Today’s Wikileaks disclosure, in which two IMF officials hinted that the IMF may use a “credit event as a means to pressurize(sic) Greece” as it has been subsequently put by Greek officials, has elicited another round of widespread anger in Athens and could jeopardize the upcoming Greek debt negotiations.
The anger has been made more acute because Greece previously accused Poul Thomsen, one of the IMF staffers caught on the leak, of effectively sabotaging talks in the past when the IMF refused to compromise on Greek pension cuts after the government proposed alternatives with an equivalent fiscal impact.
As such, hoping to ride on the latest wave of populist anger, it was only a matter of time before the country’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras officially responded to the IMF. Continue reading »
We, Nikos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, having met in Nicosia today, 28th January 2016, have agreed to strengthen the cooperation between our three countries in order to promote a trilateral partnership in different fields of common interest and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Mediterranean and the wider region.
In light of the underlying challenges and opportunities, and given the fluid and unstable situation in the region, our three countries, which share common democratic values, principles, and interests, have, to this end, agreed on the importance for closer cooperation and a coordinated set of policies. Continue reading »
If one had asked any Greek exactly one year ago, that the full of promises SYRIZA party would come to power to finish off the crisis-stricken Greek economy and drain his personal wealth, with his blessing, he would have called them a lunatic.
Yet, a year later, the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition has legislated measures and reforms that would have made even the most strict neoliberal wince. Pension cuts, tax hikes, taxation of nonexistent incomes, monitoring personal wealth, capital controls, privatizing state properties, home auctions, raising retirement age, are some of the measures and reforms that the self-proclaimed leftist ruling party is forcing on the shoulders of Greek people. Continue reading »
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has lost the support he needs to win a confidence vote, setting up the possibility of snap elections. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bulletproof reputation will be tested on Wednesday when the Bundestag will be forced to vote on the Greek bailout without an assurance that the IMF will ultimately shoulder a portion of the burden.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras won a hard fought victory over party rivals on Thursday when Syriza’s central committee voted to postpone an emergency congress until after formal discussions on the country’s third bailout program are complete.
Syriza has been grappling with bitter infighting since more than 30 MPs in Tsipras’ parliamentary coalition defected during a vote on the first set of bailout prior actions, forcing the PM to rely on opposition votes to clear the way for formal discussions with creditors. The party dispute was exacerbated by reports that ex-Energy Minister and incorrigible Grexit proponent Panayiotis Lafazanis (along with several Left Platform co-conspirators) planned to storm the Greek mint and seize the country’s currency reserves. Continue reading »
Anyone who thought Greece’s third bailout program was a done deal or that, at the very least, the market would get a few months of respite before having to grapple with daily Grexit headlines again, got a rude awakening late last week when reports of a secret plot (hatched by ex-Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis along with several Left Platform co-conspirators) to storm the Greek mint and seize the country’s currency reserves underscored the deep divisions within Syriza and betrayed the extent to which passing a third set of prior actions and sealing the deal on an ESM program would prove to be anything but simple.
Just days after Lafazanis’ plan leaked last week, Kathimerini claimed it had transcripts from a conference call between former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and international hedge fund managers during which Varoufakis described yet another secret ploy to return the country to the drachma by way of establishing a parallel payments system set up using surreptitiously obtained tax filer ID numbers. Later, the full audio recording was released. Continue reading »
Back in May we outlined the cost to the Greek economy of each day without a deal between Athens and creditors.
At the time, a report from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises showed that 60 businesses closed and 613 jobs were lost for each business day that the crisis persisted without a resolution.
Since then, things have deteriorated further and indeed, with the imposition of capital controls, businesses found that supplier credit was difficult to come by, leading to the very real possibility that Greece would soon face a shortage of imported goods, something many Greeks clearly anticipated in the wake of the referendum call as evidenced by the lines at gas stations and empty shelves at grocery stores.
