Schlagwort-Archive: Yanis Varoufakis

imagining-our-shared-future Yanis Varoufakis – thoughts for the post-2008 world
Yanis Varoufakis – thoughts for the post-2008 world
Posted on March 20, 2015 by yanisv

Of Greeks and Germans: Re-imagining our shared future

Any sensible person can see how a certain video[1] has become part of something beyond a gesture. It has sparked off a kerfuffle reflecting the manner in which the 2008 banking crisis began to undermine Europe’s badly designed monetary union, turning proud nations against each other.

When, in early 2010, the Greek state lost its capacity to service its debts to French, German and Greek banks, I campaigned against the Greek government’s quest for an enormous new loan from Europe’s taxpayers. Why?
I opposed the 2010 and 2012 ‘bailout’ loans from German and other European taxpayers because:
the new loans represented not a bailout for Greece but a cynical transfer of losses from the books of the private banks to the weak shoulders of the weakest of Greek citizens. (How many of Europe’s taxpayers, who footed these loans, know that more than 90% of the €240 billion borrowed by Greece went to financial institutions, not to the Greek state or its citizens?)
it was obvious that, at a time Greece could not repay its existing loans, the austerity conditions for giving Greece the new loans would crush Greek nominal incomes, making our debt even less sustainable
the ‘bailout’ burden would, sooner or later, weigh down German and other European taxpayers once the weaker Greeks buckled under their mountainous debts (as moneyed Greeks had already shifted their deposits to Frankfurt, London etc.)
misleading peoples and Parliaments by presenting a bank bailout as an act of ‘solidarity to Greece’ would turn Germans against Greeks, Greeks against Germans and, eventually, Europe against itself.
In 2010 Greece owed not one euro to German taxpayers. We had no right to borrow from them, or from other European taxpayers, while our public debt was unsustainable. Period!
That was my ‘controversial’ point in 2010: In 2010, Greece should have borrowed not one euro before entering into debt restructuring procedures and partially defaulting to its private sector creditors.
Well before the May 2010 ‘bailout’, I urged European citizens to tell their governments not to even think of transferring private losses to them.
To no avail, of course. That transfer was effected soon after[2] with the largest taxpayer-backed loan in economic history given to the Greek state on austerity conditions that have caused Greeks to lose a quarter of their income, making it impossible to repay private and public debts, and causing a hideous humanitarian crisis.
That was then, in 2010. What should we do now, in 2015, that Greece remains in crisis and our people, the Greeks and the Germans, have, regrettably but also predictably, descended into a mutual ‘blame game’?
First, we should work towards ending the toxic ‘blame game’ and the moralising finger-pointing which benefit only the enemies of Europe.
Secondly, we need to focus on our joint interest: On how to grow and to reform Greece rapidly, so that the Greek state can best repay debts it should never have taken on while looking after its citizens as a modern European state ought to do.
In practical terms, the 20th February Eurogroup agreement offers an excellent opportunity to move forward. Let us implement it immediately, as our leaders have urged in yesterday’s informal Brussels meeting.
Looking ahead, and beyond current tensions, our joint task is to re-design Europe so that Germans and Greeks, along with all Europeans, can re-imagine our monetary union as a realm of shared prosperity.
[1] Whose showing derailed an otherwise constructive discussion on German television.
[2] First in May 2010 (€110 billion) and then again in the Spring of 2012 (another €130 billion).

