July 13, 2015

What sort of life would Wolfgang Schäuble have had if America behaved towards Germany, the way Germany is behaving towards Greece?

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 123 comments ·
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Did you know that the Marshall Plan for Germany after the Second World War was only introduced after the first plan (the Morgenthau plan) was abandoned because it was deemed unworkable? The first plan called The Post-Surrender Program for Germany was the one that the US and Britain wanted to implement and it centered on the complete “pastoralisation” of defeated Germany.

Once the country was divided, the Allies wanted to turn the industrial western part of the country into a giant meadow. In fact, the Nazis were aware of the plan from 1943 and Goebbels used it to try to exalt the jaded German population in the west into one last desperate feat of resistance.

The plan, implemented from the end of 1945, involved dismantling large parts of German industry and shipping it to France and the UK. The idea was that Germany should never again have the industrial power to wage war because these people couldn’t ever be trusted again.

The main areas that were to be reduced to pasture were the industrial Ruhr Valley and manufacturing cities and towns such as Freiburg im Breisga in the state of Baden-Württemberg, which in 1945 was home to the three-year-old Wolfgang Schäuble. Imagine that little boy’s later life and career had the Allies stuck to this plan?

However in 1947, Harry Truman, the US President, surveyed the wasteland of Europe and concluded that the only way this plan could work would be to remove 25 million Germans – like the Schäuble family – from Germany because otherwise these idle people wouldn’t make model peaceful citizens and these people had to do something if the world was to be kept safe from the Germans.

His enlightened vision led to the Marshall plan, which involved the Americans actually supporting and rebuilding the very German industry which produced the weapons that killed hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers a few years earlier.

In 1948, the Americans underpinned the creation of the Deutschmark, which eliminated all German domestic debt. The Americans facilitated the set up of the Bundesbank and then, in 1953, the Americans and the British oversaw the forgiveness of 50 per cent of all German external debt.

What’s more, the Allies deemed that German debt repayments could only be paid out of the German trade surplus, could never exceed 3 per cent of GDP and, in an inspired move, American contractors in Europe were obliged to buy a certain amount of industrial goods from German manufacturers to make sure that German industry recovered and that Germany had the hard currency to pay this much reduced national debt.

Ironically, the people who benefited most from these measures were Germany’s war generation who were given the chance of a clean slate. These people, like Wolfgang Schäuble, were not lumbered with the sins of their fathers and were given a chance.

Contrast this enlightened and ultimately highly successful approach to Germany’s debts and its economy with the German treatment of Greece.

The reaction to the Greek referendum last week was not to sit up and maybe listen to the Greeks but it was to engineer a run on the Greek banks. The chief baiter of Greece has been Wolfgang Schäuble, the little German boy whose life in 1947 was saved and prospects underpinned by enlightened Americans!

The Germans and their other vacuous pom-pom cheerleaders threatened the Greeks with being forced out of the euro. People panic if their savings are threatened. Threatening your nest egg is a form of aggressive financial warfare. It is a form of psychological terror because the real fear of a bank run is that you will be the last person in the queue at the ATM and every time someone takes money out, there will be a bigger chance that when you put your card in the ATM there will be nothing left. The panic is terrifying.

Contrast this nasty abuse of the average Greek via currency threats with the fact that Americans introduced and financed a stable currency for the Germans in 1947, thus eliminating a source of anxiety for the defeated German people. These were people like Wolfgang Schäuble’s mother with her three infants.

Remember this is the euro that was supposed to be irrevocable. Now it is a conditional currency. We should remember that, and that it is conditional on a set of rules that change when Germany wants them to.

The ECB acted as the executioner in chief here by strangling the Greek banks’ access to funding. As the Greek people panicked and tried to take their savings out of the banks, the ECB refused to replace the exiting money, ensuring that the banks couldn’t re-open.

Just consider this for a minute: have you ever heard of a group of peacetime countries actively trying to wreck another country’s banking system?

Have you ever heard of a central bank actively trying to make a banking system weaker not stronger?

The key mandate of a central bank is to protect the payments system of the currency it prints and the banks in that system. But here we have the ECB, in our name, destroying the average Greek business’ ability to trade. It is doing all this in an effort to turn Europe into a “creditors paradise” where all loans are made good irrespective of whether or not the loans were made responsibly or not.

No one is saying that successive Greek governments are not responsible for this mess. Countries go bankrupt slowly after years of mismanagement, but when we have bankruptcy, both the lender and borrower should pay. The latest austerity terms that the Greeks have been forced to accept today or face being ejected from the Euro will not help Greece grow. Everyone knows this.

So what is the point?

To answer this we have to consider what a crisis should be used for. You can use a crisis to do two things. The first is to identify the problems and solve them so that they don’t happen again. The second thing you can do is use the crisis to teach someone a lesson.

Germany is using this crisis to teach the Greeks a lesson. Germany knows the money is gone and will never be paid back, so it has to look tough to its electorate in order to be seen as in control. The entire Euro project has now being reduced to the politics of the next German election.

Imagine what sort of life Wolfgang Schäuble would have had if Harry Truman had taken that approach to Germany in 1947?


    • Deco

      Commentary from Yanis, concerning what is really going on.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-13/yanis-varoufakis-merkels-control-over-eurogroup-absolute-they-are-beyond-law

      [
      Varoufakis was reluctant to name individuals, but added that the governments that might have been expected to be the most sympathetic towards Greece were actually their “most energetic enemies”. He said that the “greatest nightmare” of those with large debts – the governments of countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland – “was our success”. “Were we to succeed in negotiating a better deal, that would obliterate them politically: they would have to answer to their own people why they didn’t negotiate like we were doing.”
      ]

      Think about that the next time you hear an Irish government politician talk about the current crisis.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-13/why-did-schauble-almost-use-nuclear-option-tim-geithner-explains

      Schauble threatened to create a crisis to push for more EU control over individual countries.

      The EU won the Nobel Peace Prize the other year. Ever since, there has been an increase in aggression towards the need for more control over people.

      The EU is a Frankenstein that has gone out of control.

      • McCawber

        Well maybe the Irish, Spanish and Portuguese have more pride in themselves than to go off gouging whoever they can for a free lunch.
        It took a lot of free (to the Greeks) lunches to get themselves into this mess.

    • McCawber

      Give the Greeks their debt relief and their Drachma.
      Give the Greeks their debt relief and keep them in the EZ and they’ll just re-inflate their debt bubble given half a chance.
      Comparing Germany to Greece is a nonsense.

  1. You are dead right. The Greeks never started a world war. They may have been financially irresponsible, but the Germans don’t seem to have changed their spots. They don’t have any empathy with countries in trouble. They are always the good guys (in their minds) and the others are the bad guys. So they get angry and vengeful. I heard a German spokesman on RTE yesterday (whoever he was) and he was giving a lecture to the Greeks about their bad behaviour. It is all so pompous, when you consider Greeks, old and young, losing all their savings. People who had nothing at all to do with governing the country except casting a vote every 5 years for a limited option. The oligarchy and the politicians will be alright.

  2. StephenKenny

    There was another reason that the U.S. supported rebuilding Germany: The face off with the USSR was turning into the Cold War.
    Russia has suffered an estimated 20 million dead from the invasion by Germany and, understandably, tensions ran high.

  3. Europe is faced with very unpredictable outcomes of failure to help Greece. It sends a message that Europe is weak, the euro is weak and that small countries are better off minding their own economies. The whole project could be scuppered, because those who were previously pro-Europe, myself included, are having a major rethink.

  4. John Moriarty

    Well Mrs Merkel, what have you to say for yourself?

  5. contact23

    Its all one way traffic in this bold new eu, no sanction on the greedy careless lenders?? in fact not even a mention of the reckless feckless lenders or the crooked goldman sachs that instructed and guided greece on its entry to the euro with fake manipulated debt swaps.
    solidarity my arse! goodbye to the eu project crashing on the rocks of self interest and parochial parish pump politics, and I thought we had a monopoly on that , ha!

    • McCawber

      If you are a citizen of the EU then you are one of those greedy careless lenders cos there is very little private money on the Greek debt pot.

      • Mike Lucey

        I think you may find that it was predominantly banks that gave the initial loans to Greece. The banks now appears to have passed along the loans to the various member states.

        • McCawber

          Which makes you even more careless.

          • Tony

            And this is the very attitude that allows politicians to believe they can get away with whatever nonsense they get up to.

