been what 10 final deadlines over the last few years that seems a mistake. The referendum forces Europe to come up with a proper proposal rather than kicking the can 5 or 6 months down the road.

Could Syriza be messing this up? They sure could but if you argue that you need more than its because Europe doesn’t work that way.

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que - June 28, 2015

Snap.

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

We think as one, a chara! 🙂 Not for the first time either.

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que - June 28, 2015

Is it because I am always right or you are always right?
😉

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richotto - June 28, 2015

They were originally supposed to get the last instalment of 7 billion in February but there was all the hassle with the new Syriza agenda so it went on and on until the last minute with the EU. Also the issue of debt write offs was on the table with Syriza then off and on again. Regression happened on tax collection since the election when that was Syrizas selling point over the New Democracy and Pasok parties. It was just the same old stroke politics. Then there was this Syriza parlimentary Orwellian named “Commission on Debt Truth” which was pushing the idea to the Greek people that they could forget about paying it back altogether. Also the rhetoric that being in the Euro meant that the Germans had to keep pouring money into the poorer counties until they reached a German standard of living. Farcical considering that has’nt been accomplished even in East Germany after 25 years! It was impossible for the 98% mandated Governments to be manipulated long term in this way. Debt write offs may be ok for banks and bondholders but much more difficult when its the citizens in the creditor countries being asked to take the hit for nothing much in return.

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

Nothing much in return? Seriously?

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21. fergal - June 28, 2015

Having a referendum places this whole issue directly to the electorate- who rules Europe? The people or those in the back offices of the troika?
I think all the talks etc puts the Irish capitulation into context- we did not negotiate full stop.
The élites here will claim the the greeks are populists etc- a ruse that will be used an awful lot in the election.
Who knows what will happen in greece next? If we can afford to looks like we should all go on holiday there:-)
Meanwhile, the booming Irish economy fairytale will be told- conveniently forgetting the 200,000 under 25s that have left, the 60,000+ on ‘labour activation schemes’, the boost to exports from a weak euro, cheap petrol- increasing domestic demand as people have more cash in their pockets…..

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22. roddy - June 28, 2015

Have to laugh when I hear “toffs” trying to enhance their street cred by fucking and blinding.It never really works in a D4 accent!

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

Toffs? Never met anyone I’d regard as a toff connected to this site, and I’ve a good nose for pretension of all sorts.

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Dr. X - June 29, 2015

And the phrase is “effing and blinding”.

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23. Pasionario - June 28, 2015

This is a big moment for the European Left. If, as now seems likely, Greece ends up out of the euro (maybe the EU) as well, then it will be a test case for whether a government pursuing radical economic policies in a developed country without major natural resources will sink or swim in the era of neo-liberalism.

If Syriza fails, then the Left will have failed for an entire generation. If they succeed (and success might just mean avoiding complete disaster), then there will be an alternative. TIA will replace TINA. The intellectual effect will be considerable.

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24. CL - June 28, 2015

“The head of the International Monetary Fund has said the Greek government’s planned referendum on the terms of any new bailout plan will be invalid after Tuesday, when the current programme expires.

Christine Lagarde told the BBC that people would be voting on proposals that were no longer in place.”
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33301985

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25. roddy - June 28, 2015

WBS,I would have no doubt my attackers would be aright bit “toffier” than me and considerably more “toffier” than the people of Greece that they’re pontificatting to.For what it’s worth,I’ll leave it to Syriza to defend their people in the most dire of circumstances and not offer them patronising advice from a distance.Their advisors have already consigned them to the list of “failures” which contains the ANC,PLO,Castro,Sandinistas zzzzzzzzz!

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2015

It’s hard to tell roddy what people are like when one hasn’t met them. I’ve met a fair few people who’ve commented on the CLR over the years and none would be ‘toffs’ as you seem to use the word. As to Syriza, I’d think most people on here would be pretty supportive of them, some critically so admittedly. But reading one of the links, I think above there was some interesting stuff about the financial backgrounds of definitive about these things. Yes, some people on the left are from middle class background. No, that doesn’t in itself invalidate what they say because it’s what they say, and more importantly what they do on foot of what they say that’s the key thing.

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26. CL - June 28, 2015

“the European Central Bank said on Sunday it would freeze the current limits on the life support it has been providing to the country’s feeble banking system….
But at the same time, the European Central Bank did not cut off support entirely, giving the Greek government some extra flexibility in the coming days.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/29/business/greeces-financial-lifeline-is-now-up-to-european-central-bank.html?_r=0

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27. roddy - June 28, 2015

I see Liberius wants Roddy section 31nd for bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood!.

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Ed - June 29, 2015

I think he might want you to take your head out of your ass for five minutes, which is slightly different, but by all means drape yourself in the cloak of martyrdom when people call you up for the nth time on your childish mudslinging.

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28. shea - June 29, 2015

if its a game of who blinks first this week europe or greece should lefties across europe be trying to unnerve their governments or something. welsh minner families taking children of the lock out sort of thing?

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Gewerkschaftler - June 29, 2015

Absolutely. Demonstrations of solidarity are strengthen the resolve of the Greek voters and to show our Troika gauleiters that we will resist as well.

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29. Gewerkschaftler - June 29, 2015

Change Europe!

The following statement sums it up for me:

We, members of trade unions, political groups, and social movements from all over Europe, came together today in Athens in truly moving and historic times.

Europe is at a crossroads. The institutions of the Troika are not only trying to destroy Greece; they are trying to destroy us all. Now is the time to raise our voices against this blackmail by the European elites.

Next Sunday the Greek people will be able to vote to reject the blackmail that is austerity and vote for dignity – with hope for another Europe.

This historic moment requires everyone in Europe to speak up and take a stand.

We all say NO to austerity, pension cuts, and VAT increases;
We all say NO to poverty and privileges;
We all say NO to blackmailing and to the dismantling of social rights;
We all say NO to fear and the destruction of democracy.

We all say YES to dignity, sovereignty, democracy, and solidarity with the citizens of Greece.

This is not just a conflict between Greece and Europe.

It is about two antagonist visions of Europe: our Europe of solidarity and democracy, created from below and without closed borders; and their vision, which denies social justice, dismantles democracy, and opposes the protection of the weakest and taxation of the wealthy.

Basta !

Enough !

Another Europe is possible !

Let us convey a loud and clear Europe-wide ‘OXI’ by participating in our own ballot, online as well as locally and symbolically in the streets and squares of Europe.

