Open thread on the twists and turns afoot in Greece


Juliania has been paying attention to events in the Hellenistic Republic, bless her heart, and although the Snap Election isn’t until Sept. 20, I thought I’d put up a shell that we can add to at will.  Opinions abound, of course, concerning the split of Syriza and the resignation of Alexis Tsipras.  Yanis Varoufakis has been (ahem) rather outspoken lately, as have many others.  I’ve pasted in some of her comments and links she’d dropped into the current Open Menu, and a few interviews and such.
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juliania2 | August 22, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Thanks wendye. Here’s an update that’ll at least apprise us of some of the names of players – short enough I hope it’s okay to give the entire piece:
Ioanna Zikakou:

“Greek Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou met with Panayiotis Lafazanis, leader of the newly-formed political party Popular Unity, on August 22 in her office. The two politicians had a conversation in front of the reporters waiting outside the office, where Konstantopoulou expressed her opinion that the government decided to resign surreptitiously, without informing the Parliament.

She also spoke negatively about the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who chose to side with the Greek Prime Minister and not reveal the latter’s plan. Konstantopoulou added the country’s lenders are blackmailing the country, while they appear to have been informed about the government’s intentions before the Greek Parliament.

Panagiotis Lafazanis stated that the purpose of his visit was to inform the president about the formation of the new parliamentary group. The Popular Unity leader also added that the government’s practices have turned the constitution into scrap of paper.

After the meeting, Konstantopoulou did not announce if she would be moving in the same direction as Lafazanis. However, both politicians spoke against Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his decision to close the Greek Parliament, but also against Pavlopoulos, noting that he failed to comply with the official procedures.

Greek Government about Parliament President: “She behaves like a dictator – It was a wrong choice.”

“The Greek Parliament President is behaving like a dictator, she thinks that she is the institutional center of the Greek government, but she was simply a wrong choice.”

With these words the SYRIZA-led Greek government has signed its definitive rupture with Greek Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou. This is a first for Greece since no government has ever spoken publically against the parliament president, who is proposed by the prime minister personally.”  (the link)

juliania2 | August 22, 2015 at 8:49 pm

“…scrap of paper”? Didn’t somebody else say something similar a short while back?

juliania2 | August 22, 2015 at 9:00 pm

And if more names needed, plus a good reprise of the envisioned plan of action, this from  ‘Popular Unity IS Born’

juliania2 | August 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm

As you say, wendye, as you say – it will be really interesting. Here’s a bit of analysis that seems to cover a lot of bases, not too long either:  “The End of Syriza as We Know It’ from the Greek Reporter

juliania2 | August 26, 2015 at 9:16 am

The Greek Reporter says Zoi is about to form her own party. Ho, I guess Yanis could do that too. They might just squeeze everybody else out , do you think?

Yesterday I went to Yanis’ site and read his speech to the French folk out in the field in the rain – he describes his ‘plan of action’ in this interview at the Aussie ABC: ’ Yanis Varoufakis pushes for pan-European network to fight austerity’, Thursday 27 August 2015

I’m puzzled by Singer’s final comment – “. . .almost certainly guilty of treason. . .” played it back several times and I don’t know if it’s a joke or a nasty stab, not being cognizant of Aussie humor – if it is that, it’s wry indeed. Haven’t looked at Yves yet, but from what Yanis is saying here he’s got a long road ahead, and hard to call that treason unless treason against the presently constituted EU. (Not a long interview and it comes at the beginning of the link.)

From his interview on Alpha on August 26:

Tsipras: “A Grexit would cause an unspeakable catastrophe”, Thursday, August 27th, 2015

 ‘Tsipras: We will not cooperate with the ‘old political system’, 27.08.2015

“The Conversation asked nine leading academics what their questions were for a man who describes himself as an “accidental economist”. His answers reveal regrets about his own approach during a dramatic 2015, a withering assessment of France’s power in Europe, fears for the future of Syriza, a view that Syriza is now finished, and doubts over how effective Jeremy Corbyn could be as leader of Britain’s Labour party.”

