Connect with us

Latest

Hellenic Insider

Greece

In essence, Greeece has submitted the same proposal that Greeks voted against last Sunday

Athens has submitted a loan proposal that looks like the Juncker proposal the Greek people rejected a last Sunday.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

0 Views

Post originally appeared on Zerohedge.

“We got a mandate to bring a better deal than the ultimatum that the Eurogroup gave us, but certainly not given a mandate to take Greece out of the eurozone,” Greek PM Alexis Tsipras reportedly told Syriza lawmakers on Friday, underscoring the fact that his government’s mandate is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to achieve.

As detailed Thursday evening, the proposal (or, the “thorough piece of text” as Jeroen Dijsselbloem called it) submitted by Tsipras looks quite a bit like the proposal the Greek people rejected at Tsipras’ urging last Sunday. Here are the basics:

The broad strokes: a 3 year, €53.5 billion bailout program, including €35 billion of growth measures, lasting through June 30, 2018 requesting funds from the ESM, seeking to finally put the IMF off to the side. The program is heavy on revenue promises and lite on actual spending cuts. Greece hopes to achieve a 1% primary budget surplus in 2015, rising to 2%, 3%, and 3.5% by 2018, all of which are now impossible due to the total collapse of the economy in the past week. Among the tax reform will be a modest increase in corporate tax from 26% to 28%. The changes to the VAT system are as noted previously, keeping the VAT on hotels at 13% but raising it to 23% for restaurants; Greece also promises to eliminate discounts on islands, starting with the islands with higher incomes and which are the most popular tourist destinations. Create strong disincentives to early retirement, incur penalties for early withdrawals, make all supplementary pension funds financed by own contributions; and so on. Greece will seek to “gradually phase out the solidarity grant (EKAS) for all pensioners by end-December 2019” – who will be impacted and when: “the top 20% of beneficiaries in March 2016.” In other words another 9 months of non real action. Greece will also “freeze monthly guaranteed contributory pension limits in nominal terms until 2021.”

Reactions from Europe and from Syriza itself have been largely predictable. As mentioned above, Dijsselbloem is lukewarm, French President Francois Hollande called the proposal “serious and credible”, Italian PM Matteo Renzi is “more optimistic than [he] was in the past,” while Germany is, to use Bloomberg’s words “reserving judgement.”

On person who is not “reserving judgement” however is Greek Energy Minister and far-left leader Panagiotis Lafazanis. “The proposals are not compatible with the Syriza programme,” he told Reuters on Friday. On Thursday, in the course of detailing Greece’s €2 billion energy partnership with Russia, Lafazanis said the referendum “no vote “must not become a humiliating ‘yes’.” 

While the Eurogroup will convene on Saturday to consider whether to go ahead with the deal, the first hurdle is the Greek parliament where Tsipras is set to use what Deutsche Bank calls an “unusual political move” to give the proposal a better chance of passing next week. Here’s Deutsche Bank with more:

In the meantime, the Greek PM has initiated the domestic approval process as well. In an unusual political move, he has submitted a one-page legislative proposal requesting emergency parliamentary authorization to negotiate the final terms of the agreement. He has published the government’s proposal at the same time, but is not calling for parliament to vote upon the actual measures. In principle such authority is not required. In practice, the strategy aims at consolidating the SYRIZA party’s parliamentary base ahead of a likely vote to approve the measures next week. On the positive side, pre-emptive parliamentary support will make it more difficult for SYRIZA MPs to reject an agreement after it comes to parliament. On the negative side, the PM will also have an authority to reject an agreement if he so decides.

The opposition’s stance to this strategy remains to be seen, but it will be the support of the government’s parliamentary majority that will be the most important today. The PM will meet with SYRIZA parliamentarians at 6am London time. A full parliamentary vote will take place later in the evening. Approval will provide negotiating space to the PM, increasing credibility with the Europeans and the odds of passage in a subsequent parliamentary vote next week.

In other words, it appears as though Tsipras is looking to back the Syriza hardliners into a corner. The argument appears to go something like this: voting on the actual proposals would be largely pointless as Europe hasn’t approved them, so let’s vote on whether I have the authority to negotiate the measures, but if you say “yes” to that, and I agree to a deal this weekend, then I can then come back to you and say “well, you gave me the authority to negotiate and I decided to accept so now you pretty much have to approve this.” This strategy has the added benefit of allowing Tsipras to tell Europe that the Greek parliament voted “yes” even though in reality they did not vote on the actual deal. You have to love politics.

As for “debt sustainability” (i.e. that small issue which the IMF brought up three days before the referendum and effectively won the vote for Tsipras and the “no” crowd), that will be considered later apparently. From Bloomberg:

Debt sustainability is a central part of discussions in the Euro Working Group and the Eurogroup of euro-area finance ministers, EU official says.

Assessment of Greece’s financing requirements will also form part of analysis, official tells reporters in Brussels.

First, prior actions will be discussed, then financing, then debt sustainability — but they are all linked, official says.

They may be “all linked” but Germany still isn’t biting — or at least not on the idea of a “classic haircut.” Here’s the Irish Times:

The Greek government received a boost on Thursday, after European Council President Donald Tusk said that a “realistic proposal from Athens” should be matched by “realistic proposal from creditors on debt sustainability”.
His unexpected comments – the first from a senior EU figure – followed a phone conversation with Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

Senior officials representing the 19 euro zone member states will consider Greece’s new reform plan on Friday, ahead of a scheduled eurogroup meeting of finance ministers in Brussels on Saturday.

Mr Tusk’s intervention follows renewed calls from IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Wednesday that Greece’s debt burden should be addressed.

US treasury secretary Jack Lew also intervened to call for debt relief for Greece.

In a sign that Berlin could be open to the idea of debt relief, German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble said the issue could be discussed over the coming days, though he hinted that the impact of any measures would be minimal. “The room for manoeuvre through debt reprofiling or restructuring is very small,” he said.

German chancellor Angela Merkel also explicitly ruled out a debt writedown for Greece. “I have said that a classic haircut is out of the question for me and that hasn’t changed between today and yesterday,” she said, echoing comments she made on Tuesday in Brussels.

Speaking within hours of Mr Tusk’s comments, she said that Greece’s debt sustainability had already been addressed under previous bailouts.

So, just as we said: Germany and the US are now at odds over a Greek debt writedown.

Ultimately, Tspiras has submitted the same proposal that Greeks, at his behest, voted against last weekend. The PM will use a shrewd political maneuver to secure parliamentary support and new FinMin Euclid Tsakalotos will attempt to close the deal on Saturday. And although that would mean selling Greek “no” voters down the river, it’s once again a nearly impossible choice because as Bloomberg reports, citing Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, the ECB “will terminate emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greece as of 6am on Monday morning if Greek reform proposals are deemed too light and if Greece is unwilling to cooperate with withdrawal from the euro zone.”

Here’s Commerzbank’s Markus Koch summing things up: “The ‘No’ in the referendum appears to be turning into a ‘Yes’ from Tsipras.”

Sorry Panagiotis Lafazanis. Maybe there’s a cabinet position open in Moscow.

So much for “hope”…

Hope

References:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-10/tsipras-sells-out-referendum-no-vote-ahead-weekend-deadline

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending