Feb 26

Flashback:

- Max Keiser on Greece: ‘The IMF is a Financial Mafia’:

“The only solution for Greece is to arrest the Goldman Sachs bankers immediately and all those involved in the fabrication of Greek economic data in 2000, when you became a member of the eurozone. The next step is to nationalize all banks like Sweden did in 1993. The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.

If someone burns down your house in order to sell you charcoal, would you consider this logical? That is exactly what Goldman Sachs did to the Greek economy. They burned you down like arsonists and then they tell you not to worry they’ll give you charcoal. It’s outrageous. The IMF has said that it can provide Greece with help. The Wall Street investment hedge funds are attacking Greece’s bond market so that the Greek economy collapses. And they’re doing this for a simple reason; to force the Greek people to ask for help from the IMF. The IMF will say, we came because you asked for our help. Wall Street bankers work very closely with the IMF. It’s a financial mafia and the hedge funds are the assassins. Research conducted on Goldman Sachs in the USA and in Europe show how big a mafia it is. They are involved in illegal activity throughout the world.”


THE IMF WAS HERE

- How Far Is It From Kiev To Athens? (The Automatic Earth, Feb 25, 2015):

Riddle me this, Batman. I don’t think I get it, and I definitely don’t get why nobody is asking any questions. The IMF and EU make a lot of noise – through the Eurogroup – about all the conditions Greece has to address to get even a mild extension of support, while the same IMF and EU keep on handing out cash to Ukraine without as much as a whisper – at least publicly.

The Kiev government, which has been ceaselessly and ruthlessly attacking its own people, is now portrayed as needing – monetary and military – western help in order to be able to ‘defend’ itself. From the people it’s been attacking, presumably. And hardly a soul in the west asks what that is all about. Continue reading »

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Feb 25

greece

- Greek Bailout Extension Approved By Euroarea (ZeroHedge, Feb 24, 2015):

Just over a week ago, Yanis Varoufakis would have crushed and mangled anyone who would dare suggest that Greece would extend its current bailout program, because, the myth went, the new Syriza government had a mandate to end the Troika (since renamed to “Institutions”) and to crush the Memorandum (aka “existing bailout programme”). Since then much has changed, and confirming that the new government is really the old government, Europe can now rejoice, because as Bloomberg blasted moments ago:

  • GREEK BAILOUT EXTENSION SAID TO BE APPROVED BY EURO AREA

Which means that as the “valiant” in words, if not deeds, new Greek government rolls over, the DAX is about to jump to new all time highs making rich Germans even richer. As for Greeks, not so much.

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Feb 24

Update:

- About The Authorship Of The Infamous “Greek Reforms” Memo

You can’t make this stuff up!


- The Reason Why The Eurogroup Rushed To Approve The Greek Reform Package? (ZeroHedge, Feb 24, 2015):

As we noted earlier today, there was some confusion over the plight of the Greek reform proposal document, which initially was said to have been delayed until today, only for the Troika, pardon, Institutions, to flip around and say they had actually received it before midnight on Monday. How could the two be possible? Courtesy of Yannis Koutsomitis, who had the simple but profound idea of looking at the properties tab in the leaked Varoufakis draft of the agreed to proposals, we now know.

As it turns out, the reason why not only the Troika received an agreed to version of the Greek reform proposals “before midnight on Monday”, but rushed these through with a favorable agreement today, is that, drumroll, the European Commission drafted the entire letter!

declan costello letter_1_0

All Yanis Varoufakis had to do was agree to the letter that the Troika had previously written and agreed in advance was agreeable to it, and send it back. The skeptics are encouraged to play around the original pdf “leak” found here. Continue reading »

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Feb 24

- TRoiKa SToCKHoLM SYNDRoMe…:

TRoiKa SToCKHoLM SYNDRoMe...


yanis schauble shaking hands

Troika “Happy” With Revised List Of Greek Reform Promises: Full Varoufakis Letter (ZeroHedge, Feb 24, 2015):

Update:

  • EU COMMISSION SAYS GREEK LIST `SUFFICIENTLY COMPREHENSIVE’
  • COMMISSION: GREEK LIST STARTING POINT FOR REVIEW CONCLUSION

So one can say that can has been kicked for another four months. Continue reading »

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Feb 23

20150223_syriza

- Syriza MP Asks $330bn Question: “How Will 4-Month Extension Improve Our Negotiating Position?” (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):

While the tone may not be as vociferous as historic Syriza MEP Manolis Glezos’ recent statements over the Greek ‘new deal’, the rhetoric of Costas Lapavitsas (newly-elected Syriza MP) blog post is clearly questioning the decision-making of his party’s leadership. With regards “our commitment to the Greek people, we have deep concerns,” he begins, detailing five major questions that must be answered, perhaps most importantly, “What exactly will change in the next four months of ‘extension’, so that the new negotiation with our partners to become of better places? What will prevent the deterioration of the political, economic and social situation of the country?”

