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SYRIZA and the Eurocrats: a letter of intent

by talos Wed May 9th, 2012 at 04:16:12 AM EST

As Antonis Samaras leader of New Democracy, the Greek conservative party, has failed to garner support for forming a new government, Alexis Tsipras the leader of the radical left party SYRIZA, will try tomorrow [Wednesday 9, afew] to gather enough support for forming a government that will renegotiate the current treaties and repudiate the destructive austerity imposed on the country, by the ECB / IMF / EU Commission troika. Interestingly both ND and PASOK seem to hint that they might support a government of the left or abstain from voting on the formation of such a government, which leads me to believe that they might be betting on SYRIZA capitulating on the EU blackmail that will surely follow such a government or, even better, are scared stiff of the possible results of a second round in the polls.

As Tsipras will be in a (theoretical) position to form a government today, I attach below a translation of the letter he sent to the governments of eurozone countries, the EU Comission and assorted eurocrats, on February 21st this year, ten days after a massive protest against the signing of the memorandum was drowned in tear-gas and police brutality, and a few days after the illegitimate government of Loukas Papademos signed the PSI deal and the loan treaty that among many other things, further reduced all wages by 22%...

frontpaged by afew


Here's the edited repost of a blog post in histologion with an English version of the letter:


SYRIZA, the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left, has notified through an open letter signed by its president Alexis Tsipras and addressed to heads of Eurogroup member states, the head of the European Commission Jose Barroso, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, and Martin Schulz head of the European Parliament, that it does not consider the signature of the current politically illegitimate government of Greece binding for future Greek governments. Although SYRIZA is at 10-12% at the polls currently [at the time this was posted], it has a strong dynamic testified not only internally, but by a recent character-assassination piece in Bild and a less rabid but if anything more vitriolic and selective in its narrative article in Der Spiegel. SYRIZA is now the first Greek party to publicly commit itself to repudiating the terms of the latest loan agreement, as stated in the letter, translated below. Should SYRIZA continue rising in the polls expect the regime to postpone elections [they didn't see it coming]:


Hon. Sirs / Mms

I am sending this letter to alert you to a matter of democratic order of urgent importance for Greece. This has to do with the commitments undertaken over the past two days by the Papademos government, headed by Mr. Loukas Papademos. Allow me to remind you that this is an unelected government, which does not enjoy popular support and has consistently and consciously acted against the will of the  people of Greece. This government does not have the democratic  legitimacy to bind this country and its people for the coming years, the coming generations. This legitimization deficit is in conflict with the rich democratic tradition of your own country. If this continues therefore, it will become a bad precedent for Greece and Europe as a whole, which above all, have a common inheritance of political and democratic traditions, which must be respected. However great the seriousness of the current circumstances might be - over which there is  room for a divergence of opinion - they should not in any way cancel democracy.

The lack of democratic legitimacy of the Papademos government arises from the following facts:


  1. The two political parties, which support the government and participate in it do not have a popular mandate to bind Greece to treaties and agreements of this nature. Their representatives were elected in the last national elections on October 2009, based on political programs at complete odds with the policies that were followed by the previous Papandreou government as well as those being negotiated today with the EU, the troika and the IIF, by the current government. The two parties which constitute the current government have a recorded history of plundering public resources and are responsible for the current economic situation.

  2. The people of Greece have been systematically misinformed and deceived about the intensity and the duration of the austerity measures, ever since their first implementation in 2010. Consequently they have withdrawn their confidence in the Greek political establishment. Furthermore, the - inside our country and abroad - widely admitted obvious failure of these measures to successfully face the fiscal problems they were supposed to solve these past two years and the five-year period of continuously deepening recession, has further legitimated the demand for a change in policy, so as to restore a socially just growth and therefore the prospect of a fiscal rationalization.

  3. More specifically: the unelected Papademos government provides but a minimum of information, sometimes even deceitful, regarding the agreements it is secretly negotiating. It has not initiated nor has it allowed to initiate any public, informational discussion about the extremely serious long term commitments that follow. Greek democracy has thus been deprived of the constitutionally protected right of a detailed evaluation of the consequences of the signed agreement. The so-called "second rescue" was voted through an emergency ultra fast-track procedure, in the time-frame of one parliamentary session on a Sunday. The main object of this session was the demand by the government of a carte-blanche authorization on almost blank documents, which are supposed to bind the country for years to come.

  4. To the degree that there has been no information on these agreements, their content seems to be such as to commit the Greek people for generations to come. For such commitments any government should at least demand a clear and renewed mandate.

  5. To the degree that there has been no information on the government's movements, the will of the Greek people as expressed in a multitude and a variety of ways, is almost unanimous in opposition to them. Specifically, during the last two years the people of Greece, throughout the country are expressing their opposition to government policies through, among other means, repeated general strikes and demonstrations, occupations, letter writing, electronic messages and other forms of personal communication with members of Parliament. The Greek government not only chose to ignore the voice of its people, but tried indeed to stifle it, at times even violently, so as to continue in a antidemocratic way, the policies that have been proven disastrous for the Greek economy and society.


For all of the above reasons, I am notifying you that the Greek people, as soon as they restore their right to democratically express their will and regain control of their democratic institutions, will in all likelihood reserve recognition or compliance with these agreements that the current government is planning to assent to. Specifically the Greek people will not accept any loss of sovereignty, foreign involvement in internal matters of Greece or large-scale sale of public companies, land and other assets that the current government is preparing to accept...


Alexis Tsipras
President of the SYRIZA parliamentary team

Display:
Sounds excellent to me. So...what do you think, Talos, will Syriza be blackmailed? And if not, what's the plan?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon May 7th, 2012 at 11:22:06 PM EST
At present it looks as if there is no plan. The old plan depended on social-democrats reliably acting to the detriment of their voters AND voters not to turn to a left party.  
by Katrin on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 03:29:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the Troika that needs a plan for what happens if Syriza does not submit to their blackmail. If Syriza does not submit, Greece will (risk) find(ing) itself unable to obtain hard currency credit. It's Syriza that needs a plan for that contingency, before they can openly defy the Troika.

Part of that plan is going to have to be rationing of strategic imports and hard currency.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 04:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that currently Greece is with a caretaker government led by a Troika technocrat (former ECB vicepresident Papademos) and without a parliament (as it has been dissolved, pending the elections) and there is no governing majority, see top-level comment quoting Eurointelligence:
Tsipras wants PASOK and New Democracy to do the same in a letter to the IMF and the EU. This prompted Antonio Samaras to accuse Tsipras of risking Greece's membership of the eurozone. The conservative leader said his party would be prepared to back a minority government "as long as it secures the country's position in the eurozone and its national interest." But, he said, the leftist leader's statement left no doubt "that he has no intention of safeguarding Greece's European identity and future" and revealed "unbelievable arrogance."
Meanwhile the Troika is withdrawing from Greece ostensibly waiting for the dust to settle
According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the troika has cancelled all meetings it had planned to hold in Athens in May in order to wait for a clarification of the political situation.
while Merkel's man in the ECB, Jörg Asmussen, threatens Greece with Euro exit.

So the situation is going to lead to Greece having no government to react while the Troika side tightens the thumbscrews. According to Matina Stevis

June 10: Is the earliest date that fresh elections can be held if all previous steps have failed
So even if Syriza had the contingency plan that JakeS says Greece needs, it couldn't carry it out before the end of June. Oh, and
June 30: Deadline by which Greek parliament must approve €11.5 billion in further cutbacks to deal with expected budget gaps in 2013 and 2014 under its bailout plan agreed with the Troika of its international lenders.
That's the Greek Parliament, not the Greek caretaker government without a parliament.

There can be lots of denial of hard currency and crashing of banks and flight of what little flying capital there is left in Greece before Syriza could plug the drain, even if they had a plan to do it.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 04:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is true, but not the relevant question. The relevant question is whether complying with the Troika until a government is in place would enhance or diminish the ability of Greece to cope with the fallout from default. And as part of that calculation Syriza must weigh the risk of alienating voters for the second round of elections. Because you absolutely cannot publicly say that you're taking the Troika for a ride - that would defeat the whole point of pretending to be nice, compliant Quislings.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:55:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:

There can be lots of denial of hard currency and crashing of banks and flight of what little flying capital there is left in Greece before Syriza could plug the drain, even if they had a plan to do it.

What is the dynamic here?

  1. No government can be formed, new elections are called.
  2. ???
  3. Bank runs, banks crash.

The Troika has generally issued threaths against governments and parliaments that has then delivered the pain. So this is a new situation as far as I can see.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:26:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will bank runs etc be worse for most of the population than the 'medicine' the Troika is insisting on?

Really - a lot of Greeks will be thinking that if the Germans have already stolen their jobs and pensions, how much worse can it get?

The issue for the Troika is money market contagion conflagration. They can play tough, but I wonder if Greece actually has the whip hand here.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:35:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you are harboring massive illusions

If Greece looses international help, the current austerity will look like a cakewalk in comparison.  Yes, they stop paying interest - but that still leaves a substantial gap in the budget.

PLUS possibly the whole banking sector goes down in flames

PLUS industry production contracts massively

PLUS there will be an energy shortage, since Greece is a net energy importer

Then there is tourism. One of Greece's big export articles. I have no idea if and how this will continue.

etc etc.

by cris0 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 04:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you are the one who harbors massive illusions.

First, Greece is receiving no international help. Greece is being subjected to colonisation.

Second, of your list of ills that will befall Greece when (not if) they default, only the energy rationing is not already happening.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 05:24:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you are quibbling about words.

Greece receives substantial EU and IMF backed loans.

The banking sector in Greece is shaky but still alive.
The same can be said for tourism.

Industrial production? Well, take whatever there is and imagine real banking and foreign trade collapse.

by cris0 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 06:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh and before I forget it - beyond loans Greece also receives a substantial amount of direct EU subsidies- to the tune of 1.5% of its GDP in 2010.

I have no idea what happens to them when Greece unilaterally defaults - but I assume they are on the table, then, too.

by cris0 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 06:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no legal basis for that, but yes.

No matter, though, Greece pays more than 1.5 % of its GDP in usury and tribute today.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I have a citations for that statistic?

Because the total amount of funds for Greece was $18 billion over a 7 year period. Greece managed to acquire 20% of the funds allocated to it. That's $3.X billion over 7 years. About a third of the amount you say they have received. Furthermore, all but a fraction of that amount would be available to EU members in good standing who are not in the eurozone.

by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2010 AFP article found here

And, yes, hard numbers are not in ample supply on this matter. I have no idea about their sources.

by cris0 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 07:59:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hard numbers are readily available at Eurostat, where I got mine. It looks like the AFP took the aggregate amount allocated to Greece under the programs without realizing that the funds must be matched by Greece, so therefore Greece received a small % of the total.
by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 11:20:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you are quibbling about words.

Words are revealing. Yours reveal adherence to the Spiegel/Bild Zeitung party line.

Greece receives substantial EU and IMF backed loans.

For certain values of "receives," seeing as those loans never actually make it to Greece. They exclusively go toward paying off foreign creditors who should have simply been defaulted on two years ago.

The banking sector in Greece is shaky but still alive.

The Greek banking sector crashing in the event of a default has nothing to do with the default per se, since nothing about a default prevents nationalisation and recapitalisation with pristine, newly issued government bonds. Or, y'know, telling their interbank creditors and bondholders to fuck off and die.

What could make the banking sector crash would be direct, deliberate sabotage by a European Central Bank. Which would be an even more blatant overreach of even the most generous reading of its mandate than what we have seen since the beginning of the crisis.

Failing to conduct unlawful sabotage is not "aid." That's "blackmail."

The correct response to blackmail is criminal charges.

The same can be said for tourism.

No reason it shouldn't be fine following a default.

Industrial production? Well, take whatever there is and imagine real banking and foreign trade collapse.

But that is not the relevant point of comparison. The relevant point of comparison is another year of austeridiocy followed by a foreign credit collapse (not foreign trade, because only the part of Greece's imports which is in excess of its exports needs to go - the rest can be preserved with hard currency rationing).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:09:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece receives substantial EU and IMF backed loans.

So what? Look how much Japan and USA have "backed" loans. Only europeans are so stupid that they make economic suicide because of government debt.

by kjr63 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No it doesn't leave a substantial gap in the budget.

Shouldn't you have backup for such statements?

by Upstate NY on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 05:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, according to the ECB, they ran a primary deficit in 2011.

Yes, they plan to not do so in 2012.  We'll see.

by cris0 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 06:43:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They've been flipping back and forth between each quarter and at most, we're talking about a few hundred million in the red. They will be fine until the ECB stops backing the banks.
by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:56:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure?

If I interpret the ECB numbers correctly, Greek's 2011 primary deficit was roughly 4.7 billion €.

by cris0 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:10:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's going to be around 2 billion this year... give or take a few submarines, it is manageable

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, Greece still spent 9.4 billion on military weaponry in 2011.
by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 06:28:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too bad Germany doesn't have a port (yet) on the Mediterranean.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 07:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They could probably buy one at this point.

Still, if Greece's primary deficit is in the hundreds of millions, they seem to have an option if they have an uncontrolled default.

by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 08:39:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I saw the Greek government has a primary surplus in the first trimester of 2012. OK, some of it probably had to do with circumstantial taxes and delaying paying VAT returns and such and is only expected to deteriorate in the second half because of the extra austerity measures that were to be imposed next week. Which won't happen unless there is a regular government in place to enforce them.
Liquidity is somehow a problem but there still is enough cash flow for all of June - and 2011 taxes (which were somehow postponed till after the election - I wonder why!) have not started to be collected. I'd say that one way or another we could suck it up for a few more months. Could the same be said for the Eurozone?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
economic assets? Tourism and shipping.

No matter what the EU, the ECB and the IMF try to do to Greece, those assets will stay the same. The small country of Greece has in one province more historical European patrimoine than the whole of Germany, so I don't think there's any doubt that people will travel to Greece to see them, regardless of what happens, and in fact if Greece were to be able to shed itself of an inappropriately-valued currency (from its persepctive) which is kept that way to subsidize German exports, tourism would only prosper.

Shipping isn't going anywhere either, Greece is the EU's largest merchant fleet.

Greece will almost surely be better off without Europe-as-it-actually-exists (as opposed to, say, the Europe many suppose exists in some social-democratic dream from which they haven't yet awoken).

Will Europe be better off without Greece? I doubt it. But I for one can't wait to visit Greece, and pay in new Drachma instead of the German currency they are currently using.

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the dynamic here?

  1. No government can be formed, new elections are called.
  2. ???
  3. Bank runs, banks crash.

Oh, there's a variety of innovative ways you can do it.

The ECBuBa can stop rediscounting Greek government bonds. This would make all the Greek banks insolvent pretty much overnight, and the Greek government can't recapitalise them in Euro on its own. Instant bank run.

