It’s Greek Debt ‘Crisis’ Showdown Time at the OK Brussels Corral

(or read the transcript if you’d rather.)

At The Guardian: ‘Greece looks for political deal as creditors question progress – live updates now.  Looks like it’s Showdown Time for Tsipris and Varoufakis, who by the by, says he/they won’t be joining the BRICS Development Bank.  Christine Lagarde says:’ F you.’  Greece’s lead negotiator is Deputy FM Euclid Tsakalotos.

Greece’s debt negotiations are dominating discussions among the world’s top finance ministers and central bankers in Dresden

It seems that the wrangling and ‘no room for haggling’ is over for the day. This is the Guardian’s roundup:

Summary: Greece optimistic, creditors not so much

Greece’s top negotiator has predicted that political intervention will be needed to finally close a deal with creditors, as time continues to tick away.

Euclid Tsakalotos told us today that the two sides are converging, but also criticised the International Monetar Fund for being “very very tough”.

In Athens, the Greek government has declared it hopes to get a deal by Sunday.

But creditors have both questioned this optimism; the IMF is insisting on sweeping reforms and credible surplus targets, while the European Commission warns that more work must be done.

In the last few minutes, Christine Lagarde warned that a deal is very unlikely to come soon.

The European Central Bank piled more pressure on, saying that the financial markets could be rocked if the Greek crisis ends badly.

Greece has loomed over a meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Dresden. Photos here and also here.

Europe’s markets ended the day in the red.

That’s probably all for tonight. Thanks for reading, and for all the excellent comments. See you tomorrow. GW”

Pension reductions, privatization of the commons, and further austerity measures are required by the IMF and ECB; Merkel is acting quite nonchalant about it all, of course,  Syriza has lost a lot of support, and their claims that a deal is about to be reached seemed aimed at preventing a major run on their banks.  LaGarde is seemingly cavalierly predicting a Grexit, but last I’d read polling says most Greeks don’t want to leave.  That may change, of course.

A lot of folks at Naked Capitalism have advocated that Greece default on both ECB and IMF loans, leave the Eurozone, and point to Iceland’s experience with that, and how beneficial it was in the end.  This economist make some interesting points:

“In a way, though, this is not the question the Greek government should be asking itself. Greece has been suffering an economic catastrophe since 2010. It is suffering from an economic catastrophe now and will continue to suffer from an economic catastrophe if it stays in the euro without generous debt forgiveness and policies that facilitate, rather than impede, growth. So the real question is not whether leaving the euro would be a catastrophe, because it would. The real question is whether it would be more of a catastrophe than staying in.

There are both political and economic dimensions to this question. Politically, Tsipras has a real dilemma: the Greek people voted for less austerity, Greece’s creditors want no let-up in austerity. He can please one or the other but not both. Bowing the knee to Angela Merkel would allow Greece to get access to the short-term finance that will allow it to pay its debts, but it will be political suicide for Syriza. Sooner or later, Tsipras has to decide what he wants to do: continue with a populist approach that is incompatible with euro membership or return reluctantly to the policies that have been pursued by the centre-left and centre-right governments since the crisis erupted.

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, has suggested that one solution would be for Greece to hold a referendum on whether it wants to go or stay. The message coming out of Berlin is that Germany doesn’t care much either way. If Greece wants to knuckle down to structural reform, that’s fine. If Greece wants to return to the drachma, that’s also fine.

Schäuble strongly suspects that faced with the choice, Greece would vote to remain a member of the single currency. But plebiscites are funny things, and the question asked would matter. The answer to the question “do you want Greece to continue using the euro?”, would be different to “do you want Greece to continue using the euro if it means cuts in wages and pensions?”. Germany should also not underestimate how strongly resentment still burns in Greece about how the country suffered when it was occupied during the second world war and how many Greeks feel they are being deliberately punished for choosing the sort of government that doesn’t suit the rest of the eurozone.

Hudson had made some of the same points especially that the IMF and ECP want to make all this an object lesson for the damned socialists vying for power.

“So what we’ve seen erupting in Europe in the last three months is the old class war. But it’s not really the old class war. It’s the war of finance against not only the Greek pensioners, not only the Greek economy, but Greek industry, Greek exporters, Greek banks. There’s a whole war to treat Greece as an object lesson, because the financial interests of Europe say, wait a minute. If the Syriza party is able to write down the debts to save the economy from depression, then Podemos in Spain and the Portuguese popular parties are all going to write down the debts. We’ve got to make an object lesson of Greece. We’ve got to absolutely crush socialism in the cradle so that it won’t grow into a European-wide movement to avoid depression.”