On Friday, we brought you the shocking story of the rebellion that never was in Greece.
According to FT, Former Greek Energy Minister and maverick among mavericks Panayotis Lafazanis convened a “secret” meeting at the Oscar Hotel in Athens on July 14 at which he attempted to convince Syriza hardliners (including, in FT’s words, “supporters of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez [and some] old-fashioned communists”) to storm the Greek mint, seize the country’s currency reserves, and, if necessary, arrest central bank governor Yannis Stournaras.
Obviously, the plan was never implemented, but if the story is even partly true it betrays the degree to which Greece teetered on the edge of social upheaval and even civil war in the days that followed PM Alexis Tsipras’ decision to concede to creditors’ demands and abandon not only Syriza’s election mandate but the very referendum outcome he had himself campaigned for just days prior. Continue reading »
“Greedy guts carving up Greek Isles…………This is criminal.”
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss Greek prime ministers bearing referendums as privatisation schemes move full steam ahead as billionaires and celebrities begin buying up Greek islands on the cheap. In the second half, Max interviews Eddy Travia of Coinsilium.com about the company’s upcoming IPO on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London. Coinsilium Group facilitates the implementation of blockchain technology products and services alongside media and corporate advisory services.
After having launched a Referendum to refute and refuse the debt bailout agreement put together by the Troika, Prime Minister Tsipras together with his newly instated Finance Minister, comes up four days latter with an austerity package broadly similar to the one which was turned down by the Greek government in June.
This about-turn had been carefully engineered. The Greek people were misled and deceived. The Referendum was an outright ”ritual of democracy”.
Tsipras had made a deal with the creditors. He was in favor of accepting the demands of the creditors all along.
Tsipras led the “NO” campaign while having already decided that in the wake of the Referendum, he would say YES to the creditors and cave in to their demands. This is tantamount to an Act of Treason.
There was no attempt by the Tsipras government in the immediate wake of the Referendum to renegotiate or extend the deadline on behalf of the Greek people in response to the NO Vote. On Monday morning, the day following the Referendum, Yanis Varoufakis who had led the negotiations with the Troika resigned as Finance minister. Did he wilfully resign or was he “dismissed” to facilitate an agreement with the Troika?
Update: As noted below, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras faces a party rebellion ahead of today’s vote in parliament. According to multiple reports, more than half of Syriza lawmakers have indicated they will vote against the deal, leaving Tsipras to depend on opposition support to pass the new term sheet and throwing the future of Greek politics into question. As Bloomberg notes, the best case scenario will find Tsipras presiding over a minority government with the help of opposition parties. As for the worst case (for Tsipras anyway), here’s Reuters:
TSIPRAS TELLS LAWMAKERS IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO REMAIN AS PRIME MINISTER WITHOUT THEIR SUPPORT: GOVT SOURCE
Perhaps I’m lost in translation, but seems half of Syriza (& most of Anel) voting against govt in its most imp vote…but still back govt
While Germany’s finmin Schauble is about to burst at few capillaries after reading the latest provocation from Tsipras in which he said, according to Reuters, that:
GREEK PM TSIPRAS SAYS I SIGNED I DEAL I DO NOT BELIEVE IN BUT I’M WILLING TO IMPLEMENT AND WILL ASSUME RESPONSIBILITIES
It should be the Greek people that are reeling by another, even greater stunner, just spoken by the Greek PM during his TV interview: an admission from the chosen Greek “leader” that Greece, as a
sovereign nation, no longer exists:
GREEK PM TSIPRAS SAYS LENDERS GIVE A MESSAGE THAT IN COUNTRIES UNDER A BAILOUT THERE IS NO POINT IN HOLDING ELECTIONS
So the Troika makes it clear that countries under a bailout, such as a Greece was and is about to be indefinitely again, democracy is finished and the country becomes a sovereign ward of a few unelected bureaucrats, and the Greek “prime minister” who also just admitted he is now nothing but a puppet of Greece’s new unelected leaders, is Ok with this. Continue reading »
Months ago we said the following about the future of Greek politics:
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Syriza show will ultimately have to be canceled in Greece (or at least recast) if the country intends to find a long-term solution that allows for stable relations with European creditors although it may be time for Greeks to ask themselves if binding their fate to Europe is in their best interests given that some EU officials seem to be perfectly fine with inflicting untold economic pain upon everyday Greeks if it means usurping the ‘radical leftists.’