Or the Troika could let the Greek government run out of ECBuBa reserves. Then the Greek government could no longer clear transactions, unless it strongarmed its central bank into granting it an illegal overdraft. Which would effectively mean setting up a parallel currency, since Frankfurt would refuse to clear interbank payments as long as this overdraft was in force. There would then be a run on the new currency.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:42:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This means crashing the owners of the Greek banks too.

(Crédit Agricole is taking a severe hammering this week, I wonder why... oh, they own a Greek bank.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:46:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't realize that. Do other French/German/English banks own Greek banks?
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:50:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. But Germany can bail out their own banks if it comes to that. And that France cannot is cold comfort to the Greeks who will not be able to buy fuel. It's essentially a game of chicken race, where the Greek car doesn't have airbags.

At least winter is a long way off.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But airbags don't always save the occupants, even if they properly deploy - as in a crash and burn.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 05:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and the Greek government can't recapitalise them in Euro on its own.

Unless it starts printing physical euro notes on its own. In secret maybe?

Who knew that advanced printing works could end up being a stretgic resoruce...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Commision them from Giugliano (near Naples)?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:34:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Marvellous! They should, and I actually mean this in all seriousness, send some Greek civil servants and intelligence officers or whatever over there, and discretely invite some of the best forgers for an all-expenses paid vacation in Greece. Have them talk and work a bit with the best Greek printers. Exchange skills and experiences. Not because I suggest Greece should start making counterfeit euros. But you know, just in case. Forewarned is forearmed.

After all, you don't have armed forces or fire insurance because you think you are actually going to get invaded or have your house burn down. You have them... just in case.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:44:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such a scheme might not even violate Gresham's law, as who could tell the difference between real and fake except, possibly by serial number - if you have control of a known good Euro.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 11:57:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, the Bank of Greece has in the past contracted the printing of Euro banknotes. They don't have to forge anything. But they can print perfectly good Euro notes in violation of the ECB's monopoly on authorising the printing.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:00:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but it the actual printing facility located in Greece? If that is not so, I imagine the government could ban the printing works from printing euronotes for Greece.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:24:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some are located in Greece, some in Germany.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:38:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they need to print? They can just add numbers to accounts.
by kjr63 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:00:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adding numbers to accounts creates a paper trail, which is a substantial disadvantage if you're in the forgery business.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That... might actually be one of those things that could provoke their creditors to remand their case to the First International Gunboat Collection Agency.

AFAIK, no country has ever made deliberate counterfeiting of another country's currency a matter of sanctioned policy. Not even North Korea does that (at least they don't admit it, and if they did it in any systematic way I think we would know about it by now). I'm not totally convinced that I'd like to see the response to Greece debuting that practise.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, Germany had a project going under WWII to sink the pound by massive forgery (as well as - I guess - pay for spies and bribes and line the pockets of those managing the project). Think they made a film about it.

But it was not official, and they were already at war.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 03:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about deliberate counterfeiting of your own currency?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 03:42:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not their currency. If it were, it wouldn't be counterfeiting.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 03:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That... might actually be one of those things that could provoke their creditors to remand their case to the First International Gunboat Collection Agency.

Well, Greece is actually one of the few European nations which have had a reasonable amount of defence spending in the last 20 years or so. So I wouldn't like to try sending any gunboats in that direction.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 05:40:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No amount of armament procurement can alter the fact that some of their creditors are twenty times their size, in population, GDP and industrial capacity. Remember how Argentina and their Exocet missiles turned out in the end.

Well, I guess nukes could. But they haven't procured those.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 05:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Argentina is a very bad example, for several reasons which I won't go into, as I do not feel you would much enjoy being lectured on the fine details on the Falklands war in general and the Exocet business in particular. :)

A better example would be Finland vs. the Soviet Union, but this would still be a bad example, as no one is counting on a hot war, not in their worst nightmares. I'm not saying anyone would actually attack Greece, but rather that the fact that Greece has powerful armed forces would deter any overly heavyhanded actions from the creditor nations.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 06:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece is a Balkan country - they can mount an effective guerrilla resistance in their mountainous terrain.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 06:11:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there anything other than traditional hostility that would prevent Greece and Turkey, both NATO members, from agreeing to enhanced defense cooperation for both countries out to Greece's airspace limit in the Adriatic?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:32:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See Greece and Turkey: a major peace initiative by Upstate NY on October 26th, 2010

But two years later, nationalistic (even Nazi) positions in Greece have hardened. I don't know how a rapproachment with Turkey would work out internally.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:31:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are always trying for rapprochement, but the moment needs to be right. This is the worst moment possible because Turkey smells blood. Greece would have to give up legitimate territorial claims at this point to have any alliance with Turkey.
by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is why I disagree that
That's the most encouraging thing I've read yet about this crisis.


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, and the winds are blowing in the opposite direction. The gas and oil pipelines from Russia/Central Asia to Greece bypass Turkey. The new rapprochement with Israel is already linking up electricity and gas pipelines between Israel/Cyprus/Greece. Eventually these will connect to Italy. They also bypass Turkey.

Greece's problem is that its new friends can be instantly blocked. For one, Israel will do what America asks in regard to Greece. Second, Bulgaria has become a spoiler for Greece in terms of pleasing the USA. The Bulgarians threw a wrench into Russian plans to pipe gas and oil through the Balkans and into Greece/Italy. The opposition in Bulgaria was none too happy about that.

by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I should have written it's the least discouraging thing I read.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:05:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Related: From Zaman online - "Turkey and Greece have to go beyond stereotypes, says SYRIZA official"

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 11:34:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guerilla war is not fun. It's only something you do after you fail at conventional war, because it involves horrific suffering on the part of the civilian population. No matter what, this is irrelevant, as a war between Greece and the creditors is absolutely unconceivable.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 05:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guerilla war is not fun. It's only something you do after you fail at conventional war, because it involves horrific suffering on the part of the civilian population.

Indeed.

No matter what, this is irrelevant, as a war between Greece and the creditors is absolutely unconceivable.

Inconceivable. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:38:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, how would you like me to rephrase it then? About as likely as Germany invading Poland?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its (at least in part) a joke.

From Princess Bride. Good movie, jolly good swashbuckling fun.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ack. I sould have taken my iocaine powder.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:09:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
4. a bunch of military men step in to "save the nation".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:26:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also askod's must-read piece on Getting ECB'd.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then what the EU would do? Accept the dictatorship as long as Greece continued to comply? I can see them wanting to do that, but wouldn't that be a step too far?

Of course, between serving the banking establishment of the core and upholding basic democracy and human rights I suspect were the EU would sit, but would really be politically acceptable?

Is it really possible to have a troika based dictatorship (formal) and the EU just going on with that?

by cagatacos on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 03:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, no, that would actually create a formal excuse to kick Greece out of the EU altogether (one of the few imaginable ways to do this).

It's just that at this point it's not totally clear that Merkel and her fellow traitors view this as a negative outcome.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 03:21:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 08:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China/Venezuela and USA.
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia, Iran.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a golden opportunity for Russia to make strategic inroads into Europe. After being abandoned by the European Union, the Orthodox Brothers ride to the rescue. The only thing they ask for is being allowed to purchase the Greek gas distribution system (for a fair price) and being granted a 30-year lease for a naval base on Crete.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:32:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually we know they would like the shipyard in Syros for their navy... Plus energy deals galore...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is very much where I got to with this.

This is more of a diplomatic crisis than a fiscal one. Russia and China have a lot to gain by getting a foothold, and very little to lose.

Germany seems to think it's the only player in the game, but it really isn't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There might be a coup before it gets to that.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:29:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Obama tells* Merkel to stop. After all, it's the end of Nato we are talking about here.

* "tells" is a bit of an euphemism, perhaps.

by Katrin on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:33:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why? NATO would not have failed to defend a member from military aggression...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Nato country letting Russia have a naval base would be a problem. The USA would veto that and that's that.
by Katrin on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:57:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's OK. Telling is the new diplomacy. After all, Asmussen has been "telling" things to Hollande already.
by Upstate NY on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And even parts of the German press have asked who the fuck he thinks he is. If Obama informs Merkel of his displeasure it's a bit different.
by Katrin on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:59:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect a military coup which happened to guarantee 'austerity' wouldn't be received unfavourably in Washington and Frankfurt.

And if that happened to be true, we would have Germany and the US acting like the former Soviet Union in their relationships with vassal states and their contempt for democracy.

The US isn't really a surprise, because it has supported military dictatorships since the end of WWII.

Finding the same attitude closer to home would be more disturbing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:01:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Much more likely Germany would support a military coup than the current US government, which is on record of strongly opposing EU austerity, which has a strong Greek minority, and which has strategic interests in Turkey (an turkey would be threatened by a Greek military regime).
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The swing state with the largest percentage of population with Greek ancestry is Florida with about 0.5%, but OTOH 1% of the US Senate has Greek ancestry, and that 1%, Olympia Snowe, holds a substantial balance of power position.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1% sounds about right, that's the number that still identify as Greek. But since the immigration pipelines began sending Greek miners to the Western USA in the 1890s followed by another wave in the postwar until the junta in the 1970s, the Greek-American population is perhaps very lacking in feeling and knowledge about the politics of the home country. The people are generally conservative, and for every Paul Tsongas or Michael Dukakis or John Sarbanes, we wreak havoc on America with Spiro Agnew, George Tenet, John Negroponte and Jamie Dimon. Their power is close to zero in terms of throwing around muscle. Most Greek-Americans are probably patting themselves on the back for working hard and making decent money, unlike their backward loafing relatives back in Greece. Moral superiority, after all, that's why I made it rich and they didn't! Even a liberal like Tina Fey took time out during a "Saturday Night Live" news session to excoriate her ethnic kin in Greek for a minute on national TV. "Ntrepome!" or "I'm ashamed of you."
by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that Greece is a German colony first and an American one second would probably also contribute to a lack of enthusiasm in the State Department for installing a Pinochet wannabe.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:43:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No coup. They don't control the army and officers have suffered cuts as much as anyone else. When they start giving pay-rises to the military, I'll start worrying

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:21:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are the people running Syriza smart, skilled, disciplined and experienced enough to create and implement such a plan, even if supported by competent civil servants?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has Turkey been saying anything about the Greek crisis, or the elections?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Took a stab at Googling. Found a columnists reaction in Todays Zaman (english paper in Turkey).

The results of the Greek and Armenian elections and Turkey

The results of the parliamentary elections in Greece and Armenia were to indicate whether these countries would be able to get rid of the current internal political instability, frozen political processes and economic deadlock. Yet, we see that the current results are far from offering any solution to the ongoing political or economic problems. The results of the parliamentary elections imply that the public's trust in the existing system will decrease further. In both countries, political parties fail to instill hope in the public or produce realistic projects. As a result, elections fail to solve any problems. Therefore, these two countries should accept the fact that they need regional cooperation and solidarity in a globalizing world. Considering the geography in which Greece and Armenia are located, they can only obtain stability to the extent that they work with Turkey. This is what has happened in the past. Both countries should now realize that the policies that target Turkey are far from being functional. Athens and Yerevan gain nothing by confronting Ankara. Both countries should understand that the West is politically and geographically far from them (Armenia is also far from Russia) and the solution is to work with Turkey. The three countries need each other.

Athens and Ankara are working on a new arrangement that would minimize the risk of tension over the Aegean Sea. Ankara is taking the preliminary steps for a new political initiative via the South Caucasian railways. These are confidence-building steps. Yet, bold steps must be taken for the integration of different peoples. The Greek islands have to increase economic integration with Anatolia in order to get rid of the economic crisis. To this end, Turkey should provide power and water to these islands. Today, producing power from diesel oil is both expensive and pollutes the environment. Moreover, Turks should be allowed to visit the Greek islands first without a visa and then with only their ID cards. Cultural centers should be opened mutually in both countries. In addition, Turkey and Greece should take steps for economic integration under an umbrella organization of the Aegean Union.



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 03:33:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the most encouraging thing I've read yet about this crisis.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The original plan included asking all party leaders in Greece to sign letters promising on their honour that they would not renegotiate the memorandum. There was a little bit of theatre as they had to chase Samaras for a number of days before he actually presented the letter while he protested that he had promised to do it and what were Brussels-Frankfurt hysterical about.

Now it appears both Samaras and Venizelos are asking for a renegotiation of the austerity plan. So we can expect lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth from Germany on pacta sunt servanda and how Samaras and Venizelos have no honour (as if the Greek voting public hadn't proved they are aware of it).

It would all be rather comical were it not for the humanitarian catastrophe that Greece is already going through and for which no EU relief can be expected.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 04:54:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alexis Tsipras seems to be a politician who would  also be a statesman. He writes with an eloquence that appears to flow from deep adherence to principle, recognition of truth and concern for the interests of the people. Should he succeed in forming a government things could get very interesting. My own sense is that the position of the Troika is a tissue of self serving lies disguising their vulnerability. If Tsipras holds firm to his principles we could soon find out just how solid that position is.

As head of the government Tsipras could take or threaten actions that would be so damaging to the interests represented by the Troika that they would have little time to be concerned with Greece. And if they compromise with Tsipras they could be met with other demands for compromise. This could be quite helpful to Hollande. Whether the Irish, the Portuguese and the Spanish governments have the wit and will to take advantage of any such compromise would soon be known, but they could benefit in any case.

Whatever actions the Troika could take against a defiant Greek government are likely to be less damaging than allowing the current madness to continue, especially if that government were to take vigorous and thoughtful action in their own interests and even more so if they are joined by other countries. The present course can only lead to further disasters for all who are on it.

If the other parties support him in the expectation that he will be forced to back down, as they would themselves be, they might be in for a surprise. We will have to wait and see. This letter, combined with Tsipras being asked to form a government, is great news. We will have to see what comes of it.

A SYRIZA government in Greece would certainly be a large potential advantage for Hollande in his efforts to change the course of the current austerity policy - if he exploits it. Of course French banks are among the potential casualties of the Greeks playing hardball with the Troika and we will have to see how Hollande deals with that. Hollande could be in a position to force the ECB and German government to choose between financial Armageddon and an immediate and beneficial change in EMU structure and policy.

I pray (an atheist's prayer) that I will awake tomorrow to find Tsipras as PM of Greece, and if not tomorrow then soon. Angie might loose all sphincter control in such a situation. These two elections combined with electoral losses in Germany for Merkel's party could be portents of things to come.

Health, long life and good fortune to Alexis Tsipras.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 12:50:01 AM EST
Interestingly both ND and PASOK seem to hint that they might support a government of the left or abstain from voting on the formation of such a government, which leads me to believe that they might be betting on SYRIZA capitulating on the EU blackmail that will surely follow such a government or, even better, are scared stiff of the possible results of a second round in the polls.

Do you reckon your party leadership has the tactical clout to direct the blame for any failure to form government on them?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 03:07:01 AM EST
Talos tank you once more for this prompt update.

It seems to me this letter sets the countdown for Greece to leave the EU. As usual these far left parties, that never were exactly pro-european, rapidly become nationalistic when power becomes a possibility.

