Greece's deputy prime minister has said the country will run out of money in six weeks unless it honours its bitterly-disputed EU bailout deal. The deputy prime minister also warned that chaos could boost the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, which won an unprecedented seven per cent of the vote, and 21 seats, in Sunday's election.
Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, Theodoros Pangalos said he was "very much afraid of what is going to happen" after Greek voters rejected the deal in elections last Sunday.
"The majority of the people voted for a very strange mental construction," he said. "We want to be in the EU and the euro, but we don't want to pay anything for the past."
That's the history of your country over the past 2500 years -- hide everything from the Emperor, King, Prime Minister or General, and yet demand everything from the state. Why is this a surprise?
The main beneficiary of the election, the hard-Left Syriza coalition, came a startling second on a promise to tear up the deal, which promises EU loans to keep massively-indebted Greece afloat, but demands crippling spending cuts in return. Germany, the principal lender, has said it will stop payments if Greece breaks its promises on spending.
Mr Pangalos warned: "There is a school of thought that says the Germans are bluffing. They need Greece and will never throw us out of the eurozone. But what will happen, which is almost certain, is they will not give us the money to pay our debts.
"We will be in wild bankruptcy, out-of-control bankruptcy. The state will not be able to pay salaries and pensions. This is not recognised by the citizens. We have got until June before we run out of money.
The Germans could well be bluffing. The German economy needs export markets or else it's SOL. The Greeks can't buy German goods unless they have money. So there you go.
"We have been spending the future for half a century. What [the anti-bailout forces] are really asking from the EU is not just to pay our bills, but also to pay for the deficit which we are still creating.
"I'm sure the Germans don't want Greece to leave the euro. What I don't know is how much they're willing to pay. It depends on the German man on the street. Is he willing to pay his taxes to save Greece? I doubt it."
The German citizen on the street? Hans, Frans, Dieter and Mustafa? I doubt they're willing to pay a pfennig. But they're not in charge...
After each of the top three parties at the election failed to form a government, Greece's president, Karolos Papoulias, will on Sunday hold last-ditch talks to cobble together a national unity coalition. The alternative is a fresh election next month which polls show Syriza is likely to win.
Mr Pangalos compared Syriza's charismatic leader, Alexis Tsipras, to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. "Are the Germans going to pay for a guy that wants to imitate Chavez?" he said. "Except that Chavez has oil, and an army."
The deputy prime minister also warned that chaos could boost the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, which won an unprecedented seven per cent of the vote, and 21 seats, in Sunday's election.
"In the places where the police voted, the fascists got 25 per cent," he said. "They are a serious threat. They have used violence already -- you don't know where it will stop.
"You know how it happened in Germany -- it started with the Jews, then the Communists, then everybody -- it could happen here. This is the country, after the Soviet Union and Germany itself, with the biggest percentage of [Second World War] casualties in its population."
If Greece isn't serious enough to want to save itself, if all it wants to do is blame others, if the only people it can turn to are socialists (bolshevik or national), then perhaps that's what the Greeks deserve. Let them spend two generations in the wilderness; then perhaps they'll behave more like Hungary or Latvia...
Mr Pangalos's Pasok, the Greek Socialist Party, lost three-quarters of its seats at the election after voters blamed it for the bailout deal and the cuts, which have caused enormous hardship but failed significantly to reduce Greece's debt.
The economy has shrunk by 8.5 per cent in the last year. More than a fifth of the population is out of work and youth unemployment is almost 54 per cent.
Pasok, together with the main conservative party, New Democracy, previously won up to four-fifths of the vote. Last week, the two established pro-bailout parties were reduced to 32 per cent between them.
The streets are calmer since the election. Though Greeks are fearful, there's also satisfaction at the blow they've dealt to their former rulers. But the casualties of the bailout are everywhere. On the pavements, junkies openly inject in the middle of the day. And what is striking about Athens beggars is how clean and well-groomed so many are: not stereotypical street-dwellers, but working and professional people deep down on their luck.
Yiannis Bournos, Syriza's European policy spokesman, told The Sunday Telegraph that Greece could afford to reject the bailout deal because European policymakers dared not risk Greece triggering a domino effect -- and a potential depression - across Europe.
"Mr Schaeuble [Germany's finance minister] is pretending to be the fearless cowboy on the radio, saying the euro is secure [against a Greek exit]. But there's no way they will kick us out," he said. "If we left the euro, the financial markets would attack Italy. If you owe 3000 euros to the bank and don't pay, they will kill you. If you owe 10 billion euros, they will do everything for you."
He criticised the deputy prime minister's remarks, saying: "Mr Pangalos is in his own sphere. When reality does not agree with him, reality has a problem. It's unbelievable to see the same representatives of the banking interests and of neoliberalism saying that nothing can change. It reminds me of religious fundamentalism. There have been so many changes in Europe in the last two weeks."
Mr Bournos said that even if the EU cut off payments the Greek government could still pay salaries and pensions from its domestic tax revenues. He said the country would seek alternative sources of financing from China, Russia and the Middle East.
