The Delphi Initiative & Crunch Time for Syriza and Greece’s Citizenry

Greek Asset Stripping Similarities; Michael Hudson’s speech


The background:

“Last weekend a group of us met in Delphi to discuss and draft the following Declaration of Support for Greece against the neoliberal Institutions. It is now clear that finance is the new mode of warfare. The creditors’ objective is the same as military conquest: they want the land, the natural resource rights and monopolies, and they want tribute (in this case, debt service). And they don’t want sovereign Greece to tax the economic rent from these assets. In short, the negotiation between The Institutions and Greece is a bold exercise in rent extraction. [snip]

“The eurozone’s rejection of what obviously is an attempt at reason has greatly strengthened Syriza’s hand to say “NO” to deeper austerity. It would bring yet more unemployment, yet more emigration, yet more bankruptcy – and deeper distress prices for the public domain that the Institutions are insisting be sold off. [snip]

“At stake is much more than Greece itself. What the attendees at Delphi want is to rescue not only the Greek economy, but all Europe — by replacing the euro and the ECB with a less austerity-based monetary ideology. If they are driven out of the eurozone, they will be able to create a real central bank (via the Treasury) to monetize deficit spending to revive the economy.

It is clear that what is needed is to replace the IMF with an institution able to assess the ability to pay debts, and to write down bad debts accordingly. Such an institution would replace Chicago School austerity and fiscal policy with a more progressive monetary and tax policy.

If the European Central Bank follows through on its threat to wreck the Greek banking system, Syriza has put itself in a position to replace the oligarchs’ banks with a public option.

More at Hudson’s Delphi post at Counterpunch.  They might even have called it: ‘An Oracle from Delphi’, imo.  But The Delphi Declaration needs to be seen widely, because as indicated, neoliberal rent-seeking’s utter race to the bottom is an indicator as to what will likely turn into a cascade event, not just for Europe, but the US and many nations around the globe.  I would hope that it’s being published in Greece, Italy, Spain, in all of the Euro media, and everywhere else, for that matter.

Given the severity of the situation, and coming situtations elsewhere, you might not fault me for seeing this document as the metaphorical equivalent to ‘runaway truck ramps’ built by DOTs in Colorado and other states.

I’ve pasted in the text at the bottom, but I’d like to add a few bits and bobs before then, to show the seriousness of the document given that depending on one’s point of view, it’s now either:

Three minutes before midnight, or five minutes after midnight.

Greece’s final bundled payments are due tomorrow night, and yes, Tsipras announced, and Parliament approved, a July 5 referendum asking the people of Greece to either approve (Ne) or disapprove (Oxi) the Troika’s final bailout ‘deal’.

In a nationally televised address after midnight Friday in Athens, Tsipras announced the July 5 vote and excoriated a take it-or-leave it offer as a violation of European Union rules and “common decency”. “After five months of tough negotiations, our partners unfortunately resorted to a proposal-ultimatum to the Greek people,” Tsipras said. “I call on the Greek people to rule on the blackmailing ultimatum asking us to accept a strict and humiliating austerity without end and without prospect.”

The referendum is expected to ask Greek citizens if they approve the proposed bailout agreement with Greece’s foreign creditors without touching upon a possible Grexit that could follow if the nation votes no on the deal.”

Well, of course by now the government has indeed closed the banks, and expect them to open again on July 7; rumors say that people can get either €200 or €600 at ATMs in the meantime; the western press trumpets the lengthy lines at the machines.  The text of Tsipra’s address is at the same greekreporter.com link.

Now in her ‘Consent of the Governed, Tsipras Style’  Yves Smith is so pissed at his calling for a referendum that is far too late, and that she believes is just plain face-saving for his brand. Earlier she’d called it ‘a cynical exercise in democracy theater; a sham’, etc.  She believes that it’s all over but the grexit now, given that Greece defaults tomorrow night at midnight, and there is NO possibility of further ‘negotiations’.  Her frustration with at least half of her commentariat is epic, even while giving a nod to the fact that many want to see him as David fighting Goliath, with all evidence as to his skills to the contrary.  Smoke is coming out of her ears as she corrects misinformation, disinformation, and (I guess she’d call it) ‘wishful thinking’.

The Greek banks are toast, there are no methods to make payments, transfer funds from pace to place, drachmas are their only possible currency now, etc.  (Not that I can understand a lot of the technical terms, mind you.)

But holy hassocks!  The Head of the EU (Herr Junkyard Dog) is pouring gasoline on the fire!  From the Guardian liveblog:

“Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has made a remarkable intervention into the Greek crisis in what looks like desperate, last-gasp bid to prevent the country ploughing out of the eurozone.

He has effectively told the Greek people that they are choosing between the euro and the exit door on Sunday, that their government has lied to them, and that he has been their friend and ally at the negotiating table.

Underneath it all, the desperate fear that the European project is swerving off course and about to lose its first member.

Juncker confirmed the claim that Greece’s creditors were prepared to discuss debt relief as part of a future aid deal, before Alexis Tsipras shattered hopes of a breakthrough last weekend.

A clearly wounded Juncker spoke of feeling “deeply distressed and saddened by the spectacle that Europe gave last Saturday”.

In a single night, the European conscience has taken a heavy blow. Goodwill has somewhat evaporated.

Crucially, Juncker is not offering a new compromise. Instead, he is arguing that the Commission was making a fair proposal – not “stupid austerity” – for the Greek people.

But his comments on the referendum are jaw-dropping: telling Greeks to vote Yes in Sunday’s referendum is one thing, but warning “not to commit suicide for fear of death” is another level altogether.

And he has raised the stakes in Sunday’s referendum to the highest level possible, by warning that “the whole planet” will see a no vote as a declaration that Greece wants to leave Europe.”

His imprecation “not to commit suicide for fear of death” is even more appallingly obscene to those Greeks and others who’ve tallied the number of poverty-related suicides since 2011 at close to 11,000.

It seems, perhaps contra Yves Smith, that Obama, Merkel, Hollande, George Osborne, and tra la la…are indeed having some phone conferences to (ahem) discuss what might be next.  I don’t expect seeing the US, Euro, Japanese, UK, stock markets and others in a bit of a free fall yesterday might have had anything to do with it, but still… Bloomberg News is rife with falling numbers, opinions, odds-making, and likely plenty of disinformation.  But on to the document; it may end up being a very worthy template in the People’s Wars Against Mandated Austerity, neoliberal style.

THE DELPHI DECLARATION
On Greece and Europe

European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.

They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.

As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.

Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed, even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?

We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.

We also appeal to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.

We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.

Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.

We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.

More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open military conflicts among its nations.

Delphi, 21 June 2015

The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.

The signatories.

