Tsipras chooses Debt Slavery
The Troika has triumphed over the Greek people.
Alexis Tsipras defied the European gods, but did not have enough guts to take the battle for freedom to the endline.
Previous governments, with the help of Goldman Sachs falsified oficial documents to allow Greece to enter the European Union, and today the Greek people are paying the price.
The Referendum where millions of Greeks gave Tsipras a mandate to crush the bankers who illegally brought indebted servitude to them became a tool for the Greek Prime Minister to accept all conditions imposed by the Troika and then some.
While the Troika had it ver clear from the beginning that they would not yield to any of Greece’s requests, Tsipras filled himself with hubris and some legitimacy after the result of the NO vote.
Now the Greek people face the condemnation of a debt that for the most part is not theirs, but that belongs to the bankers, who lent Greece money that they knew the country could not pay.
Rivers of ink have been spilled and algorithms crunched in an attempt to diagnose the problem but few point to the real cause of the problem. The cause is almost as eternal as the conequences for the Greek people. It is the 21 century version of an ancient Greek tragedy.
The wannabe hero fell as a result of a “tragic error”: him coming to power. In almost all cases the tragic failure ends up being a variant of the same theme, the pride that blinds the protagonist to its own limitations. In the case of Tsipras, he went to war with both a shield and a sword, but lacked courage.
His lack of humility and self-knowledge sealed the fate of the Greek, which may now generate a spiral of disasters which can in turn leads to destruction.
Greece in the euro was a mistake, that is no secret, but even worse than becoming part of the euro is to remain a member.
Greece’s unanimous destruction
The first to say YES to Greece’s destruction was Tsipras himself, after he accepted some of the harshest conditions in oder to get a third bailout for the German and French banks.
Greece and Europe reached an agreement Monday with Greece accepting al the conditions to receive a new round of liquidity that will in turn be transferred to its creditors.
The Greek Government will receive approximately 86 billion euros over three years, although the exact amount of the loan will be defined later.
These are the main duties imposed by the Troika on Greece:
1. In exchange for the 86 billion loan, Greece will surrender its public assets. It is the main novelty of the measures discussed at the meeting. Europe proposes to create a fund worth 50 billion euros to which Greece will transfer all assets to be privatized and whose benefits will allegedly serve to reduce its debt, among other objectives.
There is little precedent for a fund like this in Europe and it represents a kind of guarantee that requires Greece to respect the third rescue. Although in theory the instrument will be left to the Greek authorities, in practice it will be “under the supervision of European institutions”. In other words, the European banks are the new owners of every single asset that Greece adds to the private fund.
In the event that Greece defaults again, all those assets will effectively become property of the banks. The question is what are the chances that Greece defaults? It is as real as the fact that the sun will rise every morning until de end times.
2. Of the total 86 billion fund, half will go to a bank recapitalization account, an urgent measure in Greece, since its banks have been “starved” of cash by the ECB. Another 25% will supposedly serve to gradually reduce debt and 25% for productive investment projects, a last-minute concession to Greece to comply with the plan.
3. When it comes to pensions, the EU calls for “ambitious reforms to the pension system” and measures to achieve a zero deficit in the public accounts. Pensions have been one of the workhorses of the Greek strategy.
In its latest proposal Athens, accepted the whole package of the EU, which means raising the retirement age to 67 and freezing pensions until 2021. The reform will also be presented to Parliament before Wednesday night, along with four other urgent measures that the Troika demanded that Greece approved immediately as a condition to receive more debt.
4. In the labour market, the European demands include further tightening in labor laws. The partners argued for a “rigorous review” of collective bargaining, industrial policy and collective redundancies. They suggest “no return to past policies.” This will mean withdrawing negotiating power from unions and workers’ groups, ending workers’ rights and leaving the poor and the working class at the mercy of the technocrats that will take power in the Greek Executive after the Fall elections.
5. In the financial sector, Europe demanded “decisive action” in the credits at risk of default. Without help, the financial sector could rush towards bankruptcy, which is what the new measures to be adopted under the new debt program will encourage.
The agreement reached Monday sets at 7 billion euros the next installment of Greece’s debt and another payment of 5 billion euros by mid-August.
The institutions will now negotiate quickly how to establish a financing bridge that meets these needs before reaching the so-called memorandum of understanding necessary to enable the third financial bailout.
6. Regarding privatizations, the Troika want more of it. The Greek assets to be privatized include the power grid, that Athens intended to maintain under state power.
7. In the public administration area, the agreement calls for the “modernization and significant strengthening of the Greek administration”. The Government of Alexis Tsipras accepted to launch, “under the auspices of the European Commission”, a program to “depoliticize the Greek administration”. The first proposal of this project should be ready next July 20.
Tsipras talks of Grexit no more
No one would know that Alexis Tsipras had just surrendered to Troika demands by the way he spoke after closing the deal with the European bankers.
The hardness of the measures required by the partners and, above all, the approval by the Greek Parliament of these measures -before Wednesday- are threatening to trigger an immediate political crisis, given the differences between what the people in Greece wanted and what Tsipras negotiated with the Troika.
The process will move forward politically with the support of the three parties of the pro-European opposition, but, according to most sources, with a high political cost for the Executive.
“It’s a tough deal, but we made the right decision to support the country and its financial system, and, in this context, have a chance to grow, ” said a government source.
Greece needs radical reforms that benefit society and not the oligarchs protected by the previous government, but that is not what Tsipras negotiated with the bankers. “We have proved popular sovereignty, we must now work to restore national sovereignty.” However, the feeling on the street is far from being one of achievement or opportunity to grow.
“Despite the difficult measures, the Grexit already belongs to the past,” said a serious but calm Tsipras in Brussels after announcing the deal.
Speaking on public television, Labour Minister Panos Skurletis, one Tsipras’ faithful, said this morning that there will be elections, probably in the autumn.
The initial attempt to reshape immediately the Executive to replace the rogue ministers, could become a large-scale restructuring event, even in the form of a national unity government with other parties, if the measures agreed upon by Tsipras find much resistance in Parliament. Skurletis said that critics of the new indebtedness plan should also resign.
On Sunday a new hypothesis was made public that the executive would be filled with new technocrats, the same type that got Greece into the current conditions.
Panos Kamenos, defense minister and current leader of the curret political partner of Syriza expressed his disagreement with the draft agreement negotiated with the Troika and said he ignored what will be the position of 13 deputies in the parliamentary who belong to his alliance.
It is also unknown if a division is going to open in Syriza as17 of its deputies rejected, abstained or were absent from the vote of the Greek proposal to Brussels which took place at midnight on Friday.