James Galbraith: Greek Revolt Threatens Entire Neoliberal Project. Photo Credit: Shutterstock James K.
Galbraith, author of The End of Normal and professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin, has an inside view of the crisis leading to the recent referendum in Greece. Galbraith has worked for the past several years with recently departed Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis as both a colleague and co-author, and he has just returned from Greece, where he looked down over the rooftops of Syntagma Square as citizens made history in a strong vote against austerity. Ending Greece’s Bleeding. Europe dodged a bullet on Sunday.
Confounding many predictions, Greek voters strongly supported their government’s rejection of creditor demands. And even the most ardent supporters of European union should be breathing a sigh of relief. Greece: Only the 'No' Can Save the Euro. AP Photo/Petros Karadjias Pedestrians walk by posters for the NO vote in the upcoming referendum, in central Athens, on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
Greece is heading toward a referendum on Sunday on which the future of the country and its elected government will depend, and with the fate of the euro and the European Union also in the balance. At present writing, Greece has missed a payment to the IMF, negotiations have broken off, and the great and good are writing off the Greek government and calling for a “Yes” vote, accepting the creditors' terms for “reform,” in order to “save the euro.”
The Greek people voted against austerity – why is the EU ignoring this? I am not a natural Syriza voter, but the words and deeds of the EU towards Greece are enough to provoke me to sympathise with the Greek people and their government over austerity.
Greece has lost a quarter of its national income and output since 2007. That means, on average, a Greek citizen who was earning €10,000 (£7,000) in 2007 is today, after wage cuts, on €7,500 (£5,300). This is a crude average, so in practice many have suffered larger cuts as they have lost their jobs, or were on higher public sector pay, which has been cut more.
The joint approach of the EU and the IMF is to cut public spending, reduce public sector wages and pensions, and cut the public sector workforce. These IMF programmes to slim overgrown public sectors in problem countries are usually balanced by a devaluation of the currency to make private sector exporters more competitive and capable of winning extra work, and with a programme of suitable money relaxation to foster a general private sector-led recovery. Greece: Think Flows, Not Stocks. How should we think about the bargaining that may or may not now take place between the new Greek government and the troika?
(No bargaining if the troika basically says no concessions.) Most discussion is framed in terms of what happens to the debt. But as both Daniel Davies and James Galbraith point out — with very different de facto value judgments, but never mind for now — at this point Greek debt, measured as a stock, is not a very meaningful number. Let Greece profit from German history. The overwhelming truth about the Greek debt crisis is that it’s a massive distraction.
Appeal - CHANGE GREECE-CHANGE EUROPE-CHANGE 4ALLCHANGE GREECE-CHANGE EUROPE-CHANGE 4ALL. Greek Crisis and the Dark Clouds Over the American Economy: An Interview With Dimitri B. Papadimitriou. (Image: Theophilos Papadopoulos)
Greece doesn't need yet another 'rescue' package – it needs a way out. Greece has become a major issue in the German elections, as politicians debate the effectiveness of EU intervention, including the likely waste of German taxpayers' money.
Wolfgang Schäuble, the powerful minister of finance, has openly stated that there will have to be another package for Greece, although the sums are likely to be small. The IMF, meanwhile, has been pushing the EU to accept a restructuring of Greek debt. Schuldenerlass: Wie Griechenland bei der Rettung Deutschlands half. 04.
Februar 2012. Greece might stop paying salaries by summer - Features. Greece's austerity policies could create a crisis of insolvency within the country, undermining the very reason they were implemented - to repay the country's debt - says the country's biggest labour confederation.
"I am afraid that we may see a phenomenon that could cause a social explosion," says Savvas Robolis, scientific director for the Labour Institute of the General Confederation of Workers in Greece (GSEE), the private sector's confederation of unions. "Right now many people can't pay their taxes. Greece hit by fresh anti-austerity strike - Europe. Thousands of anti-austerity demonstrators took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday as unions staged a general strike to protest the government's spending cuts and tax hikes, which some predict will push unemployment to a stunning 30 percent this year.
The 24-hour walkout disrupted flights, kept ferries and long-distance trains idle and crippled public services. It was the first general strike of the year, renewing confrontation between labor groups and the conservative-led government that has pursued punishing austerity policies to cut debt, a key condition imposed by international bailout creditors. State schools and tax offices closed down, public hospitals functioned on emergency staff, court cases were stalled as lawyers walked off the job, and even neighborhood street fruit and vegetable markets were cancelled. Private doctors and dentists also joined the strike. Previous protests have been marred by clashes between riot police and masked youths armed with fire bombs and stones.