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Greece „Risks Bankruptcy“ As Europe Rejects Varoufakis Payment Plan; Another Referendum Fiasco Ensues

From all sides – inwards and outside – the noose is tightend round Syriza’s neck …
Greece „Risks Bankruptcy“ As Europe Rejects Varoufakis Payment Plan;
Another Referendum Fiasco Ensues
There was one reaction by the Eurogroup following the (delayed) submission of the Greek 7-point reform proposal – which includes the brilliant idea to use foreign tourists as wired, part-time tax spies – in advance of the latest Monday finmin meeting: laughter.
Financial Times reports that the reaction from eurozone officials to the tourist plan was received with humor. They thought the proposal was hilarious and even laughed when they read it. “It’s quite hilarious, if it were not so tragic, that this is what a government in an industrialised country comes up with,” said one eurozone official involved in the talks.
There will be little laughter in cash-strapped Greece, however, if the Sunday Times is correct in its report that the „Eurogroup finance ministers are to reject radical reform proposals from Greece at a meeting in Brussels tomorrow.“
The Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will present a seven-point plan in a desperate attempt to unlock a €7.2bn (£5.2bn) cash injection — the final payment under a bailout plan agreed three years ago. According to a source close to the discussions, European officials believe Greece needs to do more “on the ground”.
As the Times concluded, Greece is hoping for a favorable response because unless the cash injection is approved, Greece faces a „full-scale default.“
Unfortunately for Greece, moments ago Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirmed the bad news, when it said that the EU commission has rejected the Greek request for speedy aid payments, cites Valdis Dombrovskis, EU commissioner for the euro. The commissioner adds that the Varoufakis letter „lacks specific enough action plan and that the reform steps must be approved by Greek parliament and be implemented.“
In other words, as we reported before, Greece is back to square minus one, where first Europe will send Troika inspectors on the ground to catch up to everything they have missed in the months they have been absent and then, and only then, does Greece have any chance of even being seriously considered for more aid.
The problem is that this will come far too late to satisfy not only the upcoming IMF payments (as a reminder these are due as follows: €350 million on March 13, €580 million on March 16 and another €350 million on March 20), but now that Greece no longer has access to the various pension and social security funding „swaps“, it may even be unable to rollover its next T-Bill maturity. As a reminder, Greece has a total of €2 billion in debt-servicing payments, including T-bill redemptions and IMF obligations coming due on Friday.
In the absence of bailout funds, Tsipras said in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine that he planned to use short-term treasury bills to cover any cash shortfall in the coming weeks. The ability of Greek banks to buy these securities is constrained by a deposit outflow and the ECB’s refusal to accept more so-called T-bills as collateral for financing the country’s lenders.
ECB President Mario Draghi poured cold water on Greek lobbying for the government to be allowed to issue more short-term debt, and for Greek banks to be permitted to buy it.
“The ECB is a rules-based, not a political institution,” and can’t provide monetary financing to governments, either directly or indirectly, “when banks bring collateral in order to buy that debt,” Draghi said on Thursday.
So with its back against the wall, and with its funds lower than ever, Greece had no choice but to resort to warnings/threats that either Europe steps up or the government will directly to the people, with another referendum.
Which led to the latest „lost in translation“ fiasco involving Greece (the latest of very many in the past few weeks), in which Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera quoted Varoufakis as saying Greece may call new elections, and hold referendum on the euro if European finance ministers reject reform proposals.
Greece, without any leverage left, was then quick to point out that it wasn’t trying to give Europe merely another ultimatum, and a Greek government official said in e-mail to reporters that Varoufakis „never said that referendum would be held on country’s euro membership.“ Instead, the referendum would be on the government’s policy. As Bloomberg adds, „Varoufakis never said or meant that the country’s membership in the euro area would be the subject of a hypothetical referendum in his interview with Corriere, the country’s finance ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Implementation an agreement extending the country’s bailout loans proceeds normally, and Greece will repay all financial obligations on time and in full, the ministry said.“
With what money? Reuters add:
Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who is now head of the main opposition party, said a referendum would be „a very bad development“ and allow the government to shrug off its responsibilities.
The now much-diminished Greek Socialist PASOK party, also in the opposition to Tsipras‘ radical left alliance, said in a statement that Varoufakis’s statement was „irresponsible, thoughtless and contradictory“.
As for the semantics of the referendum, they all boil down to the same thing: Syriza would be asking the voters to resolve two contradictory ideals: either the Greeks concede to austerity, or they agree to exiting the Eurozone. Because for Greece there no longer is a compromise, middle ground.
Sadly, there is no money either.
“I can only say that we have money to pay salaries and pensions of public employees,” Varoufakis told Corriere. “For the rest we will see.”
Still, despite all the posturing and the return of quasi-threats on both sides, the fate of Greece may now be sealed:
ECB Governing Council member Luc Coene said some comments by the Greek government have left him wondering whether the country belongs in the European economic and monetary union.
“When I hear certain declarations of the Greek government, I ask myself: ‘what are they still doing in this mechanism?’” he is quoted as saying in an interview with Belgian newspaper Le Soir.
Right about now, as the Greek deposit flight is almost certain to resume on this latest escalation in rhetoric is set to resume, Greeks are likely asking themselves the same question.
As for Syriza, its days may indeed be numbered if the following graffiti are indicative of the rapidly shifting popular mood, whose brief infatuation with the new ultra-left and „reformist“ government is now only a distant memory.
Slogans written by anarchists on the walls of ‪#Syriza’s office.
„Fascist cunts“
„Death to ‪#Syrizanel
And if indeed Syriza’s days are numbered, is Golden Dawn up next to rule the battered Eurozone member?
Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Offener Brief des griech. Finanzministers Varoufakis: Jetzt ist nicht die Zeit für Spiele in Europa

