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Congratulations to the Greek left! The movement against austerity.... watch

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    Looks great on paper, the obvious question is whether or not they'll be able to deliver. Greece certainly has been completely screwed over and I think the government has an opportunity to make a real change and reject capitalism and the devastation it has caused - socially, financially and environmentally - in Greece. I honestly can't see it working out though, too many problems are conspiring against them...
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Haven't they proposed to gradually raise it? They already had a minimum wage...
    Yes sorry, I should have said the reintroduction of the precrisis minimum wage.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Which is fine, but how will Greece pay for it?

    Raise tax?
    Default?
    Borrow more?

    Or is there an option I can't think of?

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    Go back to the Drachma, devalue and possibly print money?
    I do think it's clear that they do need a clean-slate default. The remaining difficulty Syriza have (it was clearer from ever from their finance minister's press conference yesterday) is that their continued desire to stay in the Euro means they won't be permitted to do that gracefully. A withdrawal to the Drachma would greatly improve their economy almost overnight, but it would also of course in the short term mean a further drop in living standards for some, although how much lower they could go now is debatable.

    I think Syriza should bite the bullet and advocate full debt cancellation and withdrawal. The alternative, a messy default inside the Euro, means uncertain levels of turmoil. The so-called bank stress tests will probably be exposed for the nonsense they almost certainly are for some banks. At the same time, Spain, Portugal and perhaps Ireland again will come under intense pressure and probably Italy. I think maybe France would take a battering, as many of their banks are exposed. Either way though, even in a withdrawal situation, much of the above will still take place, it will just look different.

    It cannot go on the way it is though. Greece is basically being devastated by the current 'arrangements'.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    I do think it's clear that they do need a clean-slate default. The remaining difficulty Syriza have (it was clearer from ever from their finance minister's press conference yesterday) is that their continued desire to stay in the Euro means they won't be permitted to do that gracefully. A withdrawal to the Drachma would greatly improve their economy almost overnight, but it would also of course in the short term mean a further drop in living standards for some, although how much lower they could go now is debatable.

    I think Syriza should bite the bullet and advocate full debt cancellation and withdrawal. The alternative, a messy default inside the Euro, means uncertain levels of turmoil. The so-called bank stress tests will probably be exposed for the nonsense they almost certainly are for some banks. At the same time, Spain, Portugal and perhaps Ireland again will come under intense pressure and probably Italy. I think maybe France would take a battering, as many of their banks are exposed. Either way though, even in a withdrawal situation, much of the above will still take place, it will just look different.

    It cannot go on the way it is though. Greece is basically being devastated by the current 'arrangements'.
    You really think returning to the drachma would be a good thing? That'd put them inside a hole they'd be lucky to get out of. The only benefit would be the rise in tourism from their worthless currency. You may say Greece is being devastated but it will be far worse for them if they leave.

    Anyway they can't advocate withdrawel since the majority of Greeks want to stay in, so they have no mandate for it. The government would rather spend it's time refusing to negotiate, pissing off turkey and cosying up to Putin.

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    (Original post by Aj12)
    You really think returning to the drachma would be a good thing? That'd put them inside a hole they'd be lucky to get out of. The only benefit would be the rise in tourism from their worthless currency. You may say Greece is being devastated but it will be far worse for them if they leave.

    Anyway they can't advocate withdrawel since the majority of Greeks want to stay in, so they have no mandate for it. The government would rather spend it's time refusing to negotiate, pissing off turkey and cosying up to Putin.

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    I wonder if in practise, given the alternatives, they could persuade the Greeks that withdrawal might be the only and best option. That's really what they need to do, but I agree that the population want it both ways. The simple fact is that without massive fiscal transfers from the rich north to the poor south, the Euro pretty much dooms the southern economies to this kind of thing - Greece is the worst case, but it's only a matter of scale. Spain, Portugal, Italy, all have severe problems.

    As German (and other northern) voters are unwilling to do more, that really leaves messy default or planned default. Maybe Putin will offer more, but I'm not betting on it given current Russian problems, even if it does serve his bonkers agenda of infuriating his customers in the west.

