Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Turkeys don't vote for Christmas

Giorgos Papandreou won tonight’s vote of confidence for his new government. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas; so, why on earth would Pasok MPs have voted down Papandreou, sent the country to elections and risked losing their seats? Never going to happen. I saw bits and pieces of the debate. Opposition leader Antonis Samaras was a disgrace – walking out because Deputy PM Theodoros Pangalos said democracy came to Greece in 1981, not 1974, and as such insulting, according to Samaras, Konstantinos Karamanlis. Papandreou’s Greek is really bad. I would have thought, at times like these, you need a leader who can speak some recognisable form of Greek. Evangelos Venizelos is effectively Greece’s new supremo. I liked it last week when he said he’d decided to take the finance job out of ‘patriotic duty’. I know he didn't mean it; but at least he thinks in these terms or was not embarrassed to express him like this.

37 comments:

Nikita from Messinia said...

Whatever happens with the austerity measures from this point on, at least the Greek people can be proud that their passionate opposition has spooked policy makers to the point where (hopefully?) they'll think twice before trying this type of national humiliation on other countries in future.
Ps. I'm still a supporter of default as the least destructive policy solution.....hestous!!!!!

lastgreek said...

Ps. I'm still a supporter of default as the least destructive policy solution.

If I may, a default would be the most productive policy solution.

The right thing to do would be ... to do the right thing: default.

Evangelos Venizelos is effectively Greece’s new supremo. I liked it last week when he said he’d decided to take the finance job out of ‘patriotic duty’.

J, are you being facetious here? A patriot would have declined.

Greek National Debt Clock

John Akritas said...

I can't make up my mind about this one. On the one hand, there is IMF/EU/ECB slavery; but on the other – by defaulting – there will be chaos and the Greeks will eat each other alive. And what if Greece does stick two fingers up to its debtors? Greece will still have to do all the stuff the IMF is telling it to do. It seems the only value in defaulting is in being able to tell the foreigners to get stuffed.

Hermes said...

Actually, I quite like this article (in English) by Doxiadis. I am offended that supposed patriotic populist Greeks, usually on the Left, would assume that we are so stupid as to be perpetual victims of nefarious foreign interests and domestic marionettes. Of course, a lot of what is going on is a result of the structure of the EU, previously a symbiotic relationship between surplus and deficit countries and today to save the European banks rather than the Greek people, but why did we allow ourselves to get into this situation? Its not because they are exploitative and we are stupid. Its because it suited enough people from Greece and overseas for long enough until it was too late to recognise the impending disaster and rectify the situation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/22/greeks-economists-eu

John Akritas said...

Doxiadis is right. Greece has got the politicians it deserves, and for people to stand up now and say 'they deceived us, they told us times were good, we were fooled and so on' is rubbish. Greeks knew exactly what was going on. Their only defence is that they voted in Karamanlis and Papandreou on promises of reform and Greeks in the majority always backed the necessary reforms, but the politicians didn't have the balls to go through with them. Even now, Greeks, in the majority, say they want to stay in the EU and keep the Euro, i.e. they don't see themselves as being in the vanguard of the revolution against global capitalism – and they want the public sector to be radically reformed – after all, the first people the public sector represses in Greece is the Greeks themselves – and I thought it was interesting how the indignants turned against public sector trade unionists when they tried to join in with the indignants.

John Akritas said...

The other thing which is interesting about the indignants – the Greek flags, folk songs and dances – is that they're saying they don't want the kind of dumbed down, pop, globalised, multicultural, Eurovision culture being forced down their throats by the media. Greek culture is still a Greek's preferred form of expression. This is heartening.

Hermes said...

One of the few bright moments was the rejection of the public sector unionists (one of the modern day kotsabasides).

Perhaps this crisis is an opportunity. An opportunity for Greece and Greeks from Greece and everywhere else to shake off the unprofessional, slovenly, smart-arse attidute and become robust, intelligent, creative, responsible and truly patriotic. And get the immigrants out.

E.Kombos said...

Papandreou can't speak Greek correctly, I agree. But have you heard Venizelos' English???????

I cannot understand why some people are saying that Papandreou was triumphan with his "vote of confidence". The vote was by name and not a secret ballot as would have been more appropriate. He added up his numbers and he knew, just as well as we did, that he would get his vote!!!!!!!!!!

I am so sick of his games.

Hermes said...

