Schlagwort-Archive: #debt

‘We underestimated their power’ – Greek government insider about the negotiations in Brussel; Mediapart, July 08, 2015

Dear all,

the following interview increases our knowledge/insight about/into the nonlegal TROIKA/”Institutions”, the Eurogroup …

The complete document is attached (pdf, 8p),the Frenche translation see:

Martin Zeis


‘We underestimated their power’: Greek government insider lifts the lid on five months of ‘humiliation’ and ‘blackmail’

In this interview with Mediapart, a senior advisor to the Greek government, who has been at the heart of the past five months of negotiations between Athens and its international creditors, reveals the details of what resembles a game of liar’s dice over the fate of a nation that has been brought to its economic and social knees. His account gives a rare and disturbing insight into the process which has led up to this week’s make-or-break deadline for reaching a bailout deal between Greece and international lenders, without which the country faces crashing out of the euro and complete bankruptcy. He describes the extraordinary bullying of Greece’s radical-left government by the creditors, including Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s direct threat to cause the collapse of the Hellenic banks if it failed to sign-up to a drastic austerity programme. “We went into a war thinking we had the same weapons as them”, he says. “We underestimated their power”.

A senior member of Greece’s negotiating team with its European creditors agreed to a meeting last week in Athens with Mediapart special correspondent Christian Salmon. Speaking on condition that his name is withheld, he detailed the history of the protracted and bitter negotiations between the radical-left Syriza government, elected in January, and international lenders for the provision of a new bailout for the debt-ridden country.

The almost two-hour interview in English took place just days before last Sunday’s referendum on the latest drastic austerity-driven bailout terms offered by the creditors, and opposed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and which were finally rejected by 61.3% of Greek voters.

While the ministerial advisor slams the stance of the international creditors, who he accuses of leading a strategy of deliberate suffocation of Greece’s finances and economy, he is also critical of some of the decisions taken by Athens. His account also throws light on the personal tensions surrounding the talks led by former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned from his post on Monday deploring “a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my ‘absence’ from its meetings”.

The advisor cites threats proffered to Varoufakis by Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem, warning he would sink Greece’s banks unless the Tsipras government bowed to the harsh deal on offer, and by German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who he says demanded: “How much money do you want to leave the euro?”

The interview follows below and over the following three pages presented in a continuous series of extracts (editor’s notes appear in italics within hard brackets): (…)

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS


Yanis VAROUFAKIS: The Euro-Summit ‘Agreement’ on Greece – annotated by Yanis Varoufakis, July 15, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis — thoughts for the post-2008 world
The Euro-Summit ‘Agreement’ on Greece – annotated by Yanis Varoufakis
Posted on July 15, 2015 by yanisv

The Euro Summit statement (or Terms of Greece’s Surrender – as it will go down in history) follows, annotated by yours truly. The original text is untouched with my notes confined to square brackets (and in red). Read and weep… [For
a pdf copy click here.]

Euro Summit Statement Brussels, 12 July 2015

The Euro Summit stresses the crucial need to rebuild trust with the Greek authorities [i.e. the Greek government must introduce
new stringent austerity directed at the weakest Greeks
that have already suffered grossly] as a pre- requisite for a possible future agreement on a new ESM programme [i.e. for a new extend-and-pretend loan].

In this context, the ownership by the Greek authorities is key [i.e. the
Syriza government must sign a declaration of having
defected to the troika’s ‘logic’],
and successful implementation should follow policy commitments.

A euro area Member State requesting financial assistance from the ESM is expected to address, wherever possible, a similar request to the IMF This is a precondition for the Eurogroup to agree on a new ESM programme. Therefore Greece will request continued IMF support (monitoring and financing) from March 2016 [i.e.
Berlin continues to believe that the Commission cannot be
trusted to ‘police’ Europe’s own ‘bailout’ programs].