In the heat of this historic moment, we call on the people of Europe, their trade unionists, political groups, organizations, and movements to visibly express their ‘NO’ to austerity on Friday all over Europe.

Find your way to say ‘NO!’ ‘NON!’ ‘NEIN!’ ‘OXI!’

Sunday will be an important day for Europe, for us, the European people; for our dreams, for our hopes. But we know that it will not be the last stop on the road of hope in our common fight for another Europe, for and by the people. We will continue to defend democracy.

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30. Gewerkschaftler - June 29, 2015

There’s disarray in the markets because there is disarray among their political servants.

US/China/ECB I’m guessing want to prevent Grexit. IMF wants out and their money back. Schaüblistas and their neolib allies in Europe want Grexit, whatever the costs.

Let’s see what the week brings.

Oh – and all those who predicted that Tsipras & Varoufakis would cave in have been proven wrong.

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Dr. X - June 29, 2015

“Oh – and all those who predicted that Tsipras & Varoufakis would cave in have been proven wrong.”

+1

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que - June 29, 2015

If also speaks to tactics. If Syriza had not played along to some extent they would have been bested easily a fee weeks earlier. Even playing along last week seems to have been a sharp move where as rejecting it last week would have been a weaker play.

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Joe - July 1, 2015

“Oh – and all those who predicted that Tsipras & Varoufakis would cave in have been proven wrong.”

I hope I’m wrong but… ahem.

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31. Jim Monaghan - June 29, 2015

A mirror of the KKE line of hating Syriza even more than the Troika. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-a6c7-False-choice-in-Greece#.VZEnSPlVhHz

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Gewerkschaftler - June 29, 2015

That kind of stuff is not confined to the KKE, unfortunately.

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Dr. X - June 29, 2015

Maybe Tsipras should reach out to them, start riding around in a tank or similar. . .

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32. Jolly Red Giant - June 29, 2015

There has been a couple of comments (including the normal snide remarks from roddy) about some perceived contradiction between my initial comments above and the statement from Xekinima.

There is not –

I welcome the calling of the referendum – specifically because Tsipras and the SYRIZA leadership were bending over backwards to accomodate the troika. The problem for Tsipras was that the troika were bent on humiliation – not doing a deal. The calling of a referendum is infinately more preferrable than doing a rotten deal with the troika.

The position is outlined in this Xekinima statement

http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/7255

The supposed ‘contradiction’ is based on my comment that the calling of a referendum holds dangers for the working class (and the opening line of the statement hailing the calling of a referendum). Calling a referendum (rather than outright rejection) does contain dangers – if SYRIZA is defeated then the government will fall to be replace with a new compliant right-wing regime and catastropic cuts will be imposed.

This has also outlined by Xekinima

The other danger is that Tsipras and the SYRIZA leadership do not appear to be presenting any alternative to the deal and are merely calling for a NO vote. Indeed Tsipras’s speech announcing the referendum is couched in nationalist tones (calls for ‘national unity’ etc) than made on a class basis. This is a mistake. It is inevitable that a NO vote will result in Greece defaulting and leaving the Euro. The Xekinima statement says the following –

<em"At the same time, we have to be clear that voting NO to the lenders, will mean the exit of the country from the Eurozone.

The transition from a strong international currency like the euro, to the drachma, the currency of a small economy, contains dangers."

It is absolutely vital that SYRIZA campaign against the troika by outlining a clear alternative to the rule of capital to mobilise the working class – and this should include a clear statement that Greece will be forced out of the Euro. It should be noted that the latest opinion before the collapse of the talks indicated that 29% supported a return to the drachma. There is a massive amount of work to be done over the next ten days to mobilise working class people to defeat the troika. The implementation of capital controls and the restriction of ATM withdrawals is a step forward by SYRIZA – something that should have been done weeks ago (and something Xekinima has been calling for since the election). But Xekinima goes further by making the following point –

But at the same time we must all demand from SYRIZA to not restrict the struggle to only one for a NO vote. We must march forward boldly and decisively, in order to take the power away from big capital; to have the commanding heights of the economy passed onto the hands of society; and proceed to the democratic planning of the economy through social and workers’ control and management, to finish once and for all with the plunder of our labour, the scandals, the corruption and theft.

The Xekinima statement is written as a propaganda piece for public consumption in Greece. It is going to outline the situation in a positive light while also warning of the potential dangers in the situation.

Over the next two weeks SYRIZA and the Greek working class are going to be subjected to the most vicious propaganda onslaught against the left that will have been witnessed in decades. It will include every means at the disposal of the elites and can only be resisted by a bold and positive campaign based on the class struggle in Greece and internationally (and the international left have a responsibility to do everything in its power to assist the Greek working class).

(and if roddy wants to have a debate about the compromises by republicans with British imperialism and the attitude of the Socialist Party I would welcome it and maybe WbS might facilitate it – but this is not the thread for such a discussion)

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shea - June 29, 2015

How do you mean bending over backwards? Germanys negotiations leverage is ‘we will destroy you’ its not like they are two equal opponents and Syria are not making the effort. classic gun to the head stuff and Greece have just said I dare you. They may end up a corpse on the ground or the Germans may choke but nothing snivelling in it.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 29, 2015

I suggest you read the proposals that Tsipras made to the troika last week.

The troika rejected those proposals and decided to go ‘all in’ to try and achieve regime change in Greece and destroy the anti-austerity movement. The troika are battling for their class interests – Tsipras has moved significantly from the original Salonica Programme which wasn’t even significantly left wing.

If SYRIZA is defeated then he government will fall and the elites will go on a major ideological offensive against the Europe-wide anti-austerity movement.

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shea - June 29, 2015

i suggest you go to the black fordge on the drimnagh rd wait around the pool table and i will see you later.

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shea - June 29, 2015

i’ll be the bloke playing shit, bring money.

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Joe - June 29, 2015

🙂

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richotto - June 29, 2015

What exactly is this alternative? No banking system. No hard currency to buy imports. No one to lend them any. Government printing money which becomes increasingly devalued. No one is spelling out what exactly will underpin the Greek economy in a post euro world. The business sector is despised by the Syriza government almost as much as the EU. There seems to be the assumption that if Greece can just forget and renege on the 3OO billion euro debt and wipe the slate clean they can pay their way. The problem is that they are unable to generate sufficent wealth to pay so many workers under their system a full pension at 50 which is happening at present for example.