First female prime minister for Greece announced; Vassiliki Thanou, president of the country’s supreme court, will head the caretaker government until the elections, expected next month  (interim PM of the Caretaker government, technically, but still…)

Via TRNN (the transcript):  ‘What Would Happen to the Eurozone if Greece Leaves?’; Economist Gerard Dumenil argues the Eurozone will face minimal impact and its leaders are already preparing for a possible Grexit –   August 27, 2015

‘Members of Syriza’s Central Committee Defecting to Popular Unity’

‘What About the Greek Communist Party? What explains the Greek Communist Party’s stance toward Syriza and the euro crisis?’ by Giorgos Charalambous

(Giorgos Charalambous teaches political science at the University of Cyprus and is senior research consultant at Peace Research Institute Oslo – Cyprus Centre.)

Also from TRNN (the transcript) ‘Dimitri Lascaris also discusses the significance of bailout critic’; Vassiliki Thanou serving as the first female Prime Minister in the interim Greek government –   August 28, 2015  Dimitri Lascaris also discusses the significance of bailout critic Vassiliki Thanou to serve as the first female Prime Minister in the interim Greek government.

Yves Smith continues to explain how difficult a Grexit would be:  ‘More on Why Bank IT and Payment Systems Matter’, August 28, 2015 by Yves Smith  (at least three years until a system could be up and running)

August 26, tsipras

August 28

35 responses to “Open thread on the twists and turns afoot in Greece

  1. Wow, wendye – thanks! I love that painting also. Greece is so gorgeous I can’t help hoping they will feel like going it alone. They have so much going for them as a tourist mecca, and with a little bit of help from their friends I feel sure they can do it.

    You’ve put together so much here, and I just came in from ‘saving the appearances’ in my garden (currently blasted by Ol’ Sol). There’s some new stuff this morning at greekreporter – since you began with my post on zoi, I’ll just put this one – very interesting the elites obviously consider her a threat and already have some tar babies in readiness it looks like.

    • Adding on a further complication, this I feel is an extremely important part of the puzzle:

      “. . . Why is our southern neighbor Greece organizing buses and sending the refugees to our borders? Shouldn’t they be sending them back to where they came from?

      At first, it appeared as though the Greek government was completely overwhelmed with the crisis and powerless to act in containing it (also purposely being deprived of help from its EU and NATO ‘allies’ as part of a ‘bargaining mechanism’ to pressure the Tsipras government into submitting to the debt deal), but now it’s clear that some of the Greeks are actively aiding and abetting this process. What really stands out as evidence of this is the Greek government’s plan to ship the refugees from Kos island to the northern Greek mainland, thereby putting them within easy reach of the Macedonian border. Why not send them closer to the Albanian or Bulgarian borders, why the Macedonian one? Could it be that certain figures in Greece have a deep-seated vendetta against Macedonia and her people and are seeking to use this crisis to punish the country? Could it also be that these very same government figures might have been given orders by the EU and NATO to do these functions as part of a shadow deal agreed to in exchange for EU bailout funds? No matter what the reason is, it’s become evident that some figures in the Greek government are complicit in the weaponization of Mideast refugees against Macedonia. . . .”


      • you may be entirely correct in your spidee senses, juliania. at global research, i’ve found it a good idea to either know, or look at an author’ oeuvre. here is Andrew Korybko’s; sorry i don’t have time to peruse his. life seems to have me in thrall to family matters, as it should be.

        but you may love this painting, as i do: “Christ’s Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection” – Alexander Ivanov (1806 – 1858)

        • I’m puzzled by ‘spidee’ – ‘deviant art’? And indeed, my quote above contains a somewhat deviant Macedonian point that isn’t my own understanding of the situation, but does point to outside tensions (see my link below to the efforts of Father Stratis.)

          It might surprise you that the painting falls rather in the category of ‘deviant art’ for me, though it is indeed beautifully painted and far better than I could ever do. It’s simply a different way of depicting Scripture than the way of the icon, as Scripture is a different way of depicting the life of Christ than a novel would be. (‘Different ink’ as the article says.)