Papandreou is a complete goofball. Every time he tries to look like a leader he comes off looking like a rank amateur. I was looking at the coverage of the crisis on Australian television (after following Greek politics on Greek television for 20 years) and I thought one of the advantages of this crisis is that the rest of the world is beginning to learn how unprofessional these bozos are. Of course, Australian politicans are just as supine.

By the way, I personally met Papandreou and spoke to him for 5 minutes in 2004. He had backpack on and was wondering around like he was lost. He was just as underwhelming in real life as he is on the TV screen.

John Akritas said...

I have to say, H, that I'm a little fed up with all the endless chatter in the Anglo-Saxon media on Greece. I can't switch on the radio or open a paper/web-site without some halfwit journalist or economist– who's only knowledge of Greece is two weeks on the beach – pontificating on Greece, most of whom would like to see Greece default and go to the dogs, not necessarily because they are prejudiced against Greeks but because it would be more newsworthy and give them something else to write about. Think about someone like Helena Smith from the Guardian. Her raison d'être is to paint Greece in the darkest possible light, because in doing so, she's able to convince her dimwit editors she's got something to report on and protect her job; though I notice she tends to do most of her reporting from the more scenic parts of the country. Her last report on the crisis came from… Ydra!!

Hermes said...

I ceased to take anything seriously in the Anglo-Saxon media when I was in my late teens. The only reason I brought it up was because the complete and utter bankruptcy of the Greek political system is given broader exposure - which can hopefully be a good thing.

Hermes said...

To understand how ridiculous the supposedly Anglo-American media is read this Op-Ed article from the New York Times. He seems to suggest that Greece was given leniency by the EU because of its Classical past. If that is not intellectual laziness I do not what know what is!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/opinion/21iht-edcohen21.html?_r=1&ref=global

lastgreek said...

I can't make up my mind about this one. On the one hand, there is IMF/EU/ECB slavery; but on the other – by defaulting – there will be chaos and the Greeks will eat each other alive

Argentina, Russia, and Iceland defaulted. No chaos, no "cannibalism" -- just a few years of economic hardship followed by economic prosperity instead of perpetual banker slavery.

And what if Greece does stick two fingers up to its debtors? Greece will still have to do all the stuff the IMF is telling it to do.

Yes, "Greece will still have to do [most of] the stuff the [bloody] IMF is telling it to do," but now it will be for the benefit of its citizens instead of the bankers.

John Akritas said...

LG, when the government nationalises all the banks, prevents people from making withdrawals, deploys the army and so on – because I don't see Greek depositors sitting at home and not trying to get their money – you are opening a Pandora's Box. There's no telling what will happen after the initial chaos, violence, riots and turmoil. You can say it will pass, but you don't know at what cost and to suggest default is a path of lesser pain could be wishful thinking. I'm not saying don't do it. I"m saying all options for Greece are bad.

And why would reforming the state, the tax system and so on, under current bail out conditions, be for the benefit of bankers, but done in default conditions be for the benefit of citizens? Papandreou has the power to push through reforms that would benefit Greek society now, but hasn't been able to do it because of the personal failures H. has been talking about and because of the Pasok deep state. Nothing to do with the banks.

Hermes said...

LG, your sources i.e. Max Keiser and co. are not credible commentators on the crisis. The narrative of "bankers versus the people" (which is often thinly disguised but very simplistic Marxism or even anti-Semitism) is so outdated and very wrong in the case of Greece. Large sections of Greek society including bankers and ordinary citizens (public and private sector) benefited very nicely over the last 35 years at the expense of the state. The bills now have to be paid. Unfortunately, a lot of the load is being distributed unequally but then again the citizens are partly to blame for that.

Nikita from Messinia said...

If Greece doesn't default, then perhaps the "haircut" option for the investors may be an option? Merkel is apparently advocating that option....but for her own selfish reasons obviously.

Anonymous said...