I don't see the point of blackmail at this stage. If a new government decides to pull out of these agreements the consequences will be swift, the austerians may not need to do anything.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 07:38:26 AM EST
What will be the consequences?

Changing public policies is an internal decision.

Afterward, the troika makes the next move. A move like ending the support of Greek banks will be interpreted as a forceful expulsion from the eurozone.

It will suck for Greece but it will also suck for the eurozone itself.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 08:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again you conflate leaving the Euro with leaving the EU. That is pro-austerity propaganda, not reality.

There is no mechanism by which Greece can be forced to leave the EU if it does not wish to, and Syriza has never claimed any such desire (it doesn't even officially wish to leave the Euro).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 09:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is practice and there is theory. In theory you can devise many scenarios; in practice, leaving the Eurozone will be equivalent to leaving the EU, even if the Greek flag remains hoisted in Brussels.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 10:16:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is that there is no legal way to leave the Eurozone without leaving the EU, but there is a way to leave the EU voluntarily. There is also no way to kick a country out of either.

Even a violation of the treaties would result only in suspension of voting rights in the council, withholding of funds, or lawsuits before the European Court of Justice. Not expulsion.

The only institution that could really hurt Greece is the ECB, by refusing to clear payments with Greek banks. But even if the Greek government decreed a temporary imposition of capital controls I don't think it would be the end of the world legally and I can't see it necessarily entailing a Eurozone exit. Not even violating the ECB's monopoly of legal tender by running a local Gresham currency, and suspending the simgle market by imposing capital controls.

The problem is, as ever, financial instability of the Eurozone.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 11:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China could step in and provide loans in their currency, suitable for importing goods from China and oil from Iran.
by asdf on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Eurozone was basically German vendor finance. After sucking Greece dry, they toss it out into Chinese vendor finance.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:26:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is ugly. In particular relation to Greece, we are talking about the military. And this is why so many Americans decrying foreign aid are laughable. if only they realized how many contracts were signed with sweeteners.
by Upstate NY on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 11:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, from a citizen's perspective it is US tax dollars going to foreign countries to purchase US military goods. Hard to say that particular foreign aid would not have a more positive economic impact for the USA were it spent on wind power, an enhanced electrical grid and electrification of rail transport.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:38:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How would the defense companies make any money in that scenario???
by asdf on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:37:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, a lot of the advanced technology that makes a good high-tech weapons system would serve equally as well in developing advanced wind power, electrical grid, and electrified rail technology.  Sophisticated engineering and design plus lots of built-in computing power to make devices smart and adaptive.  The people who are so good at building smart weapons systems would be, or could be, just as good at making a smart grid.  And they could probably make just as much money, if not more.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:56:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, as long as we don't off-shore the manufacturing capability for such equipment itself and for the component parts to the extent that it cannot be manufactured without foreign made components whose quality and availability is uncertain.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 11:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is actually an interesting and possibly debatable point. Obviously the design of an airplane or a missile or a tank or whatever is a high tech engineering endeavor. And in a broad sense, the same sorts of skills and expertise are required to make advanced power generation and distribution systems.

However, it is a leap of faith to conclude that the same people and organizations can easily transition from one industry to the other. For example, the flight stability analysis for a guided missile is conceptually the same as the frequency stability analysis for a distribution grid. But in practice, engineering students diverge into specialty areas quite early on, and the entire approach to stability analysis in aerospace engineering is different from that of power engineering. The math and physics are fundamentally the same, and the concepts are the same, but the tools and specific methods are completely differentiated by industry.

Or, if you look at the gearbox in a helicopter and the gearbox in a windmill, they are both gearboxes with bearings and gears and stress and strain and wear and lubrication considerations, but they have to meet almost completely opposite requirements. The helicopter gearbox must be lightweight and work with a gas turbine running at 10,000 RPM and a propellor running at 500 RPM, and handle a power of perhaps 1000 HP, while the windmill gearbox can be a lot heavier, and has to work with a generator running at 3600 RPM and a propellor at 10 RPM--but also about 1000 HP. These are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT design constraints, and while the gearbox engineer will understand how to approach the problem in general, without specific experience in one technology or the other, he or she will not be able to come up with a satisfactory design until perhaps a half dozen spectacular, public failures have occurred first.

So for a big defense contractor to move into the power industry would required very substantial re-training of its entire technical staff. Basically you would have to send the engineers back to school and have them get a second MS.

by asdf on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:25:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You raise interesting points, and there are a score of examples of defense companies who entered the wind business and failed, as well as a success or two. But the retraining process is not as dire as you say, if experienced windmill designers are added to the team.

The early basics of rotor blade designs came from engineers trained in helicopters, going as far back as Hütter in Germany. In the US, Dr. (Woody) Stoddard, the industry's first wind PhD, was designing rotors for Vietnam service previously. He is responsible for writing the book on rotor design followed to this day.

Small point: modern geared turbines in the 1-3MW range have rotor speed at 12-20 or so, and generator speed of 1500 RPM (1800 US), and much slower for hybrid turbines. Direct drive generators follow the rotor speed of course.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:06:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US industrial engineer Seymour Melman produced some case studies of military firms failing to produce for the civilian market. He noted that switching from a cost-plus model to a cost-minimizing one is a major change for engineering staff and management.
by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would guess that the difference in sales process and the skills required should also matter.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Melman had a great anecdote about a development process for some device where the military team came up with a custom chip design and the civilian team showed how to reuse a wristwatch design.

Also for things like airplanes/trains etc. mil/aero ideas of repair/maintenance are very different from civilian ones.

by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:42:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not be able to come up with a satisfactory design until perhaps a half dozen spectacular, public failures have occurred first.

You mean like these?

Air Force to modify F-22 following fatal crash
Crash of hypersonic test craft analyzed
Israeli UAV, seen as export star, crashes

Sorry, couldn't resist.  I do not disagree with anything you wrote.  But I think the operative word in what I wrote is "could".  Certainly the transition would not be overnight, but it could and should be done.  And I don't think it would take as long as you might imagine.  In the 60's the US went from Spam in a can to walking on the moon in a decade. And the technological and economic returns have been exponential

Granted, the only real reason we did it was because the Soviets spooked us with Sputnik.  But the point is we could.  If we chose to.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:43:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, and a string of windmill gearbox failures, some meeting the "spectacular" criterion!  :-)
by asdf on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:47:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would neither be necessary nor desirable to attempt a large transition quickly. Better to start cutting back on the military and shifting some into other more related areas and start ramping up investment in domestic capital goods that provide continuing value. By concentrating so much of our manufacturing on the military sector when it is small already really does have a deleterious effect on the economy and on the wage patterns in the USA. And if production for domestic consumption is to increase domestic wages must increase. TPTB see this as a bad thing. That is another area which needs to be turned around.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 07:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vendor finance is vendor finance...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greek government looks set to call bullshit on that claim.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 03:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you fail to understand a great deal of far-left parties.

Trotskyism is the cradle of globalization. It does not get any more "cosmopolitan" than that. They disagree with the current state of affairs, but not in the sense that they are nationalistic. They want another type of globalization. Some of the ideologues of the current globalization (Kristol comes to mind) were Trots and they maintained their cosmopolitanism in full.

Their support for nationalistic policies (mostly in Spain) is a matter of conjecture, not a structural preference. Indeed many of these far-left parties are going nowhere because of being really pro-European (SYRIZA - so it seems, BE in Portugal, GroenLinks/NL, most green parties, ...). Being pro-European (whether you like it or not - nothing to say there) is not really being in line with times (SYRIZA is actually the exception to the rule)...

Indeed, in Portuguese politics the main ideological (if you are candid enough to ignore power struggles) divergence between the communists (stalinists) and the left-wing block (trots) is precisely that: sovereignty versus cosmopolitan. It is no wonder that the communists are ok in the pools and the trots are not getting any traction.

I predict that SP will fare better than GroenLinks, PCP better than BE, Front the Gauche better than ELV, ... . And if the KKE were not crazies they would probably be faring much better...

by cagatacos on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 09:46:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you fail to understand a great deal of far-left parties.

And, honestly, SYRIZA or IU o FdG are only "far left" because the "center" defined by the EPP/PES/ELDR consensus is so far to the right. Many of these parties are defending positions which 30 years ago were at the centre of the Social-Democratic space.

The so-called Social Democratic parties have drifted to Social Liberalism and left the Social Democratic space open. In Greece, DimAr is also a non-PASOK, pro-EU, anti-austerity party (described by talos in the previous diary as "realist", presumably by contrast to the "radical" SYRIZA but still in an overlapping ideological space).

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 11:36:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Greece, DimAr is also a non-PASOK, pro-EU, anti-austerity party

And I was meaning to add vying for the social democratic space.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 12:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And, honestly, SYRIZA or IU o FdG are only "far left" because the "center" defined by the EPP/PES/ELDR consensus is so far to the right. Many of these parties are defending positions which 30 years ago were at the centre of the Social-Democratic space.

Indeed. One could make the case that Oscar Lafontaine's positions have not change an iota, from the mid-90s to now and that he has moved from the center-left of SDP to the "far left"because the political landscape shifted on him. The GUE/NGL parties are the Social Democrats of today, as far as really protecting Social Europe is concerned...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 12:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais: "Reivindicar a Keynes hoy es como reivindicar a Marx" (17 March 2012)
P. ¿Cuál es el plan de IU para reducir el paro en Asturias?

R. Llevamos tres años con una política de ortodoxia económica que ha incrementado el paro y la recesión. Hay que recuperar la heterodoxia. En estos momentos nos reivindicamos keynesianos.

P. ¿Keynes es la heterodoxia?

R. Es cierto que Keynes no es precisamente un economista de la izquierda tradicional, ¡pero es que hoy es revolucionario! Después de lo que ha pasado, reivindicar a Keynes hoy es como reivindicar a Marx. Nosotros apostamos por la inversión pública generadora de empleo. Abrir un paraguas bajo el chaparrón de la crisis.

"To claim Keynes today is like claiming Marx" (17 March 2012)
Q. What's IU's plan to reduce unemployment in Asturias?

A. For three years we've had an orthodox economic policy which has increased unemployment and recession. Heterodoxy has to be recovered. At this time we claim ourselves Keynesians.

Q. Keynes is heterodoxy?

A. It's true that Keynes is not exactly an economist of the traditional left, but, the thing is that today he's revolutionary! After what's happened, to claim Keynes today is like claiming Marx. We bet on employment-generating public investment. To open an umbrella under the downpour of the crisis.

Your mention of Oskar Lafontaine is apposite, because it's one of the leading SPD politicians and possible Chancellor candidate next year that called Gordon Brown's crisis policy proposals "crass Keynesianism". And he probably didn't mean that there was a different, non-crass Keynesianism, but that all Keynesianism is crass.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 12:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Come again.

Why is KKE crazy?

by Euroliberal on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 01:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it is a small party and....
It is not interested in joining any government as the problems Greece is having cannot be solved under capitalism. Period.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 02:19:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which reminds me, I would still want to know what ANTARSYAs "extreme left" means in this context? Does not accept the state at all?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 02:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, boundaries have blurred, it's more the historical origins than the policies themselves. 3 of the 52 SYRIZA MPs are not-exactly-former maoists and KKE is much more isolationist than they are...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 03:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Αctually Synaspismos (which is the dominant partner in SYRIZA), is historically and foundationally pro-European. A fact the communists persistently point out as a serious flaw.

It isn't blackmail. The Greek people have sent a vote of no-confidence to a failed policy. The next government is obliged to obey. IF various EU authorities persist it would be a direct admission of contempt for all democratic process...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 10:04:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Αctually Synaspismos (which is the dominant partner in SYRIZA), is historically and foundationally pro-European.

Ok, I didn't know that. Perhaps that may even aid in forming a new government.

The Greek people have sent a vote of no-confidence to a failed policy.

I was talking about blackmail from the austerians side. All they need to do is to firm on the current agreement.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue May 8th, 2012 at 10:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence daily briefing: Greek insurrection takes shape; European response makes it worse (09.05.2012)
Panic everywhere. European shares fell, spreads rose across the board, and the euro was down below $1.30 again. The panic set in as the outside world started to comprehend the enormity of the Greek election results. The trigger was the speech by Alexis Tsipras, the young leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party that ended up in second place in Sunday's elections. Kathimerini writes that Tsipras yesterday proposed a five point plan:  immediate cancellation of the austerity programme, cancellation of the law to end collective contracts, proportional representation, nationalisation of the banks, and the formation of a committee to investigate whether Greece can pay its debts.

Tsipras has three days to form a government. He spent Tuesday in talks with leftist parties but had mixed success. He is due to meet the heads of PASOK and New Democracy on Wednesday. It is expected Tsipras will be unable to reach any agreement by Thursday, leading to PASOK taking over the mandate to form a government. After that, Papoulias will call in the party leaders to try to broker a deal. If that fails, a caretaker government will be appointed and new elections called.

Kathimerini writes  that Tsipras is to send a letter to Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Mario Draghi to argue that the fact that PASOK and New Democracy received just 32% of the vote means that the terms of the bailout can no longer apply. Tsipras wants PASOK and New Democracy to do the same in a letter to the IMF and the EU. This prompted Antonio Samaras to accuse Tsipras of risking Greece's membership of the eurozone. The conservative leader said his party would be prepared to back a minority government "as long as it secures the country's position in the eurozone and its national interest." But, he said, the leftist leader's statement left no doubt "that he has no intention of safeguarding Greece's European identity and future" and revealed "unbelievable arrogance."

Jörg Asmussen became the first eurozone official to link Greek membership of the eurozone to the reform programme. He told Handelsblatt that there was no readiness from the troika's side to re-engage in negotiations Asked if Greece should get out of the eurozone if it does not implement the program he replied that it was up to them to decide whether they want to remain a member. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the troika has cancelled all meetings it had planned to hold in Athens in May in order to wait for a clarification of the political situation.




guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 04:00:49 AM EST
Socialist Resistance: SYRIZA lays out five points of Greek coalition talks:

On his upcoming talks to explore whether he will be able to form a majority coalition with parties of the left and parties representing environmental concerns, the head of SYRIZA -- which gleaned 16.78 percent at the ballot box and won 52 seats in the 300-seat Parliament -- laid out the five points that will be the focus of discussions:

  • The immediate cancellation of all impending measures that will impoverish Greeks further, such as cuts to pensions and salaries.

  • The immediate cancellation of all impending measures that undermine fundamental workers' rights, such as the abolition of collective labor agreements.

  • The immediate abolition of a law granting MPs immunity from prosecution, reform of the electoral law and a general overhaul of the political system.

  • An investigation into Greek banks, and the immediate publication of the audit performed on the Greek banking sector by BlackRock.

  • The setting up of an international auditing committee to investigate the causes of Greece's public deficit, with a moratorium on all debt servicing until the findings of the audit are published.

"We are not indifferent to whether the country will be governed or not, but we are primarily concerned with the direction in which the country will be governed and whether the people's mandate will be respected,» Tsipras said.