Given the need to rebuild trust with Greece, the Euro Summit welcomes the commitments of the Greek authorities to legislate without delay a first set of measures [i.e. Greece must subject itself
to fiscal waterboarding, even before any financing is
These measures, taken in full prior agreement with the Institutions, will include:

By 15 July

  • the streamlining of the VAT system [i.e. making it more
    regressive, through rate rises that encourage more VAT
    and the broadening of the tax base to increase revenue [i.e. dealing a major blow at the only
    Greek growth industry – tourism].
  • upfront measures to improve long-term sustainability of the pension system as part of a comprehensive pension reform programme [i.e.
    reducing the lowest of the low of pensions, while
    ignoring that the depletion of pension funds’ capital
    due to the 2012 troika-designed PSI and the ill effects
    of low employment & undeclared paid labour].
  • the safeguarding of the full legal independence of ELSTAT [i.e. the troika
    demands complete control of the way Greece’s budget
    balance is computed, with a view to controlling fully
    the magnitude of austerity it imposes on the

full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, in particular by making the Fiscal Council operational before finalizing the MoU and introducing quasi-automatic spending cuts in case of deviations from ambitious primary surplus targets after seeking advice from the Fiscal Council and subject to prior approval of the Institutions [i.e. the Greek government, which knows
that the imposed fiscal targets will never be achieved
under the imposed austerity, must commit to further,
automated austerity as a result of the troika’s newest


Complete text see attachment (pdf, 7p) and URL:
( )

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS


Yanis VAROUFAKIS: On the Euro Summit’s Statement on Greece: First thoughts; July 14, 2015
— statement attached —

Yanis Varoufakis — thoughts for the post-2008 world
Posted on July 14, 2015 by yanisv

On the Euro Summit’s Statement on Greece: First thoughts

In the next hours and days, I shall be sitting in Parliament to assess the legislation that is part of the recent Euro Summit agreement on Greece. I am also looking forward to hearing in person from my comrades, Alexis Tsipras and Euclid Tsakalotos, who have been through so much over the past few days. Till then, I shall reserve judgment regarding the legislation before us. Meanwhile, here are some first, impressionistic thoughts stirred up by the Euro Summit’s Statement.

A New Versailles Treaty is haunting Europe – I used that expression back in the Spring of 2010 to describe the first Greek ‘bailout’ that was being prepared at that time. If that allegory was pertinent then it is, sadly, all too germane now.
Never before has the European Union made a decision that undermines so fundamentally the project of European Integration. Europe’s leaders, in treating Alexis Tsipras and our government the way they did, dealt a decisive blow against the European project.
The project of European integration has, indeed, been fatally wounded over the past few days. And as Paul Krugman rightly says, whatever you think of Syriza, or Greece, it wasn’t the Greeks or Syriza who killed off the dream of a democratic, united Europe.
Back in 1971 Nick Kaldor, the noted Cambridge economist, had warned that forging monetary union before a political union was possible would lead not only to a failed monetary union but also to the deconstruction of the European political project. Later on, in 1999, German-British sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf also warned that economic and monetary union would split rather than unite Europe. All these years I hoped that they were wrong. Now, the powers that be in Brussels, in Berlin and in Frankfurt have conspired to prove them right.
The Euro Summit statement of yesterday morning reads like a document committing to paper Greece’s Terms of Surrender. It is meant as a statement confirming that Greece acquiesces to becoming a vassal of the Eurogroup.
The Euro Summit statement of yesterday morning has nothing to do with economics, nor with any concern for the type of reform agenda capable of lifting Greece out of its mire. It is purely and simply a manifestation of the politics of humiliation in action. Even if one loathes our government one must see that the Eurogroup’s list of demands represents a major departure from decency and reason.
The Euro Summit statement of yesterday morning signalled a complete annulment of national sovereignty, without putting in its place a supra-national, pan-European, sovereign body politic. Europeans, even those who give not a damn for Greece, ought to beware.
Much energy is expended by the media on whether the Terms of Surrender will pass through Greek Parliament, and in particular on whether MPs like myself will toe the line and vote in favour of the relevant legislation. I do not think this is the most interesting of questions. The crucial question is: Does the Greek economy stand any chance of recovery under these terms? This is the question that will preoccupy me during the Parliamentary sessions that follow in the next hours and days. The greatest worry is that even a complete surrender on our part would lead to a deepening of the never-ending crisis.
The recent Euro Summit is indeed nothing short of the culmination of a coup. In 1967 it was the tanks that foreign powers used to end Greek democracy. In my interview with Philip Adams, on ABC Radio National’s LNL, I claimed that in 2015 another coup was staged by foreign powers using, instead of tanks, Greece’s banks. Perhaps the main economic difference is that, whereas in 1967 Greece’s public property was not targeted, in 2015 the powers behind the coup demanded the handing over of all remaining public assets, so that they would be put into the servicing of our un-payble, unsustainable debt.