Just in moments ago from Michael Hudson: ‘A New Mode of Warfare: The Greek Debt Crisis and Crashing Markets’

It ends: “Eurozone financial strategists made it clear that they wanted to make an example of Syriza as a warning to Spain’s Potemos party, and anti-euro parties in Italy and France. The message was supposed to have been, “Avoid our austerity and we will cause chaos. Look at Greece.”

But the rest of Europe is interpreting the message in just the opposite way: “Remain in the eurozone and we will only create money to strengthen the financial oligarchy, the 1%. We will insist on budget surpluses (or at least, no deficits) so as to starve the economy of money and credit, forcing it to rely on commercial banks at interest.”

Greece has indeed become an example. But it is an example of the horror that the eurozone’s monetarists seek to impose on one economy after another, using debt as a lever to force privatization selloffs at distress prices.

In short, finance has shown itself to be the new mode of warfare. Resisting debt leverage and financial conquest is as legal as is resisting military invasion.”

‘Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Off’ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
Twixt that darkness and that light.
Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong:
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above his own.’

~ James Russel Lowell

(h/t to juliania and mr. wd for the original Hudson link)

54 responses to “The Delphi Initiative & Crunch Time for Syriza and Greece’s Citizenry

  1. Unexpected, to say the least:

  2. This is great, wendye! I didn’t see this when I came, so posted this article with a comment on your latest open menu. Here it is again:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/29/the-greek-debt-crisis-and-crashing-markets/

    Here’s another great article:

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/how-eurocrats-greeks-germans-and-eastern-europeans-view-the-greek-crisis/

    I happened on a wonderful demonstration in Athens, live on rt.com this morning – the square in front of the Greek parliament – music, huge crowd, beautiful park setting. It looked like a celebration to me. I stayed with it till the feed ended.

    Now, I’ll go and read and listen to what you have set out here. (I did tell you that great minds think alike, didn’t I?)

    • Just scrolling up, that last photo above my post is the scene I was watching – only when I came onto it, it was dark, so the park lighted, and a building on the right of the parliament building you see had a full floor lighted up. The video feed was from a building on the left side looking diagonally across, and took in a park as well (you can just see the trees in the foreground.) Then it panned out to side streets, and you could see crowds of people out there also.

      Incredible the television didn’t show it, but that goes with Prof. Hudson’s article, that there is an oligarchy much as we have here in control of the media.

  3. Well, it’s worth a triple link! Apologies for the repetition, wendye. What do they say? Hopa?!

    • ha, the third time’s the charm, julinia. dunno ‘hopa’, but ‘hoka hey; it’s a good day to die!’ i do. (grin)

      i confess that i’ve given ian a miss since this piece of his; i’ll not characterize it in case you dead it, and i’d be poisoning the well. yes, it seems he’d asked a commenter to post some thoughts, but it is very long, and as it seems to be centered around greek national character, and how the citizenry is reacting, will vote, etc., i think i’ll not add it to my reading list. even now i have a few pieces folks have emailed me, no matter my protestations about being a very.slow.reader.

      but joseph stiglitz‘s ‘how I would vote in the Greek referendum’ has some tasty bits, including:

      “The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.

      Of course, the economics behind the programme that the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country’s GDP. I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece’s rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60%.

      It is startling that the troika has refused to accept responsibility for any of this or admit how bad its forecasts and models have been. But what is even more surprising is that Europe’s leaders have not even learned. The troika is still demanding that Greece achieve a primary budget surplus (excluding interest payments) of 3.5% of GDP by 2018.

      We should be clear: almost none of the huge amount of money loaned to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors – including German and French banks. Greece has gotten but a pittance, but it has paid a high price to preserve these countries’ banking systems. The IMF and the other “official” creditors do not need the money that is being demanded. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the money received would most likely just be lent out again to Greece.”

      (i’ve seen that elsewhere, and would love to know whose decisions those were; the ECB?.) he also waxes on about how *undemocratic* the eurozone and the ecb are, of course.)

      but apparently tsipras has just asked for a new deal including ‘some’ debt relief and debt restructuring, yada, yada, and the guardian is making some sport of the reactions from the main troika players.

      Added: i’d seen you asking yves smith about the ‘deal’ pdf, given the weird fonts and all, but she even provided the link to it, and you can zoom in to say, 140%, and it’s readable. not that i find it helpful, as it’s all greek to me.

  4. No worries, wendye. The Guardian’s live updates are what there is today, and I just put a bit about those on Yves’ site, thanked several helpful posters there. My take was Tsipras is dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s within eu constraints as a bare formality. He’s prez of all the people, even those suits out on the square for today’s rally – in the rain (heh).

    I think it’s win-win for him – someone on the guardian feed suggests that.

    ‘Hopa!’ is what Greeks say as a sort of selfmocking cry of delight – it literally means “Oops!” – as when they smash a glass at a wedding. I think the letter is the latest “Hopa!”

    There’s a people fund to bailout Greece – has just crashed due to overwhelming traffic (apparently).

  5. ah, well black and hudson have answered my question above: jeezum crow, it’s sooooo sick. and no wonder the Yes demos were full of guys in ties, and dudes and dudettes in suits

    oddly, part II’s url just isn’t embedding; you can see it here.

    the transcript.

    when are hudson, black, and stiglitz going to come out as anti-capitalists?

  6. it’s gettin’ wild and wooly out there; so many rumors, so many conflicting Oligarch ‘truths’, epecially hollande and merkel). but oh, my, at least Mr.Market is giddy:

    Ah, well, they’re all armed with swords as the greek drama unfolds. did tsipras concede? did the trioka get real?

    “When all that’s left is the fall…how you fall matters greatly.”

    p.s frau merkel let the cat out of the bag yesterday, and said that if the referendum produces a Yes, any negotiations would not be with Tsipras; she doesn’t trust him to deliver. that’s a pretty big hint at a desired financial coup, no?

  7. from the greekreporter.com: ‘Tsipras: NO does not mean rupture with Europe

    “Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras adressed the nation on Wednesday, just a few hours before the planned Eurogroup, and spoke in favor of voting NO in Sunday’s referendum.

    Tsipras confirmed that the referendum will take place and unequivocally called on the Greek people, who he believes are being blackmailed to say yes to everything that is being given to them, to vote NO. This response, the prime minister believes, would not lead to a rift with Europe but a return to “a Europe of values”. (hmmm.)

    No means strong pressure for a socially just agreement, whose weight will fall in those who have and not on those wage earners and the pensioners,” he said. “An agreement that will put Greece in a short period of time in the international financial markets so that can that supervision and guardianship.”

    Greece’s premier also rejected the referendum as being a dilemma between remaining in and leaving the Eurozone, whose Greece’s membership in he described as “given”. Many perceive this to be the underlying question of the referendum. Instead the prime minister said that Greeks will choose if they want this bailout proposal or a viable solution.