Via Costas Lapavitsas blog,

The agreement of the Eurogroup is not completed, partly because we do not know yet what ‘reforms’ will be proposed by the Greek government today (Monday, February 23) and which of them will be accepted. But those who have been elected on the basis of SYRIZA program and believe the promises of Thessaloniki as our commitment to the Greek people, we have deep concerns. It is our obligation to record.  Continue reading »

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Feb 23

schauble stare

nein nein nein

- Why Germany Will Throw Up On The Greek “Reform Proposals”: Wage Hikes, Foreclosure Protection, “Red Lines” (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015)

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Feb 23

- Greece Misses 1st Commitment: Delays Reform List Delivery Until Tuesday (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):

Well that didn’t take long…

  • *GREECE TO SUBMIT LIST OF REFORM COMMITMENTS TO EU TOMORROW: OFFICIAL

So we are less than 3 days into the ‘new deal’ and Greece has missed its first deadline. We can’t help but wonder if the initial draft, just as we warned, was thrown up all over by the Germans.

As George Saravelos, strategist at Deutsche Bank notes: Continue reading »

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Feb 23

Manolis Glezos

- Greek Infighting Begins After Historic Syriza Member Slams Agreement, Apologizes For “Contributing To Illusion” Of Change (ZeroHedge, Feb 22, 2015):

As the divergence between Syriza’s leadership perspective on debt talks – “success…won the battle” – and the Greek voters – “It looks to me that nothing has changed” – grows ever wider, and on the heels of apparent near mutiny last week, there is growing division in the ranks of the newly elected party. Syriza MEP Manolis Glezos penned a stunning rebuke of the party’s apparent U-turn and asks his electorate for forgivenessthere can be no compromise between oppressor and oppressed… Pity, and pity again… I apologize to the Greek people because I have contributed to this illusion… before it is too late, let us react!” 

In an article uploaded on the website of his Movement for Active Citizens, Keep Talking Greece notes Manolis Glezos – the historic member of the Greek left (best known for his participation in the World War II resistance) – expresses his deep disappointment about the way Syriza handles with the negotiations and calls for party members to decide if they accept this situation. Continue reading »

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Feb 23

50 shades of greece

- 50 Shades of Greece (The Automatic Earth, Feb 22, 2015):

When it comes to the ongoing Greek question, I see a lot of people eagerly jump to conclusions, after the ‘debt deal’, that I don’t think are justified; certainly not yet. The overall conviction in the press seems to be that Syriza has given in on just about all fronts, and Germany and Dijsselbloem are the big winners.

But since that may well be the exact position Syriza wants ‘the other side’ to be in, where they think they have prevailed, one will have to try and think a few steps ahead before judging the situation. There’s far more grey area here than many pundits seem to assume, easily 50 shades of it. Continue reading »

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Feb 23

euronews greece

What Ordinary Greeks Think Of Friday’s Deal: “We Went Through Two Months Of Agony To Realize We Are Still A Debt Colony” (ZeroHedge, Feb 22, 2015):

For all the third-party analysis, punditry and opinions such as this one by the Irish finance minister Michael Noonan:

“Their political problem is that this a reversal of their election position. There is absolutely nothing on the table that could be considered a concession. They’re now compromising and compromising quite significantly,” he told national broadcaster RTE, but made clear Athens had little choice. “The biggest threat to Greece was that their banking system would go belly up next Wednesday.”

Noonan said Greece now faces another bailout on top of the two totaling 240 billion euros that it has taken since 2010. Friday’s deal had been “the first set of discussions to ensure Greece doesn’t collapse next week”, said Noonan. “Once you get them into the safe space for the next four months, there’ll be another set of discussions which will effectively involve the negotiation of a third program for Greece.”