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

In “Secret” Report Lagarde Says Greece Will Need Massive Debt Relief; Reuters 14.07.2015

zerohedge, 14.07.2015 —

IMF Declares War On Germany: In “Secret” Report Lagarde Says Greece Will Need Massive Debt Relief

Update: Europe now looks to be in damage control mode. Here’s Reuters:


A divide between the IMF and Europe (read: Germany), regarding writedowns on Greece’s debt to the EU has been brewing for quite some time and recently returned to the international spotlight when, a few months back, the Fund indicated debt relief was a precondition for its participation in any further aid for Athens.

More recently, the IMF released a report on Greece’s debt sustainability just prior to the referendum. The timing appeared to be strategic and may have helped secure the “no” vote for Tsipras.

Unfortunately, the IMF didn’t appear to anticipate the PM’s complete capitulation and now, the subject of debt relief has again been put off, this time until Greece officially passes the new “deal” through parliament and legislates its terms.

Today, another “secret” IMF document on the sustainability of Greece’s debt burden has surfaced and not surprisingly, the Fund is once again pounding the table on a haircut. One is certainly left to wonder if the US (and its veto power) are pulling the strings behind the scenes and orchestrating “leaks” at opportune times. Here’s more from Reuters:

Greece will need debt relief far beyond what euro zone partners have been prepared to consider due to the devastation of its economy and banks in the last two weeks, a confidential study by the International Monetary Fund seen by Reuters shows.

The updated debt sustainability analysis was sent to euro zone governments late on Monday, hours after Athens and its 18 partners agreed in principle to open negotiations on a third bailout programme of up to 86 billion euros in return for tougher austerity measures and structural reforms.

“The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date – and what has been proposed by the ESM,” the IMF said, referring to the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund.

European countries would have to give Greece a 30-year grace period on servicing all its European debt, including new loans, and a very dramatic maturity extension, or else make explicit annual fiscal transfers to the Greek budget or accept “deep upfront haircuts” on their loans to Athens, the report said.

In other words, the IMF is now openly at war with Germany (and its sound money compatriots like Finland) over debt forgiveness, which futher underscores the split in Europe between the German bloc and the those who favored leniency for Greece, and, by extension, a relaxation of the doctrine of strict fiscal discipline that has dominated EU politics (in word if certainly not in deed in the periphery) since the onset of the European debt crisis.

Of course any debt haircut for Greece will only serve to embolden other periphery debtor states, especially those where Syriza sympathizers enjoy growing support ahead of elections. In short, if parties like Podemos in Spain perceive that Germany has blinked on debt relief they too will push for writedowns, something we outlined in detail after the last IMF “leak” in “Did IMF Just Open Pandora’s Box.”
(see: )


Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Yanis VAROUFAKIS: Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – pre-publication- summary (publication in: Die Zeit, 16.07.2015

Yanis Varoufakis – thoughts for the post-2008 world

Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – Article to appear in Die Zeit on Thursday 16th July 2015
Posted on July 13, 2015 by yanisv

Pre-publication summary: Five months of intense negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup never had a chance of success. Condemned to lead to impasse, their purpose was to pave the ground for what Dr Schäuble had decided was ‘optimal’ well before our government was even elected: That Greece should be eased out of the Eurozone in order to discipline member-states resisting his very specific plan for re-structuring the Eurozone.

  • This is no theory.
  • How do I know Grexit is an important part of Dr Schäuble’s plan for Europe?
  • Because he told me so!

I wrote this article not as a Greek politician critical of the German press’ denigration of our sensible proposals, of Berlin’s refusal seriously to consider our moderate debt re-profiling plan, of the European Central Bank’s highly political decision to asphyxiate our government, of the Eurogroup’s decision to give the ECB the green light to shut down our banks.

I wrote this article as a European observing the unfolding of a particular Plan for Europe – Dr Schäuble’s Plan.

And I am asking a simple question of Die Zeit’s informed readers:

  • Is this a Plan that you approve of?
  • Do you consider this Plan good for Europe?

Highlights of last Night from Brussel’s Madhouse and disciplinarian Schaeuble

The Latest Out Of Europe: “Pretty Steady Level Of Shittiness”

Moments ago, after yet another weekend in which Europe was said to have given Greece yet another “absolutely final” deadline in which to agree to deal terms, terms which now Europe can’t agree on, when after five years of recovery we found out that the Greek economy is so bad it will have to put in escrow some €50 billion in assets to preserve the ECB’s financial lifeline of its banks which just in October of 2014 passed the same ECB’s “stress test” with flying colors, we had a revelation:

zerohedge @zerohedge

We may have hit peak bullshit

1:03 AM – 13 Jul 2015

Turns out, we weren’t too far off. This is how Sky News’ Ed Conway summarized the events to date:

Ed Conway @EdConwaySky

Me: How are the talks going?

