Saturday, 4 July 2015

Greece Decides

The Prime Minster of Greece Alexis Tsipras has, at very short notice, announced a referendum on a new bailout extension deal which will provide a short-term respite from the country's economic collapse, but in the long term only increase the overall debt. The national vote will take place tomorrow, Sunday the 5th of July. A No vote will "allow Greeks to live with dignity" according to Mr Tsipras. However there's a chance Greece will be expelled from the Eurozone as a result, something Tsipras badly doesn't want to happen. He claims that there is no such danger. His party, Syriza, is actually a coalition and not all members support him. This may well split his alliance and result in a political crisis that will remove him from office. Some of his opponents want to sue his government in the high courts and get the referendum declared legally void. Greece appears to be a naturally unstable society, running continuously from one upheaval to another. This can even be seen even in the classical Athenian culture that existed during the middle first millennium BC. They were always waging wars with their neighbouring states, and internally there were a regular series of revolutions and coups. This has not changed in two and a half thousand years.

At the moment Greece is in one of the worst situations that the ancient country has ever faced. Austerity is stifling the nation and unemployment is endemic. All the banks are closed and limiting cashpoint withdrawals to two hundred euroes a day. When Syriza were first elected people saw them as saviours who would turn the whole country round and restore it to prosperity and power, but the first thing Tsipras did was go cap-in-hand to Germany asking to borrow 240 billion euroes in order to cover its repayments to the IMF and European Central Bank. This was when I wrote the background article at the bottom. I wished that he had just told the bankers where to stick their unlawful fiat loan. Then he could instruct his treasury to start printing greenback Drachmas and post the army to the borders in case anybody still wanted to come and collect the fake promissory "debt". This never happened. What has happened instead is that Tsipras simply wants to appease the IMF and ECB in a different way to his predecessor. He doesn't want to jeopardize Greece's relationship with the EU. It's a shame because if he took the bold and radical step I suggested he'd have many supporters all over the world. Indeed there has been a Greek solidarity protest in London where the crowd are urging debt cancellation for Greece, see: http://www.london24.com/news/politics/political_heavyweights_join_greece_solidarity_campaign_in_trafalgar_square_1_4131655. And as Nexus magazine has discovered, there is a real chance to form an international coalition of no-confidence in the globalist plutocrats. Greece has started taking steps to form an alliance with Russia, but these are so far half-hearted; they must pursue this course of action see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/you-really-dont-like-russia-do-you.html. The same goes for Iceland who have done exactly what Greece should be doing. Johanna Sigurtharddottir and her ministers have even put bankers in jail. There is a silver lining to this cloud; the Chinese word wēijī means both "crisis" and "opportunity" and this means for every bad thing that happens there's a potential good antithesis. After the stock market crash of 1929 the response from some people was to create their own private trading systems such as the Ithaca Hour, which is still running today. The same has happened this time in Greece. For instance a paper mill owner has started issuing exchange coupons. This is not a proper currency as such, just a set of IOU's in lieu of payment with "real money", but isn't that what the usual banknotes are anyway, promises to pay the bearer the sum of... ? If it comes to the long haul, hopefully the people of Thessaloniki, and other places in Greece, will arrange a more permanent system, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11716318/Greeces-Yanis-Varoufakis-prepares-for-economic-siege-as-companies-issue-private-currencies.html.
See here for more details on independent currencies: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-oxford-pound.html.
See here for essential background to the situation in Greece: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/grow-some-balls-greece.html.

9 comments:

Laurence said...

The powers that be in Ireland are in propaganda overdrive. RTÉ news, the government mouthpiece, is showing wall-to-wall images of ATMs, €60 limits, and irate Greeks. Should Greece default and Armageddon not descend on the land, then there is some explaining to do for the unholy triumvirate of massive tax increases/public service reductions, wages reductions, and zero interest rates that have dominated Irish workers. Not that they wouldn't be able to spin it, just that they must be getting tired of the effort.

Here is RTÉ's man in Athens:

http://analysis.rte.ie/business/2015/06/29/greek-government-engages-in-game-of-brinkmanship/

http://analysis.rte.ie/business/2015/06/29/greek-government-engages-in-game-of-brinkmanship.html

Xylomet said...

Hey Ben. Thanks for the post. Hmm, Are we witnessing theater here or a real possibility?, I am not sure the excluded middle (Taking a risk) is being seized with both hands - or considered as a tangible course of motive! Let's see

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Thanks, Laurence. Trust RTE to take the Eurozone's side! They're TERRIFIED of anybody in Ireland getting the same idea. Greenback Punts, here we come! :-)

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

You're welcome, X. Today is the moment of truth. We'll know in a few hours.

Matt Campbell said...

It is a really difficult time for them, but I agree with you. When you find yourself in a hole Stop Digging!

Xylomet said...

Neo Liberal theatre, the neo arsenal in warfare with the totalitarian financial clique as the arms dealers

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Well well well! They did vote "OXI", "No." :-)

Neil Austin said...

Ben, you mention the Athenian culture. I well remember the posters of lady tennis players scratching their derrieres and monochrome images of men carrying tyres but I fail to see the relevance? :-) Sorry, I couldn't resist it
I laughed at Robert Peston's mock incredulity tonight as he struggled to see the logic in Greece's either wishing to create a 'new Drachma' or the horror of Bank of Greece issuing it's own loans. After all, who in their right minds wouldn't want to do business with the ECB?

Laurence said...

Advice for the Greeks: watch your backs. It is in the interests of many that an example is made of you. Every secret service in Europe will be descending on Athens as we speak. (BTW, I would take a punt on the Punt Ben :)