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EWI - June 29, 2015

The business sector is despised by the Syriza government

Poor diddums.

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Paul Wilson - June 30, 2015

In one word Russia and the Eurasian Economic Community.

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shea - June 30, 2015

greeks are dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t being honest about it. no easy way. If the Germans are serious about wanting money of them well its not going to happen if the greeks get their fingers broke and their legs smashed. Only alternative i can see is in that, the greeks are saying either we can talk or get on with doing what your saying your going to do. treats are useless against someone who doesn’t give a fuck.

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Paul Wilson - June 30, 2015

Shea you are right there,I am thinking of the paths chosen in different circumstances I know by Iceland and Argentina. Can Greece be expelled from the Euro? or the EU? Can anyone stop tourists going to Greece? When someone tells you TINA that means there is.

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Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

Paul – as far as I’m aware there are no legal mechanisms to expel a country from the Euro.

However – when it comes to the ‘needs’ of the big players in the ‘community’ it seems that international law is often, shall we say, finessed.

And you’re right – when people shout TINA loudest then it’s a sure sign that there are viable alternatives. Everyone with half a brain admits that restructuring of public debt is long overdue in Europe.

On membership of the EU, members can not be expelled but can be suspended if they:

persistently breaches the EU’s founding values (respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities), outlined in TEU Article 2.

Hungary should have long ago been suspended, and an argument could be made that all Troika-supporters have breached democratic and human dignity values with respect to Greece.

So logically they should all be suspended with Greece as the only remaining EU member. 🙂

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shea - June 30, 2015

Paul bearing in mind that today is the type of day that disinformation would be going on all over the place but was mentioned on Rte radio at one that Bulgaria had closed their borders to Greeks crossing over to use the atm. Not sure how that works. Rules are sacred till the bloke with the big stick says they are not.

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Liberius - June 30, 2015

If that’s true then it’s a serious breach of one of the basic founding pillars of the EU, free movement of people. Indeed I’ve looked and can’t find any kind of exemption that might permit any member-state to do that. Though for our CLR legal eagles to ponder, I’ll link to the directive in question.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32004L0038&from=EN

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Ed - June 30, 2015

Oh just piss off, seriously. This is grown-up business, a matter of life and death for victims of austerity in Greece, and there’s enough drivel being pumped out at every turn in the Irish mainstream media for us not to have to put up with more of the same shite on a rare alternative platform. With all due respect and in all awareness of the standards of debate that WBS usually encourages on this site, would you ever FUCK OFF AND STAY FUCKED OFF.

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Liberius - June 30, 2015

I doubt that’ll work, I’m coming to the conclusion that rather than commenting in order to get kicks Richotto instead sees himself as a missionary out to save us savages from our uncivilised ways by converting us to the righteous path of capitalism.

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WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2015

Yep, I’ve noticed richotto doesn’t actually engage with anything anyone else puts up to address his or her points. I can’t really see the point.

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richotto - June 30, 2015

Always people here complaining about the TINA argument. But no answer to where the money is coming from in my question above about where is the alternative to the Euro countries propping up the Greek economy. Thats how the fiscal treaty got passed here by over 60/40 despite the unpopularity of the measures.

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shea - June 30, 2015

it seems to be generally accepted that if Greece do not accept the troikas terms then they stand a good chance of getting smashed into the ground so the answer to your question is no vissible alternative at the moment.

Follow on question. In the event of Greece getting smashed into the ground how does the trioka which includes our government get the money it is claimed it is entitled too?

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richotto - June 30, 2015

So if the citizens of the rest of the Euro countries hand over another 300 billion eu they just might be nice enough to return a bit then eventually at their convenince, no pressure like, seems to be what you are saying. And lower the retirement age to 40 why not?

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shea - June 30, 2015

no this could end with the governments of the rest of europe being true to their word and cutting them off but what is the value in that, for me like?

maybe find another way.

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Paul Wilson - June 30, 2015

I think richotto is really John Palmer from the Guardian in disguise.

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richotto - June 30, 2015

Still no answer. At least Cuba for example did some work, paid their way in the world and has something to be proud about. I wonder what they would think of what passes for socialism in Greece.

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CL - June 30, 2015

richotto=John Palmer? Hardly.

“Given the elementary injustice of the Greek case, almost complete absence of elementary solidarity from the major social democratic parties in the EU, has been stunning. After some initially friendly rhetoric after Syriza’s election victory, these parties have carefully kept their distance from anything which might look like support for Athens.”
http://www.socialeurope.eu/2015/06/we-must-stand-with-greece-for-the-sake-of-europe/

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WorldbyStorm - July 1, 2015

richotto, you’re not really in any position to complain about others not answering you given your lack of engagement with those who do critique your comments.

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Ed - July 1, 2015

I haven’t seen you engage at all with my contention that you should FUCK OFF AND STAY FUCKED OFF. What counter-arguments can you present to my devastating case for the necessity of you FUCKING OFF AND STAYING FUCKED OFF?

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que - June 30, 2015

Do you know that the ECB has created €240 million euro since March.

Where did it come from? From taxpayers?

You have some definite positions on Greece but you need to round out your knowledge otherwise you are damaging

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33. Gewerkschaftler - June 29, 2015

Junker, like so many of the elite, is emotionally and morally tone-deaf to go on about suicide to the Greek people.

So many have taken their own lives in Greece because of the hopelessness that resulted from the wilful Troika-imposed sacrifice of the Greek economy to the stone-hearted gods of insane economic dogma.

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34. Gewerkschaftler - June 29, 2015

As usual the former Social Democrats are out-doing the Conservatives in pressurising the Greek people with threats and lies into voting Yes for their own austerian destruction.

Sigmar Gabriel is simply a disgrace.

The old couplet from Weimar times applies:

Wer hat uns veraten?
Die Sozialdemokraten!

(= Who betrayed us? The Social Democrats!) Except it sounds better in German.

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35. CL - June 29, 2015

The betrayal of Jean-Claude Juncker by the Greek government is really heart rending; has Syriza no empathy for the sacrifices made by this outstanding public servant?
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33311240

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36. roddy - June 29, 2015

I wish people when they are in a hole would stop digging.Is that all you could come up with after going away in a huff for 2 days?

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Jolly Red Giant - June 29, 2015

Well roddy – some of us have other things to do in life than troll Internet forums. And you are as constructive as ever.

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37. roddy - June 29, 2015

I support Syriza.Is that constructive enough?