    “I personally take on the responsibility of an immediate solution after the democratic process,” Tsipras said and added “I call on you to reject the bailout recipe that is destroying Europe”.

    Tsipras blamed Greece’s situation this week on extreme conservatives and called it unacceptable that banks were closed and pensioners were put through such ordeals just because the government decided to let the people choose.

    We owe an explanation to these people,” Tsipras said. “We have been giving a battle all these months to protect your pensions, to protect your right to a decent pension and not a simple tip. The proposals they wanted us to hastily sign wanted overwhelming pension cuts and that is why we rejected that. And that is why they are punishing us.

    On Tuesday Tsipras sent a letter to the European Stability Mechanism requesting a two year deal, which led to an urgent Eurogroup meeting yesterday. Later in the evening Tsipras sent a new letter where he agreed to the creditors demands but requested five revisions.

    For cryin’ in a bucket: IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt

    Secret documents show creditors’ baseline estimate puts debt at 118% of GDP in 2030, even if it signs up to all tax and spending reforms demanded by troika

    well, thank you to the whistleblower/leaker. of course greece can never repay the debt foisted upon them back in the day.

    this is all about trashing socialists, and making more profits for banks along the way; who cares how many more greeks die and suffer because of your trioka deeds?

  8. Thanks wendye! I fear we are voices crying in the wilderness – I left for shopping this morning with so much disinformation and distorted twaddle dejecting me – just went to try and find Tsipras’s speech – nada, nothing, nowhere. Just the ‘he said’s anywhere I looked.

    Blessedly at the Guardian there are a whole page of tweets from Tsipras, outlining his speech – smart guy! So, this evening I am back on track, corrected myself over at nakedcapitalism. Oh, I do hope the Greek people heard him! He’s an alright guy – the tweet I appreciated was:

    “There are those who say I have a hidden agenda, that with an OXI NO vote, I’ll take Greece out of EU.

    They are flat lying to you.”

    Flat, yes indeedy. Oh, and wasn’t Michael Hudson on his way to Brussels to give a speech? I want to see that one. Those guys, I’m voting for THEM!

    (I tried to cut and paste all the tweets but couldn’t do so – they are near the top of today’s live blog at the Guardian. I also copied all of them down.)

  9. yes, i saw his tweets, juliania. a lot of their content is in the greek reporter’s piece just above your comment. but i keep hearing that no one’s translated the whole speech.

    you’d have to scroll upstream for his pot, but Pluto highlighted tripris’s january speeh, and said he was hooked.

    http://caucus99percent.com/content/last-temptation-greece#comments

    no, the troika means to crush him, crush socialism, and merkel is trying to create a financial coup in the end, fook her. orry: no soft landings in mind.

    you’d likely already seen this that lambert linked to; dated mid-january, but so much like Occupy, creating intentional community:

    Greece’s solidarity movement: ‘it’s a whole new model – and it’s working’;
    Citizen-run health clinics, food centres, kitchens and legal aid hubs have sprung up to fill the gaps left by austerity – and now look set to play a bigger role under a Syriza government

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/23/greece-solidarity-movement-cooperatives-syriza?CMP=share_btn_tw

    the reason we watch so closely is that greece is the canary in the coal mine, of course.

    alexis tsipras on twitter

  10. Thanks very much for the Pluto link, wendye. “Fiscal waterboarding” it most certainly is.

    I’m afraid I cannot read Yves at present. She used to feature Yanis, Bill Black, Michael Hudson, and the earlier Yves was so wonderful on the mortgage frauds – you wonder what has happened. Something not nice, maybe. (Ooh, I think here comes welcome rain.)

  11. did you watch or read bill black and michael hudson, or read joe stiglitz? they are the dudes….

    but for the love of all that’s holy, this shows the craven devolution of fdl. ctuttle couldn’t me more clueless posting this, except fdl (jane hamsher) loves this greek, raised boatloads of money for him, his rent, a treehouse for his six kids
    ‘Why Won’t Greece Take a Deal? Ultimately, it’s about pride’ By John Kiriakou

    http://firedoglake.com/2015/07/01/why-wont-greece-take-a-deal/
    .
    good gawd all-friday.

    • Oh yes, wendye – I devoured them! That’s who I meant when I said ‘I’m voting for them.’

      Nakedcapitalism posted a good piece about ‘One Europe’, so I did a bit on that over there.

      • lol; they have the sense to not be rulers. remember the dictum that one of the professions for which one applies…must automatically deem you as ‘not qualified because you did’? the first of the three was…President.

        but yes, it’s far more important being on the outside throwing rocks than on the inside making compromises to stay in power (and i’d expand it to most elected offices, especially congress). ;-)

        good-o on the other; i haven’t looked in.

  12. In an interview with bloomberg news,: “Varoufakis channels Francis Urquhart”:

    Do you think Angela Merkel is seeking regime chance?
    I’ll quote from a BBC programme, Varoufakis smiles:
    You may very well think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.
    [that’s the Original (and quite brilliant) House of Cards, of course]
    But do you think other European governments don’t want to work with you?
    You don’t need to ask that, it’s self-evident, Varoufakis says. All the centrist parties campaigned against us before January’s election.
    Have they lost trust in you?
    No, Varoufakis argues, it’s because they trust that we WILL deliver on our promises.

    he also said if the greek people say Yes, he will resign, as he’d rather cut off an arm than facilitate that ‘deal’.

    ah, it’s on youtube now:

    oh, and i saw this at greekreporter.com:

    Wikileaks: US and UK Bugged Merkel-Hollande Plan for Greece

    Clive at NC says this is pure rubbish:

    Alexis Tsipras ‏@tsipras_eu 22h22 hours ago

    Salaries & pensions are safe.
    The bank deposits of citizens who didn’t withdraw their money are safe.

    …given that they don’t have a backstop fund (like the FDIC; i dunno.)

    whassup with this? he’s mentioning the massive Yes teevee campaign as likely the cause of the close polling on the referendum:

    guess the greek orthodox church clergy aren’t liberation theologists. ;-) but otoh, the vatican says it *may consider* divesting their fossil fuels portfolio. heh.

  13. After being asked numerous times what she thought Tsipris and SYRIZA should have done or should do — and refusing to answer straightforwardly, while continuing to denounce and disparage Tsipris and SYRIZA — Yves posted this comment yesterday in response to yet another question:

    Question:

    James Levy
    July 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    So, since they “should have known” the Troika would not blink first, they should have rolled over and taken it up the tush on Day 1? Is that what you are suggesting? And if not, and you are right that they “should have known” that the Troika would not blink, what other brilliant suggestion do you have for the Greeks, other than capitulating on Day 1?