At the risk of overstating the case, that assessment has now proven to be almost entirely accurate. Continue reading »
Last night, when we concluded our overnight summary state of affairs we said that “we expect some resolution around first light this morning, and while another Greek can kicking and some last-moment “hope” is surely in the cards, we know two things: Greece is officially finished – there is no way the Tsipras or any other government can politically recover after such a humiliating spectacle when half of Europe made a mockery of the Greek people; and perhaps better, we finally have seen the true face of Europe: visible only when things are finally falling apart.”
As expected, Energy Minister and Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis voted against the proposal as did Parliament speaker Zoi Konstantopoulou and Deputy Minister of Social Security Dimitris Stratoulis.
If new FinMin Euclid Tsakalotos can secure the support of his EU counterparts tomorrow, the path will be cleared for Greece to remain in the EU under a new program.
GREEK PM TSIPRAS SAYS GOVT AVERTING A POLITICAL GREXIT
GREEK PM TSIPRAS SAYS PEOPLE DIDN’T GIVE GOVT RUPTURE MANDATE
TSIPRAS: AGREEMENT WITH CREDITORS ISN’T CERTAIN, JUST POSSIBLE
CREDITORS MAKE POSITIVE EVALUATION OF GREEK DEBT PROPOSALS: AP
TSIPRAS: GREECE WILL MANAGE TO STAY IN EU, AS EQUAL PARTNER
GREECE BAILOUT TO BE 74B EUROS BASED ON CREDITORS’ EVAL: AFP
It remains to be seen how Greeks will respond to the decision. Given the similarities between the “new” proposal and the proposal that 61% of Greeks voted against last Sunday, there may well be pushback from voters and a generalized sense of betrayal among Syriza’s core constituency.
Underscoring the contentious nature of the vote is the following from Bloomberg:
Fifteen governing Syriza party lawmakers who voted “yes” in parliament vote on Greek govt’s bailout proposals to creditors say they oppose the plan, according to statement distributed to journalists.
Lawmakers say proposal shouldn’t have been approved by Greek parliament; they backed it only because they didn’t want the govt’s parliamentary majority to be put into question.
Lawmakers say their “yes” vote shouldn’t be interpreted as acceptance of implementation of austerity measures.
I was going to write up on the uselessness of Angela Merkel, given that she said on this week that “giving in to Greece could ‘blow apart’ the euro”, and it’s the 180º other way around; it’s the consistent refusal to allow any leniency towards the Greeks that is blowing the currency union to smithereens.
Merkel’s been such an abject failure, the fullblown lack of leadership, the addiction to her right wing backbenchers, no opinion that seems to be remotely her own. But I don’t think the topic by itself makes much sense anymore for an article. It’s high time to take a step back and oversee the entire failing euro and EU system.
Greece is stuck in Germany’s own internal squabbles, and that more than anything illustrates how broken the system is. It was never supposed to be like that. No European leader in their right mind would ever have signed up for that. Continue reading »
Follows the full text of a letter Greek PM Tsipras send to the Troika: Commission President Juncker, ECB’s Draghi, and the IMF’s Lagarde regarding the latest Greek deal proposal.