Crushing Chavismo and other  pesky socialist parties in the global south is being done more covertly, however, through NGOs and propaganda, including some of the global ‘human rights’ organizations that are in thrall to the West.

Zo.  It’s a small wonder that ECB chief Mario Draghi (on the left,heh) looks giddy as a school gurl. about to do a happy dance.  “Gotcha on the ropes, my friends! Serves ya right!”

mario draghi

Zero Hedge plays with the odds of a Grexit, and additionally lays out what’s ahead for the next few months for Greece:

The Greek Endgame Is Here”: Probability Of IMF Default Now 70%, Says Deutsche Bank | Zero Hedge// //

Thursday May 28th – Eurogroup Working Group to discuss Greece

Wednesday June 3rd – Weekly ECB review of ELA (and every Wednesday thereafter)

Monday June 1st – Bank holiday in Greece

Wednesday June 3rd – ECB monetary policy meeting Friday June 5th – 306mio EUR IMF payment

Friday June 12th – 344mio EUR IMF payment

Tuesday June 16th – 574mio EUR IMF payment Wednesday June 17th – ECB non-monetary policy meeting

Thursday June 18th – Regular Eurogroup meeting

Monday July 13th – 459mio EUR IMF payment

Monday July 20th – 3.5bn EUR maturity due to the ECB Tuesday July 14th – 87mio EUR interest payment

Thursday August 20th – 3.2bn EUR maturity due to the ECB

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

For financial wonks, via Naked Capitalism:

A Parallel Currency for Greece: Part I

A Parallel Currency for Greece: Part II

19 responses to “It’s Greek Debt ‘Crisis’ Showdown Time at the OK Brussels Corral

  1. Thanks, wendye, for giving us lots of homework for the weekend! I just did my first bit of it, going to the Guardian thread and picking up the bit about the BRICS and what Varoufakis said:

    * * * *
    . . . the leftist-led government appears to have nixed any notion that Athens is seriously contemplating the offer.

    Addressing parliament today, the Greek finance minister firmly ruled out the possibility saying:

    “anyone who believes that the Development Bank can replace an agreement with the institutions [EU and IMF] does not know the economic reality of Greece. We are an indivisible part of the European Union. It is an issue [to be dealt with] in our family and we have to solve it in Europe.”
    * * * *
    My comment on this is that the Guardian’s assessment of ‘appears to have’ morphing into ‘firmly ruled out’ is not written on paper or I would be saying it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. I think Varoufakis knows the BRICS and other development banks don’t present themselves as the alternative to other monetary or national systems (whatever the actual reality) but as operating in comity with such – so what Varoufakis said, as with many of his oblique remarks, leaves a lot of wiggle room. ( It ‘seems’, but is it?)

    Fascinating stuff.

  2. it is fascinating to wonder what lies behind the public words. but i do hope you can watch michael hudson’s explanation. for the sake of brevity, *one* thing he left out was that greece bought boatloads of goldman sachs’ *interest rate swaps* (as did other nations around the globe, as well as public entities, and even school boards, such as out own). sachs of course had insider info, and their guys could use flash-trades to jimmy the rates further, and hell’s bells: whole economies tanked.

    the US exports nothing but the finest, eh? democracy for some, weapons and weapons systems, and…war for resources, read: ‘NATO/AFRICOM to the rescue!’

    sure, the greek G was full of corrupt oligarchs, few of whom paid any taxes, but a lot of this was constructed, including the IMF to the rescue!’

    • Oh yes, I did watch, and also his one on the Ukraine that is at both counterpunch and the Saker site. And yes also to the Goldman Sachs shenanigans – I’ve kept coming back to that as the height of loan sharkism duplicity.

      The comments at nakedcapitalism have been very interesting, a lot of to’s and fro’s on Yves’ position and a fascinating item in Links today – I will see if I can find it (goes to my original ‘homework’ item.)