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2015

Yeah but it’s not the right sort of support apparently 🙂

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Jolly Red Giant - June 29, 2015

Do you support the compromise proposals put forward by Tsipras to the troika last week?

On what basis do you think SYRIZA should camapign against the troika in the referendum?

What policies do you believe are needed to solve the ongoing grinding poverty being experienced by the Greek working class?

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Joe - June 29, 2015

One question at a time JRG. Do you not know that if you throw questions in quick succession at Roddy, he’ll just stare at a fixed spot on the wall. Basic technique from anti-interrogation training. Do yis not get that in the SP as well?

Liked by 1 person

Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

🙂

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38. roddy - June 29, 2015

OK, I’ll support Syriza now and then change my mind in a couple of minutes when some “sister party” who nobody has ever heard of says it’s appropriate to do so!

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Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

🙂

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39. Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

Goldman Sachs – the people who cooked the books to enable Greece’s entry into the Euro are now advising on how it could exit. You couldn’t make it up.

The vampire squid extends another feeding tube.

Notice how GS’s culpability for the whole business has been hardly mentioned in the MSM. And it won’t be with their man as head of the ECB.

There are those who say that GS’s long game is to persuade the ECB into the kind of Quantative Easing (i.e. pumping vast amounts of freshly printed electronic money into banks etc. – ostensibly to ‘reflate the economy’ but in fact used by them to improve their balance sheets and speculate further) that Wall Street has enjoyed for the last five years.

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Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

I should have said ‘that Wall Street enjoyed from the Federal Reserve’.

$3.7 trillion. Some chunk of change – and all to keep insolvent speculators in business.

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40. Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

Whatever one may think about the advisability or likelihood of Greece’s now leaving the Euro, tactically in order to win the referendum on Sunday it is essential that referendum should not be seen by the Greek voters as a referendum on Grexit.

Why do you think the TINA merchants from all over have tried to make it the issue today?

And those on the left who strengthen their hand by banging on about the joys of Grexit are doing the democratic side in the referendum (OXI!) campaign of Syriza no favours.

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Pasionario - June 30, 2015

I disagree. It should be obvious to everyone that a NO vote means Grexit. To suggest otherwise is an insult to voters’ intelligence.

Tsipras and Varoufakis are getting their messages hopelessly mixed with this new bailout proposal (which will probably be rejected anyway) whereas they should be planning for the consequences of a NO vote and explaining to people why Grexit is now the best option.

At this stage, my hunch is that such confusion will help the YES side to win. And that’s the end of Syriza.

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41. Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

More horseshite from former Social Democrats:

The rumoured ‘new version’ of the socially and economically disastrous ultimatum being imposed on Greece – the master plan by Sigmar Gabriel and Martin Schulz is, in fact, practically identical to the one on which Greek’s will be voting on Sunday.

A comparison can be found here.

It’s in German but in English the generous list of concessions include:

1. 13% VAT for hotels instead of 23% ( both of which will dampen the tourist trade and deflate the economy.)
2. The consolidation of the social fund should not take place within two years of it’s initiation in 2017.

And, and…

… well that’s it in fact.

No mention of debt restructuring, no mechanisms to reflate an economy that’s already comatose, no help for the starving and those who are dying because they can’t afford medical treatment …

With friends like these….

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42. Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

10 Billion yoyos plus of ‘smart’ hedge-fund money tied up in Greek government bonds it seems. There was more after 2013 but some managed to sell before Syriza was elected.

Let’s hope they loose the lot.

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ar scáth a chéile - June 30, 2015

might be a deal done yet – greeks have put a proposal for a new bailout without the IMF and with debt restrucuting

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ar scáth a chéile - June 30, 2015

restructuring ..can’t spell with the nerves about all this

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43. roddy - June 30, 2015

Who was just told to f off and stay f—d off? Its not easy to discern in the cut and thrust of debate!

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Gewerkschaftler - June 30, 2015

Not you roddy – one Rich Otto.

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44. Jolly Red Giant - June 30, 2015

Tsipras has proposed a new bailout with the EU. This is a mistake, it is playing into the hands of the right-wing and it will confuse the Greek working class. Any bailout would come at enormous cost and in any event is likely to be rejected by Merkel.

Some people may argue that this is a ‘tactic’ from Tsipras – it’s not – it’s more of the same approach of the last few weeks with Tsipras willing to accept major austerity cuts in return for a rotten deal.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 30, 2015

New statement from Xekinima on the dangers inherent in the approach being taken by Tsipras (written before the latest ‘proposals’ from Tsipras for another bailout)-

http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/7263

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shea - June 30, 2015

A big campaign in the factories and the streets for what? build an ad hoc social welfare system, collect a petition to send to Europe what exactly?

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que - June 30, 2015

Defeatist talk Joe. It’s sufficient to campaign. Your insistence on a goal will confuse the working class. Funnily enough they chose the word massive to indicate the size of the campaign. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. Could well be the 40th massive mass campaign of solidarity. Hopefully this time really will be different.
Cynical no not really. We need to be more pro active pointing out ridiculous situations like this. Surely we owe each other that.

Tspiras is correct to suggest a multi year bailout. In order to win the referendum he needs to show the troika argument of an in out vote is false and that negotiation will continue. A bailout request shows that.

The KKE are so short sighted that they won’t even consider a no vote. Calling for a no vote but then not working to counter an effective line of attack from the troika and its quisling Greek allies is better but only marginally so. Syriza don have the luxury of running new mass campaigns every other month. Your mass campaign fails and you ignore it and start the next one. Syriza fails and Greece gets nailed even further.
All due respect but it’s hard to take Xenima serious when there opportunism sorry cough principles are so clear to see and so weak a strategy.

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shea - June 30, 2015

So he proposes a deal thats unlikely to be accepted but is not a tactic!

How does that work Ted?

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Jolly Red Giant - June 30, 2015

Tsipras and sections of the SYRIZA leadership want to do a deal with the EU and are willing to accept massive austerity to do it. But Tsipras is also under enormous pressure from the left- wing of SYRIZA and the Greek working class not to accept the diktats of the troika.

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shea - June 30, 2015

Why would anyone inGreece not wants to do a deal whats going on is Greeks saying not at any costs, thats the difference . They may choke would not blame them if they did, if a gun is ever put at my head and I have the courage to put the choice back to them then I’ll lecture others

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45. roddy - June 30, 2015

Apparently “a socialist confederation of europe” is now the answer.Bad enough letting the imperialist Brits ruling over us but the rest of the colonial powers now giving them a hand!

