A Greek Tragedy

One of the more illuminating articles I’ve read on the Greece debacle comes from Harry Lambert at the NewStatesman.   The article exposes the story behind the headlines: the methods Eurogroup bankers used to force the concessions they wanted. 

The details haven’t yet been finalized, but at this point it appears the bulk of the funds Greece receives will go to repay its creditors, with most or all of the remainder going to its banks. $55 billion in Greek assets (banks, airports, infrastructure) will be escrowed to ensure its creditors are repaid (apparently for the funds they are loaning Greece to repay themselves.)

Those citizens of Greece who have suffered the most will continue to bear the brunt of onerous austerity measures.  Those who caused the global financial crisis in the first place will continue to avoid any repercussions.

For anyone wondering what’s really happening in the eurozone — coming soon to your sovereign (for now) country — I strongly recommend taking the time to read the entire article and the full transcript.  It’s a rare opportunity to peek behind the curtains.



Exclusive: Yanis Varoufakis opens up about his five month battle to save Greece


Yanis Varoufakis says this deal “will be worse”. Photo: Getty

In his first interveiw since resigning, Greece’s former Finance Minister says the Eurogroup is “completely and utterly” controlled by Germany, Greece was “set up” and last week’s referendum was wasted.

A few highlights:

“This country must stop extending and pretending, we must stop taking on new loans pretending that we’ve solved the problem, when we haven’t; when we have made our debt even less sustainable on condition of further austerity that even further shrinks the economy; and shifts the burden further onto the have-nots, creating a humanitarian crisis.”

“The other side insisted on a ‘comprehensive agreement’, which meant they wanted to talk about everything. My interpretation is that when you want to talk about everything, you don’t want to talk about anything.” But a comprehensive agreement was impossible. “There were absolutely no [new] positions put forward on anything by them.”

“…there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on, to make sure it’s logically coherent, and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply.”

“What we have is a non-existent group [the Eurogroup] that has the greatest power to determine the lives of Europeans. It’s not answerable to anyone, given it doesn’t exist in law; no minutes are kept; and it’s confidential. No citizen ever knows what is said within . . . These are decisions of almost life and death, and no member has to answer to anybody.”

The entire article, along with a link to the transcript of the interview with Varoufakis, may be found HERE



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