Grèce : la débâcle de l’austérité, le naufrage de l'Europe

Oui pauvre Grèce, elle se fait littéralement ramassée par l’oligarchie qui veut protéger leurs intérêts.

Les dettes privées socialisées sur le dos de peuple européen, et il est évident que nous n’allons pas rétablir la compétitivité de la Grèce, en les tapant sur la tête à coup de masse.

Un jour votre modèle économique de tous libéraliser va vous péter en pleine face.

Deux articles sur le sujet, soyez assuré, ils ne seront jamais publier dans nos médias traditionnels pour ne pas offusquer les propriétaires oligarchiques de ces conglomérats médiatiques.


Extrait de : Grèce : la débâcle de l’austérité, le naufrage de l'Europe, Attac France, 12 février 2012 - 18:20

Le Parlement grec a adopté hier un énième plan d’austérité négocié avec la Troïka. En échange, la BCE, le FMI et l’Union européenne accepteront de débloquer une nouvelle tranche de financement d’un plan que plus personne n’ose encore qualifier de « sauvetage ».

Malgré les défections de ministres et de députés, les manifestations d'hier, d'une ampleur sans précédent, n'ont pas suffi à bloquer l'adoption du plan au Parlement, avec une majorité incluant le Parti socialiste, la droite classique et l'extrême-droite. La colère et le désespoir populaires vont encore s'amplifier.

L’économie grecque est littéralement laminée par les politiques d’austérité, dont le nouveau plan est une étape supplémentaire :

·         Baisse de 22 % du salaire minimum, ramené à 586 euros brut sur 14 mois.

·         Suppression dans l’année de 15 000 emplois publics,

·         Nouvelles coupes dans les pensions de retraite.

Loin de jeter les bases d’une sortie de crise, les prétendues « cures » imposées par la Troïka entretiennent un cercle vicieux de récession et de chômage.

Le but de ces politiques:  imposer une "dévaluation interne" par une baisse massive des salaires et des budgets sociaux, en préservant les intérêts des classes dominantes et du secteur financier.

Les banques grecques seront recapitalisées par l'État
mais resteront
dans les mains de leurs actionnaires privés.

Selon le FMI lui-même, la saignée actuelle et la restructuration en cours de la dette grecque ne permettront dans la meilleure des hypothèses que de ramener la dette de 160 % à 120 % du PIB d'ici 2020.

·         Les nouveaux prêts ne serviront qu'à rembourser les anciens,

·         La restructuration de la dette ne servira qu'à maintenir à long terme le flux des intérêts qui saignent l'économie grecque en alimentant les banques européennes.

La Grèce sera ramenée à une économie de subsistance et de tourisme à bas prix.

La crise est économique et sociale, mais aussi démocratique et politique. La classe politique grecque reste sourde aux exigences des citoyens, tandis que l'Union européenne exerce une violence sans précédent contre l'un de ses pays membres, prélude à d'autres violences contre d'autres pays. Il faut croire que la Grèce est pour les classes dominantes un laboratoire pour tester jusqu'où elles peuvent aller dans la pression exercée sur les peuples.

Parmi les mesures indispensables pour sortir la Grèce, mais aussi le Portugal, l'Espagne, l'Italie et l'ensemble de l'Europe de cette impasse, il faut d'urgence :

1.      une reprise en main de la Banque centrale européenne par le politique,

2.      une réforme fiscale taxant les revenus financiers et les gros patrimoines,

3.      une annulation des dettes illégitimes,

4.      une politique européenne de convergence sociale vers le haut, des plans massifs d'investissement public pour la transition écologique...

Les luttes sociales sont appelées à s'amplifier dans les mois à venir dans toute l'Europe pour stopper la spirale infernale de l'austérité et de la désagrégation, et imposer une réorientation solidaire de la construction européenne, à commencer par le rejet du « Pacte budgétaire ». Dans cette perspective, Attac France appelle à multiplier les initiatives de solidarité avec le peuple grec, comme celle qui s'est tenue hier devant l'ambassade à l'initiative d'un collectif d'étudiants et travailleurs grecs à Paris.

Attac France

"L'Union européenne exerce une violence sans précédent contre l'un de ses pays membres, prélude à d'autres violences contre d'autres pays", dit-elle. Selon l'organisation altermondialiste, "la restructuration de la dette ne servira qu'à maintenir à long terme le flux des intérêts qui saignent l'économie grecque en alimentant les banques européennes".