          For instance, the marriage motif is extensively touched upon in the story of the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John. They meet, woman and man, as did Old Testament Patriarchs with their future wives, at a well. (In John’s text named specifically as Jacob’s well.) Jesus begins by saying ‘Go, call your husband.’ And a conversation ensues as he tells her she has had five husbands and the one whom she now has is not her husband. It ends with disciples arriving and being confounded that he was having this long conversation with a woman. [John, Chapter 4]

          The concern of faith is the words spoken between the two and Jesus’s sayings at the end of the story. That is the true marriage being offered in Scripture, the important one to a believer.

          • ‘spidee senses’ was a silly reference to comic book hero Spiderman, who’s senses *tingled* when he intuited something was amiss. that’s all.
            oh, and it’s spelled ‘spidey senses’ i’ve found.

            well, the issue itself wasn’t important to me, but i love the painting, albeit christ’s being far fairer of hair and complexion than he’d likely been.

            but thanks for a believer’s explanation, ww.

  2. The grass no longer grows
    The bee no longer flies
    The mouth no longer kisses

    But I would like
    But I would like
    to lie with you!

    High and far is heaven
    In heaven, far, the sun.

    Yani divulges:

    Varoufakis concluded his Observer interview by again insisting that there is no prospect for socialism. “I don’t believe that the time of depression is a revolutionary time,” he stated, adding, “The only people who benefit are the Nazis, the racists, the bigots, the misanthropes.”

    O Doom! We need another planet or two! Varoufakis learned from Fulvio Imbriani: Do not get caught up in revolutionary dreams!

    • ha, i’d had to look up ‘fulvio imbriani’. is that quote what he’d lamented to his dead lover, charlotte, then?

      i dunno which link might have been the observer interview, but clearly ‘the erratic marxist’ is erratic altogether. i remember his taking a lot of hits for working for a hideous regime for eight years (the name began with a P, rhymed with Snuffleupagous, iirc).

      but i did think of you when i’d read one piece at the archdruid report that ended:

      “We thus stand at the beginning of a long, brutal epoch, as unforgiving as the one that dawned in 1939. Those who pin Utopian hopes on the end of American hegemony will get to add disappointment to that already bitter mix, since hegemony remains the same no matter who happens to be perched temporarily in the saddle. (I also wonder how many of the people who think they’ll rejoice at the end of American hegemony have thought through the impact on their hopes of collective betterment, not to mention their own lifestyles, once the 5% of the world’s population who live in the US can no longer claim a quarter or so of the world’s resources and wealth.) If there’s any hope possible at such a time, to my mind, it’s the one W.H. Auden proposed as the conclusion of his bleak and brilliant poem:”

      September 1, 1939:

      Defenceless under the night,
      Our world in stupor lies;
      Yet, dotted everywhere,
      Ironic points of light
      Flash out wherever the just
      Exchange their messages:
      May I, composed like them
      Of Eros and of dust,
      Beleaguered by the same
      Negation and despair,
      Show an affirming flame.

      irony, i reckon, but why not? ;-)

      • That was Papa Varoufakis under Pa Papadopolous:

        “His father Pavlos was a civil engineer who landed highly lucrative government contracts during the military dictatorship of George Papadopoulos (1967-1973).”

        The beautiful dirge above was sung at Catherine’s funeral by Francesca, her successor in the love of Fulvio. Apparently, one theme of the film is the revolutionaries’ “mechanization”, their rectification of their outward selves to their inner ones (serving commentary on the ’68ers). Here Francesca senses liberation in Heaven, remote from earthly struggle like their utopia, but far from the sun and dead as well.

        Erosophists on retreat but keepers of the flame … this is similar to Morris Berman’s vision of the repeat collapse of Western civilization, a retreat to monastic life. Were you thinking of my levity amidst despair, comrade?

        “I also wonder how many of the people who think they’ll rejoice at the end of American hegemony have thought through the impact on their hopes of collective betterment [of losing their 400% above average living standards.]” O Bullshite. Of course they haven’t “thought it through”. Gawd love ’em.