  3. Today, from Yves Smith: Greece: An Endgame Finally in Sight?

    She describes some of the brinksmanship afoot, and parses some of the machinations, but this was the most instructive paragraph to me (not that i could understand all of what she wrote):

    “Tsipras will not able to cross his “red lines” unless he forms a new coalition. Not only has the hard left of Syriza (about 1/3 of its representatives) made it clear that they won’t support Tsipras if he concedes to the Troika on issues like pension and labor market “reform,” but it also appears the hardliners are winning converts from party centrists. In a central committee vote over the weekend, Tsipras got 95 votes supporting his program, versus 75 for a plan from the so-called Left Platform that included leaving the Eurozone. Tsipras also said he would not accept “negative votes” from party members if he chinches a deal. That has a hollow sound if the Left Platform can argue that the particulars (like a compromise on pensions) is tantamount to crossing the famed red lines. And in the event that Tsipras were to come back with an agreement that the Left Plaform rejected, one can imagine that the Left Platform would seek a vote of no confidence. Since Tsipras’ continuing, not credible “a deal is nigh” talk is apparently meant to slow the ongoing bank run, one can imagine what a leadership crisis would do. ‘”

    oh, and weird as all giddy-up, given merkel’s hard lines:

    In another Groundhog Day move, Tsipras is again trying to circumvent the Troika (most important, the IMF) and appeal to Merkel. From ekathimerini:

    “With negotiations between Greece and its creditors at a critical phase, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday sought the assistance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in a teleconference call….

    The desire in Athens to seek another intervention at the political level came as technical talks appear to be moving slowly despite claims by Greek officials on Wednesday that an agreement was all but in the bag….

    Sources said that during a Euro Working Group teleconference on Thursday, Greece’s representative, Giorgos Houliarakis, was advised that unless Athens can reach an agreement with the institutions in the next few days there may not be enough time for eurozone parliaments to approve a deal before the end of June and ensure there is a disbursement. If Greece does not receive a new bailout tranche, it risks defaulting next month, when it has some 1.5 billion euros to pay back to the International Monetary Fund.”

    i did ask her about making that call rather than talking to the BRICS bank, but she didn’t answer.

  4. I’m not sure anybody has been able to accurately analyze the Greek Problem. It just goes round and round and stays in the same place. Everyone gets breathless about the dates when something has to happen and then it doesn’t happen once again. Unfortunately, I am no good at untangling Michael Hudson’s word salads….

    Alexis Tsipras and Syriza have been a tremendous boon to the EU “institutions” by keeping the street Greeks relatively calm while they continue to be looted and dispossessed by their betters in the Euro-core.

    Previous regimes could not do this, and that made the looters and dispossessers look bad in the eyes of the world. Well, the eyes of anyone sane in the world. Once Syriza took the government helm, the streets cooled down, and unhappiness was mitigated by something called… hope. [Cough…]

    But I haven’t seen even a hint that the Greek government will do anything other than what they are told to do by their masters — Legarde, Draghi, Merkel, et al. They are, however, able to do it in a way that mollifies the masses. So far. The previous governments didn’t even try to do that.

    Ah, but it’s all Greek to me.

  5. ack; i can grasp hudson quite well (is something wrong with me? that was a rhetorical question; shhhhh).

    i expect you’re right that the streets are far more calm now, as the looting continues, by the imf, ecb, and the greek oligarchs. yes on the government likely to accept ‘extend and pretend’, but it does seem likely that at least by july…they’ll have to default. so far it’s been quite the ponzi scheme, or: robbing peter to pay paul, until one day…

    but as yves said, there could even be a ‘no confidence’ vote, and what’s happened all over europe is that the rightest wing follows. but then, how left have any of the socialist parties been in europe? er…not at all, once elected.

    but i reckon that if syriza trades loan extensions for more austerity, we’ll damned well see the streets fill again. not long ago there were photos on news revo of that, and i just checked: nope, but holy hell, look at santiago, chile!

    ‘stop killing us’ signs, water cannons with chemical smells…ay yi yi

    • I tend to see the Greek thing as an exemplar of where the bulk of humanity is going to end up — if we’re not already there. This is the future… we’re drenched in it. As far as Our Betters are concerned, it’s just too damn bad — for us. And there is essentially nothing that “we” — collectively or individually — can do about it, either. Tough luck, suckers! When Legarde pranced around claiming the Greeks shouldn’t complain about their situation because children were starving in Africa, it was obvious where this program was headed. Nothing has gotten better in the interim. The Greeks, however, have become accustomed to their immiseration, and the streets of Athens are… quiet. For now.