EU source: “Shitty.”

Me: “Getting more shitty or less?”

Source: “Pretty steady level of shittiness” #Greece

1:02 AM – 13 Jul 2015

So for those who still care, where do we stand now? Before answer that, here is a rather florid visual of what happened just last night, when Germany’s Schauble, seemingly pushed into a demonic fit of existential rage with Greece, decided to unilaterally tear apart the Eurozone just to teach Athens a lesson.

According to Reuters ( ), what happened during last night’s Eurogroup finmin meeting which concluded without a deal, is that in a “tough, even violent” atmosphere, in the words of one participant, after an overnight break the German and French finance chiefs, Wolfgang Schaeuble and Michel Sapin, sat down to clear the air between them before resuming on Sunday.

Schaeuble also crossed swords with ECB governor Mario Draghi, snapping at the Italian central banker “I’m not stupid!”

“It was crazy, a kindergarten,” said a source describing the overall course of nine hours of talks on Saturday among weary ministers attending their sixth emergency Eurogroup in three weeks. “Bad emotions have completely taken over.”

Schaeuble and others seemed to favour a “Grexit”, another participant said. The European Central Bank’s Draghi seemed “the strongest European” in the room, most opposed to the risky experiment of cutting Greece loose and braving Schaeuble’s ire by interrupting him during a discussion on Athens’ debt burden.

The new Greek finmin was calm, appearing resigned to whatever his country’s fate would be:

By contrast, Greek Finance Euclid Tsakalotos, appointed last week in place of the often provocative Yanis Varoufakis, seemed calm and expressed a willingness to take steps to convince creditors Athens could be trusted to implement budget and economic reform measures to unlock tens of billions of euros.

At one point a fellow minister turned to Tsakalotos and told him to ignore the rows raging around him: “Don’t worry Euclid,” he said. “It’s not your problem any more, it’s theirs.”

But while the future of Greece is now open-ended, with emotions overruling logic and certainly financial interests, the one things that will be the legacy of this weekend’s European summit is that the fissure right across the center of Europe is now plain for all to see:

“Schaeuble’s positions are irresponsible and can bring disaster,” said Gianni Pittella, an ally of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Leader of the centre-left bloc in the European Parliament, Pittella spoke at a meeting in Brussels.

That reflects something of a left-right split across Europe.

French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party issued a comradely appeal to Sigmar Gabriel, the German Social Democrat leader who sits as deputy to conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in a coalition. It said: “The peoples of Europe do not understand the increasingly hardline position taken by Germany.”

Gabriel, also in Brussels, said he aimed to keep Greece in the euro and stressed that France and Germany, traditionally the twin motors of European integration, would work together.

In Berlin and Paris, officials have played down differences in tone on Greece, stressing that Merkel and Hollande must sell their decisions to different national constituencies.

Of course, all of this is meaningless: in Europe it has always been, and always will be, Germany’s way or the autobahn. Don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, especially since it still appears confusing to all but Germany that the biggest beneficiary of the Eurozone was the German export sector.

As for almost everyone else, well… ask the Greeks.
Anyway, that was last night. Where are we now, as the European summit of leaders is currently entering 2am in the morning?
Well, some good news: outright talk of Grexit, and a 5 year “time out” appear to have dropped out of the draft.

Jarno Hartikainen @JarnoHa

#Greece was close to signing the creditors’ proposal before ideas of euro time-out and privatization fund were tabled – EU source

1:45 AM – 13 Jul 2015

Which may help Greece but it still doesn’t explain how Tsipras will pass into law the Draconian measures demanded of Greece especially since there are purely logistical hurdles which can’t be forced:

Tara Palmeri

#Greece says can’t pass legal system reforms & rules for dealing w/ bank failures by July 15, asks for week extension …

1:27 AM – 13 Jul 2015 POLITICO Europe

Futher see:

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Official: Tsipras given “mental waterboarding” over reform plans; The Guardian, 12.07.2015, 19:24 local time

Von: “Martin Zeis” <Martin.zeis>
Datum: 12. Juli 2015 21:16:56 MESZ
An: gc-special-engl%Martin.zeis
Betreff: Official: Tsipras given “mental waterboarding” over reform plans; The Guardian, 12.07.2015, 19:24 local time

The Eurogroup is going fascist — I’m po’d, Martin Zeis

The Guardian, 12.07.2015, 19:24 local time
Official: Tsipras given “mental waterboarding” over reform plans

Alexis Tsipras was given a very rough ride in his meeting with Tusk, Merkel and Hollande, our Europe editor Ian Traynor reports.