Have you got any Euros deposited in the banks ?/? . If yes, hurry up and withdraw every cent of it. The black friday is approaching. We will all wake up one saturday morning to find out that banks have stopped operating until the following tuesday or wednesday. Greece has exited the Euro and ( thank God) reverted to the Drachma, our 3000 thousand year old currency. The exchange ( a de facto devaluation) would be to transact 10 drachmas to each Euro. So if you kept your money in the bank , you'll emerge that much poorer. Whether the prostitute government stays in power or not , that is another matter. The Greek people have been conditioned to the good-easy- life for the last 30 years. The Greek race has beeen deracinated and they see themselves not as Greeks but as " human beings ,Europei,multiculturalists and globalized hamsters "; whatever that may mean. We'll carry on under the yoke of the sclerotic EU; being exploited and ravished; being torn between becoming a virtual EU province or a neo-ottoman turko-mongol hamlet. Greece has lost her self defence mechanisms, we have been swept along side the decadence and degeneracy of European society following the crushing defeat at the end of the war and the imposition of democratic marxism in 1974. A catharsis is required to cleanse the Augean stables, but we don't see Herculean spirits of revival and resurrection amongst us. Since the nation is doomed to become nothing, the least we can do , as individuals, is to best protect ourselves and families. The time for national poets and philosophers, and bards, is past.

John Akritas said...

I've got a very primitive knowledge of economics and finance; but my understanding is that even if Greece goes down the path of a haircut – rather than declaring an outright refusal to pay, which would be catastrophic – then the institutions to be hit hardest won't be the German and French banks but the Greek banks and pension funds (exposed to Greek debt by £30bn), which will all collapse without recapitalisation. And who's going to provide the money for Greek recapitalisation? As far as I can tell, the haircut option – which seems a likely option – will hit the Greek finance system hardest. The Germans and French will get over it more easily.

lastgreek said...

LG, when the government nationalises all the banks, prevents people from making withdrawals, deploys the army and so on – because I don't see Greek depositors sitting at home and not trying to get their money – you are opening a Pandora's Box.

If the current withdrawal trend continues, there will be a run on the Greek banks ... default or no default.

There's no telling what will happen after the initial chaos, violence, riots and turmoil.

Why do you say that? We have examples in history -- all recent -- as to what is very likely to happen.

You can say it will pass, but you don't know at what cost ...

Actually we do ... a fraction of the country's current debt which stands, as of this minute, at 330,619,103,999 euros.

... and to suggest default is a path of lesser pain could be wishful thinking.

It is not a mere suggestion, J. I am basing it on historical events. The wishfull -- more like self-destructive -- thinking is on those who think that Greece can handle its odious debt.

I'm not saying don't do it.

Now you're cooking :-)

I"m saying all options for Greece are bad.

Why is a fresh, new start a bad option? It's a godsend actually.

(Ask Donald Trump. He pulled the bankruptcy act not once, not twice, but three times! I don't hear anyone in the mainstream media calling him lazy or corrupt, do you? I mean, the blowhard even entertained the idea of running for president this year.)

That's why now the bankers want to impose new loan conditions such as real collateralized loans -- pronto! Their biggest fear is that Greece will default before they can impose their new conditions. If that were to happen, then the bankers are history. And make no mistake about it: The bankers know quite well that Greece will eventually collapse economically. But this time, with collateral in place, they will be able to grab all Greece's public assets on pennies on the dollar. Not only will they have recovered their latest bullshit loans but all their previous uncollateralized loans as well. Hey, pennies on the dollar. I have never said the bankers were stupid: Reckless? Yes. Stupid? No.

And why would reforming the state, the tax system and so on, under current bail out conditions, be for the benefit of bankers, but done in default conditions be for the benefit of citizens?

Because under the current odious debt conditions most, if not all, of the benefits will be handed over to the bankers, that's why.

Papandreou has the power to push through reforms that would benefit Greek society now ...

Yes, he has the power to push the "reset button," but he doesn't. That shows us that he cares more for the bankers -- be they German, French, American, or Greek (yes, they too are looking to cover their asses) -- than he does for his country. That's treason in my book.

... but hasn't been able to do it because of the personal failures

It's not a question of personal failures, J. He is a treasonous wimp.

lastgreek said...

I've got a very primitive knowledge of economics and finance ...

With all due respect, J, take the time and effort to learn these very important subjects. It's not just foreign armies that countries need to worry about but foreign bankers as well. The resources are readily available online or at your local library. Economics and finance are not rocket science.

... if Greece ... haircut ... then the institutions to be hit hardest won't be the German and French banks but the Greek banks and pension funds (exposed to Greek debt by £30bn), which will all collapse without recapitalisation.

If I may paraphrase Skakespeare ... A banker by any other nationality would reek just as bad. I can't think of a more destructive profession today -- maybe gun or drug running? -- than banksterism.

The insolvent Greek banks will default and others will take their place. That is what usually happens. No news there. With the new currency structure -- the DRACHMA! -- in place, that will be backed by some combination of gold and real assets, lenders will step forward.

