Greece says NO


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Go, democracy! Beat socialized losses for too-big-to-fail finance. Now can we get a quick popular vote here to reconsider TPP fast track authority?


#3

It’s true that Angela Merkel and many Germans have supported harsh conditions on the people of Eurozone debtor states, and that, on average, Germans are more likely to be lenders than borrowers. It’s true that Greece forgave Germany’s war debts in 1953, and again after reunification in 1990.

Yes, but I like Piketty’s more forceful renunciation of Germany’s current hypocrisy, in a recent interview with a German newspaper:


#4

I see finance minister Yanis Varoufakis just resigned despite the result.


#5

Great interview!
“…Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt…”


#6

That’s interesting. Cite?


#7

Yes, I was about to say the same. That surprises me, given the big hand he had in this victory. He’s probably spent the last few hours crowd-surfing.

I think a lot of big things could happen quickly. This “No” vote is a political and financial earthquake.

@lgoldberg, see the Guardian.


#8

Thx @milliefink

Here’s the quote Mr. Varoufakis gave the Guardian:“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings,” he wrote.
www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/06/greek-finance-minister-yanis-varoufakis-resigns-despite-referendum-no-vote


#9

I read somewhere that other countries’ apparatchiks/finance-industry servants apparently pulled the tone argument on him. Good on him for still saying things like this:

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum. And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.


#10

EDIT: He basically accused the “partners” of terrorism; he may be right, but he’s not going to be effective as a negotiator now…


#11

Honestly, even if creditors write off a lot of the debt, Greece will still be in deep shit since they won’t be able to borrow money to do any kind of stimulus. Who would be insane enough to lend them any?

I don’t see how they survive in the eurozone without a miraculous economic boom.


#12

This is squeezing Greece(and Cyprus) out of the EU and into closer relations to culturally and fiscally already close Russia.
If the Ukraine invasion/insurgency worries you then states siding with Putin and that neo-rightist cult are not what you want to see.


#13

Ha, that is the most French interview I’ve ever read. But he has a point. Germans internalise the economic power of their country to an extent that even laypeople feel like they can lecture everybody else on economics. Like dude, you’re in undergrad - pretty sure you’re not the one driving GDP growth.


#14

German here. What makes witnessing the current discussion in Germany even more unbearable is that this blinkered view extends even further. The central founding myth of the post-war German Republic is the “Wirtschaftswunder”, the “economic miracle”. Supposedly through sheer hard work and determination alone the German people managed to drag themselves out from under the ruins of the war and reach an unprecedented level of prosperity.

It conveniently leaves out that much of the success must be attributed to factors outside the control of the then West-Germans (Marshall plan, the waiver of reparations by other countries including Greece, the massive influx of cheap and highly skilled labour from the Soviet zone, booming exports after the start of the Korean War). This myth is still prevalent today in that many Germans still regard themselves as hard and able workers and anybody who’s denied the same success must be inherently lazy.

This sentiment is played like a fiddle by Germany’s biggest tabloid “Bild”. While being conservative and pro big business it’s very popular among the working class. On a daily basis they’re whipping up support for Merkel’s austerity diktats with horror stories about the “lazy” Greeks living high on “our” money. So these readers provide the political base for the dismantling of social security systems in Greece to the detriment of the people they should feel much closer to than their own politicians and bankers. Makes you want to puke.


#15

This is human nature - you wouldn’t believe the number of people here in the United States that were born with the best schools, multiple homes, 24x7 help raising the children (nanny/etc), and college paid for regardless of scholarships - and a business loan (or loans - or as an alternative a cherry position with a major company) on graduation… who then turn around and blame those peasants for not having the ‘hard work ethic’ to make their own way. Heck you even get that from people who have so much money they have never had to labor in their life (labor being a job hat actually hurts your body from the simple task of ‘doing’ it).

Seriously it’s very easy for humans (of any ethnic/social background) to look at someone less fortunate as lazy. This is how we make ourselves feel better about keeping what we work for - because admitting to ourselves that it’s ok to keep things for ourselves makes us realize how shitty it is when a guy is on the corner needing a hamburger. The less you have the less this really enters your mind, because you don’t have largess you need to make up reasons to keep.


#16

That sounds so familiar for some reason. Almost like it’s happening in the US as well. Hmmm


#17

The austerity and debt hawks like to thumbnail their positions by comparing states to households: a family can’t run a deficit indefinitely without a reckoning. Families need to get their money from somewhere. Families must repay their debts. But states aren’t families: families can’t issue their own currency. Families don’t have central banks. Families are subject to inflation, but have no say over inflation. Families can’t pass laws. Families aren’t sovereign
.
“Families must repay their debts.” Or they can declare bankruptcy - just like countries who default, the effect is it makes it very hard to get credit again.

" families can’t issue their own currency" Neither can Greece whilst it’s part of the Eurozone
“Families don’t have central banks” Neither does Greece whilst it’s part of the Eurozone
“Families are subject to inflation, but have no say over inflation” Just like Greece under the Eurozone
“Families can’t pass laws.” Families can make rules that affect their members, but don’t affect wider society. Greece can make laws that affect the Greeks - but not their foreign debtors
“Families aren’t sovereign” Just like Greece under the Eurozone

I’d dispute whether this wishful thinking analysis applied to any country - it sure as hell doesn’t to Eurozone members.


#18

That would imply South Carolina is being asked to service their own debt. They most certainly are not.


#19

Well said though not limited to Germans. Monied interests too generally seem to present as though they were the ones paying rent and working hard.


#20

all the while the Greeks externalize all blame for their crisis - it’s all the EU’s, Germanys, the banks etc fault not the tax evasion, corrupt politicians, overblown “self-service” public sector, early retirement etc.