    Response
    Yves Smith
    July 1, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    In a word, yes. They should have done their best to tell the creditors that they got into power and the government apparatus was even worse than they had imagined and they felt getting onto the tax collection issue (which the prior governments out of clientism had refused to tackle at all) was the structural reform they needed to prioritize. The narrow tax base was why the austerity had to rely so heavily on spending cuts, which only made the economy plunge. They could argue that Greece’s pensions system wasn’t anywhere near as lavish as it was believed to be since it was the entirety of the social safety nets, while other countries have a multiplicity of other programs. Syriza understands fully the need for the appearance of pension cuts as well as tightening up on early retirements in a serious way. BTW the creditors clearly did get that issue and TOLD the government to implement a minimum annual income guarantee. Etc.

    You be nice, you admit privately that you are a bankrupt (the appearance of contrition is an important part of the ritual of negotiating with creditors) and you move into pragmatics. You take whatever you get cause you got ‘nuthing to fight with.

    That may not be emotionally satisfactory, but the government has a duty to the citizenry. Saving lives is more important than national ego. Syriza had its priorities ass backwards. Syriza was in no position to take on the Eurocrats and ECB. Only France or Italy could pull that off. Syriza was running a 21st century Charge of the Light Brigade playbook. We know how that movie ended.

    So finally she responds to the central question for all the many critics of Tsipris and SYRIZA with a statement that backs the Troika/Creditors’ demands and advises complete and utter submission (which she’d been doing all along, if you read between the lines…).

    Just as points of reference, the Greek government has made crystal clear that pensions are not lavish and have already been cut to the bone, so further “reform” — demanded by the Euro-creeps and Yves — would merely compound the cruelties already enacted and further reduce Greek abilities to repay the nation’s odious debt.

    Not only that but deaths due to suicide, starvation, lack of access to medicine and medical care, and so on have increased markedly since the advent of the Euro-creeps’ cruelties, and “saving (Greek) lives” is not on the Euro-creeps’ to-do list. Capitulation will not save Greek lives.

    I’ve watched some interviews with Greeks in the Streets, and I’ve been struck with how thin so many of them are. They are clearly malnourished already. Tsipris and SYRIZA have not done this to them, it was and is Euro-creep policy that the Greek people be made to starve.

    Capitulation on Day 1 — or any other day — would not have gained the Greek People a better deal. On the other hand, the more that Tsipris and SYRIZA tell the truth about the demands of the Euro-creeps the worse the creditors look, and it is the truth-telling that must be suppressed one way or another.

    Yves wants Greeks and their government to submit and obey immediately and without reservations just as the Euro-creeps and much of the financial media and markets want, regardless of the consequences. The threat is that without their complete surrender, conditions will be worse for the Greeks than they are now. What many Greeks understand is that conditions will be worse regardless of their capitulation, so why not fight — or at least put up the appearance of a fight?

  14. exactly right, chéPasa. she’s been blowing me away with her condemnation of tsipras, and i’d really thought at the beginning, she was cheering him on. pretty shallow cheering it turned out to be. just above that comment pair iirc, was kurt sperry asking if given the huge power dynamic differential, something, something. i tried giving him a couple links in answer, but they got burned by the spam software or something. i’d hoped, of course, yves would read them.

    this gives a lot of the tick-tock of the history that led the greeks to this internal *and* external confrontation against even further austerity and worse: ‘The IMF defaulted on Greece a long time ago

    you’ll no doubt love this piece and its title: ‘No more ‘Yes to all’: time for a proud and dignified ‘NO!’

    all i can say about yves is that her position is morally untenable to me, and i’m really glad that so many of her commenters are pushing back against her…weirdness. she says that italy and spain have the mojo to resist, but greece doesn’t. oy. from here i sit: this is the test case, yves!! if they yield without major debt write-downs, further burns to the citizenry, the resultant cascade will be felt first in europe, than around the world. puerto rico is a similar boat.

    added on edit: to your point on suffering; ‘human rights should take precedence over (profits)’.

  15. Paul craig roberts sees the current choice ahead of greek citizenry’s referendum this week in this historical context (and yes, he was a deputy treasury secretary for ronald reagan), but he pulls no punches here:

    “‘Greece again Can Save the West’, by Paul Craig Roberts / July 1st, 2015
    some snippets:

    “Like Marathon, Thermopylae, Plateau, and Mycale roughly 2,500 years ago, Western freedom again depends on Greece. Today Washington and its empire of European vassal states are playing the part of the Persian Empire, and belatedly the Greeks have formed a government, Syriza, that refuses to submit to the Washington Empire.

    Few people understand that the fate of Western liberty, what remains of it, is at stake in the conflict, and, indeed, the fate of life on earth. Certainly the German government does not understand. Sigmar Gabriel, a German vice-chancellor, has declared the Greek government to be a threat to the European order. What he means by the “European order” is the right of the stronger countries to loot the weaker ones.

    The “Greek crisis” is not about debt. Debt is the propaganda that the Empire is using to subdue sovereignty throughout the Western world. [snip]

    “The position of the Empire is that the Greek people are responsible for the mistakes of their foreign creditors, and the Greek people must pay for their creditors’ mistakes, especially those mistakes enabled by Goldman Sachs.

    [snip] (now keep in mind he wrote this ahead of the troika saying ‘no more negotiations until *after* the referendum, hoping for a regime change.)

    “The Empire rejected Greece’s democratic referendum next Sunday, because the Empire doesn’t believe in democracy. The Empire, like all empires, believes in subservience. Greece is not being subservient. Therefore, Greece must be punished. The Persians Darius and Xerxes had the same view as Washington and the EU. The Greek government is supposed to do what previous Greek governments have done, accept a pay-off and allow Greece to be looted.

    “Looting is the only way left for the Western financial system to make money. All that remains for the West are highly leveraged derivative bets and looting. In other words, in the West today, the sovereignty of peoples and accountability of governments are inconsistent with the financial interests of the One Percent who control the financial and political order.”

    (then he brings in parallels with nato’s new cold war with russia, etc., and finishes):

    “Washington is brewing Armageddon. But Greece can save us. All the Greek people need to do is to support their government and insist that their government, the first in awhile to represent the interests of the Greek people, give the finger to the corrupt EU, default on the debt, and turn to Russia.”