Tsipras was told that Greece will either become an effective “ward” of the eurozone, by agreeing to immediately implement swift reforms this week.
Or, it leaves the euro area and watches its banks collapse.

One official dubbed it “extensive mental waterboarding”, in an attempt to make the Greek PM fall into line.

An unpleasant image, that highlights just how far we have now fallen from those European standards of solidarity and unity.

Ian Traynor

‪#greece‪ merkel/holland session with tsipras said to resemble ‘extensive mental waterboarding’ – top official
8:14 PM – 12 Jul 2015
‪403 403 Retweets
‪77 77 favorites
Ian Traynor

‪#greece#euco tsipras’ choice – a ward of the eurozone or on yr own, banking collapse, euro-less
8:15 PM – 12 Jul 2015
‪70 70 Retweets
‪10 10 favorites


Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

The Greek “Choice”: Hand Over Sovereignty Or Take Five Year Euro “Time Out”, zerohedge, 12.07.2015

Von: “Martin Zeis” <Martin.zeis>
Datum: 12. Juli 2015 20:03:29 MESZ
An: gc-special-engl%Martin.zeis
Betreff: The Greek “Choice”: Hand Over Sovereignty Or Take Five Year Euro “Time Out”, zerohedge, 12.07.2015
zerohedge, 12.07.2015 —

The Greek “Choice”: Hand Over Sovereignty Or Take Five Year Euro “Time Out”

For those who missed today’s festivities in Brussels, here is the 30,000 foot summary: Europe has given Greece a “choice”: hand over sovereignty to Germany Europe or undergo a 5 year Grexit “time out”, which is a polite euphemism for get the hell out.

As noted earlier, here are the 12 conditions laid out as a result of the latest Eurogroup meeting, which are far more draconian than anything presented to Greece yet and which effectively require that Greece cede sovereignty to Europe, this time even without the implementation of a technocratic government.

  1. Streamlining VAT
  2. Broadening the tax base
  3. Sustainability of pension system
  4. Adopt a code of civil procedure
  5. Safeguarding of legal independence for Greece ELSTAT – the statistics office
  6. Full implementation of autmatic spending cuts
  7. Meet bank recovery and resolution directive
  8. Privatize electricity transmission grid
  9. Take decisive action on non-performing loans
  10. Ensure independence of privatization body TAIPED
  11. De-Politicize the Greek administration
  12. Return of the Troika to Athens (the paper calls them the institutions… for now)

One alternative, generously presented to Greece, is for the country to put some €50 billion of assets – the best ones – in escrow to creditors. A more polite was of putting would be a Greek secured loan. This is how the Luxembourg FinMin Pierre Gramegna laid it out:

“A few new ideas were added to the table, especially one which is very important for some member states, which is that Greece would put a portion of its assets into a company that would be more independent from Greece.”

“More independent” from Greece and “more dependent” to Berlin.

Greece would place about €50 billion of state assets into an i n d e p e n d e n t c o m p a n y. (1) Those assets could serve as collateral against aid loans, Gramegna says. “It would act as a kind of guarantee. There is great hesitation from the Greek side and now the heads of state and government have to choose.”

“It would be a company structure based in Luxembourg, which would be managed from Greece with supervision by the European Commission and by the European Investment Bank. It would remain in Greek hands but it would create more assurances if it was known that a lot of assets were in this company.”
“If one knows that the third bailout package would cost more than EU80B, one understands that countries are urging for some guarantees from Greece.”

In other words, Greece is told to set aside a quarter of its GDP for Europe to do as it sees fit, and which can be “seized” if Greece is seen as veering away from its third bailout promises again.

And since Greece has no option but to promise everything and the moon, it will surely comply hoping that it is once again allowed to promptly forget all the promises as soon as it pockets some of that €86 billion in new bailout funds just to unlock the €120 billion in deposits held hostage in Greek banks by the ECB, even if the resulting debt will push Greek debt/GDP well above 200%.

Why?Because the alternative is, and we quote… “In case no agreement could be reached, Greece should be offered swift negotiations on a time-out from the euro area, with possibly debt restructuring.”

Note m.z.
(1) The „independent company“ reminds me of the German TREUHAND, after the assassination of her first president Detlev Karsten ROHWEDDER (on April 1, 1991) dispossessing all sorts of assets of the previously incorporated German Democratic Republic for the benefit of various industrial, financial, assurance trusts and all sorts of criminals in the Federal Republic of Germany (i.e. West-Germany), since 1949 self-declaring as legal successor of the Third Reich.