You cannot imagine the intensity of propaganda, venom and ouright lies that the media are flooded with. 'Serious' news sources, announced that SYRIZA wanted to seize everybody's savings from the banks...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 06:31:10 AM EST
Finally someone talking with guts and sanity. May the rest of the world follow.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You cannot imagine the intensity of propaganda, venom and ouright lies that the media are flooded with. 'Serious' news sources, announced that SYRIZA wanted to seize everybody's savings from the banks...

The media + banks + various govt. entities are trying to "spook the herd" ... trying to get people into a bank run so that the ensuing chaos will have the public DEMANDING a return of their slavemasters. Wonder if the Greek population is stupid enough to fall for it. Let's watch. Very instructive for us bystanders ... our day will come if it doesn't stop with Greece.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:26:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice. Although it is funny to see the "extreme left" is demanding an audit by Blackrock. The problem with modern capitalism is that the right wing/center is incompetent to manage a government within so complex an economic system.
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they demand the publication of an audit already done but kept under the wraps.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
even better
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:40:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is both a program and a good campaign platform for the eventual next snap elections that should be looked at as such. (16.78% is a nice historical high, but SYRIZA needs first place for a better chance of change.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am Spanish and I imagine it perfectly. But this moment is unique and it can not be wasted. It is the ideology, stupid. It is time for the convictions and firmness.
by PerCLupi on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:34:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GREEK COALITION TALKS: Tsipras clinches deal with Democratic Left, lays out bold anti-Troika plan | A diary of deception and distortion

Tsipras soon afterwards met with Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis. The veteran Kouvelis said later he will support second-placed Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in an anti-memorandum coalition government.

"I told Mr. Tsipras that he has the potential to proceed with a government of the left with the support of Democratic Left," said Kouvelis. Earlier Tsipras spoke on the telephone with Greek Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga, who turned down the chance of a face-to-face meeting.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:37:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUROBLOWN: Troika cancels Athens visit as Greece heads for second election. | A diary of deception and distortion
In a first for Greek politics, Evangelo Venizelos (left) the leader of Greece's PASOK Party refused to accept the President's mandate before he'd been offered it. This breaks the record set by Antonis Samaras last Monday, in giving up on the task after 210 minutes.

What's going on here is shadow boxing ready for what is almost certainly going to be Round Two - another election...

In this context, Alexis Tsipras is being more shrewd than most commentators realise. He has spent a lot of time meeting with Party leaders who have no seats in parliament - Louka Katseli of Social Pact, as well as the Ecogreens, who said they had some reservations about Syriza's position and required clarification about its stance towards the memorandum. Tsipras has also scheduled a meeting with the Anticapitalist Left (Antarsya).

Sources explain that the Syriza leader's plan is to go into Election II with a united `Green Left' that encourages protest voters to go along with the critical mass - especially those who didn't vote from a sense of hopelessness the first time around.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 07:41:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A diary of deception and distortion | Evidence-based bollocks deconstruction

Only this morning, Evangelo Venizelos was briefing journalists to the effect that he would not accept the President's Mandate to form a coalition. Early afternoon, he met with Alexis Tsipras...and said he would now accept the mandate. Three hours later, this breaks on the newswires:

" 5.10pm A shocking and possibly groundbreaking turn of events.
According to Net television, Pasok head Evangelos Venizelos has agreed
to sign a letter related to the memorandum with Syriza chief Alexis
Tsipras. What that letter will say is as yet unknown, but Net are
standing by their sources. The temperature in the coalition room just
spiked up. "

Any more details from talos?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUROBLOWN: Tinbrain the Troikanaut goes election manipulating (again) | A diary of deception and distortion

The Athenian news site Real News reports this morning that The IMF/EU Troika of Terror is willing to make six conciliatory changes to Greece's program....if a pro-bailout terms government is formed in the country.

In other news, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that she was prepared to desist from nuking China if the Beijing regime would just raise the Remnimbe's value by 25%, Angela Merkel told a press conference in Berlin that she would pay €8m in cash to any French voter prepared to assassinate Francois Hollande, and Herman van Rompuy told an audience in Brussels that every EU country had the inalienable democratic right to vote yes to everything he says as often as they like.

The troika selection of naked bribes to vote PASOK compromises has a biggie - extending for a year the date by which reforms and savings have to be in place. It is also prepared to maintain the collective labour agreements, alleviate the level of pension cuts, and perhaps restore certain pensions to previous levels - as well as reducing the average tax burden on employees.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 04:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the first time I've felt optimistic about "politics" since Obama pooped out.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like the best that could come out of this is a Syriza-DimAr coalition to contest the new elections next month.
Then they _would_ get first place and the 50-seat bonus.
The last election results with Syriza and DemAr pooled together would have been
SYRIZA+DemAr 22.86% - 121 seats
ND	     18.89% - 58 seats
PASOK	     13.20% - 41 seats
AnEl	     10.59% - 33 seats
KKE	      8.48% - 26 seats
Nazis	      6.97% - 21 seats
Greens	      2.93% - 0 seats
LAOS	      2.90% - 0 seats 

Under such conditions, would PASOK join a left government?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:27:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... optimally, with the Greens and others coming along for the ride.

That would give them (at constant percentages) an uncomfortable plurality, relying on on either KKE or PASOK not voting against them.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:35:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens need to get their act together.
by Upstate NY on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is pretty much the case everywhere as far as I can tell, and certainly the case in many parts of Europe. Regrettably, I doubt the Greens will ever make inroads in the U.S., seeing how it's set up as a two-party system and all. Too bad. Inside at least, I've come to view myself as a Green Pirate.
by sgr2 on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 09:52:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, getting just 0.07% more would bring them over the threshold and earn them 10 seats.

Still, it's looking like only Syriza + DemAr + An El could add up to a pro-EU, anti-austerity majority. Can the left and the right go into such an alliance?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 05:09:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Due to splintering and bickering various neolib parties managed to get 6,5% between them and not enter parliament, ND has indicated that it will try to take them in, in a new coalition of the right. They are also making bridges with far right LAOS which pulled in 2,9% and which is irrelevant enough so that its only way of survival is in such a coalition. That is at least 27% but the spectre of communism might haunt enough Nazi voters to vote for this coalition. Which means we're talking over 30%.

The Greens are probably thinking about it... plus other minor left parties (ANTARSYA is discussing it, Social Agreement - former PASOK cadres who gathered 1% are open). I'm not sure about DIMAR however. If they do go along PASOK will be crushed between these two poles (possibly the Nazis as well)...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:07:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, first election after austerity: fragmentation. Second election: frontism and a likely neoliberal win.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:25:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would AnEl join the Neoliberal pro-austerity coalition, or would they remain as anti-austerity conservative nationalists?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading An El refused to meet Samaras during yesterday's round of talks. Doea that mean the would not be part of Samaras' pro-austerity coalition?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:49:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They would, most definitely, not. And if it boils down to Samaras vs Tsipras, I'm not at all sure who their defectors would favor. AnEl voters, seem to like Tsipras, and like what he is now doing to the system...
And there are three factors to consider: where the PASOK voters would turn to, what happens with the strong pressures by SYRIZA on KKE's base (They were polling at 13% a few months ago) and how many of the non-voters (approximately 17-18% in real terms) show up. Plus I'm not sure that the dissafected young people who voted for the Nazis as a spoiler vote would shift to the conservatives... So we would have be a ball game... If Hollande however shows up with Tsipras and promises say to "preserve the integrity of the Eurozone above all else" or something equally reassuring, it will be a landslide...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:58:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who wrote that platform? Sounds like something from Eurotrib. It has been pure madness that no one has ever really revealed, "How did Greece get itself into this jam?" and, "How can you prevent corruption in Parliament when there is no law against it?"

But no, the troika wants to liberalize the taxi sector!!!!!!

by Upstate NY on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:56:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All economic problems can be solved by reducing labor rates. This is a fundamental axiom of modern economics - or maybe "article of faith" is the more correct term.
Why waste time with billions, when one can squeeze pennies from the poor?
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:16:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The troka only has a hammer so all it sees is nails.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Sounds like something from Eurotrib" = "They are the Left extremists" nowadays it seems...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:10:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just heard on the news of TVE that the European Central Bank has threatened to Greece.
by PerCLupi on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RTVE: Ultimátum del Banco Central Europeo a Grecia (09 may 2012)
Amenaza con suspender los pagos del rescate si Atenas no mantiene la política de recortes acordada. La advertencia, en declaraciones a la prensa alemana, llega cuando los partidos griegos siguen sin conseguir una coalición capaz de gobernar.
(with video)

ECB ultimatum to Greece (09 may 2012)

It is threatening to suspend rescue payments if Athens does not keep the agreed cut policy. The warning, in statements to the German press, comes as Greek parties are failing to achieve a governing coalition.


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:40:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They say Papademos resigned?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just learned that Olli Rehn clarified this morning that the Black Rock report is "confidential" and thus not publishable. So much for transparency...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 07:49:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not totally clear on how being confidential and not being published have anything to do with each other...

Query: Does the Greek government or bureaucracy have a copy?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You would hope the Greek Central Bank would. Would it be a violation of Central Bank Independence for the Economy Ministry to ask the Central Bank for a copy?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:47:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascinating. I wonder if it it says that the Greek banks are fundamentally sound - they were supposedly quite conservative about loans even during the boom.  That would be scandalous indeed.
by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt they are, not after over a year of overt flight to cross-border safety. (Just because there aren't Northern Wreck-style queues in the streets doesn't mean there hasn't been a bank run)

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:43:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even more interesting if they WERE sound until Europe rescued them.
by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:44:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't free movement of capital in the internal market a great thing?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:46:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Free and TRANSPARENT. Well, maybe invisible.
by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:02:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like the hand.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 02:43:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The King shits and the Hand wipes...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:39:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a Lannister always pays his debts...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tsipras has asked for a meeting with Melenchon and Laurent (obvious) but also - and much more importantly with Hollande... Let's see if he is accepted. Humanite mentions as a headline but doesn't have the full story yet... (And sorry about the missing accents!)

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:05:10 AM EST
This will be more of a test for Hollande than for Tsipras...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't imagine why he'd turn him down. Except on the "farmer beats the wife / wife beats the dog / ..." principle after being snubbed by Murkle.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:15:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not just whether the meeting takes place that counts. If they meet, the way Hollande's staff will spin it will count, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here it is.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:35:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just heard that Hollande has declined for reasons of protocol (no meetings with heads of foreign parties - something like that). Will confirm soon...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even as leader of the French PS it would be outside protocol to meet with the leader of a rival party to PASOK which is the sister party of the PS.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hollande hasn't been leader of the socialist party for a few years, and has promised to be "above parties".

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:08:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, he hasn't turned him down, there is leaked info from his office that he is looking into the situation in Greece and he needs some time to organize a plan or something like that (until after his swearing in). Tsipras will be in Paris tomorrow or in the next few days to meet with Melenchon. Perhaps he could have discussions from people with the SP. Nothing certain...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:36:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yanis Varoufakis: Europe's potential gains from a silent alliance between Paris and Athens (9 May 2012)
Greece offers Mr Hollande a precious case in point. He can use it as an example of what happens when the EE insists that a bankruptcy is not a bankruptcy, and piles up huge loans and unbearable austerity on a national economy that can, simply, not bear it without collapsing into a heap. He can then argue, convincingly, that `staying the course' is simply infeasible - quite independently of the political will of the local elites (recall how determined the Greek elites where to do so, until they were booted out last Sunday by a despairing electorate). Mr Hollande can conclude, from the Greek case, that Europe must find a new strategy that gives the deficit countries a sporting chance without asking of the Germans to bankroll any of the bad debts or the burgeoning deficits. For ideas of how this can be done, see here, here and here.

Truth be told, even if Mr Hollande says all this, it is highly unlikely that the German mindset will be persuaded to undergo the gestalt shift it needs overnight. This is where a period of Greek un-governability is helpful to the French President. At first, German leaders will huff and puff and issue (as they have been doing) their ultimata against Greece's political leaders (threatening with expulsion from the Eurozone, from the EE, from planet Earth). Then they will undergo, as they have done during the past two years, a reality check, realising (again) that a Greek exit will destroy the Eurozone once and for all (and with it the EE). At that point, they may be more amenable to see reason; to consent, however grudgingly, to a French Plan that exchanges greater fiscal discipline of the member-states for (a) a centralised system of managing public debt (via the ECB), (b) a pan-European surplus recycling mechanism, or Investment-led Recovery Program, and (c) an end of the pretence that national governments can recapitalise and supervise the banks.

In effect, a new form of French-Greek alliance may be in order. Of course, Mr Hollande will never want to be seen to enter into discussions (let alone a formal alliance) with the discredited Greeks. Nonetheless, an implicit, a silent, alliance with a chaotic Greece is his best chance of avoiding the fate that every `serious' commentator is mapping out for him: an ignominious backing down.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 04:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:22:27 AM EST
It's really too bad there's not a proper left régime in Russia these days to take advantage of this situation.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 09:54:41 AM EST
That would certainly put the KKE on the spot, eh?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 10:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure...the KKE is against the present régime in Moscow (and indeed were against Gorbachev too...given what has happened since, can't say I fault them).

That's sorta why I mentioned it was too bad there isn't a properly left régime in Moscow at this time...getting a Syriza/KKE agreement would have been much easier under those circumstances.

I'm also thinking of how Cyprus has dealt (more or less sucessfully) with the present crisis, and hoping that is a template for a future Greek government to follow.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 11:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you were nostalgic for the Soviet era, hence my flippant reply : Moscow would presumably have forced the KKE into coalition with PASOK.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 11:16:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not nostalgic for the Soviet era, and I also don't think Moscow would have forced KKE into a coalition with PASOK, though with Syriza, probably so.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB is probably going to reduce committed payment to Greece tomorrow because, you know, a written commitment is binding, unless it comes from the ECB.
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:52:22 PM EST
The ECB is sovereign.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 04:08:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So is Greece. If it wants to pay the price of sovereignty. Pricey? Yes, maybe. But usually, sovereignty is something which requires payment in blood. So relatively and historically speaking, they might well get off pretty cheap.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 05:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Send Lord Byron in to fight the infidel bankers.
by rootless2 on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 08:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... whether it was a mistake to surrender their fiscal sovereignty to the Eurozone is the point at issue.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 11:48:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fotis Kouvelis, the head of DIMAR, just announced his agreement to form an "Ecumenical" government to "keep Greece in the Euro" and put the country on a slow process of "disentaglement" from the memorandum". PASOK agreed, ND will soon follow. We have a government. SYRIZA is invited, but the party has stated that they will not become an alibi for the continuation of the same programme under the guise of a "potential" renegotiation. It is still uncertain whether they will participate if SYRIZA declines...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:29:55 PM EST
So, get ready for attempts to pass an additional 11 billion in cuts to the budget this summer?

It sounds like a real stretch for this small coalition to pass such a thing.