        • hmmm; okay on Papa V; i’d remembered it differently, but then…my memory…. but he was being hit as a hypocrite for serving a very neoliberal administration, so i dunno what ho.

          but yes, i laughed because you said something similar to juliania about rob urie’s piece:

          “Any economic system that operates on the basis of coercion, domination, and super exploitation gives rise to resistance. This in turn leads to more force, more military power, having to be deployed to maintain the status quo. However this can only succeed in fomenting further resistance and with it destabilization, which in turn acts as a catalyst for the mass movement of people seeking sanctuary from the chaos that results.”

          comrade : “Inappropriate on two aspects: a) this empire is adept at seduction, illusion, and extortion, which weapons it manages to keep many, many at bay. b) the “external” crisis of resource depletion will be used to suppress the internal crisis, even to the point of population sacrifice.
          So the theater will go on, quite possibly until there is only wasteland. No relief there, comrade (unless one believes in supernatural nonsense).
          And, if there is some salvaged land, quite likely, the masters of brutality will own it. That’s success for them, even though their distracting fantasylands have vanished.”

          and i had gone on about the sparks that may be coming to light the flame in the noosphere, and bring epiphanies of higher consciousness that would coalesce the downtrodden and new allies.

          oh, and i finally tumbled that it wasn’t ‘the archdruid’ i found incomprehensible, but ‘the automatic earth’.

        • oh, and for your reading (ack) pleasure? i’d seen this dude’s piece at roar magazine, all about how the ‘new left’ fails to get neoliberalism. yes, my eyes crossed, but he did link to this 2013 piece of his at jacobin: ‘Democratic Empire; The idea of an American empire in decline refuses to die‘.

          thought you might at least like to look at it. it *looks* less brain-knotting than the other, but…it seems more up yur alley than mine.

  3. Ack, indeed. Leo Panitch is bishop of this theory, denouncing callers of Syriza’s treason. What of Panitch’s role in perpetuating crapitalist hegemony? He visits Greece, where KKE and Antarsya anticipated the failure of Syriza, but, on return to Canada, Panitch contemptuously dismisses their battle.

    What do these academics achieve who obtusely criticize liberals, and progressives and Polanyi-indoctrinates? Of course the libs’ and progs’ understanding of crapitalism is befuddled. But these contemptuous interlecturers place understanding of crapitalism beyond the capability of proles and campaign for a counter-religion to the crapitalism of wingnut populism. Comrade Marx damn them!

    Martijn reports:
    “We are currently seeing the bizarre emergence of an academic growth sector devoted to explaining the failure of social reality to conform itself to social scientists’ fantasies of a re-embedding movement — a curious imitation of the financial sector’s own ability to profit from failure.”
    Amusing, but not surprising (or bizarre) considering the neoliberalization of universities. In fact, haven’t lefties been sucked into universities in order to restrain them? Sadistic crapitalists enjoy the irony of lefty-tower tongue-flapping and arm-waving, in pursuit of the dollar. HA HA HA HA. Can Martijn admit he is disgusted from his own tower-cell?

    But Martijn dallies with psychology:
    “progressive perspectives on austerity ‘externalize’ the problem, attributing problems to the nefarious machinations of scheming elites in order to disavow our own connection to it. The result is a critique of austerity that is moralistic, depicting it as a wrong policy or cognitive mistake without meaningful social or psychological roots.”
    Very peculiar that Martijn condemns projection as moralistic, n’est-ce pas? Let’s hope Martijn can’t dismiss all moral opposition to crapitalism as moralistic, for his sake. It’s almost like he might think that all moralists are hypocritical. Well, Martijn, maybe hypopcrisy is operating on a civilizational scale.

    Barf. I could go on, but I must pace myself.


  4. “German Left Party declares its support for Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras”

    “The Left Party does not represent the interests of the working class and youth. It speaks for privileged sections of the middle class, state officials and trade union bureaucrats whose positions are dependent on the maintenance of the capitalist system. The clearer it becomes that the capitalist profit system is incompatible with the basic requirements of the vast majority of the population, the further the party moves to the right.