Dear President and Managing Director,
The attached proposal for a comprehensive and specific reform agenda by the Minister of Finance of Greece – aimed at complementing the request for a loan facility from the ESM of July 8 2015 – is conveyed to you following the Euro Summit decision of July 7 2015. Continue reading »
As we reported yesterday, following the latest European leaders summit, Greece was given until the end of the week to come up with a proposal for sweeping reforms in return for loans that will keep the country from crashing out of Europe’s currency bloc and into economic ruin.
“The stark reality is that we have only five days left … Until now I have avoided talking about deadlines, but tonight I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week,” European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference.
It did that moments ago when Greece officially submitted a request for a three-year loan facility from the European Stability Mechanism also promising to implement tax reform, and pension measures at the beginning of next week, which had been the biggest sticking point in negotiations for the past 5 months. And to think Syriza’s main election promise was no more bailouts and the Greek people resoundly said not to just this over the weekend. Continue reading »
It all started with a report by the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, whose release of on the record comments by Yanis Varoufakis (which we noted was rather surprising) that Greece was contemplating a parallel currency and potentially nationalizing Greek banks over the weekend, was supposedly the catalyst that got the Greek finmin fired. As a reminder, this is what Varoufakis told AEP on Sunday night: “If necessary… issue parallel liquidity and California-style IOU’s, in an electronic form. We should have done it a week ago.” And this is what the WSJ said on Monday morning:
… the premier decided to act after Mr. Varoufakis told a U.K. newspaper late Sunday that Greece might introduce a parallel currency and electronic IOUs similar to those issued previously in California. Mr. Varoufakis quickly backtracked on his comments to the Daily Telegraph, but his prime minister had had enough, the people familiar with the matter say.
That was the first indication that the wheels had officially come off the Greek wagon. Continue reading »
On the heels of Sunday’s referendum wherein Greeks essentially gave the greenlight for an unceremonious EMU exit should Europe decide to spurn the IMF and stick to a “no debt relief” policy for Athens, PM Alexis Tsipras and his newly-appointed finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos are making a final push to break the stalemate with creditors before the ATMs go dark and a supplier credit crunch creates widespread shortages of imported goods.
EU finance ministers will convene in Brussels first, followed by a meeting of European leaders which is scheduled to begin at 6 pm local time. According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the Greek delegation will table a proposal that looks quite a bit like what voters explicitly rejected on Sunday. Here’s more (Google translated): Continue reading »
By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears
A putsch in Athens to save allied Greece from enemy Russia is in preparation by the US and Germany, with backing from the non-taxpayers of Greece – the Greek oligarchs, Anglo-Greek shipowners, and the Greek Church. At the highest and lowest level of Greek government, and from Thessaloniki to Milvorni, all Greeks understand what is happening. Yesterday they voted overwhelmingly to resist. According to a high political figure in Athens, a 40-year veteran, “what is actually happening is a slow process of regime change.” Continue reading »
Congratulations Greece: for the first time you had the chance to tell the Troika, the unelected eurocrats, and the entire status quo establishment, not to mention all the banks, how you really felt and based on the most recent results, some 61% of you told it to go fuck itself.
“Another great article, how the Greek vote against the greedy guts gives great challenges to the EU leaders, not just the greedy cow running Germany……Merkel (of course), along with the head of the IMF, and a few others, all will be needing new jobs. This is a huge slap in their faces, well deserved, but the economic pain their investors are now experiencing will get them out of office very quickly. Good riddance.”
Victory by Syriza party of 60% to 40% in polarising referendum presents nightmare for eurozone elites, particularly Germany’s Angela Merkel
No vote supporters hold a banner during celebrations in Athens as results begin to indicate a clear victory against eurozone austerity measures. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
Greece delivered a landslide no vote to the eurozone’s terms for the country remaining in the single currency on Sunday night, unleashing a seismic political shift that could derail the European project. The verdict confronts the EU’s leadership with one of its most severe crises of confidence and leaves Greece facing potential financial collapse and exit from the euro.