Der Offene Brief des griechischen Finanzministers Yanis Varoufakis, der in der New York Times erschien, wurde von Sabine Tobler übersetzt.
Auszüge sind unten einkopiert, der vollständige Brief ist unter der angegebenen url und im Anhang verfügbar.

Viele Grüße
Elke Schenk
globalcrisis/globalchange News

Yanis Varoufakis: Jetzt ist nicht die Zeit für Spiele in Europa
Ich schreibe dies am Rande der entscheidenden Verhandlungen mit den Gläubigern meines Landes – Verhandlungen, deren Resultat vielleicht eine ganze Generation prägen und sich gar als Wendepunkt für Europas sich entfaltendes Experiment der Währungsunion erweisen wird.
Spieltheoretiker analysieren Verhandlungen als seien sie ein Kuchenteilungsspiel mit selbstsüchtigen Spielern. …
Meine Kenntnis der Spieltheorie hat mich vielmehr davon überzeugt, dass es reine Dummheit wäre, die derzeitigen Verhandlungen zwischen Griechenland und unseren Partnern als Verhandlungspoker anzusehen, das mit Bluffs oder taktischen Täuschungsmanövern zu gewinnen ist.

Aber bei den derzeitigen Beratungen zwischen unseren
europäischen Partnern und der neuen griechischen Regierung geht es ja gerade darum, neue Beweggründe herauszubilden. Es geht darum, frische Denkweisen zu finden, die nationale
Kluften überwinden, die Unterscheidung zwischen Gläubigern und Schuldnern zugunsten einer pan-europäischen Perspektive aufweichen und das gemeinsame Wohl über die triviale
Politik stellen, über Dogmen, die sich bei universaler Anwendung als toxisch erweisen, Denkweisen, die das gemeinsame Wohl gegen eine Wir-Gegen-Sie-Einstellung verteidigen

Der große Unterschied zwischen dieser und der vorigen Regierung ist zwiefältig: Wir sind bereit, gegen mächtige Interessengruppen anzugehen, um Griechenlands Wirtschaft wieder anzukurbeln und das Vertrauen unserer Partner zurückzugewinnen. Wir sind gleichermaßen entschlossen, uns nicht als Schuldenkolonie behandeln zu lassen, die nun eben ihr Schicksal erleiden muss. Das Prinzip der größten Austerität für die am meisten rückläufige Wirtschaft wäre nur kurios, würde es nicht so viel unnötiges Leid verursachen.

Quelle: New York Times v. 16.02.15 übertragen von Sabine Tober [PDF – 74KB]Varoufakis-OffenerBrief-NYT-dtNDS2015_02_18