            We vote for them, they fuck up, we sit back and point fingers at each other and they look on laughing at our “carelessness”.

  6. Irish PI

    Missing one slightly important historical fact here.The only reason Truman wanted to rebuild Germany was as a bulwark against Soviet aggression in the then emerging cold war.It was by then in the Allies intrest in having a militaryily experianced industrial nation in fighting the Soviets fighting on their home ground in a future war.Plus the Germans of that generation are generally only happy if they are in uniform,being told what to do and are building or invading somthing[And I am saying this as a half German/Irish national with a parent of that war generation] So it was quite possible that if the Morgenthau plan had been implimented a Communist take over or revolution in the farmland would have been a possibility too.No country or govt or politican rebuilds a country out of pure altruism.
    However,it doesnt excuse the squeezing of the Greeks for the sins of Frankfurt or IMF or whomever.Ultimately this is why this grand EU project is doomed,there is too much historical animosity within the EU partnerships for a Federal EU to ever work.

  7. DB4545

    It seems that the received wisdom of the EU generally and Germany specifically is to turn any Country which is an economic dissenter into an economic wasteland. The pejorative and racist view of Nazi Germany towards the Jewish people was that the Jewish people behaved like “Shylock” in the Merchant of Venice looking for their “pound of flesh”. Einsatzgruppenfuerher Merkel is now looking for her pound of flesh. If she looks at the real cost that the European project will pay for this pound of flesh she may see the reckless stupidity of her actions.

    Her former Country East Germany dissolved when insane communist theory couldn’t match market reality. Berlin’s unter den Linden(under the Linden trees) was turned into tree stumps and rubble when the thousand year reich lasted less than a decade. Europe changed forever when Martin Luther said “papal indulgences are actually complete bo**ox” and we can’t go on beggaring poor people to build opulent churches and palaces for an elite.

    How can Germans in particular think for even a moment that it makes any sense to turn a Country into an economic wasteland without generating widespread social unrest and spreading this contagion? Do these a**holes ever read and reflect on their own not very endearing history? Germany has had decisive roles in European history but usually it descends into f**ked up chaos. Their ideas seem plausible in theory but rarely in reality. For a people who’s DNA is hardwired for order they are masters at creating disorder.I respect their engineering and industrial talents but they have the social and political elan of Forrest Gump.

    DB

    • Deco

      Concerning opulent palaces for the elite, can somebody tell me why the Central Bank of Ireland are spending a fortune on a new building, considering that they are supposed to be applying AUSTERITY on Ireland.

      All they are missing is a name for the building. I have a suggestion.

      The Charles J. Haughey Central Bank of Ireland building.

      Yep. It captures the essence of the CBoI.

      Austerity is for the rest of you !!!

  8. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    From another blog;

    “Greece must fork over €50 billion in assets in exchange for the deal. By assets, I mean “airports, infrastructure, and most certainly banks.

    This represents an incredible 27% of Greek GDP. Greece, in essence, is handing over a quarter of its economy to Germany control. So much for any notion of borders, independence, or even sovereignty. Greece is now, for all extensive purposes, a German colony”

    Not a shot fired nor a single tank engine left running even on idle.

    Jawohl mein führer.

    • McCawber

      So you’d just give them the money and trust that they’d pay it back.
      I think that was tried and was an outstanding success – NOT.
      And by the way, that’s my money you’re suggesting we give them without looking for collateral. Thanks but no thanks.

  9. Deco

    Let’s imagine that Churchill won the British General Election in 1945. And let’s imagine he reformed the British economy, as he had intended until 1949 – along the lines along which West Germany remodelled it’s economy in the period after 1948, but Britain did not, resulting in the demise of British industry from the 1960s onwards.

    The answer would then be that Schauble would be a retired car assembly worker in Coventry. Probably wondering about the state of the NHS.

    Schauble is not the problem. Brussels is the problem. Brussels will agree to anything that centralizes decision making an control in Brussels.

    The German people (alongside those in NL, FI, and AT) are victims on the other half of the coin.

  10. Deco

    I find Irish media coverage of the Greek crisis hilariously funny. We are talking about Pravda who avoided telling the Irish taxpayers about the bailout, whilst many of those that were supposed to be kept in the dark, were watching the story unfold on Channel 4 News.

    The Irish institutional state has an even bigger “spendaholic” addiction than Greece, Spain, or Italy. In fact it is astounding the BS coming from the various entities of official Ireland.

    State advertising, and taxpayer owned bank advertising is bailing out the Irish media, and they are then telling us that the Greeks have a problem with public waste.

    At this stage I am thinking that having money in an Irish bank is a dangerous idea. One Nasdaq decline and it will be another banking crisis.

    Some Scandinavian economies are also highly leveraged. The most extended of all is Sweden. It is an bug in search of a windshield to quote an American commentator called John Maudlin.

  11. Deco

    The EU racket is formalizing and enabling the greatest descent into immorality and recklessness seen in generations. Consequences of EU stupidity abound. And all that Brussels can say is “there is a problem with Greece”.

    Eh, nope. There is a problem with the EU power centralization racket.

    The creditors are prisoners as much as the debtors, only they do not know it.

  12. Deco

    Greece is the FIRST “Greece”. Portugal, Italy and Belgium are close behind.

    Ireland is the FIRST “Ireland”. Spain is close behind, and is only staying out of an IMF bailout, thanks to some really funny dealings involving the ECB and the Spanish banking system. Sweden has all the fundamentals of another Irish Banking sector meltdown, thanks to absurd real estate valuations.

    This is not the end. This is merely the beginning.

    There will be more crises, over the next fifteen years. And they will be just as bad. Some might even erupt into utter chaos.

    The EU is now a massive straightjacket. A policy monopoly. The Euro will still be the default currency in countries that have their own currency, because of it’s scale. But nobody wants to be involved in the centralized decision making, and live under the blundering idiots in charge.

  13. Pat Flannery

    We have had a narrow escape. Wolfgang Schäuble almost won. But he didn’t. The miracle is that he did NOT succeed in forcing Greece out. We must now build on the wreckage he has caused. It could have been much worse. Everybody in Europe must now do what all Europeans did in 1945 — rebuild.

    Wolfgang Schäuble must be recognized and exposed for the dictator that he almost was. Greece may have many faults as we all do, but right now it is the beacon of European democracy. We can rebuild an economy, even a currency, but if we had lost democracy to Herr Schäuble and his mad ideas, we would have lost everything.

    It would have been like we had lost World War II.

    Let’s rebuild Europe with the hard democratic lessons we have learned. We should start by requiring all Germans to take basic lessons in the principles of democracy as a condition of staying in the European Union. Now that we understand the Germans better, courtesy of Herr Schäuble, we should start a German Democratic Youth Movement complete with badges and salutes the Germans have a liking for. Democracy starts with the youth.

    • McCawber

      If you really believe all of the above then go and live in Greece.
      If the rest of the EU countries followed Germany’s lead in actually working hard and living within their means then we’d all be better off and Greece wouldn’t need another bailout.

  14. DB4545

    What part of you’re not getting your money back do the EU elite not understand?

    An investor has the “opportunity” to earn a significant return on a multi million Euro investment with the following four plans:

    1. He has to hand over the cash to the boss man at a halting site in Tallaght.

    2. He has to wire transfer the cash to the cousin of the minister for energy in Lagos.

    3. He agrees to buy shares in Anglo Irish bank.

    4. He deregulates his banking sector to such an extent that banks can engage in significant capital transfers to Countries with lax “Wild West” style lack of regulation but who promise investment returns not available to Drug Cartels.

    The mindset and morality is identical even if the degree of sophistication varies. Stupid decisions were made, the money is gone forever and nobody can get it back. When Herr. Merkel & GMbH grasp that fact we’ll be able to move on.

    DB

  15. joe hack

    Greece is not Ireland!…

  16. Daithi7

    Jeez Folks,

    Let’s give over with the nazi rhetoric firstly hey!? As it’s neither relevant or palatable tbh.

    Yes, the Marshall plan certainly may have some kind of relevance, I.e. As a rebuilding of a devasted state, but references to earlier national tragedies in war,etc are just visceral noise.

  17. Deco

    The Greek people are debt serfs. We should understand this very well. So are the Irish people. Olli Rehn, proclaimed it himself, when he declared at the outset of the Troika program, that Irish taxes would have to go up. Taxes did not go up for Apple. Taxes did not go up for Eamon Gilmore’s missus selling a site to the state. Taxes did not go up for Bono.