So, now, brilliantly, it will be PASOK and ND that end up rejecting austerity measures!!!

They will not be able to hold this together. 168 seats? Is that what they have?

by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:07:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest
5.31pm: Another positive development, EU officials have told Reuters that the rest of the eurozone is prepared to fund Greece until the end of June, if new elections had to be held.
Did anyone really expect otherwise?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems that my bet that Papademos will be the new PM is about to pay off.

I think you would agree with me that neither Veni nor Sami will accept each other as PM.

SYRIZA will not go along. That would be really stupid IMO.

by Euroliberal on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've had time to think about this, I consider this result optimal precisely because it will show the troika that the refusal/inability to pass more austerity measures is an expression of the democratic will and not the idea of a lone 30-something who misinterpreted voter angst as a wholesale rejection of austerity. I know the troika doesn't really care about such nuances, but in this case, the scapegoat is not so readily identifiable as it would have been otherwise.
by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:20:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Venizelos may just pull it off (11.05.2012)
Evangelis Venizelos is in talks with SYRIZA and ND today, after he gained the support on Thursday from Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis - a pro-European critical of the bailout, Kathimerini reports. Kouvelis, who strongly favours Greece remaining within the euro, won 6.1% of the vote, and his 19 parliamentary seats make him a king-maker for a coalition government. Kouvelis said "I propose the formation of an ecumenical government made up of trustworthy political figures that will reflect and respect the message from the elections. This government's mission, which will have a specific program and time frame that will last until the European elections of 2014, will be twofold: firstly, to keep the country in the European Union and euro and, secondly, to gradually disengage from the [EU-IMF] memorandum."

A PASOK-ND-Democratic Left administration would have a total of 168 seats, but there are fears that SYRIZA's growing popularity, along with opposition from the other parliamentary parties, all opposed to the EU-IMF memorandum, would make governing difficult. SYRIZA's initial reaction suggests that it is unlikely to join a unity government. If new elections were held, SYRIZA is likely to win more votes.  An opinion poll conducted by Marc for Alpha TV indicated on Thursday suggests that SYRIZA would come in first. It put SYRIZA in first place on 23.8%, followed by ND on 17.4, PASOK on 10.8, Independent Greeks on 8.7, KKE on 6, Chrysi Avgi on 4.9 and Democratic Left on 4.2.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras also seem to have softened his stance when he wrote to EU officials on Thursday arguing that the election result had taken away political legitimacy from the memorandum and that the terms of the agreement should be "re-examined", rather than rejected.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:07:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a report indicating a stronger stance by Kouvelis:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News

11.10am Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis earlier insisted that he would not join a coalition with Pasok and New Democracy unless anti-bailout parties were also included and the new government pulled out of the loan deal. Speaking to Skai TV, he said:   "Our proposal for an ecumenical [national unity] government seeks to ensure the participation of all those forces that can serve two aims: the gradual disengagement from the loan agreement and staying in the eurozone."

A verbatim quote evidencing the "he would not join a coalition with Pasok and New Democracy unless anti-bailout parties were also included" part would have been more important.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, should have read further down the page:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News

10.20am The Democratic Left is sending out the message this morning that when they speak of an "ecumenical" (ie national unity) government, they envisage Syriza being part of that. Speaking on Net TV this morning, a leading member of DL, Theodoros Margaritis, said that Fotis Kouvelis told this to Evangelos Venizelos at their meeting last night. Margaritis also called on Syriza to clarify what it's position is now: is it the Syriza that said Greece's commitments under the memorandum were "null" earlier in the week or the Syriza that called for a re-examining of "the whole framework of existing strategy" in the letter to European Union leaders yesterday?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:25:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either it's a poor translation of what Kouvelis said, or I don't think he knows what the word "gradual" means.
by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:08:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, "half today, half tomorrow" is a form of gradualism, I suppose...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New poll, via the Guardian

Syriza: 27.7% (up from 16.78% in last Sunday's slection)
New Democracy: 20.3% (up from 18.8%)
Pasok: 12.6% (down from 13.1%
Independent Greeks: 10.2% (down from 10.6%)
KKE: 7% (down from 8.48%)
Golden Dawn: 5.7% (down from 6.97%)
Democratic Left: 4.9% (down from 6.1%)

by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:44:43 PM EST

by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So that means 133 seats?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian now converts it into seats (assuming Syriza counts as a party, not a coalition)
Syriza: 128* (up from 52 in last Sunday's election)
New Democracy: 57 (down from 108)
Pasok: 36 (down from 41)
Independent Greeks: 29 (down from 33)
KKE: 20 (down from 26)
Golden Dawn: 16 (down from 21)
Democratic Left: 14 (down from 19)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 01:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Still no government majority even with the Democratic Left... although, would a minority government with either KKE or PASOK outside support be a possibilty?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 02:00:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent Greeks are anti-Austerian and have been talking to SYRIZA quite a bit.

Ideology does not matter much in a country with an economy in a coma.

For instance, tax cuts could be easily agreed to by both conservatives and leftists, as well as ending the hatchet attacks on gov't jobs.

by Upstate NY on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 02:15:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Also bear in mind that the pressure on KKE to play ball from its base is enormous and should they be ssen as spoilers, I think that they will be crushed.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 02:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In case you're wondering what happened to parties like LAOS (seems to be at 2%), you can find more details in this Greek PDF file.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:01:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I note with some surprise that 8% of Chryssi Avgi voters would vote for SYRIZA in the next elections... (20% undecided...)

In other news, the FT notes that the communists are coming:

Mr Sofianos fears the worst. "If I had to bet," he said, twirling a strand of worry beads, "I would bet that Greece is going to default and leave the eurozone."

Loukas Tsoukalis, president of Eliamep, an Athens think-tank, said a re-run would be dangerous. "The choice will be very stark. It will be: `Do you want to be in the euro or not?' "

In Mr Tsipras, he sees a devotee of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. "Syriza is essentially talking about a state-controlled economy - not just banks. It's a new version of Soviet times," Mr Tsoukalis said. "Unless there is a realignment, I suspect they will gain further in the next elections."



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 07:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
odd how direct control by the ECB is private enterprise and not government control
by rootless2 on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 07:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
talos:
I note with some surprise that 8% of Chryssi Avgi voters would vote for SYRIZA in the next elections... (20% undecided...)

I am not surprised. In Sweden we have the concept missnöjesväljare, dissatisfaction voters. They are dissatisfied with politics and do not expect results (perhaps because all politicians lie anyway or are just in it to make money) but they still vote. They vote against established parties by choosing whatever will make the talking heads on television upset, and cause problems for the established politicians. Dissatisfaction voters can move pretty quickly as schock value is lost, or if another party appears to be a better way to cause mayhem.

Unfortunately when it comes to the far right, once they entered parliament they can atract RWA voters from the conservatives to replace the dissatisfaction voters that move on.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 02:49:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not that strange. I hardly think their voters are all a bunch of dyed-in-the-wool Nazis, rather people who are pissed of at the centrists selling out the country, and who don't like immigrants. Going over to Syriza, one of the few other parties who're not selling out the country, might not be a huge step.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:46:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(assuming Syriza counts as a party, not a coalition)

I presume SYRIZA fields candidates under a single name countrywide?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 03:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian suggests that what counts is whether they are "really" a party (whatever that means), not whether they field candidates under a single name.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 04:27:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a glitch in the electoral law which was insignificant till now. The ban on coalition bonuses was declared constitutionally problematic early on, so the courts that declare the results and the legal composition of parliament have so far ignored it. In 2000 (I think) ND collaborated with a small neolib party forming technically a coalition, but there never was an issue of electoral bonuses.
Since the political establishment as we know it is under threat from SYRIZA I think that technicalities might be given some more weight than usual.

Anyway, SYRIZA has declared that if there is no court ruling soon (or a change in election law if a government is formed) they will find a legal formula to overcome this anyway

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 06:19:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the sudden willingness to form a broad coalition.

Nobody except SYRIZA wants new elections.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They want the coalition to last until at least 2014. SYRIZA should win in a landslide then unless there's a coup.

From Eurointelligence today:

Cohn-Bendit warns of a return of military dictatorship in Greece

In an interview with Le Monde, Daniel Cohn-Bendit warned that if things deteriorated as they were in the past months in Greece, there would be a return of military dictatorship. "The political process has broken down there", the European parliamentarian said. "If we leave the Greek to themselves we risk a military coup".

Dany has gone full-on serious, it seems. I don't see a breakdown of the political process, I see a breakdown of the old oligarchy, and the Greek constitution would have provided for a speedy resolution because, unlike in Belgium, where they could be without a government for 500 days, Greece must have an election every 6 weeeks until a governing majority is returned to parliament.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, the last "governability crisis" in Greece appears to have been in 1989-90 with 3 elections in close succession:
but this must have been under previous election rules, since there are up to 5 times between elections and no 50-seat bonus for the first party (which prevented government formation even though Mitsotakis' ND had over 44% of the vote every time.

I am yet to find a wikipedia article about the political process in Greece, or about that 1989-90 crisis that mentions how the new rules came about (presumably as a result of that crisis).

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:55:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there are up to 5 timesmonths between elections

Gah

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 05:16:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SYRIZA should win in a landslide then unless there's a coup.

There are more ways to cripple the left.

by Katrin on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:40:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The full text :

Athens Thursday May 10, 2012

Dear Mr. President

I am sending you this letter after returning the exploratory mandate with which the President of the Hellenic Republic entrusted me, so that I could determine the possibility of the creation of a government that would enjoy the parliament's confidence, according to our Constitution. This letter is a continuation of the previous one I had sent you on February 21.

The vote of the the Greek people on Sunday May 6th, delegitimizes politically the Memorandum of Understanding / Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy which was signed by the previous government under Mr. Papademos and the leaders of the two parties which had guaranteed the parliamentary majority of that government. Both these parties recorded a loss if about 3,5 million votes, receiving a combined 33,5% of total votes.

We would ask you to note that, before this, the Memorandum of Understanding / MEFP had been already delegitimized as regards to its economic efficiency.

But it isn't just that the MoU/MEFP failed in achieving its own stated goals. It is also that it has failed to confront the structural imbalances of the Greek economy. SYRIZA has been pointing out all these past years the endogenous weaknesses of the economy. All governments, in close collaboration with the EU, ignored our proposals for concrete reforms.

Please note also, that because of the policies of the MoU/MEFP, Greece is the only European country ever in peacetime to be suffering in 2012, its fifth consecutive year of deep recession. Furthermore, the bond exchange program (PSI) has failed to secure in a reliable way the long-term viability of the public debt, which is increasing as a percentage of Greek GDP. Austerity cannot in any way be a therapy during a recession. The immediate, socially just, reversal of the declining trend of our economy is therefore imperative.

We must urgently secure economic and social stability in our country. For this reason, we have a duty to undertake every possible political initiative in order to reverse austerity and recession. Because, beyond the lack of democratic legitimization, a continued implementation of the program of internal devaluation leads the economy towards a catastrophe, without producing the prerequisites for recovery. Internal devaluation tends to lead to a humanitarian crisis.

We therefore have a duty to re-examine the whole framework of existing strategy, given that it not only threatens social cohesion and stability in Greece, but also is a source of instability for the EU itself and for the Eurozone.

The common future of European peoples is under the threat of these disastrous choices. It is our deep conviction that the problem of this crisis is European and that therefore it is at a European level that a solution must be found...

Respectfully

Alexis Tsipras

President of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group

Vice-chairman of the Party of the European Left



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:21:51 PM EST
Greece's Tsipras: We Want Euro, but Not Austerity

The head of Greece's Radical Left Coalition, Alexis Tsipras, told CNBC Thursday that he will "go as far as I can" to keep Greece in the euro zone, despite declaring earlier this week that the Greek bailout agreement is "null and void" and should be abandoned.
Tsipras (pronounced SEE-Pras), who was unable to form a coalition government this week after his party came second in Sunday's election, said a Greek exit from the euro zone would be "disastrous."

Tsipras said he is willing to negotiate with the so-called troika -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank  -- to keep Greece in the euro zone. But his opposition to the austerity measures -- known in Greece as "the memorandum" -- that are required for Greece to get further bailout money puts him in direct conflict with the troika.

"I fully disagree with what is at heart of the memorandum," Tsipras said, adding that "further austerity will make us a third world country in the EU."

Tsipras's views are significant because a new poll on Thursday put him in first place to win snap elections if they are held in June. The elections may be necessary if none of the winners of Sunday's elections are able to form a government so far. In a letter Thursday sent to top European officials, Tsipras urged them to re-examine the country's strict austerity program. His argument stresses that the strong anti-austerity vote in Sunday's election, which produced a hung parliament, stripped Greece's bailout commitments of "political legitimacy."

 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:37:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's Tseep-ras of course

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:16:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I saw that yesterday and was wondering who came up with that.

Is there any derivation for his last name other than tsiporo?

by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:21:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone who has difficulty with the 'ts' consonant combination?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 12:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Tsk, tsk"
by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:23:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is always pronounced 'tisk, tisk'! Gotta have that vowel between the 't' and the 's'.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:28:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Athens News is live blogging the developements

Cartoon by veteran cartoonist Yiannis Ioannou:

[Alert! The guinea-pig is escaping!]

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:07:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting news there – it seems Samaras is too afraid of SYRIZA's growth should SYRIZA be left in opposition, and insists on SYRIZA's government involvement instead of that of his own party:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News

Samaras envisages two possible government scenarios: 
  • A four-party coalition comprising New Democracy, Syriza, Pasok and the Democratic Left. This would all depend on Syriza, as the other parties have more or less said they could work in government together. 
  • If Syriza refuses to join the government, then Samaras says his party would tolerate (ie it would neither vote for it or vote against it) a three-way coalition between Syriza, Pasok and the Democratic Left.  
After the meeting, Samaras told lawmakers from his party he was trying to avert a new election but was not afraid of one. Going by the opinion poll data published last night, New Democracy would take second place - with Syriza first - in any repeat elections, so there's no great apetite in ND (and even less money) for another contest.  


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:19:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But, at this point, with the mandate having gone from SYRIZA to PASOK, are we talking about a PASOK-led government, or what?
If Syriza refuses to join the government, then Samaras says his party would tolerate (ie it would neither vote for it or vote against it) a three-way coalition between Syriza, Pasok and the Democratic Left.
Is that viable? ND could always block legislation later since they have over 1/3 of the seats.

We're talking about a government with 112 seats in a 300-seat parliament.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One could speculate about Samaras dreaming of a comfortable position of being both in and out, but IMHO all of this is short-term positioning. Even though it's them and Samaras who backed off from the formation of a government with sufficient majority, Kouvelis is already directing the blame for a failure to form any government in SYRIZA's direction:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News

1.30pm Unless Syriza's changes its course, the the country faces fresh elections, the Democratic Left (Dimar) leader told his party's new parliamentary party. Fotis Kouvelis said the Dimar's platform could be summed up as keeping Greece in the eurozone and overseeing the gradual disengagement from the memorandum, an idea that is gaining more support among voters.   He said he believed that Syriza was not interested in a coalition from the beginning, which was evident when Alexis Tsipras used the exploratory mandate to engage in a "two-day election campaign".   Insisting that any coalition must include Syriza, he reiterated his position that he will not enter a three-way government with New Democracy and Pasok. Dimar did not want elections, but it would be ready for battle if they were called.

