– Greek Prime Minister Asked Putin For $10 Billion To “Print Drachmas”, Greek Media Reports (ZeroHedge, July 21, 2015):
Back in January, when we reported what the very first official act of open European defiance by the then-brand new Greek prime minister Tsipras was (as a reminder it was his visit of a local rifle range where Nazis executed 200 Greeks on May 1, 1944) we noted that this was the start of a clear Greek pivot away from Europe and toward Russia.
We further commented on many of the things that have since come to pass:
Europe, for one, will be most displeased that Greece has decided to put its people first in the chain of priority over offshore bidders of Greek assets. Most displeased, especially since the liquidation sale of Greece is part of the Greek bailout agreement: an agreement which as the Troika has repeatedly stated, is not up for renegotiation
But most importantly, even back then we explicitly said that in order for Greece to preserve its leverage (something it found out the hard way it did not have 6 months later), it would need a Plan B, one that involves an alternative source of funds, i.e., Russia and/or China, which could be the source of the much needed interim cash Greece needs as it prints its own currency and prepares for life outside the European prison.
The Germans were not happy: A German central banker warned of dire problems should the new government call the country’s aid program into question, jeopardizing funding for the banks. “That would have fatal consequences for Greece’s financial system. Greek banks would then lose their access to central bank money,” Bundesbank board member Joachim Nagel told Handelsblatt newspaper.
Well, maybe…. Unless of course Greece finds a new, alternative source of funding, one that has nothing to do with the establishmentarian IMF, whose “bailouts” are merely a smokescreen to implement pro-western policies and to allow the rapid liquidation of any “bailed out” society… Which naturally means that now Russia (and China) are set to become critical allies for Greece, which would immediately explain the logical pivot toward Moscow.
Somewhat jokingly, on June 27, the day after Tsipras announced the shocking referendum decision, we repeated precisely this:
Dear Greece, if you want to apply for a loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, send an email to: email@example.com
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 28, 2015
As it turns out, none of this was a joke, and, if Greek newspaper “To Vima” is to be trusted, a “Plan B” involving an emergency $10 billion loan from Vladimir Putin which would be used to fund a new Greek currency, is precisely what Greece had been contemplating!
According to Greek Reporter, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for 10 billion dollars in order to print drachmas.
In other words, if true, then Greece did just as we said it should: approach Russia and the BRICs with a request for funding to be able to exit Europe’s gravitational pull…
The newspaper report cited Tsipras saying in his last major interview to Greek national broadcaster ERT that “in order for a country to print its own national currency, it needs reserves in a strong currency.”
… however, somewhat surprisingly, both Moscow and Beijing said no:
Moscow’s response was a vague mention of a 5-billion-dollar advance on the new South Stream natural gas pipeline construction that will pass through Greece. Tsipras also sent similar loan requests to China and Iran, but to no avail, the report said.
The report continues:
Tsipras was planning the return to the drachma since early 2015 and was counting on Russia’s help to achieve this goal. According to the report, Panos Kammenos, Yiannis Dragasakis, Yanis Varoufakis, Nikos Pappas, Panagiotis Lafazanis and other key coalition members were aware of his plan.
In his first visit to Moscow, Tsipras condemned the European Union policy in Ukraine and supported the referendum of east Ukraine seeking secession. It was then that Germany realized Greece was prepared to shift alliances, something that would threaten the Eurozone cohesion. Tsipras was hoping that Germany would back down under that threat and offer Greece a generous debt haircut. At the time, Tsipras had the rookie ambition that he could change Europe, the report continued.
It also spoke of a “geopolitical matchmaking” as Tsipras was introduced to Leonid Resetnikof, Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, before the European Parliament elections in May 2014. The introduction was made by Professor of Russian Studies Nikos Kotzias, who later cashed in on his services by getting the chair of Foreign Affairs Minister.
But the biggest stunner: it was Putin who declined the offer on the night of the referendum.
The July 5 referendum was a test for Tsipras to see what the Greek
people were thinking about Europe and the Eurozone. However, on the
night of the referendum, word came from Russia that Putin did not want
to support Greece’s return to the drachma. That was confirmed the days
that followed. After that, Tsipras had no choice left but to “surrender”
to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and sign the third bailout package.
In other words it was not Tsipras’ failure to predict how Greece would react to the Greek referendum nor was it his secret desire to lose it as previously suggested (expecting a Yes vote and getting 61% “No”s instead), but a last minute rejection by Putin that lead to the Greek government’s capitulation, and the expulsion of Varoufakis who most certainly was the propagator of this plan.
It also means that Merkel suddenly has a massive debt of gratitude to pay to Vladimir, whose betrayal of the Greek “marxists” is what allowed the Eurozone to continue in its current form. The question then is what is Vlad’s pro quo in exchange for letting down the Greek government (and handing over its choicest assets to the (s)quid), whose fate was in the hands of the former KGB spy.
Finally, it is very possible that To Vima is taking some liberties with truth. For confirmation we would suggest to get the official story from Varoufakis, who lately has been anything but radio silent. If confirmed, this will certainly be the biggest and most underreported story of the year, one which suggests that the perpetuation of Merkel’s dream of a united Europe was only possible thanks to this man.
If confirmed, first and foremost look for a growing schism between Europe and the US (which has clearly been pushing Merkel’s buttons via the IMF’s ever louder demands for a debt haircut not to mention Jack Lew’s rather direct intervention in the Greek bailout negotiations) and an increasing sense of friendly proximity between Berlin (and Brussels) and Moscow.
The biggest loser in this game of realpolitik, once again, are the ordinary Greek people.