    The only things “left” about the Left Party are its phrases. The latest developments in Greece underscore its capacity to cover up the most reactionary policies with left rhetoric. This serves only to spread confusion, disorient the working class and lead them into a blind alley.”

    In Allonsanfan’s delirium he believes their defeat is instead the beginning of the peasant revolt. Is this left-delusion now such a trope that we should expect delusional professions from the “left”? These “Left” Partiers (sic) are too busy fleeing utopia.

    • and right next door to that piece is a heavy indictment of popular unity. one paragraph among many:

      “The main goal of Popular Unity is to prevent the working class from drawing the necessary lessons from the role of Syriza and their own involvement in its betrayal. To this end, on August 20 they declared that, with his announcement of elections, Tsipras “appeared with another face, completely and radically opposed to the hitherto commitments and struggles of SYRIZA”–as if there was no previous indication that he would violate his promises!”

      there seems to be a lot of campaigning going on at prothema.

      and thank you for deconstructing both the jacobin essay and the roar piece. fooking intellectuals can tie themselves in knots in order to perpetuate capitalism. polyani: re-embedding failures? oh, well, all of it’s too steep for me.

  5. Here is a piece about a very good man on the island of Lesvos, which receives most of the people fleeing the wars our country manufactures. The short video is well worth watching.

    • ““I have seen young children with blisters on their feet and pregnant women holding their bellies and crying from pain. These people are not migrants, they do not choose to come here. They are the children of war, fleeing from bullets,” he added.

      yes, refugees in diaspora.

    • i’d read about the squabbles with EU nations over ‘dealing with the massive immigrant situation at the Guardian, and ooof, such squabbles, and so incomprehensively written, to boot!

      from today: ‘Athens finally — via caretaker government — requests emergency funding to deal with crisis’

      i swear things are heating up so much in the ukraine, i almost dropped all my links into this thread, and added “and ukraine” to the title. it seems as though the US puppeteers can’t even control poroshenko now.

      cannae say i think much of yani’s smile, though. looks like he’s sizing one up for a possible meal. ;-) (raptor-like?)

  6. Here’s an article that spells out what is happening to Greece in the starkest terms:

    • Here’s the quote that got me in the article (originally from

      ” . . .the Greeks aren’t going to have their goods produced and sold cheaper to Germany to re-export at higher price and profit — i.e. 19th century colonialism. Multinational corporations aren’t going to relocate to Greece so they can pay cheaper wages, lower costs, and then re-export to the rest of the world for profit — i.e. U.S. late 20th century colonialism. The Greeks are going to work harder and for less in order to generate a surplus that will return to the Troika institutions in the form of interest payments on the ever-rising debt they owe. The Troika are the intermediaries, the debt collectors, the State-Agency representatives of bankers and investors on behalf of whom they collect the debt payments. They are supra-state bodies and the new agents of financial wealth extraction and transfer. . . ”

      I rather think the Greeks, as also many of us other colonials do know what upsetting the applecart is liable to bring about, but not doing so is less and less an option in scenarios like this.

    • One last link supporting the above – sorry, but somehow this wasn’t on the site earlier or I would have put it first:

      This is Michael Hudson. Really eye-opening on both Greece and Ukraine.

  7. On Varoufakis, he seems to be going quite far afield, and comments on China and US such as this – ” . . .How can European policymakers get away with it? After all, their political impunity stands in sharp contrast not only to the United States, where officials are at least accountable to Congress, . . .”
    [Read more at cause me to distrust his motives. He surely knows that the banksters are in charge here in the USofA? I don’t see that sharp contrast, I must say. Greece is just further down the slippery slope, and we know who got the ball rolling or at least I hope we do by now.

    Varoufakis is proving as much a disappointment as Tsipras. Maybe we should shy away from politicians who smile. There’s really nothing to smile about.

    • Yani must not be getting a good education from Jamie Galbraith, probably because Jamie’s in his own righteous MMT/neo-Keynesian dreamworld. Jamie probably thinks the Fed knows what it’s doing playing daredevil with the world’s reserve currency.