    ‘turning to russia’ seems to have been discussed with putin, via pre-payments for a ga pipeline, but who knows what else might be going on in back-channel talks?

    but this is the IMF report from mid-june; they know what they’re doing in terms of murdering the greek people, and seem to not care one whit, or possibly enjoy the power. together with the ECB and EU elites: ‘Euro-creeps’, (h/t chéPasa)

  16. I don’t know about that tweet on the Greek Orthodox Church. There probably are bishops and the like on one side or the other, but I think the ‘news’ of the church leader’s pronouncement as favoring a ‘ne’ is one of those misinformative items – he called for calm and to remain at the heart of Europe. That’s not saying one way or the other, because Tsipras wants the same thing. To interfere politically in proposing one should vote this way or that would be contrary to his practice and wouldn’t be his intent I am sure.

    • i’d expect you to see it that way, juliania. follow his account to see him call bullshit on the ‘leaked’ poll that Ne is winning, and that he seems to be a Syriza supporter.

  17. Wow to this, wendye!

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/02/imf-greece-needs-extra-50bn-euros

    I’m just starting on the comments, gonna be a good night!

    • wow, indeed. is it due to the leaked info that the imf had said that? ooof, i’m sorry, but mine eyes are just too tired to really read it. i was about to sign off for the night; i” read in the morning. first crack in the Euro-creep troika? oooh, we can hope so.

      sleep well, and bless the greek people in their suffering.

  18. So essentially, the IMF have confirmed what Tsipras and Syriza have been saying all along.

    Some observers have characterized it as a cat fight between Legarde and Merkel, which it may be, but the kernel of the report verifies and confirms the obvious: Greece cannot pay the debt burden imposed by the Titans of Europe, and the previous “final offer” of the Euro-creeps would ensure the perpetual impoverishment and decline of the Greek economy, making essentially any debt burden un-repayable.

    IOW, the Euro-creeps are insane, cruel, vituperative, greedy and self-important hacks and wanna-bes.

    Well, who’d a thunk?

    The IMF will not go so far as to say the debt is odious and should be canceled altogether, but still, the call for a 20 year grace period on repayments is almost as good. It seems like some of the Euro-creeps are coming around — for what it’s worth, they lie and dissemble with ease if not grace — to a more rational position.

    I would expect the SYRIZA government to resign if “yes” wins tomorrow.

    A coup, a la Ukraine, to install a less…confrontational…government is not out of the question if the current government does not resign.

    Someone wrote that the Titans “allowed” SYRIZA to win in order to place a populist face on the continuing looting and destruction of Greece, but that Tsipras’s defiance wasn’t anticipated, and thus the last 6 months of “negotiations” have been over who is to be master, not over debt and money at all.

    IMF’s report vindicating Tsipras’s claims — after “negotiations” collapsed — won’t save his ass, but it will make possible something closer to a rational deal (still odious) with his successor(s).

    Not that I have any predictive powers…

    PCR’s analysis is reason for wan hope, but it looks like Europe’s Titans have no more ability to be reasonable/humane now than it did prior to WWI or WWII. They’re out of their minds.

  19. I read Guardian comments into the wee hours. Not going to make any prognostications as things often get done so scurvily to dampen hopes, but It was nice to see similar reactions to ours and dream of normal humanity. Some time in the recent past we got switched to an alternate universe and I want the old one back.

    Thank you for links wendye – I know not where to go these days, so that is very helpful. Even comments at nakedcapitalism have dried up (and I waited till my afternoon to look.)

    Guardian comments were saying that there is a political branch of the IMF and an economics branch, and the two don’t always agree. I don’t know which one is Christine, only know how I’d feel if I were a Greek citizen. Very glad they have at least come out and said this, but how it is not confirmation of Tsipras’s message I cannot figure. Do they now just pretend he didn’t say it first?

    • welcome, juliania. heh; for a couple days i think i was just blogging for myownself, for posterity…

      you may indeed be right about the two arms of the IMF. mr. wd and i were speaking again about john perkins’ book, and what he did for a CIA front company in ‘arranging’ conditions in various nations for the world bank to swoop in, save them…by looting everything in sight. so no, it’s not so very new, it’s just that, as PCR, stiglitz, hudson, say: it’s all that’s left since globalization really took off: rentier extraction of the most egregious kind.

      but no, i think lagarde said what she did because someone leaked the memo, bless them.

      i wait for them to say that capitalism will never be reigned in again.

      oh, and do click on jacob freeze’s most recent avatar pic; he’s brought another mural, along with an hilarious vignette.

      and yes, goldman sachs played a major part in all this, from selling their default swaps to the greeks, to falsifying banking records so that they could be qualified to join the EU. and of course, other oligarchs there would have been quite complicit in the efforts.

  20. After viewing the realnews piece, I would say the difference between the IMF stance and Tsipras’ would be the IMF doesn’t say the debt is odious (the lady in that interview did.) It’s an important point because to do so gets to the heart of the matter for much more than just Greece. I’d say student loan debt is odious in this country, for instance.

    I liked her solution of sending it back to the German, French, Portuguese (?) banks for payment – she didn’t mention Wall Street and Goldman Sachs but giant vulture squids did pop into my thoughts, along with vast sucking sounds hither and yon.

  21. 3 hours ago: beautiful!

    Helena Whozzit at the Guardian:

    Over at the no rally, prime minister Alexis Tsipras addressed ecstatic supporters. He kicked off his speech saying:

    “Today we are not protesting, today we are celebrating democracy, today we are celebrating the victory of democracy, whatever the result is on Monday. Today all of Europe has its eyes on you, the Greek people and on the three million impoverished Greeks. The whole planet has its eyes turned on Syntagma square in the place where democracy was born.”

    The leftist firebrand then turned his fire on creditors.

    “No one has the right to threaten to divide Europe,” he told the crowd. “We will tell them noon Sunday.”

    Tellingly the prime minister’s speech was not relayed in its entirety by television channels. The media has not been shy about showing its political colours: they have avidly thrown their weight behind the yes vote.

    • There’s a piece at rt.com about thousands rallying all over Europe in support of OXI – NO. I’m gonna put that on my sunhat when I go down to our little town celebration tomorrow (might raise some eyebrows, aye?) I put one of my icons into the auction for our mighty firehouse volunteers – they do a stellar job helping out the local pueblo teams. No forest fires this year – tons of rain!

      Here’s the word from Tsipras via tweets(!)

      http://rt.com/business/271528-tsipras-greece-debt-cut/

      (Even on rt this was just an insert on another story, not a news item in itself.)

      Just say OXI !

      • you go girl! do ya think anyone will know what it’s about? i remember when we occupied mancos, co, and peoples would ask wth? about our signs. ;-)

        Yanis Varoufakis accuses creditors of terrorism ahead of Greek referendum

        “What they’re doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,” Varoufakis told Spain’s El Mundo. “What Brussels and the troika want today is for the yes [vote] to win so they could humiliate the Greeks. Why did they force us to close the banks? To instill fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.”