The Greeks have always been willing to trade in the Soviet Russian orbit...
Left-wingers hope that the election of a new socialist president in France, together with concerns expressed in Italy and the Netherlands about the austerity package, will soften hearts in Berlin. At least in public, however, German officials continued cranking up the pressure yesterday.
"If Athens doesn't stand by its word, that is a democratic decision," said the Bundesbank chief, Jens Weidmann, in an interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "But that means the basis for further financial aid falls away."
Mr Weidmann insisted the consquences of Greece leaving the euro "would be more serious for Greece than the rest of the eurozone".
Jonathan Tepper, an economist with Variant Perception, said a debt default and Greek euro exit would happen at only moments' notice after weeks of denials by all concerned.
"To avoid immediate runs on banks, it would be done in a 'surprise' announcement over a weekend when markets and banks are closed," he said. "If necessary, Monday and Tuesday would be declared bank holidays as well."
During this period, diplomats in Athens have been told, cash machines would be turned off and all banks closed. Inside, staff would be "redenominating" euro notes into the new drachma, probably by rubber-stamping them. Capital controls would be imposed to stop Greeks transferring money out of the country electronically and border checks would be reinstated to prevent them taking out unstamped euros in suitcases.
Mr Tepper is one of a growing number of economists who believe that the so-called "Grexit" might actually be better than years and years of EU-mandated misery. "In the past century, 69 countries have exited currency areas with little downward volatility," he says. "The experience of emerging-market countries, such as Argentina, Russia and the 'Asian tigers,' shows that the pain of devaluation would be brief, and rapid growth and recovery would follow."
Most economists think that a new, free-floating drachma would immediately crash by up to 50 per cent against the euro and other currencies, effectively halving the value of everyone's savings and spelling catastrophe for those on fixed incomes, like pensioners.
Most economists think that a new, free-floating drachma would immediately crash by up to 50 percent against the euro and other currencies, effectively halving the value of everyone's savings and spelling catastrophe for those on fixed incomes, like pensioners.
But, but, but isn't that the ultimate goal of all governments? The currently programme of theft creeping inflation takes so very long.
spelling catastrophe for those on fixed incomes, like pensioners.
Not to mention retired politicians, judiciary, non-attending public servants or those poor suffering denizens of the Isle of The Blind.
Greece leaving the EUro only means speculation about when the Spanish leave will commence. It makes much more sense and would be easier if Germany left the EUro. That would be ripping the Band-Aid off.
Posted by: Barbara ||
DEFENCE FORUM INDIA > MERKEL TELLS GREECE TO BACK [EU-demanded] SPENDING CUTS, OR FACE
[EuroDollar = EU?]EURO EXIT.
* CHINA DAILY FORUM > [Ex-Minister]CHRYSOHOIDUS: GREECE FACES CIVIL WAR IFF FORCED TO LEAVE EURO.
* SAME > RUSSIA TODAY - "EUROPE ON BRINK OF ARMED-REVOLUTION".
Mama Russia to save US-World + OWG-NWO + JudeoChristianity.
* TOPIX > HOLLANDE FRANCE AGENDA SIMILAR TO "OCCUPY" MOVEMENT, e.g. in USA.
Rise of SARKOLLANDE = US to begin proudly surrender like France???
* DEFENCE FORUM INDIA > WORLD BRACES FOR EURO BREAKUP.
OWG "BIRTH PAINS", but the UNO = future "Star/
Stellar" Space Socialist OWG Hospital has no Demapol, etc. to give to the Babes.
No anti-Pain drugs for the Babes, + no Milyuhns-n-Dilyuhns of Cigarette/Cigar Packs for the nervous Daddy-os to smoke.
[FRANCE-BELOVED JERRY LEWIS = "ROCK-A-BYE-BABY" END SCENE here, where super-nervous, Quintuplet Daddyo Jerry is comically smoking 00-000's of cigarettes at one time in hospital baby ward].
On a separate note, as usual it once again looks like 1960's-1970's Guam Taotamonas were on the money. as per the probs of a new EU that didn't even exist yet back then. THE US IS NOT IMMUNE AS PER OWG NAU.
Maybe you are confusing LS, with Solyndra, Ener1, Beacon Power Corp, EnerDel, SpectraWatt, or any of the other N failed or failing green crony capital bets this admin has placed. Yeah, it's hard to keep track of them all.
Posted by: Barbara ||
Barbara, they don't just dream of that
Posted by: European Conservative ||
Too true, EC. :-(
Posted by: Barbara ||
phil_b: It does interfere. No GPS receiver filter can be sharp enough that the front end of the GPS receiver doesn't get overloaded by adjacent strong signals. The LS spectrum was reserved for low power satellite signals and LS wanted to use many more and far more powerful transmitters in that spectrum.
Falcone forgot that you can't legislate the laws of physics.
Posted by: Aussie Mike ||
President Obama has wound down America's war in Iraq, ordered the operation that killed Osama bin Laden and set in motion the end of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan. All by himself!