      Call it a Confederacy of Dunces, who like to think their privilege is an indication of superior intelligence. When Yani went to Berlin, under the pretense of a left mandate, he intended to present “common-sense [not left-wing] policies” instead. So what licenses his duplicity? His superior intelligence, of course.

      Now Yani expresses surprise at discovering an apparent anarchic (“fragmented and deliberately informal”) European Monetary Union. Yani, were he well educated, would not be so surprised to find this mask of informal power. Were he well educated, however, he would be educated to express such surprise!

      However, I doubt Yani is cut out for the Big Boys game (I’m sure he’s accepted that), as envious as he is of super-power and super-power-to-be power. His longevity as a pretend lefty looks pretty short as well, since he can’t seem to understand what’s really going on. If he does understand, he likes to bullshit too much to be useful.

      p.s. – Yani apparently even dropped the specter of Ronnie Raygun – by proposing a bullshit supply-side “tax rate reduction and revenue increase”. That is Yani’s proof that the EMU is not even conservative – so Bonnie Yani concludes that Greece’s crisis results not from a clash between Greek “left” and EU “conservative mainstream” but from patriot-critics being trumped by EZ “failed policy”. What a meathead.

      p.p.s – Note that Yani takes leave of his little diatribe when it starts to get very murky. He begins to advocate “technical efficiency”, condemn status-seeking, and promote democracy. WTF? Is Yani now a pretend American? It’s looking more like he got his brown nose from George Soros.

      • okay, amigo; this gets the ‘comment of the week’ award. and to think juliania’s link didn’t even work for me!

        so…this is your prize (and ours). bruce put it up eons ago, and i saved it.
        i needed something to cure the glummies anyway.

  8. Here’s Zoi again – and who knew she was in New York on the 2nd? Greek Reporter sure was mum on that.

    Happy Labor Day, all. ( We also work who only tar our roofs.)

    • and a good labor day to you, juliania. greek reporter did actually have it. i wonder what the response was to her speech, or if others were similar in nature. i wih i could remember which eu nation’s populace was found in polls to support leaving the EU, not just the eurozone. (a lesser known nation to me)

      the heads of the various parties will ‘debate’ on the night of the 9th, and be able to question one another at the end. debates should really be jut that, of course. but it may more clearly define things for voters. so far, ND and Syriza are polling too close to call, popular unity right now would perhaps earn one seat in parliament.

      hadn’t zoe said that she’d caucus with syriza?

  9. youch!
    ‘Lafazanis scathing of Tsipras: He went for…wool but risks getting a haircut instead’; Parliament president Zoe Konstantopoulou, another fiery critic and one-time comrade, challenges ex-PM to a debate!
    Sep, 07 2015

    now mario drahgi recently had made a Big Deal about announcing there would be NO bail-ins, so…

  10. Thanks for that link, wendye. I am reminded that media in Greece are a lot like media all over these days – very much in the pocket of them that own them. They said all sorts of stuff before the momentous referendum, as did the polls. And were way wrong. The Greek Reporter is saying that the EU ptb would very much like a coalition government, which Tsipras is adamant that he won’t do, but really Greeks must know by now how good his word is on this stuff.

    Here’s another GR piece, has a bit to say about Varoufakis as well, who seems determined to become the EU’s answer to Henry Kissinger. Nice to see Zoi there – I guess she’ll smile if they win.

    And the Real News seems to have pulled in its snail horns on Greece for the time being – I guess I will grit my teeth and watch the Hedges/Panitch video, so you don’t have to.

  11. Thanks to commenter at the Guardian, Seaandshells, here’s a good précis of the Greek candidates debate:

    I don’t think the article on it at the Greek Reporter was helpful at all. Lafazanis stuck to his positions, and the others did differentiate what they stood for in spite of a difficult format.

  12. And then there’s this:

    I have to admit, it’s all Greek to me.