      What happens in Athens, Berlin and Brussels is quite divorced from rationality and logic; actions typically defy expectations and predictions. What should happen doesn’t happen, and what does happen shouldn’t — unless, of course, the point of the exercise is to discover just how far the Rabble can be pushed by their Betters and experiment with how best to manage said Rabble when they become recalcitrant, and then decide who should take the spoils and how much each looter and pillager should get.

      This is very similar to how the Nazis operated in their conquest of Europe. But they didn’t operate by themselves. They had a lot of cooperation from the locals, particularly the elites and would-be elites who were beneficiaries of their policies. What’s different now, of course, is that Frau Merkel is in charge, and in the case of Greece, she doesn’t need troops to invade; she doesn’t even need to overthrow elected governments and install her puppets. The puppets arise and perform spontaneously. Even the most rebellious of them are seemingly putty in Frau Merkel’s hands.

      The streets of Athens may erupt again, to be sure. But so far, it looks from this distance that nothing has changed, and the looting and pillage of the Greek patrimony and of the masses continues without let up or even pause. Regardless of what the government says and who controls it, regardless of what the Rabble does in the streets.

      Real resistance seems very far away…

      But of course, that could change in a heartbeat.

      • ‘immiseration’: what a descriptive term for calculated slow death by greed and its attendant sociopathologies.

        your frau merkel/nazi analogy is something i hadn’t thought of, especially the help needed and the rise of helpful puppets to gain their goals.

        yes, this all portends bad news for the rabble of the world; can nothing be done? we’ll see, i guess. yves told one commenter: ‘let’s not romanticize revolution; the lower classes always come out the worst”.

        at any rate, if greeks get hungrier and more desperate, and can’t flee like many of the young uns can, they (and the spanish, whose unemployment rate is almost equal), who can say what might explode?

        i was about to add ‘dresden’ to your list, as i thought that’s where the G-7 have been meeting at the same time, and look what i found!

        “Obama Administration Warns Eurozone To Make Deal With Greece

        I’d seen a few opinions from Jack Lew, although not as bold as this in ‘the summary, lest the title fool anyone about concern for ordinary greeks’ suffering and privations:

        “•Jack Lew, the US Treasury secretary, has warned the eurozone that it needs to move quickly to make a deal with Greece.
        •The problem is that the eurozone has set a high bar for member standards and cannot really afford to let down their standards at this time.
        •The eurozone, along with the United States, will be facing major competition from China and the Chinese renminbi in the evolving global market and cannot let down their standards

        see, ya don’t wanna create a ‘disorderly exit from the eu because: global economy and CHINA. such a hideous piece, but honest in its aim.

        p.. my day is just silly with chores and obligations, but i’ll be back as i can.

  6. I can only admire Tsipras, Varoufakis and the Syriza negotiators for the stance they have taken – up on a tightrope.

    I haven’t seen any effective counter-argument to Varoufakis insistence that the Troika can’t continue treating Greece’s insolvency as a liquidity crisis. The usurious debt spiral has taken Greece into a deep depression. The seeming pension largesse (~biggest per GDP) is truly immiseration when corrected for the fact that so many young Greeks have fled elsewhere to find work (~lowest per retiree).
    I believe that the Syriza leadership would be most pleased with a significant write-down, and they are also secretly pleased that their originally loose coalition is being tempered with a harder left edge. Their insistence that the solution is political is certainly an argument for a more complete EU beyond just a common currency, and it is also a call for internal action and support. A harder left turn in the Parliament actually support their hopeful and honest negotiating position.
    Perhaps the Greek offer may eventually become an offer to pay the German bankers not in drachma, but with the heads purses of the Greek bankers and politicians that dumped their debt onto the Greek people. Or maybe the Germans really seek a new Golden Dawn. Can’t say much beyond “one side’s hate and one is hope” just yet..

  7. what an excellent comment and take on syriza, and a tonic to my soul, lemoyne. and yes, the youth are fleeing, the math is good according to the ‘left hardliners’ influence. how often do we even hear those words? zero hedge had some fun with the new coinage in greece (all in fun).

    “If, like us, you assumed that Greece’s move to effectively take out a loan from the IMF to pay back a previous IMF loan represented peak absurdity in the increasingly tense standoff between Athens and its creditors you would have been wrong because as you can see from the below, an engraver from the Bank of Greece has just won a contest to design a €2 commemorative coin.