        Varoufakis, who has promised to resign if Greeks vote no on Sunday, also denied a Financial Times report suggesting that Greek savers could lose 30% of any savings above €8,000. Such a move would be intended to shore up the country’s banking system. It would be similar to what happened in Cyprus in 2013, when savers with more than €100,000 in uninsured accounts had a “haircut” imposed.
        Louka Katseli, the head of Greece’s banking association, said the report was completely baseless and that the idea belonged “only in the sphere of fantasy”.

        Well, yes, if someone on the Ne side leaked that lie to the FT, that would be instilling terror ahead of the vote. i’d seen the haircut announced at the greek reporter, but the FT is under a paywall, so i couldn’t read it. this morning i remembered that sometimes looking in the cache allow reading, so i did; this i can read.

        i got to thinking about yves and no more comments, no new post on greece. i wonder if it might be due to the fact that she may have been wrong that nothing *could* change after their defaulting on the imf payment on the 26th or something. but: there are so many different Euro-creeps making different noises that it’s hard to tell anything about what happens next after either oxi or ne.

  22. WTH? ‘Greek referendum: Germany says it won’t leave Greece in the lurch; German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, appears to bolster No vote in last-minute intervention on Saturday’

    And here’s ‘the economic hitman‘ on greece in 2014, linked in a more current piece of his: ‘A promise fulfilled’.

    I guess (or hope) he’s working to redeem himself with his johnperkins.org website.

  23. I went a bit better than putting it on my hat, wendye – the ‘parade’ we have out here goes round the town – all local fire engines blasting away (and at least this year they let the kids ride on the engines instead of pedalling away up my ferocious hill on their wee bikes behind the engines (way, way, way behind). Anyway, I usually stand on my driveway and cheer them on, and this time I hastily grabbed my ‘we are the 99%’ sign and taped on ‘Solidarity – OXI ! – with Greece’, stood in my bare feet and colorful muu muu waving and brandishing my sign. Oh yes, I got seen – could see a young volunteer really respond and I got chucked a bunch of candy for my effort. Then later got into a good to and fro with neighbors on the question. Didn’t have to be aggressive – even an ex-pat would have to be back in Greece to vote (as some of the wealthy ones are doing, obvious ‘yes’ men.)

    I kept thinking of your solitary vigil for Occupy – that very minimally was what it felt like, little ol’ me standing there as the town paraded by. Shaking my sign. Shades of wendye!

    By the way, moonofalabama has two posts on Greece, and Jackrabbit@16 and Guest77@ 27, 29 the previous July 2 post are worth a look – enormous attempts to disinform (‘russian boy’ – I bet he’s not!) but also some interesting discussion of the Yves stance. Guardian comments say the Schåuble statement doesn’t say what the article says it says, by the way.

    Yes, I saw that economic hitman piece at Saker last night.

    Good thing the vote is tomorrow – I can’t take much more of this!

  24. how kind of the firemen to allow the chirren on board: the thrill of a lifetime, i’d wager! and how fun a picture, you in your muu muu shaking your oxi sign; i love it. we did almost always enjoy our brief Occupying, and loved it when folks would stop to talk.

    arrg; i clipped about nine feet of comments and links from MOA’s house, quite a few by yellowsnapdragon, too. by the by, do you know why folks refer to billmon as ‘b” there? i may get to perusing the link, but sundays are also heavy chore days here. and oooooh, the winds are fierce here. ooof.

    mr. wd did the time zones, and reckons by ten our time (mdt) the vote will be over. how long reporting, tabulating…is anyone’s guess, though.

    dunno on schauble, but if the G is right, he and frau merkel must be havin’ some hella catfights, eh? (i wasn’t quite ure i agreed with billmon on a few things, but…everyone can have an opinion, as they say, rather graphically, at times.) ;-)

  25. Voting results – click on the flag at the bottom to switch to English
    http://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/e/public/index.html

    • oh, thank you, mary m. that will make life easier. so not quite 60% of registered voters voted. i think mr. wd had read that without 40% voting, the referendum would be invalid. well, either something weird went on with the polling, or some of the statements really mattered to people. of course, it ain’t over till it’s over, but this is not ‘neck and neck’.

      will democracy win? did they hear the people sing? (dayum, i loved that song from les misérables.)

      • Guardian live blog says Interior Ministry official projection is OXI 61%. According to the “Regions” tab on that link, the vote is no across the country so far. Will Syriza be worthy of the trust Greek voters have placed in them with this vote?

  26. first, jackrabbit’s long comment here:
    “Tsipras and Varoufakis are just Wall Street useful scubags tools (fake oposition, no wonder how the Comunist party of Greece dislike them http://intsse.com/wswspdf/en/articles/2015/01/27/pers-j27.pdf).
    Engdahl.
    http://journal-neo.org/2015/07/03/what-stinks-about-varoufakis-and-the-whole-greek-mess/

    but my stars, there were plenty of links demonstrating what a Trojan Horse varoufakis is, no? many are quite damming, including james petras’s ‘James Petras: Syriza’s Deception Must Stop’.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30341-james-petras-syriza-s-lying-and-deception-must-stop

    the ‘Soros funded Syriza’, and their coalition with a right wing party (not golden dawn, i forget its name), too was unconvincing to me, but provided some food for thought. by the way, joseph stiglitz was an economist at the world bank just as he left advising…bubba clinton. ;-) it sticks in my mind that he may have been an obama advisor during the transition, but all of the saner economists got the heave-ho when (ahem) he picked his real team: the Chicago economics guys, and kept helicopter ben bernanke. masden is considered by some…weird, to say the least; he sho’ am ugly, lol.

    yellowsnapdragon is bright as a whip, and her explanation of ‘washington’ having urged legarde to publish that ‘greece cannot ever pay the debt without major credit write-downs’ was spot on: washington (whoever or whatever faction that actually means) fears an alignment with the brics or even the asian development bank mightily, as they may know, or intuit, that ‘whither goes greece, many other EU nations may go’. she also brought what i’d seen as a ‘payment in-kind: greece’s capitalization (buy-in) of the brics dev. bank could be future profits of their leg of the turkish stream gazprom line (iirc).

    the trotskyites at wsws.org hit syriza hard, as well, or at least varoufakis. but there i found another key to not only the Vote, but one reason so many media are all jigged up about coming social unrest ‘after the vote’ (not that media don’t pray for RIOTS! anyway). Oopsie: i see that is one of jackrabbit’s links (the pdf)

    ‘On eve of referendum: Rumbles of military coup as Greek workers demand end to EU austerity’

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/07/04/pers-j04.html

    from RT:
    “Sunday, July 5, 17:42 GMT:
    With about 17 percent of the vote counted, the “No” vote is leading with 60.49 percent, ahead of 39.51 percent for “Yes,” an Interior Ministry said.
    17:41 GMT:
    Greece’s central bank will file a request on Sunday to the European Central Bank to raise the amount of emergency funding (ELA) for Greek banks, Gabriel Sakellaridis, a government spokesman, said.

    the guardian, 15 mins ago: No vote still ahead, with 20% counted
    Twenty percent of the votes have now been counted, and the no side is holding on to a solid lead – with more than 60%, against less than 40% for the yes side.

    dunno which votes may be late coming in or any of that, but it sounds like we’ll know by evening.

