Mr Tsipras, prime minister of Greece, has changed from firebrand advocate of change in the Euro and opponent of austerity into EU establishment poster boy, accepting every term of a bad deal.
His willingness to sign up for everything he once opposed is a far from reassuring sight. He says he is taking a painful but responsible approach. I see nothing responsible in what he is visiting on both Greece and the Eurozone.
Whilst Mr Tsipras and the zone have been at war over the deal, the Greek economy must have suffered further substantial damage from bank closures, loss of tourist revenue, and the inability of Greek companies to pay overseas suppliers.
In recent days and weeks, we have seen the financial and political elite of Europe humiliate Greece. The country is being destroyed before our eyes. The Greeks feel trapped, with nowhere else to go. But Britain is not trapped, and we must get out of the EU before it’s too late
When the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he does not agree with the 3rd bailout plan, but will ‘implement it anyway’, the complete capitulation of a nation is there for all to see.
The so-called Troika, which consists of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, have enforced terms which also serve as a thinly veiled threat to the rest of the EU. One has to wonder in whose interest the European superstate really is?
In recent days, we have seen the financial and political elite of Europe humiliate Greece. While it is right that debt transgressions should not be looked upon lightly, those who retain their humility would do well to remember the real origins of the crisis.
So now we know — it isn’t only the undemocratic, oligarchical EU that ignores the outcomes of referendums and presses on with its political plans regardless of what the oiks think; so do those who pose as critics of the EU, those like Syriza, which is now doing the opposite of what the Greek people asked it to.
Syriza has committed a crime against democratic politics even graver than the EU’s. For while Euro-institutions have always been relatively open about their desire to override the Greek people’s wishes in order to do what is ‘right’, Syriza presented itself as the servant of the Greek people, the pursuer of their democratically expressed desire for less, or ideally no, austerity. Yet now it has agreed to an austerity package even tougher than the one the Greek people rejected in a referendum just a week ago. The dishonesty is breathtaking, the cynicism stunning. Euro-institutions may have punched the Greek people in the face, but Syriza has done something worse: stabbed them in the back.
Who knew the Germans were Randians? The Europe crisis in general. and the acrimonious debate in Greece and Germany now sounds like it was pulled from Atlas Shrugged
“I suggested a couple of months ago that the economic turmoil in Greece and Venezuela is somewhat akin to a real-life version of Atlas Shrugged.
And I’ve also used that analogy when writing about France and Detroit.
But I’m probably not doing justice to Ayn Rand’s famous novel because Atlas Shrugged is not just about an economy that collapses under the weight of too much government regulation, intervention, and control.
I probably won’t give the right description since I’m a policy wonk rather than a philosopher, but Atlas Shrugged is also about the perils of self-sacrifice.”
If there were any questions about where the IMF stands on Greece’s debt sustainability they were answered earlier this week when an updated version of the Fund’s Greek debt sustainability analysis was “leaked” to Reuters on Tuesday morning. The document, which was made available on the Fund’s website later that day, said the country’s debt “can now only be made sustainable through relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far.” Recommendations for ameliorating the situation include “maturity extensions with grace periods up to 30 years, explicit annual transfers to the Greek budget or deep upfront haircuts.” “The choice between the various options is for Greece and its European partners to decide,” the Fund concluded.
There is no better place to contemplate ephemeral human ambition and a crumbling national economy than a ruined building. In the aftermath of Sunday’s referendum, facing national debts of more than $349 billion and a collapsing economy, Athenians have plenty of choice. They can, of course, climb up to the Parthenon, but perhaps a better choice would be the overgrown Olympic tae kwon do, beach volleyball or softball stadia or the waterless Olympic swimming pools and canoe and kayak facilities.
There, and at the majority of other arenas built for the 2004 Games, nothing remains but decay.
One day we will learn the full story of what went on at the top levels of the German government before the villenage of Greece last weekend.
We already know that the EMU accord – if that is the right word – is an economic and diplomatic fiasco of the first order. It does serious damage to the moral credibility of the EU but resolves nothing.
There is not the slightest chance that Greece will be able stabilize its debt and return to viability under the Carthaginian settlement imposed on Alexis Tsipras – after 17 hours of psychological “water-boarding”, as one EU official put it.
A children’s tea party is held in an East End street in London, to celebrate the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the First World War
There is no small amount of irony in the fact that the Greek referendum, which resulted in a resounding rejection of the terms of a fresh bailout from Greek creditors, has so spectacularly backfired. The members of the far-left Greek Syriza Party that sought a plebiscite resulting in the rejection of “austerity” hoped to cloak themselves in the legitimacy of a mandate at the polls. Instead, they have been made to accept even harsher terms from Brussels. Betrayers, Syriza must now come crawling back to their fellow Greeks on hand and knee, begging for the ratification of an even worse deal from the Greek perspective.
The big lesson the EU has “learned” from the Greek crisis is that the democratic will of the people must be suppressed even further. As Brussels crushes democracy in its birthplace, the seeds of a neo-authoritarian superstate have been definitevely sown
After around 17 hours of emergency talks in Brussels, a “deal” was finally been reached over a third bailout for Greece. According to EU President Donald Tusk, Eurozone leaders reached a “unanimous” agreement.
Yet it appears the cost for this agreement is nothing less than the surrender by the Greek government of its fiscal autonomy. Greece has been given a deadline of Wednesday to pass reform laws demanded by the Eurozone. Greek Prime Minister Tsipras has tried to stand up to the EU and has ultimately failed; the austerity he opposed in the Greek referendum has been forced upon his country with a vengeance.
The International Monetary Fund has set off a political earthquake in Europe, warning that Greece may need a full moratorium on debt payments for 30 years and perhaps even long-term subsidies to claw its way out of depression.
“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,” said the IMF in a confidential report.
Greek public debt will spiral to 200pc of GDP over the next two years, compared to 177pc in an earlier report on debt sustainability issued just two weeks ago.
The findings are explosive. The document amounts to a warning that the IMF will not take part in any EMU-led rescue package for Greece unless Germany and the EMU creditor powers finally agree to sweeping debt relief.
In order to unlock a fresh €82bn to €86bn bail-out, Greece has until Wednesday to pass laws that:
• implement VAT hikes
• cut pensions
• take steps to ensure the independence of Greece’s statistics office is maintained
• put measures in place to automatically slash spending if Greece fails to meet its targets on primary surpluses (revenue minus expenditure excluding debt servicing costs)
It has until July 22 (an extra week compared with the draft statement) to:
• overhaul its civil justice system
• implement the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) to bring bank resolution laws in line with the rest of the EU
Greek MPs will also have to stomach a move to sell off €50bn worth of Greek assets.