    Taxes went up for the peasants. The Plebians are taking this in the teeth.

    Las Vegas on the Liffey, with their lobbyist in chief, an aristocrat to the point that the farmers in Meath thing he is a useless pile of fat, are not going to have to carry the can.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11736779/Greece-is-being-treated-like-a-hostile-occupied-state.html

    This is not the end of a massive process. This is the beginning. It is the beginning, because Greece is merely the beginning.

    As Constantin pointed out on his blog site, Ireland is far more indebted than Greece. So is Britain. But Britain at least has a plan. Osborne has finally realized that he is in a mad scramble to realign the UK economy to become more productive, than it has been to date. And he realised that the borrowing has to stop.

    Ireland under Noonan is in firm denial. Ireland’s plan is firmly dedicated towards saving the two absurdly named “pillar banks”. While large quantities of people have nothing to spare, official Ireland media are talking about “Cool Hibernia” straight out their collective arses, in a manner befitting Tony Blair and his madness over the Millenium.

    It is all a load of virtual nonsense. What 20 somethings do with their cash in Café En Seine (Café insane) is of no relevance to the vast majority of people. What the celebrity set do is of even less relevance.

    More people voted for a hairy cannabis liberation advocate from the West last year, than voted for any of FG’s establishment lick arses (Brian Hayes, and Peter Barry’s daughter being the most nauseating examples). Despite all the money spent on their promotion. He even trounced the only FG politician capable of answering a question without reading a prepared script.

    The official explanation is all BS.

    The problem is NOT Greece. The problem is NOT Germany. The problem is not the NL Minister for Finance. The problem is not Finnish politics.

    The problem is that the mainstream is overflowing with pretence, nuances, lies, deceit, and sheer ignorance of basic economics.

    RTE greeted the Greek referendum, with a panel on the Marion Finucane show who were nearly entirely on state benefits (the expensive kind – bailouts, state authority jobs, politicians) defending the EU, and giving out about the Greeks wasting money.

    The Irish state wastes vast sums of money.

    From top to bottom, the Irish state is an even bigger crock than Greece. We have gardai arresting prostitutes and then hiring them. That SiteServ debacle stinks to high heaven. A friend of mine in SF in the North, says that the latest debacle revealed by Mick Wallace is proof to Northern Nationalists why they hate D4 more now than the hate the Brethren.

    The response of the government is to introduce censorship on the internet, to prohibit any further market share gains in the media sector of media outfits that are revealing scandals, and to release PR statements after PR statements.

    Never mind Greece. Compared to Ireland, Greece can be fixed.

    Ireland is headed for a massive disaster. All it takes is one market crash, and the whole thing will fall apart.

    And then you will see all the idiots in Brussels who fell for the nonsense from official Ireland, and their own absurd theories on all of this get revealed for what they are – amateurs, who are not fit for their responsibilities.

    In our democratic processes, the media very effectively filters out people of ability, and promotes mediocrities. You only have to see the manner in which the media is promoting Lorraine Higgins’s bill of internet censorship. Higgins has yet to be elected to anything. And yet she can continue in the certainty that if she “delivers” something that is useful to official Ireland, then she is made.

    People, Official IRELAND STINKS.

    Watch the Nasdaq. It if nosedives, then the Irish state money grabbing entity will want to suck more out you, to lavish on those that own the system. In which case you need to be one step ahead of the gombeens.

  18. Daithi7

    So, now that we’ve got rid of all the war crime noise what has actually happened in Europe these lat few days:

    A bunch of creditor countries have agreed to loan Greece over 80bn euros on uber favorable terms.

    In exchange for this(after 2 other bail outs) these creditor countries have sought Greece reform its over generous pensions, start collecting taxes better and set up an independent statistics office so that Greek officialdom will stop lying about the state of their, well, state!!

    The main interest of these creditor countries is that Greece rebuilds herself to be a modern, economically viable, EU member, who makes a positive contribution to her citizens and the EU as a whole. And that’s it. No conspiracy, no war and no terror, just a programme for progress.

    Sure we can debate about the merits or otherwise of some of the measures but imho one cannot argue about their intent, which is for Greece`s good.

    • Deco

      What about EU officialdom lying ?

      As the current head of the EU Commission once stated – “when things get serious, you lie”. I would have thought when things got serious, they would start being honest with their predicament.

      The EU is a debt collector thug, in the service of the richest 0.1%. The rhetoric is superficial. The consequences are not.

    • Mike Lucey

      @Daithi7

      I’d like to think you are correct in your assessment but I have my doubts.

      Many Politicians assert that Goldman Sachs colluded with Greece to hide the true extent of its debt from European authorities and investors which in turn exacerbated Greek debt and helped to spawn the European sovereign debt crisis.

      I wonder is there a case for the EU to sue Goldman Sachs for its collusion and sack the incompetent EU authority heads (without pensions) that obviously did not carry out due diligence. As for the investors (initially Banks now having passed the loans on to EU citizens), these loans should revert to them with a hard luck message reading, you win some and lose some. Its the only way this group of parasites will ever learn.

      As for Greece, the authority heads and oligarchs that oversaw this mess should be chastised not the ordinary citizens of Greece.

      The Nazi occupation of Greece from 1940-44 was among the most savage – its estimated around 250,000 people died, mostly from starvation! The paid up reparations equated to 480DM per starved Greek (120M DMs in total). This was and still is an insult to the Greek nation.

      Germany firstly should be made write off their Greek debt in lieu of just long overdue war reparations to Greece. If not, the EU member states should back Greece defaulting on the German loans alone.

      Greece should then leave the Euro and be propped up financially by Germany until they get back on their feet and this should be supervised by an mutually agreed 3rd party, not Goldman Sachs! As for the remaining loans owed to other EU members, these should be stretched out over a feasible period of time that would need to be decades at least.

      What will happen? I think we will be seeing the unemployed youth of Greece kicking up a stink over the coming weeks when they understand the intended rape of their country.

      Its now looks to be a very opportune time for a possible Russia / China deal to be placed on the Greek table. I’d prefer to work under a hard deal as against being raped.

    • Daithi7

      It is interesting how many of the pub-academic-intellectual types have sprung up against you, and in not in very nice terms. You must have touched some nerve…

      Just to let you know that you are not alone!

      8-:D

      Best regards,
      Heretic

      • Daithi7

        Thanks Stanb,

        Good to see my posts evoked some responses anyway. To be fair, the respondents came from a fairly broad church. So I wouldn’t necessarily be branding those who disagree with me as anything other than disagreeing with my pov. However you’re right with 1 or 2 of them, serious over reactions due to entrenched views, or whatever, I guess.

        I, like most reasonable open minded people (not that I’m saying I’m either BTW ;)) quite like to hear the counter arguments to my pov sometimes. If nothing else it allows me to challenge my pov and subject it to some rigour. I do take exception to mistaking, distorting or even ignoring the facts however. That should be the basis for any rational discussion or debate imho. Truth is, no one knows what the future holds, or really knows what is the best way forward in complex, interdependent systems such as international economies. The truth is there are perhaps many good ways forward and also some bad ways to try to progress. But at least a solid grounding in the facts as they are, should give a sound basis for improving the odds in finding one of the better ways forward . That’s been my experience with such matters anyhow.

  19. Deco

    It will get hilariously funny, when Ireland has bailout 2.0, and the panel of millionaires being interviewed on the Marion Finucane show are talking about the need to do something about the Irish state.

    We are in the buildup phase of a rebellion. If the powers that be, continue on their current path, the ultimate destination will be a Robespierrean hell. And for many people that will be judged to be an improvement on what went on beforehand.

  20. Daithi7

    Imho, the troika did a lot of good for Ireland when they were here imho,rescuing us from primarily self imposed economic meltdown. When they left, after helping implement harsh reforms that few populist economists said would work (they were clearly wrong on this (again!!)),the 3 top to dos they highlighted were :
    1. Public sector costs &competiveness
    2. Reform of the health sector
    3. Full reform of our archaic and costly legal sector

    Since the troika has left town, Ireland has gone backwards on 1, by stupidly borrowing even more to fund already over generous public sector salaries &pensions. 2 is about as bad as ever. And there has been zero progress on 3, we’re still stuck with an unwieldy, uneconomic, woefully inefficient legal system. In short, pathetic.