As if DIMAR's backing out from the three-way government wasn't positioning for the next elections itself...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
are back in the driver's seat.

I suppose they have to examine the coalition prospects, but as they are inherently unviable, they have to be aiming for fresh elections.

Are there any unexplored coalitions left?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 07:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SYRIZA is being offered the government so as to rein it in and make sure that it accepts the austerity package, damaging its popular credibility which is shooting to the stars with every minute it insists on the 5 points I posted earlier.

Fotis Kouvelis, leader of DIMAR, confirmed that he will not participate in a government without SYRIZA. So unless we have MPs jumping ship (a possibility, since I saw at least 3 of his MPs not applauding) we're surely headed towards new elections. I note that there if DimAr abstains, and PASOK and ND have a majority of valid votes in parliament the government survives (AFAIK)...

These elections will be very tense and full of blackmail. The dynamic of SYRIZA is impressive and will be countered by possibly a "pro-memorandum" front. Even a nod from Hollande that a postponement of austerity measures is acceptable would create a landslide. So would some signal from Russia say... We'll see...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 08:06:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Varoufakis has been very, very critical of Syriza's position on nationalizing banks and on a debt repayment moratorium. I have to say I agree with him. These are things Syriza may have to do as a matter of course in response to EU punishment, but why do it ahead of time?
by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both are necessary to prevent further hard currency from departing the country.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand that, but... let Germany take the blame first by having the ECB pull the rug out.
by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the cost of how many additional tens of millions of hard currency flight?

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that it's not a trivial trade.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:21:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The sequence of events is ultra-important. If Greece totally reneges on its debts, it will be perceived as incorrigible. It will reinforce the perception of Greece as a special case. But getting expelled after trying to fulfill all the requirements, that's quite a different story. In the background we hear of Juncker and certain people in the IMF who well realize that Greece has moved heaven and earth to comply with the program, that Greece has slashed its budget, and no matter the propaganda that's out there, people know this.

That knowledge is powerful, and in fact, it's the only thing Greece has left at this point, since it's that knowledge that the EU fears. It's the idea that, to use Juncker's words, the dictats from EU central are punishments, and as punishments, they instill fear in others, and thus contagion in the markets.

We know the Greek kleptocrats have stolen money from the EU essentially, but the idea of punishing poor people should never sit well with most Europeans.

by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:49:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perceived by whom?
by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:54:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By those who hide a small degree of sympathy for Greece.

Martin Schultz is visiting Greece today.

by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:58:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main point is, if you try to repay your debts, make massive cuts, push through reforms while your social fabric is tearing and your people are despairing, if you restructure your debt so that, in effect, you move any court-related contingencies from Athens to London, if you do all this simply to wipe only $25 billion from your load--and in the end you are expelled for all your (albeit shortsighted) efforts, then the markets will very well determine that the possibility of "failure" in other countries is great.
by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:02:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Tsipras should do an interview on German TV.
by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He will have to be very well prepared, and not get off track, with predetermined sound bites and answers to german-oriented questioning.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:52:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps he should send Yanis Varoufakis to make the case for Greece.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 07:28:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the idea of punishing poor people should never sit well with most Europeans

Why do we idolize "Europeanness" so?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:22:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It used to be a synonym for progressive civilisation.

Now it's become a synonym for fiscal fascism.

Both synonyms have historical precedent. But just because we've often ignored the less attractive of the two choices, doesn't mean the optimistic version isn't still useful and valid.

Greece, Spain, etc aren't dead yet, and it's hopeful that we're finally seeing some progressive resistance to the fascists.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:26:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Why do we idolize "Europeanness" so?

it's not idolise, it's that europe symbolises values that are preferable to our sensibilities than americanism or asian models.

which is why it's so galling it will suffer because of bankster greed, as we observe it revert to the primitive bickerings and far right nonsense of yore.

'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 Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:02:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
preferable to Americanism or even the Chinese model?

Sure, we had a good run at moral governance, lasting roughly from 1945 to the late 1970's (and a bit later here in France), but that was the exception. A lot of shit happened before 1945.

True, we've had two successful revolutions in Europe, advancing progress for all. But, capitalism has already hit one of its periodic stages where the internal contradiction provokes war here on the continent, and it wasn't pretty. And the same country seems hellbent on creating the social and economic conditions for the next one. We're innovators in all of this...the Americans are just a wealthy banana republic, there's no comparison.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:26:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One longs for the moral clarity and communal good feeling of the Algerian war.

Il est démontré, disait-il, que les choses ne peuvent être autrement; car tout étant fait pour une fin, tout est nécessairement pour la meilleure fin.

by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paris police did at Métro Charonne to protestors of that war.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:54:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
Do you really think Europeanness is () preferable to Americanism or even the Chinese model?

yes i do, after visiting extensively in asia and the usa, i believe very firmly in a european vision/version of social democracy, (as occasionally practiced here).

i think america's vision was possibly superior, at least superficially so, during the 60's and 70's, but since the eighties has regressed and devolved almost beyond belief. and now, as warned by many here for years, that chicago school economics has corrupted many here with short term thinking, extortionist capitalism, shorn of any moderation, inhuman.

redstar:

the Americans are just a wealthy banana republic, there's no comparison.

true on some level, but it has been and continues to be the springboard for the globocorporatising investor class that now knows allegiance to no government, beyond those already corrupted.

no model is close to ideal, but europe's headway in alt. energy, environmental prudence and human rights, though still riddles with inconsistency, injustice and downright cruelly, is still preferable to other social models where these flaws are so much warp and woof of the culture it takes fruit sellers setting themselves on fire to make a change.

europe is careening into chaos, with blind psychopaths at the wheel. by the end of the year so many peripheral countries will have snapped, the business-as-usual model will consume itself in a fire of its obvious stupidity, unfortunately many will suicide -or go breivik- before this tragedy is over.

europeans are too well educated in history, modern communications and cheap travel, the growth of english as lingua franca, these are the glues which have created a new generation of europeans who will be very riled if their elders try to force them into a modern equivalent of foot binding.

the chinese model will step into the vacuum if america and europe continue to self-immolate, as their industriousness and ambition continue to wax. i'll bet many more chinese would rather live in euro style democracies than europeans would like to live chinese.

ultimately we can forge a global system that highlights and incorporates the best attributes of all previous systems, but i think that's a century away still, barring unforeseen events, particularly of a climactic nature, which may force some fast forwarding in the energy sector.

'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 Sat May 12th, 2012 at 06:20:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As someone who has lived on both continents, there are both good and bad aspects of each. Everything you all say is true, but there are certain features of the USA that are preferable to the EU and vice versa. Canada would seem to be a good mix, but Canada has its problems as well.
by Upstate NY on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 08:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe it sounds like i'm saying europe is the lesser of 3 evils. i agree with you there are elements of asian and american societies that are streets ahead of ours, in america the bureaucracy in the main is much less byzantine, with the exception of immigration. a small business license can be had in a day and off you go.

asia's biggest advantages are spiritual, less egos running amok, less delusions of grandeur, less narcissism, less expectations, entitlement and so on. rhythms are more serene, with notable exceptions such as hypergrowth sectors of china, indonesia, s. korea and japan, who have quaffed mightily on first world koolaide, and stress and hypertension rule.

corruption is everywhere, europe holds the largest amount of educated people who have living memories of holocaust in their homeland, and who have evinced the most globally responsible policies.

europeans were offered a vision of unity, and we rose to the occasion in so many ways, so ready to believe the damaging quirks and peccadilloes of each respective country could be coaxed out under the calm, sane, rational eye of brussels.

hoodwinked! granted a common currency, decent ideals, free movement and almost free residency europe wide, some of the world's best science and a dizzyingly rich, complex culture attracting visitors from all over to gawp'n'spend, and a common currency, (so convenient), now we realise the currency was a financial trojan, a gambit, a poisoned chalice, and they want to take away our movement, our unity, and leave us again to be divided by national interests, and that the currency was a barbed hook we swallowed whole.

betting the boom years would never end, borrowing when we were rich, instead of seeing ahead that history had a nasty habit of repeating, and punishing peoples who thought they had found economic perpetual motion rentier machines.

the whole scam would have been able to merrily continue, barring one inconvenient truth, our planet is not 20 times, not even 5, (which is still the myopic presumption our leaders are locked into acting upon) BIGGER and more chockablock with easily available resources than it is.

they need us to keep the scam going, we are getting fed up with them.

they have many of us thinking we need them more than they need us, because of the efficacy of propaganda, and the native gullibility from centuries of bad religion and authoritarian brain-death, but people are educating themselves now, and many cats are coming out of the bag.

so i don't idolise anywhere, europe just seems statistically a more probable present and future exemplar of balance between experience and innovation, modern but not overly so.

sadly, right now the ivy of finance has dug its roots deep into the mortar of the building, and it could be that removing it will bring the building down too.

when you're not safe and warm within it, there's less to lose from that happening. with what we know we could probably do a better design job now anyway.

what 'scratch' is, remains the open, Eseveraltrillionoffunnymoney question...

'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 Sat May 12th, 2012 at 11:48:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe is not suffering because of banker greed but because of the stupidity of the political elite.

Is Merkel a greedy banker?

Mr. Papandreou says that when he asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for gentler conditions in 2010, she replied that the aid program had to hurt. "We want to make sure nobody else will want this," Ms. Merkel told him.
What kind of twisted, sick mind thinks that you can help by hurting? Traditional European values, I suppose. She's, after all, the daughter of a protestant preacher. Let's all have a round of good old fashioned European religious values.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 03:56:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's like giving medicine to sick kids. It has to taste bad, or they will have no incentive trying to get healthy again.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 06:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they're supposed to get better from the medicine, whereas in the case of Greece the debt to GDP ratio would get worse even in the optimistic scenarios projected by the Eurocrats.

Papandreou should have told them to stuff it two years ago.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 06:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medicine for kids tastes bad so they don't overdose on it thinking it's candy. Otherwise you're saying the medicine is a placebo.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 06:30:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I remember back when I was a kid, getting sick was kind of a blessing. Sure, it sucked to be sick, but after you had actually gotten a bit better you could pretend being sick for a while so you could stay home from school! Unless, of course, your parents kept forcing you to take nasty medicine as long as you refused to go to school...

However, the important thing here is that the Merkel is acting the Schwabian housewife and is apparently thinking that Greece should be treated like an unruly child.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 01:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strict parent morality and all that...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 04:48:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Europe is not suffering because of banker greed but because of the stupidity of the political elite.

the pols just do the wet work, and are disposable when their appeal to voters has run aground.

the banksters control them, immune from direct contact with the Great Unwashed.

if the bankers were bankers again, instead of candidates for Gamblers' Anonymous, Merkel would be off spanking someone else than the PIIGS.

why do you think german governesses were the rage all over europe?

because they were stricter.

anhedonism poses as moral superiority... if you're not miserable, you're not working hard enough and must suffer censure and reform.

that'll larn ya!

'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 Sat May 12th, 2012 at 06:32:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We need a European fiscal government, not a European fiscal governess...



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 06:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am dubious of economists claims to expertise in economics, but their claims to expertise in politics and political marketing are even more absurd. Clearly Tsipras is no fool (it should go without saying, but I'll say it anyways, that that's not a claim of infallibility).

I had a bizarre discussion Max Sawicky, a "left" US economist in which I tried and failed to explain to him that his claim that Obama must go the the public and reiterate Sawicky's version of Keynes over and over was a claim about political marketing not about economics.

by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:07:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Morning Coffee
Max Sawicky has the best riff on Isaac Newton's old line that I have ever heard. He says that those modeling the international economy assuming perfect capital mobility are "standing on the shoulders of men in ditches. Very deep ditches."

Actually, depending on the version of Keynes being preached, having his ideas back in the mix is very much what we need and one of the advantages of the presidency is the bully pulpit. Keynes' ideas were pushed out of public discourse and have been discredited largely based on endlessly repeated propaganda from RW think tanks repeated by the MSM. The problem is that the current 'mainstream economics' makes discussion of alternatives almost impossible. That is not an accident.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 04:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But "the bully pulpit" is a meaningless cliche and Sawicky's (weak) economics does not give him any authority on how to convince the public. Politics is HARD. Very few people can master motivating voters at all. It's absurd to think that ones conviction that X is true is evidence that stating "X is true" over and over on TV is going to convince anyone else of anything. In this case, it's clear that Syriza leaders have a pretty good expertise in communicating with  the Greek public and I am skeptical of the superior skills in this area from an economist.

BTW: my economics disagreement with Sawicky is that I am unconvinced that the aggregate US government budget is well correlated to "Stimulative" effect and don't see any support for such a simplistic argument in Keynes. For example, a reduction of $20billion in costs for supplying gasoline to US troops in Iraq combined with a $5billion increase in US expenditures for green energy in domestic military bases would be Keynsian stimulative despite reducing aggregate budget by $15b.  Sawicky, angrily disagreed, but was unwilling to leave his slogans long enough to make a real case.

by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 06:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...

...

Even the crassest version of Keynesianism should understand that cutting 20 million off the foreign deficit and 15 off the sovereign deficit increases domestic aggregate demand by 5 million times the fiscal multiplier.

Sucks to be Saudi Arabia in that scenario, but that's not really America's problem...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 07:05:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you can imagine my exasperation on being called a neoliberal for pointing that out.
by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 07:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sawicky is now a government economist. That limits what he can say. It is not nice to contradict official policy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 07:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not correct.
by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 07:57:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has he left government?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 08:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No - the context of this discussion was his critique of the government.
by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 08:08:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Link?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:28:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mostly on twitter - after which he protected his account.

Send him a note @maxbsawicky

by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's absurd to think that ones conviction that X is true is evidence that stating "X is true" over and over on TV is going to convince anyone else of anything.

I will not disagree that absurdities abound. But that very approach worked very well from 1970, when, famously, we were all Keynsians to the present, when Keynes is almost a profanity to many and what passes for Keynes is a caricature. 'Mainstream economics' in the USA has been bought and paid for by wealthy conservative interests who control the universities through having a long history of sponsorship, and departments of economics are one of their chief concerns. Economists in these prestigious economics departments have a large influence on what can get published, and thus on the available range of thought in economics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 08:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US political class sold stimulus spending to the public by wrapping it the flag and by channeling a large part of it to influential elites.
by rootless2 on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 08:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AKA 'Military Keynesianism'. A problem with that is that it spends money creating things that (hopefully) will not be consumed domestically - like smart bombs, plutonium penetrators, aircraft battle groups, Marine Expeditionary Units, etc. Of course a portion of that force is used to maintain the tribute system Yanis Varoufakis describes in The Global Minotaur.