    No, I think a messy default is the most probable outcome and a prolonged further period of chaos. This is mainly a failure of political will in Germany to truly accept the consequences of a united Europe in one currency and not just the good stuff - bigger markets for BMWs come at a price.
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    (Original post by anastas)
    Nice link! Varoufakis is an incredibly intelligent and gifted man. Did you watch what happened today with Dijsselbloem? He nailed it :cool:
    “I have been following your blog for a while… Here at my company we were discussing an issue of linking economies in two virtual environments (creating a shared currency), and wrestling with some of the thornier problems of balance of payments, when it occurred to me “this is Germany and Greece”, a thought that wouldn’t have occurred to me without having followed your blog. Rather than continuing to run an emulator of you in my head, I thought I’d check to see if we couldn’t get the real you interested in what we are doing.”

    - A Valve employee asking the now Greek finance minister for help.

    That bit is interesting.

    No, what happened with Dijsselbloem?

    I'm sure the media over here in the UK will treat him as some fringe nutter
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    I wonder if in practise, given the alternatives, they could persuade the Greeks that withdrawal might be the only and best option. That's really what they need to do, but I agree that the population want it both ways. The simple fact is that without massive fiscal transfers from the rich north to the poor south, the Euro pretty much dooms the southern economies to this kind of thing - Greece is the worst case, but it's only a matter of scale. Spain, Portugal, Italy, all have severe problems.

    As German (and other northern) voters are unwilling to do more, that really leaves messy default or planned default. Maybe Putin will offer more, but I'm not betting on it given current Russian problems, even if it does serve his bonkers agenda of infuriating his customers in the west.

    No, I think a messy default is the most probable outcome and a prolonged further period of chaos. This is mainly a failure of political will in Germany to truly accept the consequences of a united Europe in one currency and not just the good stuff - bigger markets for BMWs come at a price.
    France, Spain and Italy do actually call for Euro-bonds which at the early stage of the crisis would have gone a long way to reduce the amount of austerity needed, the problem here was Germany (understandable when they are paying record low rates on their debt servicing), had their been Euro-bonds then the market would have no more cared about Greece's collapse than it did when the state of New York almost went bankrupt in the 60's/70's or when Detroit did . A default from Greece can be handled, their economy is relatively small although i think the more likely outcome is that Greece gets the interest on the debt renegotiated and lengthens the maturities. The Euro really serves the exporters.

    The real question is whether Greek politicians have learnt from their mistakes pre-crisis. Will we see any real structural reform abandoned (by that i mean a broader industrial base) and will they abandon their surplus and spend.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    France, Spain and Italy do actually call for Euro-bonds which at the early stage of the crisis would have gone a long way to reduce the amount of austerity needed, the problem here was Germany (understandable when they are paying record low rates on their debt servicing), had their been Euro-bonds then the market would have no more cared about Greece's collapse than it did when the state of New York almost went bankrupt in the 60's/70's or when Detroit did . A default from Greece can be handled, their economy is relatively small although i think the more likely outcome is that Greece gets the interest on the debt renegotiated and lengthens the maturities. The Euro really serves the exporters.

    The real question is whether Greek politicians have learnt from their mistakes pre-crisis. Will we see any real structural reform abandoned (by that i mean a broader industrial base) and will they abandon their surplus and spend.
    Yes, agreed about the bonds, but that's really just another symptom of the way Germany has managed a Eurozone that isn't a genuine single currency area, but rather a tool of German export policy. Their national attitude to it, despite their public humbug about the need for community, is almost entirely selfish and incompatible with a true pan-national single currency where there is huge inequality between member nations.

    The Greek industrial base is too small, but depressed demand at home and no chance to revalue their currency pretty much guarantees that will continue, not to mention the ongoing flight of talented workers abroad due to the austerity programme.