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Wladimir Putin about Greece’s crisis, their fundamental problems underlieing and Russia’s capability and will of assistance; July 10, 2015

Dear all,

in the course of last months Western media suspected bad plots behind the Putin-Tsipras-meetings/conversations, which compelled Jeroen René Victor Anton Dijsselbloem, president of the EUROgroup, warning the Greek government to call enemies (!!) on (financial) support.
Follwing a statement, Wladimir Putin made about Greece’ crisis, their fundamental problems underlieing, the proceedings of the EU (institutions) and Russia’s capability and will of providing some form of assistance.

Martin Zeis
News conference by Vladimir Putin following the BRICS and SCO summits, July 10, 2015 16:20

Vladimir Putin gave a news conference following the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits in Ufa.

E x c e r p t

Question: Darya Stanislavets, RIA Novosti, Prime. Greece is going through a serious crisis. It has not yet reached an agreement with its creditors. You met with Mr Tsipras [Greek
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras] in St Petersburg and spoke to him on the telephone after the referendum. Did Athens ask Russia for financial assistance? Did Russia promise such assistance? Is Russia able and willing to provide such assistance given its own economic difficulties? Could such assistance be provided, for example, by the New Development Bank?” Also, what do you personally think about the Greek creditors’ proposals? If you were in Mr Tsipras’s shoes, would you accept or reject them?

Vladimir Putin: Russia of course can provide assistance to its partners no matter what. Despite Russia’s economic difficulties, the fundamentals of our economic situation today are such that we are in a position to do this. What’s more, we do provide it to certain countries.

Regarding Greece, we have a special relationship of spiritual kinship and religious and historical affinity with it. However, Greece is an EU country, and within the bounds of its obligations, it is conducting rather complicated negotiations with its partners in united Europe. Mr Tsipras has not asked us for any assistance. This is only natural, because the figures are too high.

We know what is on the table, and fundamental decisions have to be taken. This is not even a matter of money. It is a matter of economic development principles and the principles of resolving these problems with their partners in the foreseeable future. We have already said – I have said it in public – that of course the Greeks can be blamed for everything but if they committed violations, where was the European Commission? Why did it not correct the activity of previous Greek governments? Why did they grant bonuses and loans? Why did they allow it to keep such a low profile on taxation in certain sectors of the economy? Why were there such big subsidies for the islands? And so on and so forth. Where were they earlier? So, there is something to discuss, and the Greek government has something to argue about.

Furthermore, when one powerful currency is used in a number of countries with different levels of economic development, then the country is unable to regulate either its finances or its economic situation via currency mechanisms. Greece cannot devalue the euro, can it? It’s impossible.

It does not have this tool or the possibility of drawing more tourists, while tourism is one of Greece’s principal industries – in the context of its obligations within the Schengen zone. It has to limit its agricultural production because it has to stay within the quotas set by Brussels, and it has to limit fishing and many other things. In other words, there are limitations but there are also advantages in EU membership, related to soft loans, bonuses and so on. This, however, is the sovereign choice of the Greek leadership and the Greek people. This does not directly affect us but indirectly, of course, it affects all of Europe and Russia, despite the fact that we are not an EU member, because we have extensive trade and economic ties with Europe, while Europe is our number one trade and economic partner. Naturally, we are watching this very closely and with a certain measure of anxiety, but we still hope that the crisis will be resolved in the very near future.

Must read – Michael HUDSON: The Financial Attack on Greece: Where Do We Go From Here?; CounterPunch, July 8, 2015
The Financial Attack on Greece: Where Do We Go
From Here?
July 8, 2015
The major financial problem tearing economies apart over the past century has
stemmed more from official inter-governmental debt than with private-sector debt.
That is why the global economy today faces a similar breakdown to the Depression
years of 1929-31, when it became apparent that the volume of official inter-
government debts could not be paid. The Versailles Treaty had imposed impossibly
high reparations demands on Germany, and the United States imposed equally
destructive requirements on the Allies to use their reparations receipts to pay back
World War I arms debts to the U.S. Government. (…)


Peripheral debts: Causes, consequences and solutions:
2 July 2015

Event date: 02 Jul 15 –

The amount of public and external debts from EU peripheral countries is amongst the biggest debts in the world.

(GUE/NGL – this abbreviation stands for Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left)