Extrait de : Delightful News Out of Greece This Morning (for bankers), by Numerian, The Economic Populist, 02/13/2012

Traders in New York this morning were greeted with this happy headline from The Wall Street Journal:

US Stock Futures Higher; Buoyed by Greece

Yes indeed, the Dow Jones index is set to open at least 70 points higher because the Greek parliament approved the additional austerity measures demanded by the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. In exchange for €130 million in a second bailout by the “Troika”, as the three lending institutions are called, Greece will have to cut its minimum wage by 22% and the government will have to lay off an additional 150,000 workers. This is in a country that is in its fifth year of recession, with an official unemployment rate of 21%.

·         Business has virtually collapsed, with many private sector companies on the verge of bankruptcy.

·         The health system is so starved for funds that a bacteria resistant to all medicines is raging through hospitals, forcing the chronically ill to decide whether to even risk seeking professional care.

·         Poverty is reaching extreme levels and is well-entrenched among what used to be the middle class.

·         Children are sent to school so hungry that they are fainting in the classrooms.

As of last night, the crowds that were storming through Athens and other large cities no longer were content to throw rocks at the police; Molotov cocktails were used to set at least forty buildings in Athens on fire. The police in Athens, facing crowds estimated from 80,000 to 100,000 people, were forced off Syntagma Square, and appeared to have run out of tear gas. Journalists described the business center of Athens as a war zone. The country is slipping into social disorder, if not anarchy. But stock markets in Europe were up today on the happy news that the Greek parliament approved the additional austerity measures.

One reason equity traders were so delighted with the news out of Greece is because 80% of the bailout money isn’t going to Greece at all; the German and French governments, which are the puppet masters for the Troika, have required that most of the money be sequestered in a fund kept outside of Greece, and used to pay the banks and other bondholders of Greek debt. The bailout, in other words, isn’t really fresh money; it is to be used to allow Greece to make its next principal and interest payment on its debt. Left to its own devices, Greece is out of cash and clearly would have to default on this payment.

A second reason for joy is that most professional traders don’t like Greece (the borrower – they love to vacation there). Most European politicians don’t like the Greek government. Wolfgang Schauble, the Finance Minister for Germany, told a Reuters reporter this morning that “Greek promises on austerity measures are no longer good enough because so many vows have been broken and the country that has been a ‘bottomless pit’ has to dramatically change its ways.” It was Germany that insisted that the Greek parliament approve the new austerity measures, despite the political risk in doing so, before one additional euro would be paid out.

Why don’t the Greek politicians just call it a day and default, pulling themselves out of the euro at the same time so that a reinstituted drachma can give the country a devalued currency with which to build up an export sector? A good many Greeks would like to know the answer to this, since watching the country burn down around them doesn’t seem to impress these politicians. The ostensible reason given by the government for proceeding with one austerity program after another, thereby avoiding default, is that the economic privation resulting from default would be unimaginable. Greek economists are quick to point out that Argentina ten years ago went into default and never suffered the social breakdown Greece is experiencing before default.

The more popular reason the public tends to give is that the politicians are all corrupt; there has been no cut in the pay for members of parliament despite several rounds of cuts in the minimum wage.

Perhaps a more subtle way of explaining this is that the Greek politicians always liked being part of “Europe”, as members of various commissions in Brussels, and as equals to the Germans and the French. The problem now is that there isn’t one politician in Greece who doesn’t feel they are being forced into this situation by the Germans and the French, who are acting very superior to the lazy and profligate Greeks.

Germany in particular is very unpopular now in Greece. The New York Times quotes one 82 year old women out protesting in Athens, Stella Papafagou, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War II:

We’ve fought several times for liberation,” she told the New York Times. “But this slavery is worse than any other. This is worse than the ’40s. I would prefer to die with dignity than with my head bent down.

This is one reason why Greece’s situation is not comparable to that of Argentina. Greece is tied by long and sometimes difficult relations with its European neighbors. As a member of the euro, Greece has the potential to break up the single currency experiment, opening the door to other countries seeking a competitive foreign exchange rate to help overcome chronic trade deficits.

These countries, of course, won’t admit to that. Portugal, rumored to be next on the list to need a bailout, has been very quiet about the Greek situation. A German official even said nice things about Portugal last week, though he left no doubt there are economic troubles ahead.

Italy

Yesterday the Italian government rushed out a press statement letting everyone know they are not like Greece at all. Except everyone knows they are exactly like Greece.

·         They have the same bloated public sector filled with union members who think five hours of labor constitutes a hard day’s work.

·         They are running low on cash to be able to pay their government debt.

·         The only difference with Greece – and it is a big one – is that La Dolce Vita has not come cheap; Italy has the third largest government debt in Europe, dwarfing Greece’s problems altogether.