    So in response to all this I have one simple request, in the next election can we get a vote for the Troika instead of our parish pump, witless, twits. If we had that option, I know who would get my vote!!!

    • Mike Lucey

      @Daithi7

      Rather than vote for the entry of the Troika to the Dáil maybe the reinstatement of our right to call for referendums might work just as well.

      ‘Restore articles 47 & 48. Give power of referendum to the people, water charges, bailouts, oil giveaway …’

      https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_people_of_Ireland_Invoke_Article_27_Dail_and_Seanad_call_for_a_referendum_on_water_charges/?pv=8

      6,172 signers so far!

      On your point ’3′, “3, we’re still stuck with an unwieldy, uneconomic, woefully inefficient legal system. In short, pathetic.” Yes I agree but only from a non legal eagle perspective. There is however a movement of lay lawyers handling their own legal cases and not making a bad job of matters in many cases. Then again all laws are written down in black and white, no need for ingenuity just hard slogging and confidence to get the job done.

  21. juniorjb

    You’re so typically Irish Daithi – you have an opinion, but it’s without substance, yet you are proud of it. I’m sure you deliver such pronouncements with great gusto, down the pub, where they belong.
    Yes. Lets just hand it all over to some other master, place all our bare-assed trust in them and wait for them to save us!

    • Daithi7

      Well junior,

      Perhaps my opinion is dictated by respective track records rather than the inaccurate supposition that you’ve said here dictates yours
      I.e. When the troika were here, there was massive progress made, our national competitiveness increased hugely, 100s of thousands of new jobs were created as a direct result and hey wonder, the nations finances began to read more like a solvent nation again.

      Since they’ve gone, one of the first things this government have done is increase already over generous & out of kilter, I public pay and pensions, thereby reducing the state’s competitiveness, which will reduce the rate of fdi and job creation and hence will retard Ireland’s fiscal performance now and into the future. This is exactly the opposite of what Ireland needs to do to get herself fully functioning again, yet it is what this government has done.

      That’s tragic, in a very Shakespearean sense. Our over entitled public sector unions have now already been allowed to hamper the Irish recovery, they would wreck it completely unless we get strong government. So yes, in that sense I’d prefer the troika than Irish politicians voting for extra benefits for themselves and the rest of the public sector and then coming out to ask ex ministers to refuse their pension increases. I mean who exactly are they trying to kid here. Down with this sort of nonsense.

      • juniorjb

        And you’ve examined all these statements of yours and verified them against the competing accounts and analyses of the statistics they are based on? Or have you perchance cobbled together a bunch of soundbites floating about the chattersphere of daily Irish political discourse, selected according to subjective appeal and ease of adaptability to whatever social grouping you find yourself in? I wouldn’t want to offend by referencing the perennial political illiteracy of the Irish professional classes, who tend to believe that their basic competence in more-or-less glorified clerical proceduralism is enough in itself to justify eschewing deliberation, study and critical thinking in adopting their political beliefs. It was the public service what done it! (Not that I’m any fan of the insider dealing that goes on there.)

      • juniorjb

        “the inaccurate supposition that you’ve said here dictates yours” BTW Daithi, I didn’t say, nor did I give my opinion. But then, to have spotted that you’d have to be able to read and follow a whole three sentences accurately without inserting your own imaginings.

        • Daithi7

          Junior,
          So sorry to have to correct you on the facts again, you wrote:

          ‘ I’m sure you deliver such pronouncements with great gusto, down the pub, where they belong…’

          This includes your opinion and your inaccurate supposition.

          Fact, junior, fact :)

          • juniorjb

            Jesus, Daithi, I didn’t think your pedantry extended to disputing an obviously fictional characterizaction of your arguments. I thought a serious person might be referring to a substantial position that their interlocutor might hold to: I’m hardly referencing whether you in fact do this in the pub. The point of the scenario is that your arguments display the level of shallow but nonetheless absurd self-assurance that the average pub bore ordinarily displays. The fact that you would dispute the factual status of this only shows you to be a greater fool than I’d supposed. Imagining that you touch a nerve is laughably conceited: one reacts to you because you are exemplary of what passes for the political engagement in Ireland. You don’t actually know whether what you are talking about is true in any real sense but it sounds like something you’ve heard often enough so you pick and chose the bits that suit you and cobble it all together in what passes for a political ideology for far too many voters.

      • DB4545

        Daithi7

        It sounded all so good Daithi7 the usual meaningless platitudes and buzzwords that I could read on any Official Oirland website. “100′s of thousands of new jobs” “FDI” “job creation”. I’m surprised you haven’t used the classic “going forward into the future standing up to the plate creating an entrepreneurial ecology with blue sky thinking” horseshite that one prospective female Senator tried until Vincent Browne gave it to her with both barrels. But I digress. You said strong government? An alarm just sounded in my head.Anywhere in mind? Chile under Pinochet? Mussolini perhaps? Fascism? Communism? Shinnerism? Blueshirts? Blackshirts? Brownshirts? Renua? Give us your vision for Cool Hibernia. Go on Ted.

        DB

        • Daithi7

          Db,

          Yes, as I said I would vote for the Troika of that option existed in the next election. I kid you not, they were the best governing body in Ireland since the PD/Ff coalition of 1987 imho.

          Hmmm as for our current options well tbh the options are not that great. Imho Leinster house does a very poor job giving Ireland good government. Way too many absentee teachers, too few other professions represented e.g. accountants,lawyers, engineers,nurses, docs, builders, business people, etc, etc And too few career women. So would i like to see be in the next government. Well I’m not gone on any of then tbh so I’ll start with who I wouldn’t like to see :
          No to Labour, public sector union lackies. No to SF, a liability in the making. A qualified yes to some FG people, a very selective yes to a minority of Ff people abs I like some individual independents. But truth is we lack serious politicians and statesmen and women who I feel can lead us forward. Bring back the troika :))

          • Re: Way too many absentee teachers, too few other professions represented e.g. accountants,lawyers, engineers,nurses, docs, builders, business people, etc, etc And too few career women.

            Exactly my impressions when I lived in Ireland in the 1990-ties!

            The trend now, in many countries, especially in the eastern Europe (including Germany), is to favor women in politics, since the voters there may have realized that they tend to have less political strings attached and are much less clanish than the pub-cultured and thus largely useless male politicians (I am intentionally exaggerating).

            I hope Ireland will follow this trend, it is very good for Europe!
            Heretic

          • DB4545

            Daithi7

            The Troika are not elected Daithi7 and are not accountable to the electorate. You could argue that neither are most Irish politicians and it would be difficult to disagree with you. The Troika/IMF did impose some discipline but you’re talking about an entity with people on huge tax free salaries imposing tax increases on people with very modest highly taxed salaries. As someone has already stated Apple, Bono or politicians have not been affected by austerity.

            Catherine Murphy is a breath of fresh air and has shown great personal courage in circumstances where virtually all elected representatives have stayed silent. Most other female politicians with some honourable exceptions are in some way connected to the usual political dynasties and are just the usual suspects in a dress.

            A**hole politicians who run with the Statesman line almost without exception are hiding skeletons. FG are just a more sophisticated corrupt cousin of FF. The strong government left/right variations usual polarize societies for decades at a time and have little to show for it as we see across the water. You are you’re own leader Daithi7 unless you want to accept being a serf.

            Time for me to p**s or get off the pot. I favour many more Independents and Regional government. Independents don’t seem to get bogged down in ideology and they’re usually strong characters if they’ve beaten the party machines. It’s easier to remove them and it takes a bit longer to corrupt them and the damage to society is usually less. So called strong government has financially,morally and politically bankrupted this Country time and time again.

            DB

  22. dwalsh

    Austerity = Social Engineering

    This past weekend will enter the historical record as a disaster for Greece and Europe. Democracy in Europe has suffered a significant defeat. Syriza is broken and routed; Tsipras is a spent force. The Germans won the day; but it will prove to be a Pyrrhic victory.

    The upside is the awful spectacle of the humiliation of Greece and its inevitable human costs will have begun to awaken many good-hearted people to the cold reality of the neoliberal dictatorship that is now Europe. The Fourth Reich.

    In the longer term I believe it is the neoliberal hard right that will have lost most this weekend. They went to far. They could not restrain their fury at Tsipras and Syriza; and their lust for blood showed. They will now take their vengeance on the Greek people, and the rest of Europe will look on and wonder, are we next?