    • ha! to that; me, too. when i’d opened your first link, and had seen the name *and* the length of it, i’d almost wished for an english talkie version so i could rest mine crap and tired eyes. but i’ll add this to the mix for now, and hope that post-siesta rest, i’ll be able to read more.

      and of course, we won’t know much of nuffin’ until the vote…on the 20th? if memory serves (not that it usually does).

      the url says what the piece is about, so i’ll leave it raw.

      and holy crow, so many things are happening today, both in my RL, geopolitically, and in police matters *stuff*.

      question: you read b at moon of alabama sometimes. recently he’d put up a post surmising that the whole issue of diasporas, or immigrants in exodus, was a bit of a psy-op. did you read it, or concur? it’s a bit odd, all of the msm fanfare, i’ll admit.

  13. Yes, I read that, and was puzzled – the numbers seem to belie that it is all orchestrated, though I’m sure it satisfies someone that it is happening. A lot is coming straight out of Turkey towards Greece, and b seems to know a lot about such matters. I don’t know. Certainly msm’s tugging at the heartstrings on this (and not on the drone casualties) might cause one to look around for the next invasion gearing up, though I would suppose what is happening to both Yemen and Syria is as bad as it gets, not to mention other places as well. I just think whatever catastrophe is underway the madmen in charge are going to take advantage of it – that’s all they are good at.

    On the mysterious Mr. Varoufakis, this is really good from Norman Pollack and I do agree with him:

    “My New York Times Comment to the Varoufakis article, same date, follows:

    I find Varoufakis’s citing of FDR going off the gold standard a convincing point for rejecting the German/troika strict-rules-based standard as most discriminatory to Greece and other weaker EU countries and economies. There is obviously something fallacious about the assumptions underpinning the EU. (Yet I’m perplexed that Varoufakis looks to Sachs and Summers for advice, which doesn’t go along with his critique of austerity.) How much is the EU meant to be a true political union, even granting US, IMF, and World Bank influence, and how much merely the political-economic foundation for NATO, a military alliance system positioned to confront and challenge Russia?

    That is a serious question, I think, because the EU nations are forced into an austerity framework, against their better interests, in order to support a US-inspired revival of the Cold War. Here foreign-policy goals trump that of rational international-economic organization. Yes, Greece is caught in a squeeze, as Varoufakis suggests, but how nice, I believe, if it left the eurozone (just as FDR acted at the London Economic Conference), and was followed by others–a significant improvement in their economic futures plus an important nod to detente and diminished tensions.”

    I also ackked at Summers when I read the Varoufakis piece. Not really!!! I’m afraid he and Tsipras are indeed birds of a feather, and I sure hope the Greeks can see that now.

  14. It is really impossible to find anything online that goes into depth about Sunday’s election – I just read a transcript at RT that strongly suggested people will be so disgusted and turned off they will not vote – I really can’t see that happening when there are parties which are against ‘the memorandum’ as were the voters at the Oxi referendum. But you can’t find much about that online – at least I can’t. All they do is quote polls which were so unreliable for the referendum, no credence can be put in them.

    Well, I hunted through some of Varoufakis’ interview posts at his site, and found his answer to the Summers involvement to be that even such as these were saying the Greece imposition of accumulating debt by the Troika was unsupportable. Okay. But I also found a comment containing this comment by a poster named “Elenitz” (sorry, the post did not say where she made the comment, only that it was made September 18):

    ‘ . . . I voted for SYRIZA in January, but they are finished for me. In sum, we were manipulated and sold false goods, in that ‘Core Syriza’ turned out to represent not the real Greeks but neo-Greeks. The reasons for capitulation are flimsy since we had the tools to fight (starting with a simple refusal) – the fight should have continued until the end.

    My first foreboding came when they took Yanis off the front line. SYRIZA has proved its mediocrity by ejecting from its body its two most intelligent and morally impeccable personalities, Yanis and Zoe Konstantopoulou, and no longer providing a home for high quality persons such as Nadia Valavani and Sofia Sakorafa.