The Portuguese, the Italians, the Spaniards, the Irish – they all must be watching the Greek situation closely, and asking themselves whether it is really worth going down the road of austerity just to keep bondholders and equity traders 100% happy.

Is a collapse of the country worth it all, especially since the worst scenario under default is a collapse of the country, followed by a recovery because now the country would be in charge of its own currency and its own destiny. See Iceland to understand how this can work out with far less social pain.

For now, stock markets are happy because they get their periodic injection of heroin – oops, make that “liquidity” – to keep the game going. The game is the one we have all lived through our whole lives – the one where capitalism continues to grow by taking on more and more debt, until now every country is at the point where only the government is big enough to take on the enormous amounts of new debt necessary to keep paying principal and interest on the old debt.

Exacte, la morale s’est perdue, la règle d’or du monde de la finance :

Un État peut emprunter aussi longtemps
qu’ils paient leurs intérêts.

Pensez-vous que cette approche est saine ?

Si elle est irresponsable en tant qu’individu, pourquoi elle serait responsable en tant que pays ?

Faciles ! Ceux qui vont payés, ne sont pas encore nés ou n'ont pas le droit de vote.

L’immoralité dans toute sa splendeur, entre temps, les pays surendettés permettent au milieu financier de faire des trillions de profits.

At least some countries are: the United States, the UK, Germany, France. Greece of course lost that privilege several years ago, and now even big borrowers like Italy are allowed into the markets only for very short term maturities.

The game, in short, is about over, choking to death on too much debt, kept on a resuscitator by politicians and central bankers who know the public has no way to stop them from raising trillions of dollars or euros with new bond issues. Only the market can stop an out-of-control debtor. Greece has found that out, Italy and Spain and Portugal are close to finding that out, and the UK and the United States are on the list, being no more virtuous than the Greeks.

Once the government can no longer borrow,
default in some form is inevitable, and austerity follows.

The Greeks have austerity handed to them by the Germans; everyone else will be able to choose their own forms of austerity, as different economic and social forces fight with each other in a country that has run out of borrowing capacity and must live off the taxes it is able to raise.

If the stock market had a long term view, it would think about these things. It would look at Greece as a combination horror story and warning sign. Instead, the stock market lives for the day only, and for now the debt binge continues, and the fix of easy credit is being pumped into the financial system once more.

Let the celebrations continue. Fâché


Extrait de: The killing of Greece, Naked Capitalist, February 12, 2010

As you have probably heard, the Greek parliament, if you can still call it that, has passed the austerity bill. Overnight Athens has erupted in protest with a reported 80,000 people on the streets and up to 30 buildings on fire.

All of KKE, Syriza and Democratic Left members voted no, as well as 21 New Democracy members and 13 Pasok members. Laos members also voted No with their leader absent. All but one Democratic Alliance members voted Yes.

The political fallout is in full swing as I type, with Antonis Samaras expelling 21 members from his party and George Papandreou doing the same. 43 members in total have been removed.

What a complete mess.

What makes the situation completely surreal are the numbers. Greek debt in 2008 was approximately 260bn Euro.

1.      The first bailout was 110bn, the current one,

2.      That appears to be tearing the country apart, is 130bn.

3.      Add in the PSI+ haircut of approximately 100bn ( after sweetener deduction ) and you realized that Europe could have simply paid the entire bill in 2008 and saved itself 80bn Euro.

Ok, that is an oversimplification of the problem but you can see my point.

However now, after 340bn Euros, Greece is still has an unmanageable debt, is in a far worse position than it was 3 years ago and it appears the country itself is coming apart at the seams.

So basically:

The Greek politicians and the other Eurocrats took a quarter of a billion euro problem and turned it into a existential trillion Euro one.

Worst still their refusal to work cooperatively and misguided policies based around “expansionary fiscal contraction” have plunged Greece into a depression which threatens contagion to other weak economies. Yet at this point I can see absolutely no data suggesting the country is in any way more competitive than it was 3 years ago.

That being the case, the idea that all these cuts and bailouts will somehow lead to Greece having a debt to GDP ratio of 120% by 2020 appears as misguided as the initial policies.

So what happens next?

Well there are still a number of hurdles. The EU still has to approve the bailout deal and it is yet to be seen if the country’s political parties can cope with the fall-out given there is supposed to be an election in 2 months.

If we ignore all these problems, along with the fact that the European banking system is shrinking, Portugal suffers from similar problems and Spain is the elephant in the room, then we could see some stability return to financial markets over the next few months. If this does occur then Europe has a window of opportunity to finally implement a permanent and credible solution.

Well, at least until Greece or one of the other periphery suggest the need for another bailout.