    • McCawber

      Actually democracy has been reinforced.
      A bunch of so-called socialists who promised the undeliverable to their electorate to get into power were shown up for what they are.
      They have made a grim situation for their people a whole lot worse

    • McCawber

      In answer to your question.
      Our fate is in our hands and will remain their if we are as a people are prepared to grow up.
      In simple terms if we keep borrowing and spending more than we can afford then we only have to look to Greece to see where that will get us.
      It’s the people, stupid.
      When was the last time you heard an interest group saying they want less spending or a politician say No to more spending, especially the ones in opposition.

  23. I grew up in a Birmingham bombed to smithereens by the Luftwaffe, then by the ‘IRA’. My parents were baffled by the whole ‘Emergency’ propaganda thing when they fled De Valera’s utopian fantasy to drive a bus and raise kids in something approximating consensual reality. They fell in love with Birmingham and the Brummies and listened intently to the stories of the bombings of Small Heath and the conspiracy theories that Churchill and Bomber Command Harris directed the Luftwaffe to Small Heath to quell the Peaky Blinder communist/feminist/anarchist Uprisings which has smouldered through the aftermath of Flander’s Field.

    Last week I was in Utrecht for Le Grand Depart of #TDF2015. I saw the greatest art installation of the C20/C21: Kraftwerk, live at Tivoli Vredenburg. 3 times in 24 hours. Ralf Hutter was the absolute epitome of civilised Rhineland Kultur uber-mensch at 67, fluent in Dutch, German, English, French. 34 degrees heat, a city full of cyclists, design #CU2030 visioning and, quite frankly, the best weekend I’ve ever had erupted from the humid fog. But….simmering in the background like a stale fart was…Wolfgang Schäuble and Angela Merkel…they have made the most appalling error of judgement and will reap the whirlwind. Historians of this site will know I sketched all this out years ago, the Scylla/Charbydis scenario, the Das Boot arrogance and Technocratic Solutionism of unrevised Germanic Hegemonic Delusion. Now it has come to pass. Wolfgang ‘joked’ that he’d swap Greece for Puerto Rico: beware German Finance Ministers bearing jokes. As for Merkel….I’ve had fun on my Social Media piss-take feed playing with her as Dominatrix with Strap-On, but honestly, she’s gone way beyond any Goo Goo Girls master/servant scenario. Bitch Better Have My Money…but she has made a category error. I went to Univ with some of the guys in the Greek government…DO NOT FECK WITH THEM!…#ArtofWar #SunTzu If anyone thinks Tsipras has capitulated, come back and revisit that opinion in 2/3 years time when he’s burned through the 3rd and final ‘bailout’, used the Troika as a smoke-screen to challenge the Greek Oligarchy and Orthodox Church landowning ruling class and….well, let’s wait and see. If anyone thinks my mate in the leather jacket has really been banished as Punk Economist Finance Minister…read Nikos Kazantkakis. The saddest thing in all this is that Angel thinks she’s won….Bitch Better Have My Money isn’t just a Rihanna song, it’s now the Greek National Anthem. Trust me, this is War. And it’s the end of the ECB, Euro and EC. The Brits will remember every cautionary tale about the Hun and their Irish allies and..decide on whether they want to be ruled by the City Of London Anglo-Saxon elite or the Napoleonic Code of the Franco-Prussians when they vote on #BREXIT Can you guess which way they’ll vote? And as for the remnant failed state of #IrelandInc…when the 1916-2016 circus is over, there will have to be a sober reflection on what exactly it means to be Irish and what exactly the implications are for allowing the Irish elite class to join the thug-rule of Angela and Wolfgang.

    I will be in/on Santorini in a few days, viewing the aftermath from the vantage point of the post-apocalyptic caldera that was the Minoan complex civilisation before the volcano erupted. Nobody seems to realise that the German government of Angela Merkel has just broken the last firewall between Order and Chaos, between Apollo and Dionysious, between German and Greek culture. If only Angela had read my graduate thesis, which appears to be the war-plan of the Greek Goverment. Good luck, lads. Bide your time and do not expect any solidarity/subsidiarity from the Irish prison bitches. Remember,they bent and spread for Rome, Athens doesn’t need fair-weather friends. Greece will rise from these ashes, but Germany is in existential danger. And thus, invetiably, is the entire continent of Europa. For the third time in a century.You…couldn’t….make…it…up…

    best wishes
    BrummieBoy

    • McCawber

      You are deluded. Germany and it’s people are hardworking, diligent, efficient and organised.
      You would criticise them for that while the wastrel Greeks burn their way thru my money and BS on about democracy.
      It’s not democratic to take other peoples money, spend it, not pay it back and then tell the lender, sure aren’t we entitled to it after all we gave the world democracy (over 2 thousand years ago, so I’d say it’s a bit sketchy what they actually gave us).
      Merkel and her finance minister were honest enough to say to the Greeks, “You are taking the p!ss”.
      As for the EU and France, well honesty is not a word I would use to describe their political machinations which will only result in harm to everyone, including the Greeks.

  24. Adelaide

    Far from being the Storm Trooper stereotype your average Nazi was a middle-aged tradesman who voluntarily put on the uniform and furthermore historical studies show that the vast majority volunteered due to peer pressure. Your average Nazi was a coward. A complicitous windbag. A spineless conformist.
    Which brings me on to a side-note report from BBC last night which reported the “little country” leaders “cooled their heels in their delegation rooms playing computer games in between naps”. You can make your own comparison.
    Once you realize that the German Nazi was the equivalent of the Irish Gombeen you no longer fall for the sensationalism, Nazism was nothing more than industrialised Gombeenism with fancy flags and uniforms led by an opportunistic embittered little gobshite held aloft by a nation of gombeen little yes men.
    Cometh the hour cometh the Gombeen. Will Greece embrace a new Leader Gombeen?

    • For the third time in a century, German political culture is descending into psychoses, enabled and cheered on by Ireland Inc. The opportunism of 1916 came from the chaos of WW1, the opportunism of De Valera’s cozying up to Hitler wrecked the Irish economy and foisted ‘The Emergency’ onto ordinary Irish people. Now the ‘Neu Europa Emergency’ is being used as cloak and shield by the Irish elites to bail themselves out of their banking and developer debts whilst expelling their young to restructure the Irish economy as a vassal, satrapy, client-state of Germany. There is NOTHING to be proud about in the chaotic Clerical-Fascist 100 years of the First Irish Republic. When the interest rate cycle turns, ordinary Irish debt peons will be eviscerated but the Irish Neoliberal Elites of FF/FG/Labour will have safely hedged their family wealth with plays on London property and Luxembourg portfolios. Just as the Greek elites are doing. Ireland is a corrupt, failed state. So is Greece. But the corruption and failure was visited on Irish and Greek ‘culchies’ by elites, yet the poorest in both countries must pay for the egregious follies of German bankers and politician who failed to do Due Diligence before allowing Greece into the Euro so they could foist loans on Greek elites to buy German submarines for a future war with Turkey. Greece and Ireland were admitted to the Euro to reflate the moribund German economy by throwing loans at the hostage populations so they could buy German cars and allow ‘prudent’ German bankers to drop their trousers and have a financial shag-fest Lost Weekend on the Irish property market and in the Wild West of the IFSC in Dublin. As well as absurd ventures like the Olympics in Athens.Now those unrepayable loans are to be extracted by eviscerating what remains of the Greek economy in a fire-sale. Yes, Greece is a Trojan Horse in the EZ/EU project but not as commonly believed. It is NOT the fault of ordinary Greeks that the EU/EEC enabled their corrupt elites and the Trojan Horse will, surprisingly, deliver an Uprising for Democracy once the 3rd Hellenic Bailout fails and the 4th is politically undeliverable even by Frau Merkel. Beware Germans bearing gifts….

      “Varoufakis was reluctant to name individuals, but added that the governments that might have been expected to be the most sympathetic towards Greece were actually their “most energetic enemies”.

      He said that the “greatest nightmare” of those with large debts – the governments of countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland – “was our success”. “Were we to succeed in negotiating a better deal, that would obliterate them politically: they would have to answer to their own people why they didn’t negotiate like we were doing.”

      “I try and talk economics in the Eurogroup” – the club of 19 finance ministers whose countries use the Euro – “which nobody does.” I asked him what happened when he did.

