Syriza, the Troika and the ironies

Published on Michael Robert’s Blog, by blog owner, June 30, 2015.

The ‘impossible triangle’ for the Syriza government was 1) reversing austerity 2) staying the Eurozone; and 3) Syriza staying in power (see my post Syriza, the economists and the impossible triangle). The Troika prepared to break that triangle.  

What the Troika wanted was a Greek government carrying out a full programme of austerity (running a government budget surplus in the middle of a depression) and ‘structural reforms’ (ending labour rights, deregulating services and finance and privatising state assets). The previous Samaras government got bailout funds in return for such ‘conditionalities’. When Syriza wanted to change those conditions, not only did the Troika not concede, it actually tried to impose even harsher ones on Syriza … //

… There are two more ironies here. The first is that if the Greeks vote yes to the Troika package, there will be no package to agree to. The current bailout programme ends on 30 June. After that, a completely new package will have to be negotiated and the Troika is talking about the impossibility of working with Syriza. They are looking to remove Syriza from power so they can negotiate with an amenable government.

The second is that if the Greeks vote no and the Greek economy is then cut off from euro credit by the ECB and Greece defaults on all its debts, there is no actual procedure for removing a member state from the Eurozone. Under the rules, a member state must ask to leave; it cannot be ejected. This is clearly uncharted waters for Merkel, Hollande and the Euro leaders.

The criticism of the pro-Troika parties in Greece was that Tsipras is using the referendum to avoid taking the decision himself. He is hiding behind the electorate. There is some truth in this but it is not the whole truth because Syriza will campaign for a no vote.

But what if it gets it? Surely, the government must move to end this tortuous mess. It must refuse to recognise the ‘odious’ Troika debt. It must impose capital controls; it must nationalise the Greek banks; and bring the commanding heights of the economy under the control of labour. The Greek people can start to turn round this depressed economy. But the Greeks cannot do this alone; it requires the combined efforts of European labour to break the grip of capitalist forces on economic policy and investment.

In another post, I shall try and analyse the state of the Greek economy and what could be done to turn it around within a plan for Europe.

(full text, graph).


Debt crisis: Will Greece exit euro? LIVE UPDATES, on Russia Today RT, June 30, 2015;

The Bill – Germany Faces Billions in Losses If Greece Goes Bust, on Spiegel Online International, by Florian Diekmann, June 30, 2015: vast amounts of German money are at stake if Greece goes bankrupt — with liabilities as high as €84 billion. Even though that figure is a large one, it would be paid over years and dangers to the Berlin budget are limited;

No to Blackmail and to Austerity – Yes to Democracy, on transform, June 29, 2015: on 5 July, the Greek people is called to make a decision of historical importance; a decision that will not only determine the future of the country, but the future of Europe as a whole. The institutions of the Troika (International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, European Commission) are not only trying to destroy change in Greece, they are trying to undermine us all. Now is the time to raise our voices against this blackmail by the European elites;

Gleitflug ohne Benzin, die Notenbanken haben das Ruder verloren, auf KOPP ONLINE, von Markus Gärtner (seit 25 Jahren Wirtschaftsjournalist), 30. Juni 2015: Griechenland ist nicht die größte Gefahr für die schwer angeknacksten Finanzmärkte. Das schlimmste Problem ist: Die großen Notenbanken in Frankfurt, Tokyo und Washington halten das Zepter nicht mehr in der Hand. Die politische Kaste weiß aber auch nicht weiter. Die Weltwirtschaft gleicht daher einem Passagierflugzeug, dessen Piloten bewusstlos im Cockpit liegen. Wir fliegen mit Autopilot. Aber die Tanks sind leer;

Consent of the Governed, Tsipras Style (Updated), on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, June 29, 2015;

Tsipras Asking Grandma to Figure Out If Greek Debt Deal Is Fair, on Bloomberg, by Matthew CampbellJenny Paris, June 28, 2015;

Opinion: We Are Living in the Anti-Europe, on Spiegel Online International, by Dirk Kurbjuweit, June 29, 2015: The Greek crisis has destroyed an old dream about the future of Europe. The only possibility for moving the EU in the direction we were promised is a radical solution — either a Grexit or an expensive debt haircut;

Mediziner Michael Schulte-Markwort – NDR Talk Show, 18.59 min, von ARD am 28. Juni 2015 hochgeladen;

Meilenstein BPK: Naive Fragen an die Bundesregierung …, 46.24 min, von Tilo Jung am 24. Juni 2015 hochgeladen;

Jung & Naiv, Folge 234 – mit Gregor Gysi, 55.33 min, von Tilo Jung am 26. Mai 2015 hochgeladen;

Warum ein Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen richtig ist – Felix Coeln, 64.41 min, von 2malschauen am 2. Mai 2015 hochgeladen;

Marxism in the Post-Globalization Era, on Scribd, by Boris Kagarlitsky, April 13, 2015;

Greece: third world’ aid and debt, on Michael Robert’s Blog, by blog owner, Feb 21, 2015;

English: Exclusive ARD interview with Russian President Putin, 31.33 min, uploaded by ARD, Nov 17, 2014.

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