  27. my.stars. with 91% of the votes tallied, NO 61.2, Yes 38.68.

    @marym: “Will Syriza be worthy of the trust Greek voters have placed in them with this vote?”

    oh, we do so hope to. and we hope that the generals don’t stage another coup.

  28. I’m not sure where you found that first jackrabbit attribution, wendye. Here’s the one I was praising (will give it in several segments as it was long):

    “The interviewer was rather beligerent. His tone was harsh and his questions were drawn from Troika-firendly talking points. The media campaign sometimes subtle, sometimes not) against Syriza has been persistent. First, that they were incompetent and would eventually cave in, then that they were undemocratic and uninterested in the plight of their own people (because GRexit would mean additional hardship), then that Tsipras had ‘betrayed’ his people (ignoring Syriza’s insistence on debt restructuring – why? because the Troika would not discuss it!), and now casting blame on Syriza for the bank closures (which Greece was forced to do when the ECB would not increase ELA).

    All along there is also the subtext: the Greeks are profligate and won’t pay their bills. What is NOT said (or not said much, given its importance) is where the problems originated: with international bankers, and EU and Greek plutocrats. . .

    • well, i’d first written that his comments were too long to read, then realized i’d indeed grabbed that one. on my now 18-page word document for this post, it says at the end: Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 4, 2015 5:25:03 PM | 16

      i’m not sure which of the two posts it was on. yes, quite long. ;-)

  29. Part Two from jackrabbit’s comment at moonofalabama:

    “. . .I believe that Varoufakis and Syriza have had a plan. Varoufakis wrote of it in his blog months before Syriza was elected, and they have reiterated it many times: to renegotiate the memorandum and end austerity in a sensible way that is best for Greece and Europe.

    They have been criticized as ‘crazy’ to do this. Not because it doesn’t make sense but because of the “political realities” that are dictated by the Troika! Why is it better that senseless policies that create hardship for millions be enforced so that politicians that bailed out banks do not suffer embarrassment and defeat?

    =

    Syriza refused to produce a proposal before the April 30th deadline as demanded by the Troika. I believe that they failed to do so NOT because they are incompetent but because the February Agreement which set this ‘deadline’ was forced upon them (via threats to Greek banking). This ‘Agreement’ established a 2-step process whereby the Greeks would first describe how they would service the debt BEFORE debt restructuring talks could begin. This greatly disadvantaged the Greeks because:
    a) their comprehensive plan called required all three: structural reforms; debt restructuring; and new investment.
    b) the Greeks had been promised debt restructuring in the past, and it never materialized.

    In early May, Yanis was effective shut out of the EuroGroup and the members of the Left Platform were saying that the effort to reason with the Troka had failed. At that point, I believe, Syriza’s strategy changed from quiet diplomacy and reason to confrontation. This strategy would (necessarily) culminate in the referendum. . .”

  30. And Part Three:

    “. . .In the weeks that followed, Syriza delivered a proposal – which included debt restructuring that could not have included prior to April 30th – that was not acceptable. Then Syriza revised their proposal in a way that was not acceptable (narrowing the ‘gap’ with tax increases instead of spending cuts). The press hyped Tsipras’ “capitulation” (was it, really?) and the Troika then put forth its ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer – which prompted Tsipras to call the referendum. Along the way, Tsipras wrote his Op-Ed in Le Monde.

    =

    Criticism on the “left” has generally* been that Syriza should’ve immediately established capital controls and threatened GRexit. But that would’ve harmed the economy and they had no mandate for GRexit. Syriza would’ve faced a storm of protest over such moves. The path that they took has smartly advanced Greece’s interests. And now – especially after the IMF report on Greece’s debt sustainability – Syriza has a realistic chance of a ‘NO’ vote that would give them the authority to threaten a GRexit and to thereby reach a comprehensive deal (as they initially argued for) that is very favorable to Greece. Or GRexit (if necessary).

    * Yves Smith at nakedcapitalism.com has a quite different view. She believes that Syriza should’ve capitulated “on day 1” to because the Troika had all the cards and fighting them only puts “what’s left of the European Left” at risk. I won’t comment on this except for this: IF “what’s left of the European Left” needs such a sacrifice, I wonder if it is a) worthy of it, and b) so demoralized/beaten down/sidelined that such a sacrifice would not be helpful.

    Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 4, 2015 5:25:03 PM | 16 ”

    This whole argument follows so closely the tactics that Putin has used in mounting a resistance to Obama’s belligerence that I most certainly believe he has been counseling Syriza.

  31. Oh, and by the way,

    BRAVO, GREECE!!!

    • my goodness, yes. i’ve been looking for more celebratory twitter pics, but we’ll just let the dancing video stand alone.

      i did check at fdl, and yes, one diarist made the announcement. remember grey dog? he offered a 99getsmart post: ‘Greece’s true referendum begins now

      (i haven’t read it.) too bloody much to read.

  32. Ooooh the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments over this Greek referendum vote! It’s hilarious. (In a somewhat scary way.) Little like it has happened for a very long time. Greece might very well “save” Europe from itself, just as PCR suggests. On the other hand, I could well imagine the Forces of Evil engineering a very smooth and almost instantaneous coup, one that would make what happened in Kiev seem amateurish.

    We mustn’t forget that Our Betters have the ability to learn and adapt.

    Surely the mistakes of the Maiden won’t be repeated in Athens. Surely.

    Tsipras and SYRIZA could be out tomorrow. We’ll see.

    Meanwhile, how could the pollsters have gotten the outcome so very wrong? Even the late polls announced after the vote were neck and neck, but the final result wasn’t even close. It was a veritable landslide, an overwhelming majority voting OXI! Overwhelming. Myself, I think the polling was rigged from the beginning, much as I think our own presidential polling is, to make it appear there was a contest so as to drive one side or the other to or from the polls and keep the advertising revenue flowing. I think the polls were bogus all along. And meant to be.

    The Euro-creeps are getting out their Big Sticks, I have little doubt. They mean to punish and destroy. Maybe Frau Merkel will send one of her gunboats to Piraeus Harbor and from there bombard the Acropolis, re-destroying the Parthenon before restoration goes too far. It could
    happen. The Venetians did it.