      “It’s not that it didn’t go down well – 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.”

      “His conclusion was succinct. “We were set up.”

      And he was adamant about who is responsible. I asked whether German attitudes control the outlook of the Eurogroup. Varoufakis went further. “Oh completely and utterly. Not attitudes – the finance minister of Germany. It is all like a very well-tuned orchestra and he is the director.”

      “Varoufakis thinks that Merkel and Schäuble’s control over the Eurogroup is absolute, and that the group itself is beyond the law.”

      ” a lawyer turned to him and said, “Well, the Eurogroup does not exist in law, there is no treaty which has convened this group.”

      “So,” Varoufakis said, “What we have is a non-existent group 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.”

      http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/07/exclusive-yanis-varoufakis-opens-about-his-five-month-battle-save-greece

      • “Many of Germany’s leading thinkers, from Günter Grass to Jürgen Habermas, have issued similar warnings. It is not accidental that these warnings came from men old enough to remember Nazism and their country’s physical and moral post-war devastation.”

        http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/tormenting-greece-is-about-sending-a-message-that-we-are-now-in-a-new-eu-1.2283593

        • DB4545

          AndrewGMooney

          Lived there for a year in 1982 and have visited many times since. There is much in their society to admire.They’re great at infrastructure, world class engineers, machining metal and making cars. They’re cities are livable and they can run an economy for the benefit of most Germans. As we’re finding out they can run other economies also for the benefit of most Germans. They are incapable of integrating other cultural perspectives.It’s like expecting an autistic child to be able to engage in role play. Peter Hitchens outlined in his excellent article that most of continental Europe is hardwired to acceptance of authority because of their civil code legal system. I’m shocked that our political elite have decided to become their craven bitches less than a century after Independence. If they’re not destroyed at the next election this part of Ireland is heading for disaster.

          DB

  25. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/tsipras-sold-out-who-cares-the-global-economy-is-still-collapsing/

    Greece is further under water with more debt that can’t be paid.
    so is the rest of the world.
    There is no solution other than default. In the meantime Greece gives away physical assets as will we all before the final collapse.
    We are being fleeced by the banker cabal.
    BUT the deal has to be approved by all member state governments. Will this happen???

  26. “No one can read that German paper, and conclude that the EU is still meant to be an association of sovereign nation-states. These Schäuble proposals are tyrannical. They should be bitterly resisted.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11734869/Greece-must-rediscover-the-spirit-of-Marathon-to-burst-its-euro-shackles.html

  27. Russia hosted an international summit this past week in its capacity as the chairman of both BRICS and the SCO. As the author of the above-linked article from Global Research describes, the summit as an amalgamation of the BRICS, SCO and the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union in order to begin mapping out a new “Silk World Order” which will replace the Bretton Woods Treaty and the world order as governed by the U.S.-dominated IMF and World Banks.

    This a fascinating analysis of what transpired at this summit and well worth reading: The US Dollar and Bretton Woods are Finished: The BRICS/SCO Summits in Ufa Mark the Start of a “Silk World Order.”

    http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/time-is-running-out-for-the-u-s-dollar/

  28. This is why Germany had to ‘save’ Greece. If Greece would have defaulted on all that debt, Deutsche Bank would be gone already. Why are they going to such extremes? It is to save the banks.”

    http://usawatchdog.com/policy-extremes-maintain-illusion-of-stability-charles-hugh-smith/

  29. I disagree with David’s take on it and I suspect that Schäuble may be right. Germany post WWII was a totally different situation. German state ceased to exist in May 1945. The Allies were dealing with the people only, not with the institutions of a failed state. In contrast, I think that that the Greek crisis is a game played by a corrupt, and seemingly unreformable government who used the funds borrowed from German and French banks to pay themselves and their own servants lavishly, and now is trying to wiggle itself out of the obligation of doing anything at all, holding their citizens hostage!

    To make it similar to Germany 1945 you would have had to first dissolve the entire Greek government and large sections of their public institutions (those not immediately needed to serve the population), and replace it with some externally appointed but democratically-controlled interim governorship. Realistic? I doubt it.
    Stan (Heretic)

  30. The result of this, Eric, is that the Greek people remain in debtors’ prison, with little hope for release from their confinement, let alone parole. It means that every Greek citizen is responsible for €31,000 of government debt, soon to be €38,000 if the new bailout is imposed, when average income in that country is only €22,000 per person.

    http://kingworldnews.com/greek-tragedy-coming-to-a-bank-near-you-as-tsipras-sells-out-greek-people-and-keeps-them-in-debtors-prison/

    • bridestream

      What happened to post war Germany is absolutely irrelevant compared to what is happening to Greece in 2015.
      Greece politicians and public service told lies for many years and were economically unsuitable for entry into the Euro.
      They continued to deceive when they got their first two bailouts. They did not reform. They did not have a decent tax collecting system in place and still do not.
      Unfortunately for the ordinary Greek people their politicians misled and lied to them for the past 10/15 years and they are now in an unholy financial mess.
      And Ireland is expected to pony up it’s contribution to help bail out the Greeks! Crazy because we can’t afford it either.
      Without doubt the Euro experiment is a failure except perhaps for Germany? And yes, I voted YES too. Given a chance I would vote to return to the Irish Punt and tie it to GBP£ – maybe!

      • Mike Lucey

        @bridestream

        ‘Given a chance I would vote to return to the Irish Punt and tie it to GBP£ – maybe!’

        Why not go the full hog by re-entering the British Commonwealth while still retaining our relationship with the USA and at the same time develop better relationships with the BRICS?

        From what I have observed over the past 30 years the EU member states simply won’t like each other and probably never will! The EU has always been like the ‘Tower of Babel’ and we all know how that story ended!

  31. Pat Flannery

    We should all be grateful to the Greek people that they did not succumb to bullying and leave the Euro. They have stayed in the tent in order to point out and help fix serious dysfunction within that tent. The alternative is dictatorship not just in the Eurozone but throughout Europe.

    Some blame the IMF. In fact the IMF was firmly on the side of Greece but had very little input in the Eurogroup’s deliberations over Greece. It published a key report two days before the Greek referendum saying that Greek debt was unsustainable and must be written down. That gave the Germans conniptions who blamed the report for the surprise referendum result.

    Yes, the IMF has a strong global neoliberal agenda but it is the reawakening of German arrogance and its willingness to use raw economic power that is worrying many Europeans. Just as the Civil War still has a political presence in America (e.g. racism and the Confederate flag issue) bad memories of World War II are still very much alive in Europe.

    Germany dominates the management of the Eurogroup because it benefits most from having a weaker currency than it would otherwise have if it had retained the Deutschmark. It is no coincidence that Germany’s exports took off and have continued to soar ever since the creation of the Euro. That’s because the Euro undervalues German exports. This has created a dangerous trade imbalance in Europe. One country’s trade surplus is another country’s trade deficit.

    Britain’s challenge to German hegemony is the next European crisis. They and many other EU countries have been following the dictatorial behavior of Germany towards Greece with growing concern.

    The situation now is that the Euro has survived but many Europeans are awakened to the age-old German threat. While global neoliberalism is a major factor the bullying came mainly from Germany not from the IMF. The Greek crisis may have done some good in that it has exposed a dangerous situation before it is too late.

    The alternative to a common currency is ruin by speculators as happened to the Asian Tigers. The EU must adopt a common law forever banning the swapping of sovereign debt for bank debt. That is the cancer that caused the Greek crisis.

    There is much work to be done. Running for the exit is not the answer. We must remember to thank Tusk for preventing that at the crucial Eurogroup meeting over the weekend. He kept them in the room.

    We must all stay in the room.

    • Daithi7

      I’m also glad that the Greeks have decided to stay in the Euro zone for now, and to seek further assistance to get back growing again. I think this should be a good thing for Greece, the EU & the Eurozone in general and hopefully for other debtor countries such as Ireland over the medium to longer term.

      What is needed over the medium term is of course effective lobbying where in trouble debtor countries can lobby together for better terms through mechanisms such as the ESM. In order that these countries have a workable and clear path back to prosperity. To enable this to be effective we need debtor countries accounts and administrations to be transparent and above board. Imho that’s the best way of negotiating from a position of strength. Debt restructuring, targeted fiscal transfers, infrastructure supports, QE and a bunch of other coordinated measures are likely parts of any overall soluton.