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Joe - June 30, 2015

Colonial powers? Roddy, I think the clue is in the word ‘socialist’.

Personally, I would go further and aim for a socialist confederation of the world.

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Mark P - June 30, 2015

You are trying to argue with nationalist imbecility, Joe. Save your keystrokes.

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46. roddy - June 30, 2015

Thing is what started off as a socialist federation might not stay that way and the Brits, France and Germany might get old ideas.

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47. roddy - June 30, 2015

Go away and invade the Malvinas or somewhere Mark!

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48. Jolly Red Giant - June 30, 2015

I see the KKE are up to their usual sectarian antics – calling for people to abstain in the vote.

Their sectarianism is leading them to a position that results in a pro-yes position.

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que - June 30, 2015

They are truly an awful party and the vote for the KKE is in my opinion a wasted vote. 5% of Greeks are foolish to do so.

Call a spade a spade. Junker might send them a Christmas card if its close.

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49. Paul Wilson - June 30, 2015

I really think, it is of course up to the Greek people that we need to think post Euro or even post European Union. The Greek people have been ill served by their inclusion in the western alliance. From day one they have been one of the whipping boys of NATO /EU from covert support of the Colonels to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Greece I believe was the only nation in NATO to oppose the NATO intervention in Kosovo. As we acknowledge this year the centenary of the Armenian Holocaust it might be instructive to remember that Greek Orthodox civilians were also though in smaller numbers the victims of this Holocaust which the present day Turkish Government still refuse to admit this even happened. Of course the powers that be in the EU Commision would love to admit Turkey to their European Family. In all honesty I think the future of Greece lies elsewhwere.

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WorldbyStorm - July 1, 2015

Not so sure about that. I think it is highly unlikely that the Commission is keen to admit Turkey. Anything but. The history of the last ten years has been a very very hands off approach from the EU in relation to Turkey with significant hurdles to climb.

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richotto - July 1, 2015

One of the red lines for Syriza was to hold defence spending at a level which was the highest for a NATO country outside of USA at the behest of their coalition partners who held that ministry.

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shea - July 1, 2015

Yeah the sell out caved on it, cut on the cap expenditure of 600 million in the next two years and the same every year after

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50. Enzo - July 1, 2015

Total Capitulation by Syriza?

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shea - July 1, 2015

Or an olive branch. they are in a week position their only leverage is suicide against people who have no problem kicking the shit out of them

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Enzo - July 1, 2015

it’s a pretty big olive branch to give them. Basically agreeing to 95% of the bailout terms offered last week.

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shea - July 1, 2015

The Germans are saying no negotiations until after Sunday. Basically telling everyone on their side to stay calm and don’t break ranks. The Greeks making offers to some and not to others is probably an attempt to do that.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

Give it a rest till after Sunday, eh?

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51. 6to5against - July 1, 2015

I think they already had agreed to most of the troikas demands. This was just an attempt – like last weeks offer – to be allowed a small amount of leeway in deciding policy. But it appears that even that will not be conceded.

It does look like a defeat for Syriza. But it also looks like a defeat for the concept that any ideas other than those of the neo liberal orthodoxy are valid.

Profoundly depressing.

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shea - July 1, 2015

Its Wednesday day.

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52. CL - July 1, 2015

Merkel is saying that the proposed offer,-which Sunday’s referendum will accept or reject-no longer exists.

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shea - July 1, 2015

Yes there was some suggestions today for harsher terms but also saying no terms if they vote no. Can’t see a spot light on their contradictions

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53. CL - July 1, 2015

“Human rights body the Council of Europe has said the referendum, which will ask Greeks if they want to accept their creditors’ proposals, would “fall short of international standards” if held as planned on Sunday.

The body’s Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland told AP that the fact the vote “has been called on such a short notice… is a major problem”, and criticised the lack of clarity in the question to be put to voters.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33345219

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shea - July 1, 2015

Not about leaving the eu or the euro according to the bloke who called it just there. Need for clarity from Europeans who say no means out what are they basing their opinions on do they know what a fact is, will the Irish government even get so much as a ton back if present European course is followed.

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CL - July 1, 2015

Rejecting a proposal, which Merkel says is no longer on offer, could hardly be a basis for ousting Greece from the Eurozone.

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shea - July 1, 2015

Agreed. Free rain given to this scaremongering on Sor today put in a call but nothing will come of it.

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Pasionario - July 1, 2015

The Greeks no longer get to decide whether they remain in the Eurozone, Merkel does. That’s not how you might like it to be, but it’s the case.

If there’s no new bailout money, then the Greek government will have no way of paying back a big loan due later this month to the ECB, at which point the ECB will cut off all liquidity to the Greek banks, forcing them to start printing Drachmas. Technically, the decision still lies with the Greek government but the choice comes down to one between no money or their own money.

There’s just no another way this can play out. So if it’s NO, then it’s Grexit (which I support). Merkel is right and Tsipras and Varoufakis are just bluffing. In the process, they are contributing to a YES vote because the average voter will realize that they’re full of shit and have no plan B.

Now is when they should be planning for a new currency and preparing to use their gold reserve to maintain the supply of essential imports during the transition. Instead they’re waffling on television and saying things they know to be untrue.

It’s a total intellectual and strategic failure on the part of what was supposed to be the most dynamic force on the European Left. It’s like Trotsky at Brest-Litovsk — “Neither Peace nor War”. Neither Grexit nor austerity! La la la la la la

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Paul Wilson - July 1, 2015

Pasionaio you have that in one, I agree completely.

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shea - July 1, 2015

if a large section of greeks are worried about leaving the euro or the eu now is a mental time with four days to go to a referendum to start talking about it if you want their support, i hope they are planning for it just in case and their may be people in the greek government that want the same as you in the medium to long term but saying it this week would be an own goal.

scaremongering about being kicked out of the euro is europes trump card, it gets dusted down for every referendum here. If merkel lets it get to the point where she forces to greeks to print their own currency again and she might, then that is saying good bye to billions and takes some balls if the only thing she gets out of it is saving face.

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Pasionario - July 1, 2015

The Greeks want incompatible things. The main job of politicians should be to explain why those things are incompatible and then argue for one or the other. Otherwise you get Bertieism.