In a polarising referendum called by the radical leftist government of Alexis Tsipras at only eight days notice, Greeks voted by more than 60% to 40% in support of the prime minister, spurning the extra austerity demanded mainly by Germany and the International Monetary Fund in return for an extension of bailout funds. Continue reading »
Polling stations have opened across Greece as millions of people are expected to cast ballots on whether to accept more austerity in exchange for international aid. Recent polls have predicted a knife-edge result, with ‘Yes’ having a slight advantage.
Sunday, July 5
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has reiterated in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper that he will resign if Greeks vote “Yes” in Sunday’s referendum.
But he added: “There will not be a majority for ‘Yes’,” Reuters reported. Continue reading »
Having told the citizens of Greece that the European leaders will not kick them out of Europe because “the cost of throwing them out is too high, enormous,” it appears Greek PM Tspiras has another plan to ensure – no matter what the outcome of the forthcoming referendum – that there is no actual Grexit. As The Telegraph reports, Greece has threatened to seek a court injunction against the EU institutions, saying “we are taking advice and will certainly consider an injunction at the European Court of Justice. The EU treaties make no provision for euro exit and we refuse to accept it. Our membership is not negotiable.“
Just a few hours ago Greek PM Tsipras addressed his nation imploring then to “remain calm” and reassuring them that their “deposits were safe.” It appears the Greeks did not believe him. Many were wondering where the Greek bank lines were for the past several months. Turns out the local depositors were merely waiting until just after the last minute to withdraw their funds… horde gas… and stack food. Greece, it appears is Venezuela – the new socialist paradise.
Update: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has announced a referendum in a televised speech to the nation after another day of fractious negotiations with creditors closed without a deal.
The dramatic move comes after Athens rejected a proposal from the troika aimed at delivering some €16 billion in aid to Greece as part of an extension of the country’s second bailout program.
GREECE’S TSIPRAS SAYS CREDITORS POSED ULTIMATUM TO GOVT
GREECE’S TSIPRAS SAYS CREDITORS PROPOSALS ARE AGAINST EU RULES
TSIPRAS SAYS CREDITORS AIM TO HUMILIATE GREEK PEOPLE
TSIPRAS SAYS WILL CALL REFERENDUM ON GREEK DEAL WITH CREDITORS
TSIPRAS GREEK REFERENDUM WILL BE HELD ON JULY 5
TSIPRAS SAYS HE NOTIFIED MERKEL, DRAGHI ON REFERENDUM PLAN
TSIPRAS SAYS GREECE IS, AND WILL STAY PART OF EUROPE
TSIPRAS SAYS GREECE NEEDS TO SEND DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE TO EU
Protothema now says the Greek parliament will meet on Saturday and a referendum will be called as early as next week. Whether this is simply a last minute attempt to put pressure on EU finance ministers ahead of Saturday’s Eurogroup meeting remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Tsipras is playing a dangerous game with the ECB ahead of a difficult week that could very well see the imposition of capital controls. Continue reading »
Update: Protothema is reporting that Tsipras has confided in a fellow EU official that if the country’s creditors insist on sticking to pension and VAT red lines and if Friday’s bailout extension proposal (which the Greek government apparently views as a patronizing stopgap) is the troika’s final offer, he is prepared to call for snap elections.
Update: GREECE SAID TO REJECT EU15.5B BAILOUT EXTENSION PROPOSAL: ANA
“[I will defend] democracy, solidarity, equality, mutual respect. These principles were not based on blackmails and ultimatum, and especially in these crucial times no one has the right to put in danger these principles. The Greek government will continue decisively to give the fight in favor of these principles, to continue to give the fight on behalf of the European people and of course on behalf of the Greek people.”