      For sure this means closer European integration with all the inherent advantages and compromises that that will entail, but that is what is required for federal European union, currency union, banking union and ultimately fiscal union to work effectively. As they used to say in the Guinness ad about the hurling championship
      ` nobody said it was going to be easy `

      I guess the real question to ask is it, or will it be worth it, for me that answer is still yes, but I can understand how others would not view it as such. That’s democracy.

      • Mike Lucey

        François Hollande voiced in his Bastille Day interview,

        “Without the Franco-German couple it was not possible to find an agreement. When Germany and France are not united, Europe cannot go forward.”

        If one listens long enough to Politicians they will eventually disclose their true intentions. So it looks that as far as Hollande in concerned there will never be democracy in the EU only what France and Germany want.

        I was under the impression that it was the majority vote that decided matters. France and Germany total 167 MEPs (votes). They are short 209 MEPs (votes) for a majority but it looks like they don’t need one to decide on matters. I suppose its really a case of ‘He who pays the piper ……’

        The more I see how the EU is evolving the more I have serious doubts that it can ever be a democratic process.

      • Democracy is not a part of the EU/Eurozone.
        Bureaucrats and autocrats are.

        If you do not give the right answer the first time you will be threatened and asked the question again and again. Until the answer is correct the beatings become more severe.

  32. Pat Flannery

    http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/14/on-the-euro-summits-statement-on-greece-first-thoughts/

    Could anybody put it any better. This man has already earned his place in history.

  33. Reality Check

    How can anyone not conclude that the main players in Syriza have been bought off by the Bankers?

    Think about it!

    They have agreed to everything the bankers wanted and more!

    Leaving the EMU is the only way that Greece can get out of this mess, yet time and time again Syriza said they wanted to stay in the EMU and build up false hope attempting to get write downs on debt.

    Syriza have completely sold out on their mandate from the referendum.

    Let this serve as a lesson that it doesn’t matter who is power in this country (esp Sinn Fein) If they are not prepared to leave the EMU then they will sell out.

    • Pat Flannery

      I can see why you think that Reality Check but I must disagree. I am more inclined to share Daithi7′s POV than yours.

      If it weren’t for the EU there would still be donkey carts up and down O’Connell Street and bishops in the Dail waving their croziers. Systemic corruption thrives in Ireland despite the EU rather than because of it. It is not a government of laws it is a government of men, the very antithesis of a republic.

      The Irish are just better at pretending than the Greeks. In fact they are better at BS all around than any other nation on earth. It is part of their “charm”.

    • Bankers drive the charabanc

  34. goldbug

    THE EURO ENIGMA

    WHAT GOOD IS A EURO ->

    -> IF YOU HAVE NONE TO SPEND
    -> AND HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO SELL?

    ANS: AT LEAST THE EXCHANGE RATE IS FIXED.

    HA.

  35. Mike Lucey

    I doubt the 60%+ of the Greek people that voted against dictator imposed austerity will accept a Greek Government vote to submit to absolute slavery for generations to come.

    As George W Bush said, “Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me… You can’t get fooled again!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eKgPY1adc0A

    Let the Greek people decide the road forward for themselves. At least they will have had the satisfaction of self determination and it will be easier to live with whatever the results are.

    While talking to a friend last night and he told me he is seriously thinking of cashing out his pension that has been building over the past 30 years and buying hand held gold! One wonders!

  36. coldblow

    I was just reading about the Marshall Plan last night, by coincidence. There was immediate concern about communist take-over in Greece and Turkey and about the popularity of the Communist Parties in Italy and France.

    The Morgenthau Plan reminds me of William Petty’s proposals for Ireland towards the end of the 17th Century. This was turn the country over completely pasture, to turn it in Crotty’s phrase into a ‘cattle walk’, thereby addressing the security problem by the wholesale clearance of the Irish population elsewhere and providing a source of beef to the English market. You need far fewer people to tend cattle than you do to work the land more intensively. I think Petty’s descendants were the house of Shelburne and possibly Lansdowne.

  37. DB4545

    A few have commented that anti-nazi rhetoric is just noise. History is information with the noise filtered out. History tells us that the technical brilliance of the Germans is counterbalanced by their political autism.
    DB

  38. Adelaide

    It’s official. The New Statesman confirms Syriza never had a Grexit plan. They had previously voted down Yanis Varoufakis Grexit proposal.

    Unbeeeeeeeeeelievable!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Mike Lucey

    Just read the interview!

    This is what struck me,

    “When Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the European Council President, tried to issue the communiqué without him, Varoufakis consulted Eurogroup clerks – could Dijsselbloem exclude a member state?

    The meeting was briefly halted. After a handful of calls, a lawyer turned to him and said, “Well, the Eurogroup does not exist in law, there is no treaty which has convened this group.”

    “So,” Varoufakis said, “What we have is a non-existent group 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.”

    So there you have it folks, EU democracy Schäuble style!!!!

    If what that lawyer advised is correct surely certain EU member states would be required to ratify some form of Treaty Amendment that would legalise the Eurogroup?

    • Mike Lucey

      Ah ha! I see they were at the old annexing stunt!

      ‘PROTOCOL ON THE EURO GROUP

      THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

      DESIRING to promote conditions for stronger economic growth in the European Union and, to that end, to develop ever-closer coordination of economic policies within the euro area,

      CONSCIOUS of the need to lay down special provisions for enhanced dialogue between the Member States whose currency is the euro, pending the euro becoming the currency of all Member States of the Union,

      HAVE AGREED UPON the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

      Article 1

      The Ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro shall meet informally. Such meetings shall take place, when necessary, to discuss questions related to the specific responsibilities they share with regard to the single currency. The Commission shall take part in the meetings. The European Central Bank shall be invited to take part in such meetings, which shall be prepared by the representatives of the Ministers with responsibility for finance of the Member States whose currency is the euro and of the Commission.

      Article 2

      The Ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro shall elect a president for two and a half years, by a majority of those Member States.’

  40. george

    The first interview given by ex finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to “The New Statesman”:
    In other words:
    1) “Greece was set up”
    2) “The new deal is worse than the previous one, and the referendum was wasted”
    3) “Some politicians of other countries(Irissh?), were afraid Greece would succeed, in case they had to go back to their own people, to answer for their dealings and behaviour”.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/07/exclusive-yanis-varoufakis-opens-about-his-five-month-battle-save-greece

    • Mike Lucey

      Politicians Number One Priority is Staying in Office!

    • coldblow

      Fascinating interview

    • coldblow

      I noticed an almost throw-away remark in a recent newspaper that Obama’s officials had been working hard ‘behind the scenes’. US wishes would have to be central to everything happening there surely.

      I may have said this before. Never mind.

    • coldblow

      I see Varoufakis also makes the same point as Daithi7 about the reasons why the other PIGIS are so opposed to the Greek govt. (I assume Daithi, whose views I don’t on the whole share, is the latest version of Davy/David in US/NZ etc?)

  41. Wills

    ‘ECB, in our name, destroying the average Greek business’ ability to trade. It is doing all this in an effort to turn Europe into a “creditors paradise” where all loans are made good irrespective of whether or not the loans were made responsibly or not.’

    Right there in nutshell the credit pusher resorting to thuggish tactics to supposedly protect the integrity of the EURO for everyones sake.

    Well this is bullshit the EURO and its integrity is a ruse for the oligarchs who have hijacked the EURO and fashioned it into funny money to keep their scam going in a race against time. Their greatest problem – the peoples of EUROLAND waking up to pOnzi economics.

  42. http://ellenbrown.com/2015/07/14/grexit-or-jubilee-how-greek-debt-could-be-annulled/

    “By abandoning the euro, each country would regain control over monetary policy and could thus solve their own particular predicament. Some, such as Greece, may default, but its central bank could limit the damage by purchasing the dud bonds from banks at face value and keeping them on its balance sheet without marking to market (central banks have this option, as the Fed showed again in October 2008). Banks would then have stronger balance sheets than ever, they could create credit again, and in exchange for this costless bailout central banks could insist that bank credit – which creates new money – is only allowed for transactions that contribute to GDP in a sustainable way. Growth without crises and large-scale unemployment could then be arranged.”

    Even better IMO is to dispense with central banks and issue currency directly from treasury, as outlined above, at on debt or interest. There is in fact absolutely no need for a sovereign country to have any debt at all let alone a national debt at interest.