    I am certain in my own mind that their only real chance of recovery is to disconnect from the Euro, if not in name, then they need separate arrangements. A "Euro South" is basically needed.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Yes, agreed about the bonds, but that's really just another symptom of the way Germany has managed a Eurozone that isn't a genuine single currency area, but rather a tool of German export policy. Their national attitude to it, despite their public humbug about the need for community, is almost entirely selfish and incompatible with a true pan-national single currency where there is huge inequality between member nations.

    The Greek industrial base is too small, but depressed demand at home and no chance to revalue their currency pretty much guarantees that will continue, not to mention the ongoing flight of talented workers abroad due to the austerity programme.

    I am certain in my own mind that their only real chance of recovery is to disconnect from the Euro, if not in name, then they need separate arrangements. A "Euro South" is basically needed.
    Aye. It's akin to an attitude of 'we believe in ever closer union'.. 'but the next government can be the one that goes the whole hog' (cycle begins again with the next government).

    That's true although it's worth noting that it does appear to be working in Spain although i'd expect that they probably have a better education system being that much richer than Greece and during the housing boom they were building infrastructure left, right and center. It's also tended to be more politically stable. Italy and France to me are bigger concerns because even putting aside size, they've not bothered with meaningful reform in the past 20 years which probably means they'll spend the next decade fighting for 1% growth.

    Well personally i'd have given them the boot the first time they needed the bailout so i agree. Looking at a case by case basis i think that Ireland was just unlucky to be dependent on tax revenues from housing and banking (hence why it's economy has improved markedly) and that Spain while having a weak industrial base and dependency on construction for growth did actually run a surplus before and seems to genuinely be trying to change its economy. Portugal and Greece on the other hand went into recession with deficits and nothing beyond their tourism consumption economies. I would add that the UK is not innocent here either, were we in the Euro then our unwillingness to really stimulate our industrial base would have hit us although our labour market and stimulus like Help To Buy would have still helped us compared to peers, allowing the pound to weaken has meant we never paid the unemployment price though.

    I think a good analogy to what these countries are experiencing is akin to when we were on the gold standard.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    “I have been following your blog for a while… Here at my company we were discussing an issue of linking economies in two virtual environments (creating a shared currency), and wrestling with some of the thornier problems of balance of payments, when it occurred to me “this is Germany and Greece”, a thought that wouldn’t have occurred to me without having followed your blog. Rather than continuing to run an emulator of you in my head, I thought I’d check to see if we couldn’t get the real you interested in what we are doing.”

    - A Valve employee asking the now Greek finance minister for help.

    That bit is interesting.

    No, what happened with Dijsselbloem?

    I'm sure the media over here in the UK will treat him as some fringe nutter
    He seems to me like a Renaissance man, gets to do a bit with everything really.

    I'm sending you a link with an article, photos and the video (the video is in Greek but it's worth watching the whole scene). Just wow :cool:

    https://www.google.gr/url?sa=t&rct=j...85076809,d.d2s

    What does ''fringe nutter'' mean? Haha i'm still not very familiar with English slang
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    (Original post by Iamyourfather)
    Am I the only one who thinks this 'victory' is synonymous to Hitler's? With similar initial objectives too? Just sayin'.
    Rupert Murdoch has a job waiting for you with off the wall anti-left propaganda like that...
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    gains a clear win.

    Owen Jones writes brilliantly about it. This was a victory of hope against the lies of the post-cold war 'consensus' that only neoliberal capitalism can solve our problems and the lie that we have to destroy our public services, the incomes of more than half the population and the lifestyles we've been used to, because capitalism demands it.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...-cynicism-hope

    Syriza's victory in Greece should be a role model for us here in the UK. We do not need to accept the Tory/neoliberal/New Labour line that there is no alternative to massive cuts in public services.
    Not entirely enamoured with Syriza given their endorsement of Sinn Fein who, whilst claiming to be Republican Socialists, are an entirely populist party with little or no plan other than playing tribal politics in Northern Ireland and being loud and angry in the Republic and Europe.

    Hopefully however this gives Francois Hollande the impetus to take on German lead austerity like he promised.
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    (Original post by anastas)
    He seems to me like a Renaissance man, gets to do a bit with everything really.

