Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Is Papandreou’s referendum idea so bad after all?

I don’t like all this the ‘French and Germans are warning Greece to accept the bail out or else’. Or else what? The French and Germans can go get stuffed. We all know that the bailout has nothing to do with saving Greece and everything to do with protecting the quasi-insolvent French and German banks, so it’s hard to accept the strictures of Merkel and Sarkozy, demanding Greeks sacrifice themselves for the sake of their political careers and Franco-German financial institutions. In which case, I’m warming to the idea of a referendum and a ‘no’ vote. If we accept Yanis Varoufakis’ logic that Greece will never be forced out of the euro (stated here as the Eagles’ doctrine, ‘You can check out any time but you can never leave’), because Greece leaving the euro would bring the whole eurozone project down in double quick time, then what might occur – after a Greek ‘no’ – is that the eurozone leaders will abandon the current 26 October deal, which envisions Greeks suffering for 20 years to save the banks, and come up with ideas for emerging from the crisis based on investment and growth.

7 comments:

Achilles said...

I heard on the news that Sarkozy and Merkel had 'summoned' Papandreou to Cannes. Summoned? Is this what it's come to? The Greek prime minister is summoned to explain his government's behavior?

John Akritas said...

You're right, A. What business is it of anybody else whether Greece has a referendum or not? Do Greeks have to seek the permission of the French and Germans to hold a referendum? Next, we'll be seeking their approval for our elected leaders. Sorry, we don't like Samaras, please try again!

Anonymous said...

It is annoying having xenoi trying to dictate to us, but we don't want to have a referendum and vote no just to spite them. Best thing for Greece is for Papandreou to go and let's take it from there.

Anonymous said...

The way forward? Follow Iceland, read this little gem:

http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2011/11/should-greece-pay-its-debts-not-every-creditor-deserves-a-break.html

lastgreek said...

You know, there is nothing wrong in taking it easy and enjoying life ... as long as you live within your means. In other words, don't borrow and go into debt to maintain a lifestyle you know full well you can't; that is, the likelihood of you paying back the entire debt is next to nil. Especially don't when you have viable alternatives.

A for instance. You want a car, but you don't have the cash because you haven't saved up for it. What do you do? Do you finance your purchase with the cheap credit the bank is offering even though you know full well you will be streched financially to the limit, or do you put off the purchase for a few years until you have saved enough? Now, you won't die or suffer physical harm if you put off the car purchase. Lucky you, you have a viable alternative here. Actually, you are incredibly lucky, because you have two: walk, like your human ancestors have done for hundreds of thousandds of years, or ... take the bus!

And this, folks, is the problem the world, not just Greece, faces today: Debt, as in too much of it -- that and the total disrespect for the Rule of Law.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot ... in the next 3 months, Greece faces EUR20bn in debt payments (interest & principle). You think that's the reason the G-Pap is being "summoned" to Cannes?

Silly Greeks, you had viable alternatives.

lastgreek said...

The way forward? Follow Iceland ...

Well, yes, the reckless creditors need to be punished, too. A free, true capitalist market demands it; otherwise, it's not free nor truly capitalist. You want to offer cheap credit to whomever walks in your door? No problem. But don't come crying for a bailout when said whomever can't pay because you were reckless in your lending practices.

Hermes said...

I think some people are confusing the latest anger towards the Troika in Greece as some sort of patriotism – an outcry over the partial loss sovereignty following the October 27 deal. If the Greeks all of a sudden became patriotic then they would be also protesting against Turkish aggression, immigrants, the new mosque, the de-Hellenisation of Greek education and so on. Also, they would not impede symbolically important student and military parades. Although, some people are unfairly suffering through this, and there are some people deeply worried about national sovereignty, most of the anger is driven by people who know that some of their undeserved benefits are going to wither away, rather than anger at the partial loss of sovereignty. And why are people and Greek politicians so worried about national sovereignty all of a sudden. Did they not realize that when they took on massive amounts of debt that they were losing their, and future generations, sovereignty? Let’s not be fooled by cheap patriotism. Papandreou and PASOK did not all of a sudden care about sovereignty (note the recent suspicious change in military leadership). What they wanted to do was shift part of the blame to the Greek people and try and silence the opposition.

I also think that the French and Germans will call Papandreou and PASOK’s bluff. Greece may now be holding a gun to the EU’s head but the EU can hold a bigger gun back. They have already announced that Greece will not get the 6th tranche. The best thing for Greece to have done is playing it more intelligently. Accept the October 27 deal. Then in a few months when the crisis will have well and truly spread to Italy and the other PIIGs, start screaming again. And then get another cut. Or, wait until they are part of a Marshall Plan-like scheme and a re-design of the Eurozone.