    The bankers control, set policy, strangle with debts and suffocate with accumulating compound interest. How about a discussion on this topic, David.
    Freedom of the state and its sovereign people from debt and usury awaits the courageous.

  43. McCawber

    Varoufakis is almost totally wrong about the reasons the other PIGS didn’t support Greek.
    Any fool can see that if the other PIGS supported Greece it would be the end of the Euro. Contagion would be widespread not just in the Euro system.
    How happy would the electorates of the PIGS be with that result.
    The Greeks, Varoufakis included, didn’t (and still don’t) give a damn about the damage they might have caused to the Global economy and even tried to crank up fear in the financial markets as much as they could to get their way.
    TRUST the Greeks at your peril.

    • goldbug

      THE GLOBAL ECONOMY -> A SNAKE EATING ITS OWN TAIL.

      CONTAGION MAY BE OUR ONLY HOPE.

      GOOD LUCK HANGING ON!

    • Charity begins at home. Nobody has high and lofty ideals about saving the Global economy unless of course it is of a personal or national benefit.

      The money lenders will call the tune and the main money lenders are the central bankers. Money created from nothing on a whim and the press of a computer key. It even beats money for old rope as the supply is unlimited. It is issued as a debt to bind the borrower, it is issued at interest to steal from the productive process and line the bankers pockets. If there is a default (inevitable for all peoples and countries as the debt is physically impossible to pay off, then hard assets hare pledged and bought at firesale prices.

      Assets move from the public domain to the private and the services rendered are now charged for rather than be provided and paid from the public purse. 50 billion worth in the case of Greece.

      • McCawber

        Saving the Euro was/is in our self interest, that was my point.
        Services should be paid for. It’s the only way to impose efficiency on a system. The payer respects what he’s getting and wants value for money which puts pressure on the supplier even if it’s a monopoly, which is not desirable either.
        Take water for example. During cold spells people left their taps running over night to prevent burst pipes simply because they didn’t have to pay for it.
        The local authorities didn’t fix mains leaks because their was no benefit to them for doing so.
        Water isn’t free. It doesn’t just fall out of the sky and end up at your tap as if by magic. It costs money to store, to treat, to pump, to build infrastructure etc.
        The wasted water is wasted money.

  44. McCawber

    As for Ireland going back to the punt.
    Interest rates and inflation rates in double figures anyone.

    • goldbug

      I WILL TAKE IT!

      IRELAND IS ONE % INTEREST RATE HIKE AWAY FROM GREECE.

      REMEMBER TO SWITCH OFF THE LIGHTS…

      • McCawber

        Well leave Ireland and go somewhere else where you’ll get it because I certainly don’t want it.

        • DB4545

          McCawber

          So what’s the deal here McCawber? What’s the purpose in making your comments when most of the debate has concluded and commenting like your correcting some kid’s homework?

          DB

  45. Congress will only reverse course when a critical mass of people reject the entitlement mentality and understand that the government is incapable of running the world, running our lives, and running the economy. Therefore, those of us who know the truth must spread the ideas of, and grow the movement for, limited government, free markets, sound money, and peace.–Ron Paul

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/july/12/greece-today-america-tomorrow/

    And the rest of us too in no particular order.

  46. Mike Lucey

    A bit off topic but nevertheless relevant.

    I was looking at the figures flying about in relation to the ‘Namagate in the North’ fiasco. Fair dues to Mick Wallace.

    The ‘€30K in a bag’ and €10,000,000 figure, like in Fr Ted’s case that was just ‘resting in an account’ looks to be chicken feed and a bit of a distraction.

    It seems the NI portfolio was worth €6,300,000,000 in 2007/8. According to reliable property value estimates, NI property is now 45.1% down in price today. So 54.9% of the 2007/8 price would be €3,458,700,000. The portfolio was sold off for €1,800,000,000.

    It looks that the generous discount was €1,658,700,000! Oh! nearly forgot, minus the ‘Fr Ted’s’ €10,000,000.

    I imagine the €1,648,700,000 would have provided all the primary schools needed throughout the country in order to get kids out of cold damp porta-cabins and probably make a fair dent in getting our hospitals up to speed.

    And finally there might be a few bob left over to chip into the Greece pot!

    • DB4545

      Mike Lucey

      They’re big numbers Mike and another big number just walked in front of us with very little comment. Applegreen was recently floated with a valuation in the region of 400 million with gross profit in the region of 25-27 million. Two hard working people and many others spent 20 years making that happen. Topaz was and is in a similar market position with similar numbers and you’d imagine a similar valuation. Yet the elephant in the room was able to “buy” it from NAMA for 160 million a discount of 240 million Euros straight from taxpayers pockets. Close to a quarter of a billion of Irish taxpayers money and hardly a word said. And about the same level of public accountability as the chancers selling tobacco on Moore street.Nice discounts when you know the right people.

      DB

    • Daithi7

      Mike & Db,

      Absolutely, it never ceases to amaze me the over reaction to some relatively menial to issues e.g water charges, electronic voting, etc And then compete passive acceptance of massive issues such as under sale of state assets, etc.

      I couldn’t agree with ye more on these, the transactions should be subject to the full vigour of the PAC, auditor general and if necessary the garda and DPP. Its fundamental to the credibility of Ireland Inc that these transactions are fully audited abs justified by those making the key decisions on behalf of the taxpayer. There’s been too much hardship on the ordinary taxpayer not to have it just so. I

  47. gwennol

    It was good to read the article. However, it misses a major component part in the Germany story: the 40-years division of the country into two parts. But this division and the way it was overcome at the beginning of the 90s is essential for the understanding of what is going on in Greece. Why?
    There was only one half of Germany that ever received a Marshall plan from the USA; much so in order to build a competitive system to what developed in the Eastern German part (division according to treaties of the allies in WWII); i.e. East Germany
    East Germany, officially GDR (German Democratic Republic) was a separate state and increasingly recognised so from the 70s onwards (Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe), never received ANY Marshall plan, but did pay reparations to the Soviet Union according to contract.
    Subsequently, the GDR lost its car industry etc and this where the allies (EXCLUDING the Soviet Union) had put any effort into a more intense bombing of the Eastern parts of Germany (see also the first trial of phosphor bombs in Dresden; further developed and later used in Vietnam). And the Eastern parts had less industry in the first place.
    One may remember that the Eastern countries of Europe, early socialist rather than communist countries, had to face a complete ban on importing anything technological from the West, including innocent things like screw drivers (other countries having gone through similar bans are Cuba, Iran to a lesser extant, Russia now)
    Despite of all that. East Germany developed well in the 50s and eventually came 15th among the industrial nations of the world and was fully self-sufficient.
    When East Germans and others from Eastern Europe took to the streets for more democratic elements, personal freedom and long-term sustainable developments of their industries, West Germany saw this as a chance to posteriorly win WWII. Then prime minister of the UK Thatcher and the president of the Soviet Union Gorbachev seemed to be strongholds against a new European monster developing; against which East German left-wing forces in particular had intensively warned (e.g. Gysi).
    Never mind, Thatcher gave up and for some pocket money Gorbachev was bribed in Sweden (which he now regrets); much to the disappointment of East Germans who had at least hoped for more money for the Soviet Union.
    By introducing the West German currency into East Germany, GDR companies lost half of their capital over night. I wonder which West German company would survive this?
    Remaining companies were put under a trust – Treuhand – something Greece can now experience.
    For competitive reasons, it was made sure that foreign investors had no chance. Consequently there is no Tesco or Carrefour etc in East Germany. In addition, many of the still flourishing companies (e.g, heavy industry, machinery, we had one of the biggest fleets in the world) were explained worthy a 1 Euro (one Euro!).
    Translated to Greece, were the trust isn’t even in Greece’s hands, it will mean that the state will gain little and be unable to realise public spendings, investments or to pay back whatever real or invented debts
    In brief, the destruction of East Germany’s industry was an act of primary accumulation of capital in German hands, comparable for instance with the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, which turned England into an international super power with its known colonising potential.
    In addition, it is clear that no transfer money can counterbalance a destroyed economic basis of a country. Compare East Germany and Greece, but talk to the dispossessed and locals, not to the media. They themselves profit from the re-distribution, they form an essential part of it.
    What we see in Greece now, was practised before in East Germany and there may be further similar cases; depending on how much money/capital could be extracted from Greece.

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