    I'm sending you a link with an article, photos and the video (the video is in Greek but it's worth watching the whole scene). Just wow :cool:

    https://www.google.gr/url?sa=t&rct=j...85076809,d.d2s

    What does ''fringe nutter'' mean? Haha i'm still not very familiar with English slang
    They are probably not used to having someone stand up to them

    Haha, your English is very good. You write like a native speaker. If someone is "on the fringe" politically it means they are extreme and very far away from the mainstream political view. "Nutter" just means someone who is crazy

    Sryzia and Greece are going to face a lot of opposition. It can not be seen to work. I was just surprised when I realised this person who is being treated as a dangerous radical by the press was actually some guy who's blog I had followed where he wrote about the economy of a video game and game distribution platform. He once wrote about the market of virtual hats in Team Fortress 2 and is now wielding power to stand up against some very powerful people and organizations.
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Rupert Murdoch has a job waiting for you with off the wall anti-left propaganda like that...
    Anti-left propaganda? I'm a lefty.

    It's just my usual cynicism and observation.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    They are probably not used to having someone stand up to them

    Haha, your English is very good. You write like a native speaker. If someone is "on the fringe" politically it means they are extreme and very far away from the mainstream political view. "Nutter" just means someone who is crazy

    Sryzia and Greece are going to face a lot of opposition. It can not be seen to work. I was just surprised when I realised this person who is being treated as a dangerous radical by the press was actually some guy who's blog I had followed where he wrote about the economy of a video game and game distribution platform. He once wrote about the market of virtual hats in Team Fortress 2 and is now wielding power to stand up against some very powerful people and organizations.
    Haha yeah, totally agree, they were used to the previous Greek government which never dared say anything other than yes and kept destroying the country relentlessly.

    Thanks for letting me know Right, that's why we say ''You're nuts'' too! It must come from nutter

    Haha the press :rolleyes: He is a rational person who, for once, said things the way they are, justifying and defending his position. Really? Wow! Had no idea about that, that's nice!
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    (Original post by Iamyourfather)
    Anti-left propaganda? I'm a lefty.

    It's just my usual cynicism and observation.
    Well I'm also a leftist who is bit sceptical about Syriza... but to compare them to the Nazis is a bit extreme.
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Well I'm also a leftist who is bit sceptical about Syriza... but to compare them to the Nazis is a bit extreme.
    It is. My first thought when I heard the news was that Tsipras and Hitler's victory to ditch austerity bared a striking resemblance but in a dichotomous way. Not saying Syriza are the left-wing versions of Nazis, but I'm not exactly overjoyed by this new movement. I suppose time will tell.

    Note that Syriza sounds similar to Syria - na, I'm just playin'.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    To be honest aside from the debt they are not massively worse than Hollande. It's the Spanish you want to worry about, they'll basically make our UK Greens look tame.
    Our Greens are tame, they aren't even as far left as the post-war consensus. It's the rest of the parties that are extreme.
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    This will only end badly for Greece, if only because the rest of the ruling parties can't have them look good. Europe's Cuba, perhaps?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    This will only end badly for Greece, if only because the rest of the ruling parties can't have them look good. Europe's Cuba, perhaps?
    Equally though, there is strong pressure to not have a Euro state collapse utterly, which is why things have staggered on the way they have and the inevitable letting go of some 'members' of the zone keeps being kicked down the road. Unfortunately for that policy, the EU is now reaching a crunch point. You can only keep kicking a can so far. Eventually it drops into down a drain.

    I think the EU will try again to find a face-saving formula that pseudo-convinces German voters, something along the lines of further debt rescheduling. The adamant policy of Syriza that they will not accept any further debt is likely to derail those talks though.

    It's terribly unlikely that there won't be some sort of default. If Greece stays in the Euro after that, it faces utter catastrophe. I think people will be starving and there will be martial law. That pattern might repeat in Spain and maybe even Italy. France will become horribly embroiled.
 
 
 
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