    This is the kind of “negotiations” the Imperial Powers did with their satrapies and colonies; it’s how they acquired colonies. They sent their gunboats and bombarded palaces and cultural landmarks until the Natives surrendered. Very often, the excuse was that the Natives weren’t paying whatever the colonial power said they owed.

    Greece, however, seems to be outsmarting their oppressors. How long that can last, I don’t know, but so far, by not following the advice of people who keep telling them what they should do, they’re coming out ahead, even if, ultimately they fail in their objective of “changing Europe.”

    I’m impressed.

    (Those who claim CT over it have some interesting points, but even if they are right — I don’t think they are — the objective of “changing Europe” is a necessary one. Whatever passes for “Europe” right now is a criminal gang.)

    • Ooof, the array of print media headlines at the Guardian was portentous, to say the least. i’m concerned that those patriotic generals who remember their reasons for the ’67 coup only too well may either go rogue, or pretend the same with CIA backing or…who knows who? yes, i’m skittish because: the landslide for democracy.

      CT? que ce-que c’est?. oh, the polls (esp. the strategically ‘leaked’ one), must have been shams.

      your frau merkel imaginings are srsly entertaining, and might be what she dreams of tonight, eh? oh, the battles ahead, but some snarker said: ‘syriza will take the former deal, and call it a victory! i’d guess not, considering the imf report’s gives tsipris ammunition aplenty. will the ebb provide emergency liquidy for the banks to open? well, perhaps…just enough.

      a mr. wd reminded me, this is the point at which pcr said: go with the russians! but tsipris is said to have noted…his people didn’t want that. politics or something else? guess we’ll see how punitive the euro-cretins are.

      • I don’t think the Russians want that either. I do think they, and China, are serious about multipolarity, and have advised Tsipras to do what he has done, create backing, verifiable backing, from his own people for the course he will chart within Europe. Both Putin and Tsipras have said ‘partners’ in the face of belligerent rhetoric from their adversaries. They know that any excuse is sufficient to turn them into Libya at a moment’s notice, so they will play the diplomacy game for all it’s worth. It is a matter of survival. But because they are now very popular, I believe it will work, since the ‘partners’ do not have that advantage, and will lose what legitimacy they have had should they keep to the course they were on.

        It is going to be very interesting now. All the propaganda guns were blazing, fear and lies to boot, and the tiny, downtrodden, insulted (!) Greeks ignored all of it. Only those who benefited from the status quo wanted to keep it. But even they, now, must feel the euphoria.

        Now Tsipras, like Putin before him, faces his own defeated oligarchs and must charm them into feeling like patriots by staying civil with respect to everything the Troika represents. He must do this to bring every Greek along with him, not just the ‘Oxi’ . It is a matter of survival. Putin did it; he will also. Can you imagine how proud all must feel after five years of knuckling under? Russia can help them, but it is more a psychological form of help, and who needs money? I’m sure they are beginning to feel that way.

        • you’re right that tsipras has said all the right things about unity now; in order not to become libya gave me a shiver, of course. but as to your question about who needs money: well, greece does, including being able to capitalize the banks for all those in need of cash for food, medicine, and the costs to stay alive. we’ll never know the exact reason for this, i suppose, but yanis varoufakis resigned last night. he said it was the wish of tsipris, and that there was ‘a lot of pressure coming from the euro-Titans for him to go. he wants a better deal for greece.

          added: the guardian says that tsipras phoned putin, and putin said ‘make a deal with your creditors’. the link provided…just that they’d spoken. ;-)

          added: if putin did advise that, then he is indeed counseling alexis in the ways of diplomatic chess moves.

      • Re: “CT” = Conspiracy Theory

    • here come the gunboats with their cannons *aimed* at the acropolis. the fuses await the matches. will they fire?

      “Greece threatened with insolvency, says Germany’s Gabriel. The hard line from Germany continues.

      Deputy chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Greece is now threatened with insolvency. And if it wants to stay in the eurozone it has to present proposals that go beyond what it has offered before.”

      no quarter given to traitors to the Banksters!

      • Frau Merkel is looking a bit haggard, no? I guess she didn’t have a very restful night. Poor thing.

        And yes, she’ll send her surrogates to denounce Greece and she’ll send her admirals to shell Athens out of spite. How dare those unwashed upstarts defy her?! How dare they!

        Meanwhile, “humanitarian aid” for Greece is now on the table even as the Germans posture and bluster away. Until something is done about the immense suffering of the Greek people under the lash of austerity — and something must be done — there can be no agreement.

        As for Varoufakis’s sudden departure, there were rumblings yesterday soon after the vote was confirmed that he would have to go and that he had been or would be asked to resign by Tsipras. Sure enough. Supposedly this would be to smooth a path toward an agreement, but it’s hard to say what really happened. I thought this comment of his was very good, though:

        On the 25th of January, dignity was restored to the people of Greece.

        In the five months that intervened since then, we became the first government that dared raise its voice, speaking on behalf of the people, saying no to the damaging irrationality of our extend-and-pretend ‘Bailout Program’.

        We

        *spread the word that the Greek ‘bailouts’ were exercises whose purpose was intentionally to transfer private losses onto the shoulders of the weakest Greeks, before being transferred to other European taxpayers
        *articulated, for the first time in the Eurogroup, an economic argument to which there was no credible response
        *put forward moderate, technically feasible proposals that would remove the need for further ‘bailouts’
        *confined the troika to its Brussels’ lair
        *internationalised Greece’s humanitarian crisis and its roots in intentionally recessionary policies
        *spread hope beyond Greece’s borders that democracy can breathe within a monetary union hitherto dominated by fear.

        Ending interminable, self-defeating, austerity and restructuring Greece’s public debt were our two targets. But these two were also our creditors’ targets. From the moment our election seemed likely, last December, the powers-that-be started a bank run and planned, eventually, to shut Greece’s banks down. Their purpose?

        I also noticed that Podemos’s Iglesias is being very careful about what he says vis a vis Greece and Spain, and I wonder if he isn’t being so circumspect so as not to be sent to a re-education camp pronto.

        Makes you wonder…

        • my favorite were ‘confined the troika to its lair’. ;-) and “the powers-that-be started a bank run and planned, eventually, to shut Greece’s banks down. Their purpose?” (one supposedly crucial step in their planned coup d’état).

          i hadn’t heard the rumblings, but yes, he did call them terrorists, and seemed to have (ahem) mentioned printing drachmas (ouch). oooh, yes, those words of iglesias’s are quite couched in trepidation, aren’t they? but how in the world did you get that thread to bounce to that spot? i stand in amazement…

          but if this works, i reckon this is the frau-foto of which you speak, it is almost too much fun! (plus her reflection in the limo window…

          to paraphrase betty davis: “Oh, what a Frump!

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