The depositors? The government must guarantee the savings of the depositors (up to some arbitrary amount for each account). You don't penalize the depositors for being responsible ... unlike the Greek bankers.

As for the pension funds, there will have to be much needed reforms. The idea of a human being retiring on government funds at the age of 55 when his/her life expectancy is in the 80s range is absurd.

Do the modern Greeks compared to their ancient and midieval ancestors leave a lot to be desired? Of course they bloody do. But are we to lose all hope and call it quits on the Greek nation without a fight?

lastgreek said...

LG, your sources i.e. Max Keiser and co. are not credible commentators on the crisis.

[Smile]

Yes, I've heard that before ... years ago from bankers who challenged MK's analysis of Iceland -- that Iceland's economic miracle was built on a foundation of quicksand (read: debt!) -- just before the collapse.

The narrative of "bankers versus the people" (which is often thinly disguised but very simplistic Marxism or even anti-Semitism) is so outdated and very wrong in the case of Greece.

What the hell, H ... Marxism? Antisemitism?

Funny true story ... I recall one dude calling me an "antisemite" some years back on some financial blog for taking "excessive" verbal shots at JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. (With a name like "Dimon" he's got to be a Jew, right?) I took pleasure in reminding the dude that Jamie Dimon was of Greek heritage. His grandfather, upon arriving to the U.S., had felt that a Greek sounding name -- "Papademetriou" -- would hinder his economic prospects, so he changed it.

Another funny true story ... In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. Federal Reserve bailed out not only the American banks but European banks as well ... all to the detriment of "the people."

Large sections of Greek society including bankers and ordinary citizens (public and private sector) benefited very nicely over the last 35years at the expense of the state.

Large sections of Greek society ???

The bills now have to be paid.

Since there is no money to pay the bills, H, are you advocating that Greece should self-destruct by taking on more odious debt, reducing its citizenry to slave status, allowing the banksters to pilfer its public assets ... is that what you want, H? If yes, keep advocating "the bills now have to be paid."

Unfortunately, a lot of the load is being distributed unequally...

Bingo. I haven't seen the Greek banksters, shipowners with all their stolen wealth in Swiss accounts, corrupt politicians a la Tsohatzopoulos, etc., etc., etc., carry any of the freakin' load, have you, H?

... but then again the citizens are partly to blame for that.

Yes, here we agree -- the citizens are partly to blame. :-)

I am not a betting man, but I would wager on this: In Greece today, sales of Harry Potter books outsell by a wide margin sales of Greek classics such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. If I am right, and I think I am, that is how low the modern Greek has sunk ... and it explains a lot.

John Akritas said...

Forgive me, LG, if I don't take lessons from you on economics and finance. Your knowledge of economics seems to be based on tired old slogans about evil bankers. It's student rhetoric. Very tiresome. The Greek state will guarantee the savings of Greek investors, indeed? With what? Have you noticed that the Greek state is broke. Say something serious for a change.

John Akritas said...

Just to be clear: the reason why Greeks are being asked to accept the outrageous terms for this second bail out is because the Greek government has not done enough in terms of structural reforms, tackling the Pasok deep state, the trade unions, the mafia families that run the economy and so on and so on. Nothing to do with foreigners, nothing to do with foreign banks. Everything to do with the system Greeks have developed over the last 40 years and which too many cannot contemplate abandoning. All this stuff about 'banksters' is just childish. They are not the ones who've done in Greece. Like any creditor, they just want their money back and they don't care how they get it.

hotcargirl said...

A myriad of problematic practices has landed Greece in this horrible financial state today. It does resemble Iceland but not entirely. The citizens shouldn't have to shoulder the economic pain caused by their government and "others" (meaning foreign investors and an internal greedy elite) but that is in the past. A lasting, effective resolution will not be found by assigning proper blame to those who are responsible for the current chaos.

I believe when the IMF is involved with any nation the old adage, "Actions speak louder than words" comes in handy. Two books I've found of interest: F.A. Hayek's, "The Road to Serfdom" and John Perkins', "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." Both books give a wide perspective on nations and financial issues.
The latter details quite a few historical events worth examining under the lens of the current (international) financial insecurity and how the IMF may or may not proceed. I'm specifically referencing Perkins' discussion pertaining to Southeast Asia and Latin American countries.