He also has focused particular attention on veterans and military families, increasing funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs, implementing the post-Sept. 11 G.I. Bill and launching job programs for returning troops.
As he gears up his reelection effort, Obama is trying to use that record, and especially his emphasis on the home front, to win the political support of veterans and military families in a handful of important swing states.
Republicans have long defined themselves in part on their hawkish stance on national security issues and their popularity among the military and veterans. But the makeup of the nation's armed forces is changing, and Obama hopes to win over veterans by appealing to the same subgroups that propelled him to victory in 2008: women, minorities and young people.
"There's a different face of the American veteran now," said Lauren Zapf, 30, a Navy chic veteran who served in the Persian Gulf and who spoke recently at a gathering in Northern Virginia for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine. "The president's stance on social policies, his work with military families, what he was doing with policy in both Iraq and Afghanistan -- I and both of my friends appreciate that."
I have no problem with an increase in copay, given that I prefer 2012 medicine rather than the 1970s or 1980s medicine at the time of the original commitment by both parties. However, when you add up all the bankrupt 'green' initiatives, you have to wonder if the money had been put towards existing commitments rather than for patronage rewards venture projects, how much would really be needed to offset the increase in expenses for the vets?
DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > AS FOREIGN TROOPS LEAVE, [levels of] AFGHAN REFUGEES AND POVERTY INCREASES.
Situation ascribed as similar to Afghanistan after the Soviet pullout + before the rise of the Taliban to post-Soviet/Najibullah Govt. power.IOW, IFF THE US-NATO ARE NOR CAREFUL, THEIR TROOPS WILL LEAVE IN 2014 ONLY TO HAVE TO COME BACK AGAIN DUE TO THE RETURN OF THE MILTERRS TO POWER???
As affected in Pakistan by ...
* TOPIX > PAKISTAN MAY BE DEPRIVED OF 90% OF US FUNDS, vee the introduction of Rohrabacher-led "Pakistan Terrorism Accountability" legislation before the US Congress.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > US BILL TO DEDUCT PAK AID FOR EVERY ISI-CAUSED [American Soldier] DEATH, to the tune of US$50.0Milyuhn per US Death.
* SAME > TIME FOR PAKISTAN TO "MOVE ON" OVER NATO SUPPLY LINES [+ reopen them]:SAYS FOREIGN MINISTER [Khar].
But KHAR still has to get through major internal opposition to reopening the routes.
Not the vote count from blacks, but the Enthusiam gap and the monetary gap, yes. There's a reason most of his Campaign staff is white, and it's not because they can't find any qualified minorities I bet.
Also, new campaign slogan. Obama: Too much Rainbow, not enough jobs.
Posted by: Charles ||
Any publicity for this bugger appears to be good publicity. I smell desperation.
DUESSELDORF - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany's most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies. The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.
She remains popular in Germany for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party's defeat leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.
According to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.8 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12.2 percent.
The two left-leaning parties had run a fragile minority government for the past two years under popular SPD leader Hannelore Kraft, whose decisive victory on Sunday could propel her to national prominence.
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) saw their support plunge to just 25.8 percent, down from nearly 35 percent in 2010, and the worst result in the state since World War Two.
"This is not a good evening for Merkel," said Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University. "The SPD is strengthened by this election, which will stir things up in Berlin."
The chancellor needs the support of her rivals to pass a new "fiscal compact" that is meant to anchor budget discipline across the EU. The SPD is already pressing her to delay a parliamentary vote on the pact, keen for her to commit to new growth measures beforehand. Many in her party will blame the result on regional leader Norbert Roettgen, Merkel's environment minister in Berlin, who bungled his campaign early on by refusing to commit to staying in the state in the event of a loss.
Roettgen ran on a platform of budget consolidation in a state that, with 180 billion euros in debt, is Germany's most indebted. Kraft, on the other hand, advocated a go-slowly approach to debt reduction, emphasizing the need to invest in cities, education and childcare.
In that sense, the result will be seen by some as a double defeat for Merkel. Voters in NRW not only rejected her party but also the austerity measures that she has forced on struggling southern states like Greece, Spain and Portugal.
The Free Democrats (FDP), a pro-business party that rules in coalition with Merkel's conservatives at the federal level, scored 8.6 percent to make it back into the state assembly. The party hailed the result as proof of a comeback after a collapse in support over the last three years.
The upstart Pirates, a new party that campaigns for internet freedom, continued their strong run at regional level, making it into their fourth straight state parliament, winning 7.6 percent of the vote.
NRW, a diverse state with struggling cities in the rust-belt Ruhr region and home to one third of Germany's blue-chip companies, has a history of influencing national politics. Seven years ago, a humiliating loss for then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's SPD in the state prompted him to call early elections, which he subsequently lost to Merkel.
The word "austerity" should be replaced with "responsibility". In most cases no real "austerity" is being called for. Is it considered "austere" to retire at 63 instead of 60 in the case of France or 60 instead of 50 in the case of Greece?