    Through SYRIZA’s act of capitulation – whether through cowardice or collaboration – we now face occupation, rule by an economic and legal junta and extreme misery. Add in the migrants now trapped into the Balkans by our “partners”….

    I shall vote for Zoe and my hopes are now invested in a European alliance of resistance…

    ps Tsipras (is he smoking something?) had the face to claim this week that by voting SYRIZA, we vote for NO.”

    You wouldn’t know it, maybe, but Zoe has her own party, that alliance of Resistance, and has stated she would ally with Popular Unity. I hope the Greeks know more about all this stuff than I do. There is also an interesting piece at the weekend Counterpunch on the press substandard slams at Zoe from a women’s rights perspective.

  15. Let’s see if I can sort this out. Today, day before the Greek election, thegreekreporter says Varoufakis will vote for Popular Unity, in support of two former comrades. On V’s site is a video of a short speech he gave on the 14th to striking London National Gallery workers. (Back to that in a bit.) After I viewed that video, the screen showed multiple videos, so I went to a much earlier one of an interview with Harald Schumann in 2014, way before the negotiations for the 3rd bailout. It’s long, but a lovely setting below the Acropolis, relaxed conversation in depth about V’s understanding of a ‘European crisis’ brought about by a shell game from European banks.

    What is clear from the conversation is that V. had bought into the non-complicity of the IMF and the supposed saving of the US financial system by the manipulations of Paulson and Summers. He at this point thinks the IMF are the good guys.

    Now take a look at that short video at the London Nat’l Gallery. The final point he makes is that the IMF shook hands on a deal and then reneged. Not good guys after all – part of the problem. He hasn’t said it outright, but he now knows that the crisis isn’t just the EU banks, it is all banks. It isn’t just an ignorant bunch who don’t understand economics; it is a conspiracy in order to commit fraud on a massive scale.

    It’s a great pity he didn’t recognize this from the start, but this is why Greece is so important. It isn’t just the keystone (small as it is) to bring down European banks, (able to be fixed in Europe) nor is it to stand as a lesson from the EU parliament for other EU countries – it’s for the rotten banks here as well, who run our state: the whole enchilada.

  16. oh, crap; i’d grabbed the CP on the raging sexist diatribes against zoe. my mind was awhirl with questions, given the greek panoply of gods and goddesses. anyway.

  17. Heh. Well, you might think I’m back to post profound stuff about the election, or you might hit my link and think I am here to essay pearls of wisdom about the new Aussie Key-lookalike PM – but no. I just ask you to scroll down to the two video song links at the bottom of the piece – listen to the bellbird if you would. (sigh)

    (Would have been nice if they’d incorporated the bellbird’s soulful call into the song, but it’s pretty nice anyhoo.)

  18. first exit polls from greece are in. who tells for whom they’d voted, anyway? keeping in mind that the reason for the very incorrect numbers last time is partially due to the fact that the young uns usually vote between 5 and 7 pm.

    syriza is elated…for now. if the results hold, the prez of the hellenic parliament will give them a mandate to form a government within 72 hours. hmmmm. popular unity has said ‘no way’, but look at their low numbers.

    Exit polls suggest nine parties could win seats

    It appears that up to nine parties could clear the 3% threshold and win seats in the Athens parliament.

    Popular Unity, the anti-austerity party created by breakaway Syriza MPs, may not make the cut, though, based on this new polling data.

    Here’s a full breakdown of the exit poll, from state TV channel ERT .

    SYRIZA: 30-34.8% (Tsipras’s left-wing radical coalition)
    New Democracy: 28-32% (the centre-right opposition)
    Golden Dawn: 6.5-8% (the neo-Nazi party)
    PASOK: 5.5 – 7% (the left-wing party that was in power until 2011)
    KKE: 5.5% – 7% (the communist party)
    To Potami: 4% – 5.5% (the pro-EU centrist party)
    Popular Unity: 2.5 – 3.5% (the anti-austerity breakaway party)
    Centrists’ Union: 3.2-4.2 % (another centrist party)
    Independent Greeks (ANEL) 3-4% (the populist right-wingers who were Tsipras’s coalition partners)

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