Greece Must Repay Debt, European Officials Say

Election results. Syriza has been forced to form a coalition with another small party that also opposes the austerity program.

The new Greek administration will have to repay the country’s debt, which is ultimately owed to taxpayers in the eurozone, even though talks on a debt maturity extension are possible, European officials said Monday.

Both European Central Bank executive board member Benoît Coeuré and Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said they wouldn’t write off any loans issued to Greece following the victory in elections on Sunday by radical left party Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras…

…The European Union’s institutions are eager to talk and cooperate with Greece, he added.

Mr. Tsipras had staked his campaign on resistance to austerity measures that include budget cuts and tax increases demanded in return for a EUR240 billion ($269 billion) bailout.

Greece owes around EUR40 billion to France and EUR60 billion to Germany, Mr. Coeuré said. “The debt is owed to taxpayers, not speculators or financial markets, canceling that debt would be a EUR240 billion gift to Greece,” he said…

More on Tsipras from The Daily Mail:

He has pledged to renegotiate Greece’s €240billion bailout deal – and reverse many of the reforms that EU creditors demanded in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010…

…The 40-year-old was sworn in this afternoon, making him the youngest Greek Prime Minister for more than 150 years.

He lives with his partner, Betty Batziana, an electrical and computer engineer, with their two boys – Phoebus and Orpheus – in an apartment block in Kypseli, a modest, working-class area of Athens.

Their youngest son’s middle name is Ernesto – a tribute to Che Guevara, one of Mr Tsipras’s idols.

From The Financial Times:

Syriza promised to provide free electricity and meals for impoverished households and free medical care for the uninsured.

The Syriza leader was sworn in as prime minister by President Karolos Papoulias on Monday afternoon, taking a civil oath as a self-avowed atheist rather than holding a bible, and was given three days to form a government. A party official said the cabinet might be announced on Monday evening.

More coverage: Greece: vote, Golden Dawn third, the black shade stays on

Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe

What’s the Eurocrats’ real fear? Greece quits and thrives

Syriza stood up to the money men – the UK left must do the same (Guardian)

Three Turks from Syriza party secure parliamentary seats in Greek elections: Three members of the Turkish minority community in Western Thrace have been elected to the Greek parliament, representing the far-left Syriza party that swept the elections on Jan. 25.

While two Greeks of Turkish descent, Mustafa Mustafa and Ayhan Karayusuf, managed to enter parliament from the leftist ranks by earning the most votes in Komotini, another Turkish candidate, Hüsyein Zeybek, won the elections in another Western Thracian province, Xanthi.

Finally, an article from 2010: Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt

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  • Billy Bob Thornton

    Sounds like the same kind of nonsense that Christine Lagarde said when she stated that all debts are sacrosanct and must be paid and it doesn’t matter if some or most was caused by fraud. What she fails to realize is that debts can be brought on by fraud and colluding. Don’t forget about taking on all these private debts and public having to bail out private institutions. Those are odious debts. That is what the EU has to realize and if they don’t it is a Ponzi scheme to make certain people wealthy at the expense of most citizens and therefore it is a corporatist model like the one in the US. In the US, debt is rampant due to colluding, corruption, the two-party dictatorship and the fact that the system really has no way of checking what truly goes on. The people are busy and in the dark. Debt-based systems usually are ponzi schemes.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      Which is why governments have to either make the currency value based or nationalize. I was never ever big on private banks managing our money supply. Monetary freedom means that your public currency must be managed as a public utility so as to not go easily into debt and that is what modern-day capitalists refuse to understand.

    • Frau Katze

      Underlying this EU sentiment is that there no support in Germany (who effectively run the Eurozone) for writing off the debt.

      (The UK did join the Eurozone). The EU were idiots to take Greece in the first place. Typical leftist dreamers.

  • Ron MacDonald

    Greece’s problem is the fact that most of its citizens and business cheat on their taxes, the only way the government is going to have the money it requires is for it to levy a value added tax on everything. The socialists will have no problem passing legislation authorizing a value added tax at which time the Greeks will go nuts and riot.

    • Frau Katze

      There is also massive corruption in general.

  • Revnant Dream

    Its laughable that Greece think by electing communists its debt will go away. Like voting the NDP for less taxes.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      NDP are moderate social democrats and thus capitalist and neoliberal. Mulcair is also almost identical to Trudeau’s centrist Liberal party.

      The fact is this Syriza party is left wing populist and sounds just like a social democratic party with populist elements and now they want to go and form a coalition with the right wing populist Independent Greeks party.

      Basically, the point of this past election in the past week it appears that the election was just used to get a better deal to pay off the debts.

      Communists would ban private properly and remove all capital and there would be massive unionization, democratization of workplaces, nationalization of many areas. So ya this party didn’t even mention that in their platform.

      They sound social democratic and have democratic socialist factions, but they are not far-left but left wing and more democratic socialist than social democratic.

      • Frau Katze

        I very much doubt he will try going full Communist.

      • Minicapt

        You must be chewing on magic mushrooms from the Valley of the Don.
        Or you read too much Noam “I mean what I know” Chomsky.

        Cheers

        • Billy Bob Thornton

          No I understand ideologies unlike you mainstream types who guess, assume and just engage in intimidation and refuse to have a civilized debate because the truth is once the next recession happens I wonder how the mainstream types will try to avoid taking responsibility for ruining Western societies economically. I mean they are failures. Chomsky is a liberal plant. He is unworthy of my time but I like to engage in facts and not ideology. Ideology ruins everything.

          • Billy Bob Thornton

            Also not everything fits into a left-right lexicon. I rather like the kind of nationalism that the BNP wants and the same with Golden Dawn. I also like left wing nationalism since it avoids the whole racism aspect. But no to the authoritarian neoliberal right wing everything is left/right of the mainstream aspect. I don’t care at all about the left/right mainstream dichotomy. I am anti-mainstream as they come.

          • Minicapt

            You do quite well discussing that of which you have no knowledge, and at substantial, if contorted, length.

            Cheers

    • Frau Katze

      It will interesting to see what happens.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Who cares? The Greeks can never repay what they owe and get their country to function normally at the same time. It’s not in them. Just call it a bad debt and cut them loose.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    I wonder if the new Greek government is going to angle for the next tranche of loans prior to dumping the euro.

    • Frau Katze

      It wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Brett_McS

    Think of that never-to-be-paid debt as a Stupidity Tax on the EU.

  • Good luck with that.

  • Hard Little Machine

    The far far left won and the Nazis came in third. I suspect they will all simply agree to exterminate all the Jews in Greece and get a ‘loan’ from Turkey in the exchange.