    From the EU: This is the fourth time the euro-area members have decided to collectively issue a commemorative coin:

    The first was in 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the second time was in 2009 when sixteen countries commemorated 10 years of the EMU and the third time in 2012 to mark 10 years of euro cash.
    A professional jury selected five coin designs among the 62 designs submitted by Euro area mints.

    Euro-area citizens and residents were invited to select the winning design by public web-voting until 27 May 2015. The winning design, with 30% of the online vote, was by the hand of Georgios Stamatopoulos from the Bank Of Greece.”

    but oof, the commentariat there have nothin’, but nothin’ good to say about greeks.

    wish you could have mentioned your heads notion, though. ;-)

    • lol – the figures on that coin look like roadkill
      roflmao – with their heads separated from their pi-shaped bodies
      If I’ve got this correctly, ‘issuing country’ becomes specific. So, perhaps the coin says Greece 1985-2015 (banksterism) or Britain 1985-2015 (Thatcherism) so then it looks like 30 years of stacked-roadkill-by-the-dozen… sounds true but also a truly absurd thing to commemorate. Sobered myself up a bit there… phew – what a weird world.

  8. ha; i never even considered the dates; what a doofus i iz. commenters ha said: the dates were the ez, but no, it was formed later, i think. then: ‘If you look at the rightmost stick guy, he’s shitting on the guy below him. Trace it back, and it’s definitely a shit train’; ‘I said this below, human centipede’; ‘Good design. 12 megaliths/tombs around the Circle of Sacrifice. That´s the way it should be’; ‘Actually, it looks like “Ring around the Rosy… we all fall down”:Notice the dead/fallen ones surrounding the edges of the EU flag. Subtle, but it’s there.’

    but no, no! it’s a beautiful world!

    night, all; sweet dreams.

  9. I had been making the point early on at nakedcapitalism discussions, that much of the seeming falsities or bumblings in Syriza’s approach might be simply efforts to play for time so that the behind the scenes reworking of the economy could proceed – I quit when Yves seemed so adamant about the framework and position of parties (which I have no way of determining as accurately as she does.) This article goes to the ‘behind the scenes’ manipulations, and if accurate seems to be bringing those factors to bear:

    http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2015/05/greece-one-step-before-brics.html

  10. As I was checking the veracity of the above link I also came across this:

    http://www.greece.com/news/10837/Greece_Selects_Economist_Elena_Panaritis_to_Represent_Country_in_IMF.html

    I think Che Pasa has a good point about Greek elites, but also the Greek populace is at present very awakened to the possibilities of continued austerity, as wendye is pointing out – I think I read many generations of one family subsisting on one geriatric’s pension at present as Greece has no welfare program and there are no jobs. So pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes is really not on, not any longer.

  11. Well, here’s a wikipedia bit that perhaps supports Che Pasa’s sober assessment:

    “. . . Panaritis’ reform work in Peru implemented by Alberto Fujimori regime named “Fujishock”, while “improving” macroeconomic figures and keeping the global financial community satisfied, led to poverty millions of people after a 10 year governance based on authoritarianism, corruption, human rights violations, mass population sterilisations and mass executions and ended failed in the year 2000 elections.”

    Not a good sign that! I better be quiet.

    • ha; having been a rousing success at the world bank ain’t much of a recommendation for a socialist government position, is it? well, it’s hard to say what went into that choice.

      the failed evolution piece is interesting, if true. i’d gone back to yves’ piece this morning and had seen someone noting that ‘more loans’ (as from the brics bank) was not what they need. what i’d said was more ‘why would they beg merkel/hollande with out checking out what sort of deal…’ yada, yada.

      i wasn’t quite sure what i had in mind, including what currencies, investments, etc., might be possible, but the pipeline project mentioned seemed to contain an in-kind buy-in (capitlalization contribution), and of course…jobs. that said, i have no idea how welcome that branch of the TAP would be to the populace, but it was amusing that greece would replace ukraine for that leg. i didn’t look at maps, and my geographical sense is terrible.

      sigh. otoh, trnn has a few more interviews about greece, one with a man named Leo Panitch who says that greece, and especially syriza and its supporters, are in a state of ‘suspended animation’, waiting for..well, godot, essentially. his distress is that while the talks go on, deadlines come, deals are extended/pretended, there is no major social movement happening now. no alternative economy is being built, no sharing economy built on need, no ‘ diversified, multidimensional movement of subversion in society behind us’, as syriza’s rhetoric had called for. his sense is that the troika will keep on ‘drip-feeding’ greece, and he (ahem) doesn’t much care for that rather realistic outcome.

      in another interview, the head of the ‘new economic thinking institute’, rob johnson, encapsulates a two-hour conference with varaofakis, joe stiglitz, and jamie galbraith on greece’s predicament. it’s interesting, and everyone agreed that yanis is a brilliant economist, but if you look at johnson’s bona fides, you might just cringe at his uber-capitalist past.