Example: In 1997 Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and a few others experienced a severe financial crisis. Malaysia under P.M. Mahathir Mohammed ignored the requests and plan offered by the IMF (along with the world financial establishment) in order to formulate his own resolution to overcome the financial crisis. Coincidentally, it was also the first nation to "effectively" recover before the other Southeast Asian countries. Having lived in Asia, I encountered more than a few individuals who validated that Malaysia was smart to chart their own financial course back in 1997.

In hindsight even the IMF admitted that the course Malaysia took was more effective and beneficial for their nation than what they were strongly proposing at that time. I state this to emphasize that Greece should look for solutions within their own sphere. Outsiders may or may not mean well but the best solutions generally come from within a nation and not without.

This is not isolationism but more of being realistic. The problem is finding leaders with integrity and a love for their country willing to do what is right by all their fellow countrymen (and women).

John Akritas said...

HCG: I'll tell you what everyone is missing here when they refer to Greece emulating Iceland, Argentina, Malaysia and, if you watch the Debtocracy film, Ecuador and it is that Greece does not have its own currency and is a member of the EU and that it's not just the IMF 'enslaving' Greece but the ECB and EU.

Therefore, if Greece does want to go it alone, then it won't just have to give the finger to the IMF, but it will also have to give it to the EU and ECB. All this is an option, but the Greeks have to be aware that the consequences might not be the return of national sovereignty but its further diminishment as it becomes beset by civil strife, widespread poverty, isolation and all the rest. I also think that all this talk about 'going it alone' is just another excuse for certain Greeks to try and preserve the corrupt and dehumanising system they – and they alone – have built these last 40-odd years. The developing football match-fixing scandal in Greece tells you exactly what kind of country it has become and who runs it. Greece's sickness is much more widespread than the issue of debt, in which case defaulting will solve nothing.

hotcargirl said...

Point taken. They are facing three institutions and with an internal untrustworthy leadership. Their current options are minimal concerning averting more austerity.

After attaining some stabilization (in one fashion or another) a more beneficial avenue can be found in the long run though. Like I stated before, when the opportunity presents itself, solutions should ultimately come from within one's own nation. Creatively thinking (smart) leadership that has the greater good of society can go a long way. Socialism and all its sidekick ideologies is certainly NOT the way to go. Greece has its work cut out for it. However it has a long history to draw from.

Hermes said...

LG, if the narrative of “bankers versus the peoples” was true, and if the lenders and institutions such as the EU and IMF to Greece were only really interested in saving their own skins, then they would simply recapitalize their own banks and they would not bother lending to Greece for the Greeks to repay the banks with the inevitable leakage.

LG, it is also insulting to always peddle the other narrative that Greeks are helpless victims in the face of the “evil” global banking system. The Greeks were not forced to take on their debt before the bailouts began. They were also not forced to lie about their economic statistics. By continually perceiving ourselves as helpless victims we develop a fatalistic approach to the myriad of our problems or reject any agency. Ultimately, we do not bother doing anything because we come to believe there is no point in doing anything. This type of mindset has also infected other areas such as defence and foreign policy where we have sought to outsource it to other powers.
Also LG, Max Keiser was not the only one who could see the impending disaster in Iceland. Half of the serious economics profession could. And a lot of ordinary citizens in Greece have benefitted over the last 35 years i.e. Greek farmers are some of the most pampered in the world going back to the early 80s when PASOK handed out money for votes, Greek dockworkers, power company, railway company employees are extremely overpaid, Greek state employees essentially have permanent employment, taxation for the self employed in Greece was basically a lifestyle choice, should I continue? Essentially, a covenant was established between successive Greek governments and large sections of Greek society in the early 80s to defraud the EU. Of course, some ordinary Greek citizens have to shoulder the economic pain. Unfortunately, a part of the pain is being pushed onto the wrong people. But that is an internal Greek problem, not the problem of the EU.
We should also be careful of making comparisons to Argentina, Russia and South Korea in the event of a default. South Korea had a well developed export sector in capital goods. When they were faced with austerity they traded their way out. What tradeable capital goods sector does Greece have? Also, Russia and Argentina have very powerful agricultural sectors. When they defaulted their agricultural goods allowed them to export their way out. Russia was also fortunate in that the oil price increased. Greece does not have a renowned agricultural sector. Obviously, another advantage these countries had was their own currency or a pegged currency to the US dollar. When they defaulted or restructured they allowed their currencies to fall. This helped them recover but as J.Akritas states, currency devaluation did nothing to solve the structural problems of their economies. Only South Korea has really tried to tackle the deep problems of its economy.
Lastly LG, personally I have no problem if stakes in Greek state assets are sold off with limits. Greece would simply join the rest of the world in doing this. Do not take heed of the fake patriotism you hear in Greece, most of the Greeks, who do not want privatization of some sort, are simply concerned that foreign know how and management will mean they will actually have to work.