At this stage, the Greeks are so fed up with the Troika and Syriza have spent so long in fruitless negotiations that, with a bit of courage and candour, they could present a forceful and persuasive argument for Grexit as being the least worst option, if they decided to do so.

Instead, they are pandering to the electorate’s worst delusions. Varoufakis has even said that bank deposits are completely safe. How can anyone, let alone a man with PhD in economics, believe that for a second when the banks aren’t even bloody open! It’s lunacy and a derogation of responsibility on the part of the government, which is simultaneously contributing to its own demise.

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shea - July 1, 2015

this government has to get past sunday first. If they don’t get the vote they said they will resign, there is honour in that, if they can’t get the vote on this what chances of them getting a vote on a greek exit.

People here panicked at threats of ostracization from europe in less trying times than what the greeks are facing this week. I don’t like it but it happens and has to be recognised as a factor. It would be nice if people here and in greece all had the frame of mind that you want but evidently they don’t. Syriza have a short time for this battle what is smart about taking on an extra battle they believe they can not win? Can only play the hand you are dealt. If this goes past sunday there will be other cards put out and it might come to what you want or it might not.

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Pasionario - July 1, 2015

You underestimate the negative effect on the electorate of Syriza’s own incoherence. They’ve only just made up their own minds to vote NO and have been sending out mixed messages since the referendum was called. All of this inspires the opposite of confidence and will put people off voting for their proposals (whatever their proposal might be). Under those circumstances, many will decide that surrender to the EU under right-wing technocrats at least has the virtue of clarity.

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shea - July 1, 2015

all humans are incompetent, thats what makes them equal, its the great leveller.

bar one tweet this morning by one of their members think they have in the circumstances that are laible to change been as constidtent as possible. Have seen others misrepresent them widely, also understandable in the circumstances.

i have no expectation that Syriza will come out of this with the greek version of the 32 county socialist republic or what ever you are into yourself. They are up for a fight against a bigger opponent, as a given that means they will get a hiding, very understandable if they break, don’t see them doing bad so far.

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dilettante - July 1, 2015

Pasionario, you sound like you have bought the Michael Noonan line.

The media (with their friends from Goldman Sachs, the EU institutions, governments, etc.) are pushing all sorts of disinformation.

Keep calm.
Keep focused on the referendum.
Support SYRIZA.
Support a No vote.

(There will be time enough to denounce after Sunday).

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Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

+1000 fellow dilettante!

Leave post-mortems to if and when the person has died.

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54. benmadigan - July 1, 2015

here are Mr varoufakis reasons for voting No – with a few extra bits and pieces (pics and a vid) https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/6-reasons-to-support-the-vote-for-oxi/

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shea - July 1, 2015

+1

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55. dilettante - July 1, 2015

Yes or No, there will be negotiations on Monday. The Greeks are voting on to whom they will give the card to fill their flush.

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56. richotto - July 2, 2015

Greece is out of the bailout now and more and more the Government will have to accept responsability rather than playing the blame game which is all its done up to now on the main issue. Once the banking system is closed its a game changer. They just can’t re-open again regardless of the result with everyone trying to take everything out. Its going the route of Cyprus at the moment where the government had to accept depositors losing money wholesale. That was a conservative government though. Syriza could go the route of forcing an ecomomic collapse as an acceptable price to pay for its principles or else get out of office somehow and let a technocratic government run the country until another election. As far as things that make the government sustainable like tax collection go its been downhill big time since the election and the only answer given was to milk the Euro countries to make up the difference. I can’t see how the Euro countries could just let the negotiations take up where they left off at this stage. A more Cyprus style moment of truth would be in play now.

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WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2015

What’s most fascinating about your approach is how you adamantly refuse to address any of the points put to you repeatedly, points echoed in the Guardian, and indeed the IT overnight and by numerous mainstream economists, that the austerity policies are unsustainable, etcetera. It’s as if you genuinely are unable to see this in anything other than blame Greece context.

I think Syriza can be faulted for various things – tactical and strategic, but their ever increasingly desperate efforts to reframe matters away from an orthodoxy that simply cannot work is not one of them.

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richotto - July 2, 2015

I think there was some limited progress in the year preceding the election, a growth rate of 2% I think and a primary budget surplus. Once a trend emerges it can accelerate particularly if the international environment is benign. Some good faith has to be shown on the Greek side that they are spending the money they have got wisely before looking for more. We have turned the corner with 120% debt to GDP ratio. Altough there is plenty of room for moaning its normal moaning and not along the lines of will the lights still be on next week. We also overcame a 130% debt ratio from the late 80’s. There was no proof that a repayment schedule which they were given is unworkable, just opinions. Without any co-operation from the Greek govt such as since last January things are doomed immediately and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. Thats my answer then but revealingly there was no take up on the question repeatedly put of what is the alternative to staying in the Euro?

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Ed - July 2, 2015

Nobody gives a shit what you “think” about non-existent “limited progress”. Your half-baked unsubstantiated waffle is of no interest to anybody. You make up your own set of facts, puke them all over this site, and ignore the countless rebuttals you receive in return. Time to sod off and leave us in peace for good. You were gone for a good while there, but you’ve returned like a nasty rash at just the time when tolerance for rehashed Sindo opinion columns and Bild bigotry is going to be at an absolute minimum. Just fuck off, seriously.

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richotto - July 2, 2015

A 2% growth rate in 2014 and establishment of a primary budget surplus is substaniated. Under Syriza there has been a 20% decrease in tax collection. A willful reversal has taken place then. There have been no rebuttals that you refer to in your abusive piece. Again no answer to the question of what the alternative is to staying in the Euro? I understand its nothing personal, simply that the question is too difficult.

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shea - July 2, 2015

With out a referee the arbitrator of what is fair or realistic for the subservient is the whim of the dominant.

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Ed - July 2, 2015

No, it’s entirely personal – you’re an odious reactionary twerp who wants to see the people of Greece utterly crushed by financial terrorism. Once again, fuck off and stay fucked off.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 2, 2015

Just to be clear on this:

There were reports that Greece had experienced growth in Q4 2014. Nominal growth was 0.7%.

Some looked at this ‘growth’ and thought it was nonsense: http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=29740

Others said that it was probably coming from the vast road-building in Greece that was funded by EU grants: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/22/greece-growth-austerity-eases-europe-imf

Either way, it does little to support the argument that is being presented by one particular poster.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

More generally arguments based on ‘growth’ and ‘productivity’ are a crock, unless you answer the question ‘growth of what and who has benefited from it?’ and ‘productivity to what end?’.