'Military Keynesianism' is employed, but not called such by most of the mainstream economists. There are much more effective forms of Keynsianism if they could make it into the paradise of fundable research, the gate to which is so jealously by the appointed reviewers and hiring committees of universities.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The dynamic of SYRIZA is impressive and will be countered by possibly a "pro-memorandum" front.

Samaras is aiming for exactly that (does he want the neolib voters libe SYRIZA wants the Greens?):

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News

Targeting the Syriza party, which came in second in the elections of May 6, he charged that it was insincere before and after the election, saying it claims to want continued eurozone participation for Greece, on the one hand, but in practice does exactly the opposite. "If the situation forces an election against a powerful leftist anti-European front, then they will fall upon an even more powerful centre-right European front. This will be comprised of ordinary voters who either didn't vote (on May 6) or voted for smaller parties, and who today realise that the country must be governed," he said, before adding that "this (front) will be formed by the initiatives we are taking for unity for the entire centre-right (bloc)". 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:46:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no great apetite in ND (and even less money) for another contest

How do the parties resources stand in respect to a new election? Money, media, activists, support networks - which should benefit from a new election and which has blown what they had at this one?

Question for talos I guess.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 09:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Parties get state-funding and a share of TV exposure on public TV.

The "Street" is the battleground and since most of that work is done by party volunteers, it's not as expensive as in other countries.

by Euroliberal on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 10:51:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ND / PASOK have run out of funds but will be certainly supported by monied interests. SYRIZA is some months behind in paying its permanent staff and works on whatever they manage to scrape from supporters. State funds are a problem for all of them, because government support is a couple of quarters behind schedule.

Some TV time is freely available

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News
6.06pm Greece, Portugal and Ireland must meet their obligations under bailout agreements reached with international lenders, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said.   "I keep repeating myself: it's implementation, implementation, implementation. There are no alternative options in these countries," Christine Lagarde said after a meeting in Turkey.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:35:35 AM EST
Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 11 | Athens News
3.14pm Europe should allow highly indebted countries more flexibility in bringing their finances back to sustainability instead of forcing them to save themselves to death, German economic adviser Peter Bofinger was quoted as saying on Friday. Bofinger, one of the five so-called "wise men" who formally advise the German government on the economy, also said that the European Central Bank's mandate should be broadened to include financial stability from the current single-minded focus on stable inflation. "We operate much too procyclically, the problem countries are saving themselves to death," Bofinger told Austrian newspaper Der Standard in an interview. "We have to stop that, even if deficits will be higher in the short-term." Bofinger advocated changes to the Greek aid programme, including for example reduction in youth unemployment in targets. He also warned of a chain reaction if bailout payments to Greece were stopped.  The ECB should also drop its unidimensional focus on price stability, Bofinger said, proposing that its mandate be changed to include also financial stability, as the current approach has not worked.  "The ECB has run through the world wearing blinders," Bofinger told the daily, adding that the ECB should guarantee that yields on government bonds do not rise above a certain level.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 11:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Athens News live blog @ 9:50 AM

The blogger (who tweets as Talws) behind the Histologion blog has gone to the commendable effort of translating the whole letter, which we are reproducing below (with some minor spelling changes). The Greek original is available on the Left Coalition (Synaspimos) website.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in Greece anymore, revenue receipts are down in the 40% range in the past few weeks.

I'm reminded of an old strategy when one of your suppliers was going bankrupt: stop paying them...why not just let the commissaire aux comptes and the liquidators try to collect it?

Perhaps this isn't a bad strategy...no one should pay their taxes in Greece until there is a democratically legitimate government in Athens.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:31:33 PM EST
Revenue?
by Upstate NY on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 01:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tax revenues...

From today's Guardian:

In the five days since the election, Greece's economic woes are being exacerbated by a precipitous drop in revenues. The debt-stricken country's state TV channel, NET, reported today that the state tax collection mechanism had been badly affected by the turmoil with public revenues falling from an average €40m per day to less than €25m. "It is indicative that after the [May 6] elections daily tax income is 28 % lower than in the first days of May and 38 % lower compared to the same period in 2011," wrote the authoritative Kathimerini also expressing alarm at the free-fall. "Finance ministry officials are hoping that with tax deadlines looming the picture will improve by the end of the month."

In today's blog on the eurocrisis (business section).

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 02:04:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They postponed income and property tax payments until after the elections. For no other reason than to create a better pre-electoral climate.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 02:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What talos said.

And if the economy of a country is shrinking the tax revenue going to the government will also shrink.

(D'oh)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 05:20:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no no no, it will grow if you cut public services and lower taxes on the job creators!

and don't forget to bail out the banks while you're at it...

(duh)

'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 Sun May 13th, 2012 at 08:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me add a detail that will be important from now on.

A government receives a confidence vote when they have a majority of "yes" votes over "no" votes. So abstentions do not count. If a governments has received a majority of valid votes in parliament, as long as they are over 120 they have the confidence of the parliament.

Thus, I think, will the two-party system try to evade elections with the help of either DIMAR as a whole or various MPs that can be coerced or bought.

That's because an hour ago yet another poll just confirmed that SYRIZA is projected at 26% ND at 21 and DIMAR at 5,5% (along with KKE). So they have strong incentive to do something....

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 02:36:57 PM EST
Interesting read: WSJ "How a Radical Greek Rescue Plan Fell Short"

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 02:45:58 PM EST

Mr. Papandreou says that when he asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for gentler conditions in 2010, she replied that the aid program had to hurt. "We want to make sure nobody else will want this," Ms. Merkel told him.
....
The head of the IMF at the time, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was open to it (bond restructuring - CH). But Europe wasn't. France and the European Central Bank feared that a Greek default, even via a negotiated restructuring of bonds, would undermine trust in other euro members' debt. Germany thought debt forgiveness would relax the pressure on Athens to make other changes.

"I'd like to cut my debt in half too," Ms. Merkel told Mr. Papandreou during a meeting at the Berlin chancellery, according to the Greek premier.

Swabian Hausfrau Indeed.

and more about the others in the article.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 03:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but why does it have to hurt more than default, and why did Greece accept it?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 11th, 2012 at 05:01:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it protected the kleptocracy in Greece- at least for a little bit longer.
by rootless2 on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 11:18:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Banks prepare for the return of the drachma (May 11, 2012)
"A lot of the firms, particularly in Europe and also here, have been looking at that for a long time," said Grossman, who added that the latest Greek political crisis had brought matters "to a little bit of a head".

"But there really has been contingency planning at all of the financial institutions for that to happen ... Greece leaving the euro zone is not a new idea," he said.

...

"Forex desks can get ready relatively quickly. It depends on exactly how the exit from the euro happens," said Lewis O'Donald, the London-based Chief Risk Officer at Japanese investment bank Nomura (9716.T).




guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 04:15:24 AM EST
Bloomberg: Euro Diminished as Poll Shows More Than 50% Predict an Exit
As Greece faces political paralysis and voters balk at austerity, 57 percent of the 1,253 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers said at least one country will abandon the euro by year-end and 80 percent expected more pain for Europe's bond markets. With a majority identifying a deterioration in Europe as a large threat to the world economy, respondents to the May 8 survey were increasingly worried Spain will default and less willing to buy French debt as Francois Hollande takes power.

...

Mirroring the irritation of voters, only a third of those questioned backed budget cuts as the most effective medicine for weak economies; 53 percent advocated fiscal stimulus.

Greece, where stocks this week fell to their lowest level in about two decades, remains the focal point of the crisis. Ninety-four percent of poll respondents said it will default on its debt, the most since the survey began. The country has already restructured what it owes private bondholders.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 12th, 2012 at 04:23:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But they failed to explain voters why they won't dare to form a three-party coalition...

Greek coalition hopes dashed as leftist leader stands firm | World news | The Guardian

Efforts to fill the increasingly worrying power vacuum floundered as leaders rounded on Alexis Tsipras, head of the radical leftist party Syriza, whose anti-austerity coalition emerged from inconclusive elections as the most popular force in the country. He was accused of being more interested in party politics than a way out of the quagmire.

"Syriza doesn't accept the formation of a viable government, or even to agree to support a government which would undertake to renegotiate the terms of the loan agreement," said Antonis Samaras, the conservative New Democracy leader, after discussions at the neo-classical presidential palace ended abruptly.

Evangelos Venizelos, the socialist Pasok party leader, said Syriza's "irresponsible" refusal to participate in a national unity government had put immense strain on a country whose finances were heading towards collapse.

...Tsipras stuck to his guns, saying the political establishment wanted to lure in his party, the surprise runner-up in the elections a week earlier, as "partners in crime".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 01:59:48 PM EST
Good photo choice by The Guardian:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 02:01:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, why is ND + PASOK + DimAr not "a viable government"?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 02:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian even points out it is

Emboldened by the ratings, Tsipras threw down the gauntlet, taunting his opponents to go ahead with the formation of a government. After all, he said, three parties - New Democracy, Pasok and the small pro-European Democratic Left - had agreed to form a government that would implement the unpopular policies, and with 168 MPs between them, they had a working majority.

"Those who for two years have governed us and are responsible for the situation of society and the economy have not only not got the message ... they are continuing to blackmail and terrorise," he said in a statement after the talks.

"The three parties that have agreed with the goal of implementing the memorandum," he said, referring to the loan agreement, "have the majority. Let them go ahead. The demand that Syriza participate in their agreement is absurd. They are asking us to ignore the popular vote and our pre-elections pledges."

I'm guessing that PASOK/ND are terrified of prosecutions if they leave office but know that unless they compromise Syriza, they cannot hold power.

by rootless2 on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 02:59:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen a popular wave of support so strong since PASOK came to power in a landslide in 1981. Tsipras' principled stance, despite being offered the prime ministership, is a break with the power hungry machinations of the two party-system. People are impressed by it. It looks like if they don't form a government, SYRIZA will ride the wave to having a majority government on June 17, with the help of the ridiculous election law that was made to help other parties...

The local SYRIZA oraganization in the working-class district of Nikaia, in the Pireus suburbs, organized a public meeting of the organization, with the attendance of Alexis Tsipras. A few months ago this is the sort of event that would interest maybe a few tens of people. This evening, this happened:

I'm elated and I'm scared. Things are developing way, way faster than I could imagine... And the speed is such that even if SYRIZA manages to grow-up a few years in a few weeks, critical events for the future of Greece and the EU, will happen outside its ability to influence them by itself. Already Krugman is predicting a Greek exit from the Euro, perhaps by next month, and the demise of the Euro within a few months...

These next few months will be hopeful, but difficult... I'm trying to figure out how it will develop...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 05:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
good luck and best wishes
by rootless2 on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 05:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice big crowd!

It looks like if they don't form a government, SYRIZA will ride the wave to having a majority government on June 17, with the help of the ridiculous election law that was made to help other parties...

That could be dangerous, though: a majority SYRIZA government with a majority of the population against it. If he gets into that position, Tsipras will have to strive to form a government that would have a majority without the 50-plus, too (and I suspect he understands that).

Already Krugman is predicting a Greek exit from the Euro

That said do you have more on this (from the Guardian article)?

But highlighting the contradictions that have come to play in the unfolding Greek drama, an overwhelming 78.1% of Greeks said they wanted the new government to do whatever it took to retain the euro. The majority did not think Syriza's programme was the solution to rescuing Greece from the crisis.

From what I read SYRIZA does not want a Euro exit, so I wonder if the question asked may have posited a false dichotomy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 05:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Need to look at how the question was poised and where the question came in the series of questions.  Polling results can be manipulated ... somewhat easily, actually.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 05:37:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh. This new poll would indicate that even the stupidest spin works:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 14 | Athens News

The Rass poll also asked interviewees who adapted the worst position during the talks on the formation of a government: 37.1% felt Tsipras was the worst, followed by Samaras (19.6%), Papariga (10.7%) and Venizelos (10.3%)   When asked who had the greatest responsibility for forming a government, 39% said Tsipras, 19.3% said Samaras, 8.1% said Venizelos and 3.2% Papariga. Surprisingly, only 0.4% said DL leader Kouvelis had the most responsibility. 

But SYRIZA still leads the poll:

Syriza 20.5% New Democracy 19.4% Pasok 11.8% Independent Greeks 7.8% Democratic Left 6.2% Communist Party 4.8% Golden Dawn 3.8%   Democratic Alliance 2.4%  Recreate Greece 2.3% Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) 2% Ecogreens 1.8%   Others 3.7% Spoiled/blank 2.2% Undecided 11.3% 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 06:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its interesting that the question was phrased negatively. Who had the worst position not who had the best position (my bet: it would be the same party).
39% is 5% the sum of ND+PASOK+DIMAR+neolib fractions.

Besides this I trust 3-4 pollsters in Greece as they are part of the media-political complex, and RASS is not included: this was what RASS was giving two weeks before the election opinion-poll black-out:



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 03:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The propaganda however is on full throttle on practically all media - and it is laughable...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 03:17:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the English language press the noun "SYRIZA" is always preceded by the modifying adjectives "radical leftist."

Amusingly, if one finds - as I do - that kind of blatant propaganda amusing.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 04:01:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, "RIZA" in SYRIZA stands for Radical Left.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 04:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is also true.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 05:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does it? I always thought it was just the Greek word Riza, from which we derive the word, Rhizome. Or, grassroots.

It can also mean on the edges.

by Upstate NY on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 07:30:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SYnaspismos - Coalition
RIZospastikis - Of the Radical
Aristeras - Left

All together pronounced the same as the word for "very close" or "to the root" as when shaving off your hair you're cutting it "syrriza"

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:07:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am reminded of the 19th Century French Radical Republicans, who were radical in that they advocated a Republic during Napoleon II reign, who put in place secular reforms in education and relations with the Catholic Church, but who first shifted to the center in the early 20th century and whose descendents have become a conservative party today. Seeking a change at the root of what has been the governing tradition since the 1930s in Greece seems today more survival oriented that radical.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 10:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair to the Radicals, they actually split in two in the mid 20th century, and subsist as centre-left and centre-right allies of the main parties. Rather than shifting right, they were overtaken on their left.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 04:32:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could have been clearer, and I almost added a sentence to that effect. A century and a half is a very long time and the society transformed around them.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 10:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
talos:
Aristeras - Left

So an aristocratic government would be...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 04:34:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The root is arister- in "left", "arist-" in aristocrat (the aristocratic government would be "aristokratia"). I have no idea if there is some deep etymological connection, probably not, I'd have heard that

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 04:56:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yeah, but at this point what is being proposed id a bit to the right of Paul Krugman - for chrissakes - and Wolfgang Münchau today found it kinda radical but much more reasonable than what the centrist parties are proposing (Full text of the article can be found here):

I consider Mr Tsipras's approach too risky. But I can see why Greek citizens would vote for him. His position is certainly more rational than that of the austerity centre-ground establishment, which can offer no perspective of an economic turnround. This is Germany in the early 1930s all over again.
This leaves us with a choice between default later and default now. I would prefer default later because it would make for a smoother fiscal adjustment, bring a few sensible reforms and increase the probability that Greece could stay in the eurozone.
Sadly, the political momentum is swinging the other way.