“Under pressure from all sides (and most importantly from Mario Draghi who holds the fate of the Greek banking sector in his hands) Greece looks to have folded and is now set to accept an extension of its current bailout program. PM Alexis Tsipras now faces an uphill battle to unite Syriza around what is likely to be an unpopular agreement. If he fails, the country could plunge into political and social turmoil. “
We’ll close with what we said last week about the tough choice the PM faces: “Tsipras must decide how he wants history to remember his tenure as Prime Minister. Either he will be the leader who allowed Greece to crash out of the euro on its way to a redomination-driven economic collapse, or he will go down as the fiery advocate for change who caved under pressure and allowed the troika to stamp out democracy in the place where it was born.”
We’ve long said that negotiations between Greece and its creditors are more a matter of politics than they are a matter of economics or finance.
From the troika’s perspective, breaking Greece and forcing PM Alexis Tsipras to concede to pension cuts and a VAT hike is paramount, and not necessarily because anyone believes these measures will put the perpetually indebted periphery country on a sustainable fiscal path, but because of the message such concessions would send to Syriza sympathizers in Spain and Portugal. In short, the troika cannot set a precedent of allowing debtor nations to obtain austerity concessions by threatening to expose the euro as dissoluble. Continue reading »
Update: the farce must go on because according to Bloomberg the “final final” Greek proposal never made it, and was, ahem, lost in tranmission: EU HAS RECEIVED NO NEW PROPOSAL FROM GREECE YET: EU DIPLOMAT – BLOOMBERG
* * *
With just under 24 hours until Monday’s final summit after which even JPMorgan now agrees the ECB will be forced to use a nuclear option and limit or cut Greek ELA thus imposing capital controls as a “negotiating tactic”, earlier today both France and Germany told Greece it must have a reform deal agreement with the Troika finalized and delivered before a crucial leaders’ summit between Athens and its creditors on Monday; in other words before trading opens on Monday. Continue reading »
Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is thought to have offered concessions on VAT and pensions in return for some form of eventual debt relief
The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and European leaders were attempting to stitch together a last-minute Greek bailout deal on Sunday following a frantic round of phone calls to discuss an outline agreement.
The high-level diplomacy comes as eurozone finance ministers and their government leaders prepare for a key summit in Brussels on Monday that could determine whether or not Greece remains a member of the group. Continue reading »
“An article on Russian-Greek financial agreements, in the mix and those completed. The gas pipeline is a done deal, but the Greek port is of great value to Russia…..Just look at a globe of the world to see why.
This story is being ignored by US media of course…….paragraph three where the Greek PM says the center of financial gravity has shifted east is far more truthful than acknowledged by western leaders………..
The only story addressing this subject I have found so far, again in the UK Guardian.”
Alexis Tsipras in Russia dismisses criticism that he should be in Brussels solving debt standoff: ‘We are ready to go to new seas to reach new safe ports’
Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has made a broad overture to Russia as he seeks a way out of his country’s debt and currency impasse, telling Vladimir Putin that Greece wants new partners to help it out of the crisis.
In a speech delivered in front of Putin in Russia, Tsipras said Moscow was one of Greece’s most important partners, and dismissed critics who wondered why he was in St Petersburg and not in Brussels trying to secure an urgent deal with European creditors. Continue reading »
Caught between a recalcitrant Left Platform and exasperated creditors, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras must decide how he wants history to remember his tenure as Prime Minister. Either he will be the leader who allowed Greece to crash out of the euro on its way to a redomination-driven economic collapse, or he will go down as the fiery advocate for change who caved under pressure and allowed the troika to stamp out democracy in the place where it was born.
With his back against the wall, and with Syriza party hardliners apparently no closer to backing concessions, Alexis Tsipras looks set to once again play the ‘Russian pivot” card, as the Kremlin says a “working meeting” between the Greek PM and Russian President Vladimir Putin is now scheduled for Friday in St. Petersburg.
In the wake of reports that Greece could be headed for a “Lehman Weekend” complete with capital controls and an “emergency” Sunday meeting, the headlines are coming fast and furious on Tuesday morning, with Tsipras calling the IMF’s stance “criminal” and Merkel digging in for the worst.