Hermes said...

Let me say one more thing, I am not really sure which way Greece should go, stay with the IMF/EU program, restructure or default. However, if they default do you really think that the parasitic bloated State sector (which is the key problem) will accept that it needs to be significantly downsized and accept material changes to its management and administration? It pains me to say this but perhaps a temporary loss of sovereignty within the IMF/EU program will give the good Greeks the impetus to take on the monster that is that State.

Hermes said...

Amidst all the doom and gloom, there was some good news recently. The USA football team was booed in LA..

http://ipezone.blogspot.com/2011/06/mexico-norte-futbol-hispanicization-of.html

John Akritas said...

H. Did you get to see Kalenderidis? I notice he's getting quite exercised about the Syria-Turkey falling out.

John Akritas said...

My conclusion, H, is that the debt is the symptom not the cause of Greece's problems and all this hysteria about the IMF, etc, is designed – deliberately in some cases – to avoid dealing with Greece's greater ills.

Having said that, the advantage of saying OXI to the memorandum is that it might restore some national dignity, make Greeks feel they've taken control of their own destiny. But then Greece will need a strong state and capable leadership to deal with the fallout of not taking the IMF/EU money, neither of which Greece has.

And all taking this tranche of IMF/EU money does is give the govt. the opportunity – for the next six months-one year – to put in place reforms before they run out of money again; and I don't think, because of the deep Pasok state, the reforms will amount to much, but then there will be no more room for tax rises to meet the fiscal shortfall and then where will Greece be? I guess that's when serious restructuring or default becomes inevitable.

It's interesting the Mexicans. HCG might be able to tell us more. Didn't Greece have a similar problem with Albanian immigrants supporting Albania and burning a Greek flag during a match between Greece and Albania? And when Australia played Greece a few years back, who did Greek Australians support? Greece, no doubt. So much for integration.

Hermes said...

H, I attended Kalendiris's presentation on Geopolitics and Genocide and it was brilliant. Informative, succinct and passionate. Even better, I spoke to him for about 20 minutes. He seems like a real gentleman - was very happy to answer people's questions.

He is looking for writers.

John Akritas said...

Sounds good. You know I have my doubts about these quixotic characters, but then where would Greece have been without them? Kalenderidis is in the mould of Theophilos Georgiades, the Cypriot patriot, who campaigned for a Greek-Kurd alliance, and was assassinated by MIT in Nicosia in 1994. I hope Kalenderidis is watching his back.

Hermes said...

Kalendiridis is not some fringe patriot with kooky ideas (not suggesting Georgiades is either). If you read his biography he is the quintessential pallikari. He came from a Pontian family from Serres, graduated from the oldest and best military college in Greece, Evelpidon (one of the oldest institutions in modern Greece), excelled in his studies, was a tank commander, served in Smyrni as a military attache, was a secret agent and so on. If only Greece would bear another hundred of these sons and we will have northern Cyprus and Epirus back by the end of the year. I was honoured to meet him. And not once did he mention political parties.

Anonymous said...

Hermes,

Can you direct me to some of Kalendiridis' work, please?

John Akritas said...

I keep hearing from Tzipras and other communist luminaries – like that raving idiot Lianna Kanelli – that the koukoulophori are provocateurs employed by the state to discredit the noble and holy struggle of the 'people' for bread, education and freedom. I wish the Greek state were as smart. Certainly, such a conspiracy theory explains why no one ever gets arrested. Actually, the cops have been lobbing teargas at rioters for years now and yet the rioters are still able to smash up Athens and give the impression that Greece is on the brink of anarchy. Maybe the state's inability to deal with the rioters lends credence to the theory that the koukoulophori are state-sponsored rioters; though perhaps it shows that the Greek state remains a pathetic joke incapable of dealing with a couple of hundred of stone-throwing juveniles. Maybe the cops should look at alternatives to teargassing.

Hermes said...

We must applaude the proud Mexican people in their struggle against the hegemon. California, New Mexico, Arizona are Mexican lands and should be returned to their rightful owners. The USA does not feed them, they work for a living and they earn their keep. They owe nothing to the USA.

Why anynone is paying attention to KKE and Syriza is beyond me!