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found in the Greek gov't statistics that Greece spent 9.7 billion on military weaponry last year. Surely, this is an amount that would enable Greece to more than achieve a primary surplus in the coming months. No one seems to take this into account. it may require that Greece reneges on current contracts with arms manufacturers, but so be it.
by Upstate NY on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You saw the story where Sarkozy/Merkel refused to let them out of the military contracts?
by rootless2 on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I did read that. But if you're defaulting, what's the difference. Besides, Greece can simply not pay them now, and pay up later. The point is, they can use the money to hold out for a long time. Eventually, there need to be negotiations so that the eurozone's orgs can start collecting on the money that Greece owes them. But if Greece is kicked out, how can it pay them back?
by Upstate NY on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 10:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
agreed.
by rootless2 on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 10:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering that the police appears thoroughly nazified, I'm not sure taking the army's toys away is a smart move. At the very least, the government would need to make sure the army doesn't lodge its objections to such a move with a rocket launcher.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 01:01:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who tells you the army isn't nazified, too?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 02:04:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is, we lose whether we take away their new toys or not. If it's not, taking away their new toys might make a difference.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 04:20:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The army ranges from nazi nutcases (mostly) in the special forces, to a large portion of SYRIZA voters in the Air-Force and Navy. It isn't homogenized.

The police too, but it seems that a disproportionately large amount of sane people in the police is behind desks mostly...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 04:53:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you have nazis in the army special forces and street-duty police and non-nazis in the nazy, air force and paper-pushing police?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 06:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More or less, but there are all sorts in every corps. It isn't homogenized.

The riot police however don't feel uncofortable displaying their political colours on their helmets:


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 07:23:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dangerous situation. Yikes.
by rootless2 on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 09:44:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if it is full of Nazi voters, it might not be full of Nazis, but even if it is, they can probably be kept happy as long as the defence budget is not cut. Ring-fencing the armed forces from cuts might be the best deal in the history of Greek democracy.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 05:16:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This 9.7 billion is total defense spending, not just spending on armaments procurement, right?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 05:13:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but some things need to be considered. The vast majority is spent on weaponry.

Here, read this article: http://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/world/2012/apr/19/greece-military-spending-debt-crisis

One thing to consider: total payouts for salaries to conscripts and military brass is folded into the national budget (the military is part of the total bureaucracy). 10 billion pays for weapons and military readiness. It used to be an even higher number, now down to 4% of GDP from 5.5%.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 09:16:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Today "Radical Left" means "radically sane".

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 02:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And formerly known as the center...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 05:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. SYRIZA could always name Münchau minister of finance, a solid German character, no? ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 05:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SYRIZA scares them more than the Nazis.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 04:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
talos:
despite being offered the prime ministership

Ha! They really are desperate!

Hang tough, Talos...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 06:53:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Germans will blink and everyone will thank Greece. Don't worry.
by Upstate NY on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 07:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This whole thing is reminiscent of Milgram's experiment.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 01:26:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wow, what great reporting, talos, i can smell the heat coming off that crowd.

greece is the front line, and the birthplace of democracy, under its greatest threat since adolph hitler's attempt to roll the european clock back centuries.

the technocrats have the divisions, the swat teams, the lapdog media trained to miscount popular protests and softsoap the austerity message till it sounds like a favour they are doing us, and we'll all feel better when we lose those extra kilos. we'll be thanking them for setting us straight!

christ, it's not like a healthy dose of germanism wouldn't help the PIIGS, but they are going about it for the wrong reasons, guaranteeing failure as the people feel insulted by the intractable, heavy handed, inconsiderate, elitist, anti-democratic and unfair dispensation of the sacrifice.

many, many greeks would like a better run government, with many improvements the germans have road tested with success, but this surely is a counterproductive way to ensure those changes, it seems to me.

whatever good on offer will be rejected out of hand, on principle, because people feel they deserve better.

that orgy of consumerism as opium of the people is over, now people are feeling the sting of injustice almost as keenly as any egyptian in tahir square under mubarak's diktat.

not everyone will be so gracious as to off themselves to avoid doing something worse...

democracy is being put to an acid test, in front of our eyes, only this time it's balance sheets instead of panzer brigades, and it will take a jubilee to take the lid of this social pressure cooker.

italy is not far behind you, and it sounds like spain too.

thankyou so much for your diaries talos, they are awesome, some of the best on this ridiculously excellent blogsite.

'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 Sun May 13th, 2012 at 08:30:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent. Syriza party rejects coming part of kleptocracy. This is really wonderful news. Such character is very rare nowadays.
by kjr63 on Sun May 13th, 2012 at 04:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
He was accused of being more interested in party politics than a way out of the quagmire.

haha, what they're really accusing him is not being more interested in party politics.

that look on evangelis' face below is priceless...'join the club, mate, you won't regret it!'

while the freaking building is swaying in the wind...

'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 Sun May 13th, 2012 at 08:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ND breakaways seem to show more backbone than the PASOK breakaways:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 14 | Athens News

1.30pm The Independent Greeks has denied speculation that the party is holding secret talks with New Democracy (ND). In a statement, the party's spokesman, Terence Quick (below), insisted that the party always speaks openly and in public and never secretly or behind the scenes. "The dirty games refer to the traitors that attempt desperately to cling to something after their total failure in the general elections," he said. Independent Greeks is a splinter party from New Democracy.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 06:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting to see an Anglo adopt the rhetoric and mindset of Greek politicians in such a fashion.
by Upstate NY on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Argh, apparently, just an Anglo name, he is Greek.
by Upstate NY on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:26:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More Than Half of Police Officers Voted For Neo-nazi Party | Greece.GreekReporter.com Latest News from Greece
More than half of all police officers in Greece voted for pro-Nazi party Golden Dawn in the elections of May 6. This is the disconcerting result of an analysis carried out by authoritative newspaper To Vima in several constituencies in Athens, where 5,000 police officers in service in the Greek capital also cast their ballot.

Guess this depressing bit goes here.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 07:23:09 AM EST
"Disconcerting" result, to whom exactly?

See talos' Kristallnacht in Athens (May 14th, 2011)

At this point one needs to wonder whether "Godwinning" somebody's 1930's rhetorical parallels makes any sense.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 08:40:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From exactly one year ago:
As Greece was reeling from the violent repression that broke up the large anti-austerity demonstration in Athens, and led to a critically wounded demonstrator (who is doing better but is still in danger of losing his life or suffering permananent damage), Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) the local neo nazi party, which last autumn managed to elect a City councilor in Athens, went on a rampage in Athens' decrepit residential neigbourhoods of Kypseli and Patissia attacking immigrants and their shops, breaking windows, invading homes and sending as many as 50 people to the hospital (while dozens more were too afraid to seek medical help) with knife wounds and blows.


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 08:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, given that Spain is tracking Greece by roughly 2 years, should we expect pogroms next spring, and early elections in 2014 with a scary vote share for an ugly party?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 10:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't Spain somewhat inured by virtue of its geography? What's the status of migrants in Spain these days?

Besides, Spaniards tend to celebrate the other in a way that Greeks do not. I spent a summer residency in a town named Mojacar in the southeast, and during the Moros y Cristianos festival, all the children wanted to be a Moor.

by Upstate NY on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 07:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At this point one needs to wonder whether "Godwinning" somebody's 1930's rhetorical parallels makes any sense.

It seems to me that the most valid reason for not 'goodwinning' such parallels in the past would have been so as not to cry wolf too often and save the parallel for times such as these. Illegitimate, but possibly real reasons for 'goodwinning' comments is simply to delegitimate the comment and the commenter.

Reminds me of the use of 'conspiracy theory'. Those who use that label risk ignoring and minimizing the prevalence and significance of actual conspiracies - if that is not the point of such labeling. They would seem, at times, to have us believe that all events in history were the results of single individuals acting alone.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 14th, 2012 at 01:55:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The transscripts of yesterday's talks between the President and party leaders have been released, here is an English summary.
  • It's quite evident that Samaras, Venizelos (who met the President with Tsipras) and Kouvelis (who met the President alone afterwards) were on a pre-arranged common line.
  • Venizelos claimed that agree on pretty much everything(!).
  • The position of Samaras, Venizelos and Kouvelis has a better footing that I realised before: Kouvelis names specific measures to be changed vs. the memorandum status quo, and Venizelos argues that SYRIZA's support would strengthen their hand in the negotiations with the Troika. However, this position still accepts the legality of the memorandum and changes would be dependent on the Troika's acceptance.
  • In stark contrast to PASOK breakaway Kouvelis, Kammenos of the Independent Greeks (the anti-memorandum ND breakaway) showed true spirit, and named his party's own seven points, which partly match SYRIZA's five and include immediate repeals of 'reforms'.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 09:37:51 AM EST
To be fair to Kouvelis, he held the line : no deal without SYRIZA.

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 15 | Athens News

4.03pm After almost an hour and a half, it looks like another dead end. Kammenos stated that "they chose our creditors over a national solution", while Kouvelis in a quickfire statement to the press while exiting, said that there would be no more talks. Initial reports say that all parties insisted on Syriza and the Democratic Left be part of personalities government. With talks breaking down, it seems definite that we are heading for repeat elections, with an interim government appointed until the ballot date.   


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 10:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that became a joint line with PASOK and ND, as did the blaming of SYRIZA for the failure of forming a government. Kouvelis also told before the meetings yesterday that he won't cooperate with SYRIZA after the eventual new elections:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 14 | Athens News

 5.08pm Democratic Left party leader Fotis Kouvelis on Monday said Greece was being led to repeat elections in June after Syriza refused to support a broad coalition government in this round. He also stressed in statements to the local radio station Real FM that he will not support Syriza even after the elections.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 01:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What voter segment does that target? "I want a Pasok PM implementing Syriza policy" does not seem like the most coherent of all the possible electoral platforms available.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 05:59:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they don't see themselves as having changed tribes, voters who identify as Pasok voters but reject austerity might be tempted.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 06:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kammenos cntinues to spoil the anti-SYRIZA rhetoric with his attacks on the pro-memorandum parties:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 15 | Athens News

5.40pm Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos blamed the failure of talks for a coalition government on the two mainstream parties of Pasok and New Democracy, while he attacked ND leader Antonis Samaras and said that he had sought new elections in order to become prime minister. Kammenos said that he had made a last effort for a solution by presenting his proposals and asking for the support of the other parties, proposing a discussion on foreign policy issues and the upcoming NATO summit, including a freeze on the measures to be taken in June so that people might have a "respite from the extortionary attacks of their creditors". He said that Pasok had agreed to most of his points except writing-off Greece's debt and rejecting the loan agreements (thus mounting the biggest part of the blame on New Democracy), adding that the two mainstream parties blocked his proposals and "served the interests of the bailout pacts and not the people". According to the Independent Greeks leader, Greeks now had to choose between living with the threats of its creditors and having them run the country or a "free Greece that with hard work will proceed to tomorrow, for a Greece that belongs to the Greeks".

Apparently, he already earned an attack on his credibility for this, something about a note he gave or did not give the President; but I don't quite get it from the garbled English in the source.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 01:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He submitted a plan to the President where he outlined a Plan B where under conditions of a "National issue" (i.e an attack by Turkey etc, or the ECB stopping support of Greek banks), he would agree to a government where he would be Defense Minister and two position related to oil exploration and resource managment would be his). New Democracy leaked this Non Papaer and he denied writing it. But the Presidency explained that it originated from Kammenos...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 02:30:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Athens News finishes with this:

Elections 2012: Live news blog, May 15 | Athens News

Quick said the party's agenda was handed over in a spiral-bound textbook. In any event, he said that according to the minutes takes, President Papoulias handed over his positions to the political party leaders that met with him after Kammenos. The note in question was also included, as confirmed by the Communist Party (KKE) spokesman. He said that "certain quarters want to take Kammenos out of the picture and play the game on their terms. I wish to clarify that I am not referring to the President."

Here is my confusion:

  1. Above, doesn't Quick actually confirm that his boss wrote a note?
  2. Doesn't the KKE spokesman simultaneously confirm the note and say that it is used to defame Kammenos?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 03:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Yes
  2. Yes


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 15th, 2012 at 05:45:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poll by VRPC, conduced on 10-14 May (the original figures are a percentage of all polled, including don't know/undecided/will spoil ballot, the figures for the parties re-normed for party votes only in parentheses):

SYRIZA    20.3% (30.4%)
ND    14.2% (21.3%)
PASOK    10.9% (16.3%)
DIMAR    6.1% (9.1%)
KKE    4.4% (6.6%)
Independent Greeks    3.7% (5.5%)
Golden Dawn    2.2% (3.3%)
Recreate Greece!    1.6% (2.4%)
Democratic Alliance    1.1% (1.6%)
Others    2.3% (3.0%)

In polls of political leaders, Tsipras leads one list at just 16.3% while Kouvelis leads another favourability list with an 53% to 36% approval/dasapproval with Tsirpas the only other one with a positive 47% to 46% ratio, but I can't feed either of those into Google translate.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2012 at 04:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't with a grain of salt.

About 30% of the voters are changing their vote (!). Syriza for example, is losing votes to DemLeft but is getting as many from them.

ND is in a better position to rally deserters/dissatisfied voters they lost to smaller parties. These are also the voters that are easily scared by the EU/IMF threats or the possibility of Syriza forming a government.

by Euroliberal on Fri May 18th, 2012 at 02:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some words missing but you get the point. It seems my keyboard has gone the austerity way.
by Euroliberal on Fri May 18th, 2012 at 02:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, everything is very much in flux right now. The right is forming some sort of coalition that will include neolibs and far-right LAOS at least, perhaps even former PASOK cadres. SYRIZA has pretty much secured cooperation with former PASOK Economy Minster Louka Katseli, a possibility of some sort of support from ANTARSYA and is decimating poll-wise KKE which refuses to budge. Talks are pending with Eco-Greens and with DIMAR, although an alliance with the former (that would almost guarantee first place) is out of the question...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2012 at 06:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And here's the latest poll I've seen, published tonight... Two poles, PASOK is kingmaker thus far

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2012 at 06:17:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dora Bakoyiannis and two LAOS ministers joined/rejoined ND. Bakoyiannis has a built in base in her hometown in Crete as well as her former husband's stronghold in the central mountains of Evrytania. 2% of the vote.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_30287_21/05/2012_443232

by Upstate NY on Mon May 21st, 2012 at 05:19:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey Talos,
Time for a new updated article....we need a new thread!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri May 18th, 2012 at 02:47:46 AM EST
Yes I know I'm running late, with too many things in my hands and my next diary isn't quite an update (perhaps I'll wait for the SYRIZA 100 day program)... hey, any other Greek takers?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2012 at 06:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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