Wirtschaftskrise: Jugendarbeitslosigkeit in Griechenland steigt auf 60 Prozent. Die Arbeitslosenquote in Griechenland steigt immer weiter in Richtung der 30-Prozent-Marke. Bei jungen Griechen unter 24 Jahren ist die Situation besonders dramatisch. Greece: Unemployment rate. Interview: "Man hat überhaupt nicht vorgehabt, Griechenland zu retten"
Greek Tragedy Turns to Farce. Griechenland als Exempel. Von David Stuckler und Sanjay Basu Im April 2012 wurde in Griechenland ein Gesetz verabschiedet, das es dem Gesundheitsministerium ermöglicht, Bürger auf Geschlechtskrankheiten zu testen – auch ohne deren Einwilligung. Das neue Gesetz war eine Reaktion auf Berichte von Krankenhäusern und Arztpraxen in ganz Griechenland, wonach die Zahl der HIV-Neuinfektionen allein zwischen Januar und Mai 2011 um 52 Prozent emporgeschnellt war. Einen derart drastischen Anstieg hatte es seit mehr als zehn Jahren in keinem westeuropäischen Land gegeben. Die Nachricht von der HIV-Epidemie in Griechenland machte international Schlagzeilen. Da die hart umkämpften griechischen Parlamentswahlen unmittelbar bevorstanden, sah sich der griechische Gesundheitsminister Andreas Loverdos gezwungen zu reagieren.
Loverdos bezeichnete Prostituierte als „Bedrohung für die Gesellschaft“ und „Virenschleudern“ und erklärte feierlich, sie hinter Gitter zu bringen. Die ausgesetzte Demokratie. What caused the Greek export surge? « Real-World Economics Review Blog. Greece’s budget deficit for 2012 is already €1bn bigger than expected. Greece's finance minister Evangelos Venizelos: Greece's budget deficit for January was €1 billion larger than anticipated, and is likely to get worse. Shame on Europe for betraying Greece.
'We condemn Greece to misery and poverty to keep Standard & Poor’s off our backs. But we have miscalculated.' European authorities still punishing Greece - can they be stopped? - Opinion. Alexis Tsipras has a tough job. He is leader of the Syriza Party of Greece, a left party that has risen meteorically in the past three years: from 4.6 percent of the vote in 2009 to 27 percent last June. It is now the most popular party in the country and Tsipras could be the next Prime Minister. Unlike most of the eurozone's leaders, he knows what is wrong with Greece and the eurozone, and so does his party: austerity. Greece is being destroyed by 'respectable' fanatics. Greek democracy is being destroyed.
Not by soldiers marching with insane slogans on their lips about the inevitable triumph of the German master race, international proletariat or global jihad, but by moderate men and women who think themselves immune to ideological frenzy. IMF to Admit Mistakes on Greece Bailout. Athens Burning. Share When I was in Athens last week many people I talked to wondered aloud why there hadn’t yet been an uprising against the austerity measures that are devastating the country. There was anger everywhere, but sullen and suppressed. Maybe there’s still some fat left in the system, they said. Maybe they’ve just brainwashed us, put us all to sleep. A personal journey to the heart of Greece’s darkness. Krise in Griechenland: Eine Gesellschaft stürzt ins Bodenlose - Debatten. Russia seeks to privatize its suffering ‘friend’ Greece — RT Business. Germany's Carthaginian terms for Greece. The EU deal will in theory cap Greece’s public debt at 120pc of GDP in 2020 - at the outer limit if viability - after eight years of belt-tightening and depression, if all goes perfectly.
Since nothing has gone to plan since Europe’s austerity police began to administer shock therapy eighteen months ago, even this grim promise seems too hopeful. The Greek economy was expected to contract by 3pc in 2011 under the original EU-IMF Troika plan. In fact it shrank by 6pc, and is now entering what the IMF fears could become “a downward spiral of fiscal austerity, falling disposable incomes, and depressed sentiment.” Troubled Greece: fears of 'first domino' to fall as austerity is counted a failure. Greece on the breadline: Stories of self help. Venus of Competitiveness. Greece: A debt colony, shackled to its lenders - Opinion. Story highlights.