… when it comes to Friday’s deal it all boils down to two things: promises, now broken: Continue reading »

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Feb 22

drachma

- If The Troika Says “Nein” Tomorrow, Here’s What The “New Drachma” Will Look Like (ZeroHedge, Feb 22, 2015):

While Greek officials remain ‘confident’ of their ability to deliver a reform package that the Troika-esque “institutions” will accept tomorrow (notably a bank holiday in Greece), it appears the Germans are not so sure. Hans Michelbach, a finance expert of the Christian Social Union, told the Handelsblatt newspaper it is “inconceivable that the German parliament can make a final decision on the bridge program for Greece before the end of February.” Having already seemed to capitulate on the promises made to the electorate, and now beginning to crack down on tax evasion, we wonder how long it will be before the dreaded ‘Drachmatization‘ occurs (by dictat or revolution).

 

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Feb 22

Petras-Book-image

- The Assassination of Greece (Veterans News Now, Feb 21, 2015):

by Dr. James Petras

The Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union.What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union.  If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule.  If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse. Continue reading »

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Feb 22

Related info:

- George Soros “Trojan Horse” Inside The New Greek Government?


Greece-Alexis-Tsipras

- Syriza capitulates to the EU (WSWS, Feb 21, 2015):

The Greek government has repudiated its election pledges, agreeing Friday to a four-month extension of the existing loans and austerity programme dictated by “troika” of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

After nearly a month of negotiations with the political representatives of the European banks, Syriza has accepted the conditions demanded by the troika. The Eurogroup statement noted the agreement remained conditional on Greece presenting, on Monday, a “first list of reform measures, based on the current arrangement.” Continue reading »

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Feb 21

Schäuble-Varoufakis

- How Greece Folded To Germany: The Complete Breakdown (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):

Having, as we previously explained, been given ‘just enough rope’ by the Germans, we thought it worth looking at just what Greece capitulated on (or perhaps a shorter version – what they did not capitulate on) and how Tsipras and Varoufakis will sell this to their fellow politicians… and most of all people.

As OpenEurope explains,

What points has Greece capitulated on?

1. Completion of the current review – Greece has basically agreed to conclude the current bailout. Any funding is conditional on such a process: 

Only approval of the conclusion of the review of the extended arrangement by the institutions in turn will allow for any disbursement of the outstanding tranche of the current EFSF programme and the transfer of the 2014 SMP profits. Both are again subject to approval by the Eurogroup.

This is a clear capitulation for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said the previous bailout was “dead” and the EU/IMF/ECB Troika is “over”.  Continue reading »

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Feb 21

euro in smoke

- Beppe Grillo: “The Eurozone Chess Game Enters Its Final Stage: Germany Wins In Three Moves” (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):

With everyone’s attention focused these days on Greece’s Tsipras (and Varoufakis), and also casting concerned glances at Spain’s Pablo Iglesias, head of the poll-leading Podemos party which may well be the next Syriza, many have forgotten that Italy has its own “anti-austerity” voice, that of Beppe Grillo, a voice which had been relatively quiet in the recent past. However, judging by his latest blog post, he too will want to be heard in the seaschange in Europe in the aftermath of the Syriza surge and the resultant chaos that has shaken the Eurozone to its core.

From Beppe Grillo’s blog

The Euro’s up in smoke

The Eurozone chess game has entered its third and final stage. Germany wins in three moves – Euro, deflation and purchase of public debt by the ECB (QE) – and in the last few years it has found a way to maximise its profits and reduce to zero its risks as Europe’s creditor.

Continue reading »

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Feb 20

schauble-varoufakis-1

- Germany Gives Greece Just Enough Rope: Varoufakis Says If Troika Rejects Reforms “The Deal Is Dead And Buried” (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):

As usual, the fine print of any European “deal” is revealed not only after the agreement, but after the US market close. So for all those waiting for the real punchline, here it is – it also is the reason why Greece got until Monday to reveal the list of “reforms” it would undertake:

“We’re in trouble next week if creditors don’t accept Greece’s reforms“, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says. “If our list of reforms is not backed by the institutions, this agreement is dead and buried.”

That’s bad. But… “But it’s not going to be knocked down by the institutions.”

For his sake, let’s hopes he is correct in predicting what the Troika, pardon, Institutions will do. Because this is precisely what Schauble meant when he said that the “Greeks Certainly Will Have A Difficult Time To Explain The Deal To Their Voters“: under the conditionality of the Troika’s approval, the Tsipras government now has to walk back essentially all the promises it made to the Greek people – promises which by some accounts amount to over €20 billion in additional spending – or the Troika, pardon Institutions, will yank the entire deal and the Grexit can then commence.

And that’s the bottom line.