      “bring the shadow economy out into the light, pay taxes on it’, etc. but stiglitz is at least a heterodox economist, but i do wish he’d finally say, ‘screw it’ capitalism won’t be reigned in’, and becme a socialist, like panitch. a commenter put in a link to the conference, and if i ever find the time, it would be worth listening to some of it.

  12. The United States has paid good money ever since the Truman administration to ensure that corruption could exist in Greece. The threat of the end of corruption was even a proximate cause for establishing NATO and issuing the Truman Doctrine.

    Now they are asking the people of Greece to pay to clean up the corruption? It is just another Austerian raid on other people’s assets–that is, publicly-owned assets. We see the same dynamics here with regard to the US Postal Service and Amtrak. In the UK with the National Health Service. And pension theft everywhere. No one remarked in 2012 that Mitt Romney made his fortune robbing pensions. No one asked, “What’s the value-added in that?”

    The central bankers are using German attitudes about thrift to allow German banks to punish Greece for succumbing to US neo-liberal strategies and Goldman-Sachs products paid by leveraging debts with German banks in all sorts of private and public complex deals. With a sugar-coating of tax evasion in Greece and sprinkled with “who knew we’d ever have to pay?” More specifically they are punishing the people who actually did work and did pay their bills and did save in their pensions. INABIAF (it’s not a bug it’s a feature).

    What no one is asking as this deadline approaches is “Who’s next?” The vultures will not be content with a snack; they will look for a full meal.

    • i’m not familiar with the historical implications in your firt paragraph; if you ever have time might you expand it?

      the first encounter i ever had with the feature, not a bug with world bank loans built in austerity measures and guaranteed to fail pay-backs all but forced by USAID, was perkins’ ‘confessions of an economic hit man”. then naomi klein’s ‘shock doctrine’, of course.

      weren’t some of the first “haircuts” (how quaint) stolen from those with an equivalent of a quarter of a million dollars? not that some of the elites might not have escaped…. i guess the shadow economy rightly *wouldn’t* want to report taxes, given all the history of transferring wealth upwards, though, as Panitch said.

      next? ooof; spain, one would think. any or all of the sub-saharan african nations. but srsly; the IMF has only the best of intentions!

  13. hoo, doggies; alexis tsipris done gone ‘n called out the Troika and neoliberal austerity in LeMonde. it’s long, but the ending just shoots flames:

    “For those countries that refuse to bow to the new authority, the solution will be simple: Harsh punishment. Mandatory austerity. And even worse, more restrictions on the movement of capital, disciplinary sanctions, fines and even a parallel currency.

    Judging from the present circumstances, it appears that this new European power is being constructed, with Greece being the first victim. To some, this represents a golden opportunity to make an example out of Greece for other countries that might be thinking of not following this new line of discipline.

    What is not being taken into account is the high amount of risk and the enormous dangers involved in this second strategy. This strategy not only risks the beginning of the end for the European unification project by shifting the Eurozone from a monetary union to an exchange rate zone, but it also triggers economic and political uncertainty, which is likely to entirely transform the economic and political balances throughout the West.

    Europe, therefore, is at a crossroads. Following the serious concessions made by the Greek government, the decision is now not in the hands of the institutions, which in any case – with the exception of the European Commission- are not elected and are not accountable to the people, but rather in the hands of Europe’s leaders.

    Which strategy will prevail? The one that calls for a Europe of solidarity, equality and democracy, or the one that calls for rupture and division?
    If some, however, think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake. I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway’s masterpiece, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. well, we get the allusion…

    now yves smith railed against his attack, as in: ‘beggars can’t afford to alienate’. yves had mentioned one possible reason his flames might have worked… but that night, the creditors all met, and here’s what she takes as the result: ‘Greece’s Creditors Meet to Prepare Offer (Updated – Creditors Agree on Uncompromising Terms)
    as in…even harsher terms: Take it or suck it, dude.

    oh, and the senate passed the Free-dumb act 67-32. i love the scent of ‘reform’ on the air, don’t you?

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