GDP in Ireland reportedly grows. Is anyone outside the richest 0.1% better off as a result?

I doubt it. Rather the reverse.

And even the 0.1% have just gotten more stuff and bragging rights.

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WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2015

I share your irritation Ed, this is the first time richotto has even partly addressed questions put to him/her on this thread, but you know, in one way richotto is very useful in offering us a close look at a certain strand of centre right thinking (or in some instances self-identified social democratic thinking) and how purely political and ideological it actually is. And it’s probably also useful to consider just how widespread such thinking is – and how useful it is to be able to shape counter narratives against its mostly specious (or in this case near enough non-existent) arguments. So I tend to think that s/he is inadvertently and for all the pain doing us a bit of a favour. Not that I think there’ll be much more engagement in evidence. I’d also think that we have to keep in mind that we don’t have to engage if we don’t want to and that one of the principles of this site is that it is welcome to all – or all who arrive in good faith. It would be good to have some engaged, constructive and thoughtful non-left wing voices on this site. The key words and terms there, though, are ‘good faith’ engaged, constructive and thoughtful, none of which are in evidence from richotto.

That said richotto’s contribution is so much in error that it is laughably easy to pick holes in it, for all the pompous rhetoric s/he adopts in the last comment or two.

Like RID I’ve heard that ‘limited growth and primary budget surplus’ point made before by those attempting to defend the orthodox position, and in addition to the points he makes it is entirely possible that there was a minor shift in one direction or another (moreover, and this is crucial, the political aspects of this in Greece itself are essential to understand and the actual response or lack of same from the EU et al and the strategy carried out by the NDP led coalition which was precisely to get a debt relief the EU had no intention of gifting to them and in whose interest it was to big up even the most ephemeral stats despite getting no result at all from it. http://www.thecorner.eu/news-europe/greece-go-wrong/42614/).

But two obvious points, the broader trend was in the opposite direction, as were a multitude of other economic indicators, and the international markets themselves didn’t believe it – again look at the link above – when the Samaras government said they could exit the bailout ‘early’. Indeed the situation worsened again in Q4 of 2014 (with a .4 percent contraction in the economy) well in advance of the arrival of SYRIZA – and we could of course ponder who it was who called a snap election, couldn’t we? It certainly wasn’t SYRIZA. So to posit that there was some trend which SYRIZA wrecked is to pile absurdity upon absurdity.

But perhaps more importantly again the consensus, and the overwhelming consensus – as noted this very morning on this site – is that the demands placed by the EU and IMF are impossible for the Greek government, much less the economy itself to sustain – full stop. This consensus stretches from economists of left and right, most media commentators and analysts (including the editorial pages of the SBP, FT, etc, etc). In fact as we learn today this consensus stretches all the way to Merkel herself and that her public pronouncements on the matter have been utterly at variance with the private ones. The transcripts released today date from 2011, but nothing has fundamentally changed in the broad parameters of the issue. An illusory shift in stats one way or another doesn’t negate that in the slightest.

To argue that Greece had ‘turned a corner’ is economically illiterate, and considered so by legions of economists.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/merkel-admitted-in-2011-greek-debt-unsustainable-1.2270858

Moreover one would have to have been wilfully averting ones eyes from outlines of the actual economic situation to realise that however perilous our situation in this state and however severe the level of austerity faced by many many here it was of a different if no less noxious scale to that facing the Greek polity after the extremity of the levels of austerity across a half decade that they have faced. Look at the measures introduced in the past five years. Look at what they’ve done to Greece and its citizens. Look at where matters stood in Q3 of 2014 with a supposed recovery and unemployment rates of 25% etc.

To suggest therefore that all this comes back on the Greek government and its rhetoric is futile. They have literally no space to move in this context.

In truth this can be reduced to a simple formulation. How can any responsible government accede to economic diktats about which there is broad consensus that they will not and cannot work? It would be the height of irresponsibility of the Greek government to continue to impose, to indeed accentuate the imposition, of such policies on their citizenry, or not to do everything in their power to find some alternative to it or to attempt to persuade those championing them of their recklessness. And just to be clear it is evident that for all the rhetoric to the contrary that the Greek government was willing to accede to a considerable degree to those diktats. Where it wasn’t there were cogent arguments as to why it wasn’t. The SYRIZA programme which it was elected upon is remarkably – some would say, unbelievably, moderate for a formation with Eurocommunist, Trotskyist and other factions within it. And yet it’s remained at the table, sought some sort of agreement, and generally stuck with an approach that – once more, that consensus agrees is the correct one.

As to whether they are better to stay in the Eurozone or to depart, I cannot make that assessment. I could understand how given all that has happened to them in the past five years they might feel they had little to lose. I think it is long past time that the Eurozone itself realised that there are costs in relation to sustaining Greece, both within the Eurozone and within the EU proper and that solidarity, if nothing else, demands that it/they shoulder a good portion of the burden that the Greek people have had placed upon them across the last half decade. I’m probably marginally more europhile than most on here, though I’d be very critical of the way the EU has developed and the ramifications of same, so I’m not going to dismiss the EU out of hand or the eurozone either. But it seems to me that they have, and particularly the latter, forced towards political ends rather than economic ones and that troubles me greatly. Your own arguments – such as they are – reflect this perfectly.

Finally, it’s telling to me how you seem to believe that the only way forward is through the orthodoxy, an orthodoxy that is cemented and permeated and permeates a certain brand of right of centre political and economic and ideological thinking. Indeed your rather glib final thought and the passive aggressive tone in your further comments is remarkably revealing. Given that large trenches within the broader orthodoxy actually dissent from that approach one would think that you’d perhaps reevaluate your seeming steadfast adherence to it? I’m not holding my breath though.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 2, 2015

There was no proof that a repayment schedule which they were given is unworkable, just opinions.

Balaclava, October 25 1854.

Major General: Come in, Colonel.

Colonel: Lord Cardigan, you sent for me?

Major General: Yes. I have received orders from Lord Raglan, by way of Lord Lucan, that we are to have the Light Brigade charge the valley between the Fedyukhin Heights and the Causeway Heights and take the artillery there. Please gather the men.

Col.: This must be a mistake! The valley is surrounded by artillery, all in enfilade. The charge will be completely ineffective; we will be slaughtered!

::Enter richotto::

richotto: sorry that is just an opinion.

Col.: Excuse me?

richotto: there is no proof that the charge would be ineffective. there is just your opinion.