It’s also the reason Schauble was gloating: because he gave the Greek government just enough rope with which to hang itself. Continue reading »

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Feb 20

Related info:

- Shots Fired: Schauble Says “Greeks Certainly Will Have A Difficult Time To Explain The Deal To Their Voters” (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):

Did anyone honestly not think the German finance minister would not have the final word?

GERMAN FINMIN SCHAEUBLE SAYS AS LONG AS THE PROGRAMME FOR GREECE ISN’T SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED THERE WILL BE NO PAYOUT
GERMAN FINMIN SCHAEUBLE SAYS ‘THE GREEKS CERTAINLY WILL HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME TO EXPLAIN THE DEAL TO THEIR VOTERS’

He’s right.

- The 330 Billion Reasons Why The Grexit “Can” Was Kicked Down The Road (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):

Perhaps this explained why Greece and The Eurogroup have (reportedly) come to an agreement to avoid an actual Grexit for 4 months. As Die Welt explains that Euro-area nations will face losses of up to EUR330bn as Greek outright government debt, ECB capital needs, and TARGET2 liabilities have soared in the last 2 years since the crisis last erupted…


Full Eurogroup Statement On Greece – Redline Comparison With Previously Rejected Statement (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):

Just out from the Eurogroup, the final statement. Bottom line: Greece caves on pretty much everything, however it has two semantics successes: the dreaded “Troika” words has been replaced with “institutions” and “current programme” has been changed to “current arrangement” – surely nobody will notice. Sarcasm aside, Greece has just kicked the can for four months. Why four months? Because that’s just ahead of the big Greek debt maturity.

Eurogroup statement on Greece

The Eurogroup reiterates its appreciation for the remarkable adjustment efforts undertaken by Greece and the Greek people over the last years. During the last few weeks, we have, together with the institutions, engaged in an intensive and constructive dialogue with the new Greek authorities and reached common ground today.

The Eurogroup notes, in the framework of the existing arrangement, the request from the Greek authorities for an extension of the Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (MFFA), which is underpinned by a set of commitments. The purpose of the extension is the successful completion of the review on the basis of the conditions in the current arrangement, making best use of the given flexibility which will be considered jointly with the Greek authorities and the institutions. This extension would also bridge the time for discussions on a possible follow-up arrangement between the Eurogroup, the institutions and Greece. Continue reading »

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Feb 20

grexit-3


From Germany’s Spiegel:

Google translation (Original article in German down below):

Im Licht der blauen Stunde
ECB headquarters in Frankfurt am Main: Simulation games for the Grexit

- Debt dispute: ECB prepares for Greek euro exit (Spiegel, Feb 20, 2015):

Still negotiating Athens and the Euro-partners about new grants. Behind the scenes alternatives are already being played: The ECB is preparing by SPIEGEL information on the Greek exit from the euro before.

Frankfurt – The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing for a Greek exit from the monetary union. To that effect, Employees by information obtained by SPIEGEL, an internal simulation games by how the rest of the euro zone could be held together.

Despite all the denials to urge the European monetary authorities the Greeks to finally introduce capital controls. According to the findings of the ECB, the Greeks have a day more than one billion euros abroad. Continue reading »

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Feb 20

- Greek Deposit Run Accelerates Ahead Of Monday’s Bank Holiday (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2015):

Official Greek deposit data began tumbling in December (outflows around EUR3bn), and accelerated in January in the run up to the Syriza election (proxied by JPMorgan at over EUR 12bn). During the last two weeks, however, the absence of ATM lines and visible bank runs has been curiously lacking as, at least on the surface, there appears to be no panic. However, as Dody Tsiantar reports, sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as EUR 25bn euros have left Greek banks since the end of December with outflows surging this week. Perhaps they are getting anxious that authorities will take Cypriot advantage of the Bank Holiday that is planned in Greece on Monday.

Greek Bank Holiday

As Dody Tsintar reports (via CNBC), Continue reading »

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Feb 19

Jack Lew

- Washington Unable To Mind Own Business: Urges Greece, EU “Tone Down Rhetoric” (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2015):

In its role as global hall monitor, Washington appears to have jabbed its nose into the Greece-EU talks:

  • *LEW SPOKE WITH SAPIN, DIJSSELBLOEM, VAROUFAKIS TODAY: OFFICIAL
  • *U.S. URGES SIDES IN GREEK TALKS TO TONE DOWN RHETORIC: OFFICIAL

Treasury Secretary Lew “urges compromise” and explains he is in touch with Eurogroup, IMF, and Greece putting the onus back on Varoufakis’ shoulders by urging them to reach a deal of face additional hardhsip.

As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »

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