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Spiegel: A Fatally Flawed Recovery Plan: Greece Back on the Brink
So much for the theory. A visit to the Acropolis offers an example of what is really happening. There are more museum guards here now, a consequence of the Greek interpretation of consolidation.

Consolidation, Greek Style

Here's how it works: OSE, the national railroad, was expected to eliminate its annual deficit of €1-2 billion by slashing about 1,800 of its 5,800 jobs. But, as in other government-owned businesses, the employees were not let go but transferred to new jobs instead -- albeit with reduced pay.

Greece's partners in the euro zone are gradually losing patience with Prime Minister Papandreou and his team. A year after receiving €110 billion in international financial aid commitments, Greece has hopelessly failed to reach the agreed austerity goals. Its lenders are now questioning the government's ability to reform, the economy has declined even further than feared, and important tax revenues have failed to materialize.

How is it that Germany did better than other EU countries because its private sector was able to reduce work hours and pay without firing people, and now it is wrong for Greece to reduce public wages without firing people?

The Spiegel piece is naked narrative-setting for the U-turn in the Troika position. And the thrust is "unemployment, unemployment, umeployment". Throw the bums on the street. See how well that will work.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 02:35:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would go so far as to say that the troika's constant moving of goalposts and ridiculous demands on oversight of privatization constitute not only a negotiation in bad faith, but also a guarantee that Greece will be totally abandoned by its partners in the future.

The sea of people in front of the Greek Parliament understand this. The Greek politicians with their visions of turning Greece into Denmark do not.

Someone in a Greek paper, writing about the massive Greek protests, invoked Aeschylus this morning, "Who can exhaust the sea?"

We shall see.

by Upstate NY on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 12:37:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the economic history of the first two decades of this century will be written by the "partners".

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 12:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not yet certain that the political history will be.

The ECB is (literally?) playing with fire here.

Here's a question - what kind of concerted EU-wide political action would be needed to remove the ECB's headlock on national policy across the EU?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 01:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about a Europe-wide referendum of the form that is allegedly forseen by the Lisbon Treaty? 1 million signatures, isn't it?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 06:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is. But the provision was only ratified in April, and won't become active until 2012.

And it's not a forced referendum or a demand for policy - it's a petition mechanism that asks the Commission to, like, think about stuff, if it wouldn't mind, and if it's not doing anything too taxing elsewhere.

Even so - it would make a terrific media campaign. And given current sentiments, I'd be surprised if it took anything like a year to get a million signatories supporting broad anti-bankster measures.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 07:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes

ThatBritGuy:

Even so - it would make a terrific media campaign. And given current sentiments, I'd be surprised if it took anything like a year to get a million signatories supporting broad anti-bankster measures

much better than blairblocking even

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 09:31:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We could plan to have a qualified petition ready for submission on the day the provision comes into effect, if that is allowed.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2011 at 10:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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