Col.: We are lightly armoured and being asked to charge straight at artillery firing cannon and grape shot. I cannot how anyone can think that we will not be…

richotto: napoleon charged artillery with his cavalry I think. no reason to think that would not work. what else would you do? nothing you have no plan for what else to do.

Col.: If we commit to this charge, we will lose at least half our brigade. To suggest otherwise is madness. You clearly have no military experience

richotto: you have not dealt with my napoleons point at all. have you nothing to say to that.

Major General: We have no choice but to execute the order.

richotto: good. glad to see a grown up point of view

FIN

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57. Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

Fair play to the Greek government techies who got this bilingual web-site about the coming referendum up in pretty short order.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

Which, before the usuals start up, is also publishing arguments for a ‘Yes’ vote.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

Interestingly Yes (ναί) is pronounced Nai in Greek.

Which goes all the way back to the Greek of Homer and the Platonic dialogues and the Indo-European postulated root *eno.

[*eno-, *ono-, *no-, *ne- (2), idg., Pron.: nhd. jener; ne. that; RB.: Pokorny 319 (467/48), ind., iran., arm., phryg./dak.?, gr., ital., germ., balt., slaw., toch.?, heth.?; Hw.: s. *onio-, *nā, *nē; W.: s. gr. νή (nḗ), Partikel, ja, wahrhaftig; W.: s. gr. ναί (naí), Partikel, fürwahr, allerdings, jawohl […]]

It means something more than Yes – more like ‘Indeed, certainly, you said it!…’. Apparently – I’m not Greek scholar.

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58. richotto - July 2, 2015

Don’t hide behind that Ed. Its a difficult question but you can try from your safe distance.

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shea - July 2, 2015

It’s a hypothetical question at the moment, Greek government not proposing leaving euro. maybe redirect question to persons saying accept terms or leave.

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Ed - July 2, 2015

What part of “fuck off and stay fucked off” is unclear to you? I have no interest in debating any question with you. You are the enemy, but in your case, a completely irrelevant enemy, unlike Eoghan Harris or Stephen Collins or any of the other drones pumping out their drivel in the right-wing press. Your argument have been destroyed time and time again on this site and you always ignore the rebuttals, so the only appropriate response is to tell you to FUCK OFF AND STAY FUCKED OFF. TIME TO FUCK OFF RIGHT NOW. ARE YOU GETTING THIS? THIS IS A LEFT-WING SITE. THERE’S NOTHING FOR YOU HERE.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 2, 2015

Ed – I think this troll feeds on abuse. Don’t waste the emotional energy.

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Ed - July 2, 2015

From today’s Daily Mash:

“COMPLETE nobody Roy Hobbs is demanding tough action be taken against Greece.

“Hobbs is keen to see all Greeks punished, even though it is unclear how Greece’s economic problems have affected his life as a bakery supervisor in Wolverhampton.

“Hobbs said: “The thought of the Greeks deciding to spend, spend, spend in a way that makes sod all difference to me makes my blood boil.

“A country’s economy is like a piggy bank. You can’t build roads and hospitals if you haven’t been putting coins in the slot. They need to be taught a harsh lesson. Only then will I be satisfied.”

“Hobbs said Greece could learn from his own careful money management, such as writing down all the country’s expenditure in a notebook, even if it was small things like buying a Cornetto ‘because it all adds up’.

“Hobbs’ colleague Nikki Hollis said: “I suspect the Greek financial crisis makes Roy feel less insignificant, because the only thing he’s ever achieved in his pitiful little life is being a tightfisted bastard.

“Also he reads the Daily Express and I think he just likes the idea of people being punished. I dread to think what sort of porn he’s got on his computer.”

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/pompous-arse-taking-tough-stance-on-greece-2015070299796

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shea - July 2, 2015

It’s a porody, he is critiquing the Greeks non engagement tactics through the use of non engagement tactics. Trying to provoke an irrational reaction follwed by a mediated compromise and in the process show the tactics work, don’t give in to him, be like the Germans.

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59. Ed - July 2, 2015

Something that would be entirely unknown in Ireland, of course: opinion polls being manipulated for political purposes.

“The opinion poll which showed the Yes campaign at 47% and the No campaign at 43%, is not as straightforward as first thought.

“GPO, the polling company which carried it out, has released a statement which says the survey was released without its permission, and is only a fragment of its research.

“GPO says that it takes “no responsibility” for the release of the poll, and will use all legal means at its disposal to protect its interests.

“GPO adds that it is important that polling results should always be conducted in a “responsible and comprehensive manner”, including during this “critical decision of Greek people”.”

http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/jul/02/greek-debt-crisis-athens-creditors-referendum-yes-no-live#block-559521b5e4b08f71d0eba769

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60. CL - July 2, 2015

Accepting the Troika conditions is “like a person who negotiates with vampires on how much of his or her blood they will drink. In each case, the prior interests recognised are those of the vampires…
On June 22 Greece effectively capitulated..”
But “Under pressure from Berlin, Tsipras’s offers were rejected. The Greeks had surrendered, but as it turned out, the Germans were not taking prisoners…
With its back to the wall, the Greek government suddenly displayed a courage born of despair. Tsipras delivered a fiery speech to the people, and called a referendum…
The referendum called by Tsipras is sharply altering the psychological landscape not just in Athens, but throughout Europe. Willingly or otherwise, SYRIZA has raised the banner of resistance. For the other crisis-wracked countries of the eurozone, this will provide a signal that the financial vampires of the EU are not all-powerful. The vampires themselves will be forced to undertake even harsher measures, in an effort to halt the growing collapse of the neoliberal regime installed in the EU by the Maastricht and Lisbon talks.”- Boris Kagarlitsky
http://beta.counterpunch.org/2015/07/02/tsipras-and-the-vampires/

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61. CL - July 2, 2015

“They have criminal responsibility,” says Stiglitz “of the so-called troika..It’s a kind of criminal responsibility for causing a major recession…
The most reasonable solution Stiglitz sees is a write-off of Greece’s debt, or at least a deal that would not require any payments for the next ten or 15 years. In that time, Greece should be given additional aid to jumpstart its economy and return to growth. But the first step would be for the troika to make a painful yet obvious admission: “Austerity hasn’t worked,” Stiglitz says.
http://time.com/3939621/stiglitz-greece/?xid=tcoshare#3939621/stiglitz-greece/?xid=tcoshare

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