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Monday, July 06, 2015

A man of honor

It would be remarkable if the USA had a single political leader who cared as much about his nation and as little about his career as Greece's newly ex-finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned after successfully leading Greece's campaign to reject the Eurogroup's ultimatum:
The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government.

The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.
I don't agree with Mr. Varoufakis on much, but his defense of Greece's national sovereignty in the face of tremendous pressure from the banks and the European political class was as magnificent as it was astonishing. I hope that he soon realizes that Greece no more needs the European Union or the Euro weighing it down than it needed to pay the odious debts demanded by the Eurogroup.

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215 Comments:

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Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 8:08 AM  

"And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."

hehehehe... yeah baby.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 8:12 AM  

also... reading this... it all seems to me that there is simply no good way to compare right and left in european politics to right and left in american politics.

Blogger Rantor July 06, 2015 8:21 AM  

We can see some Ilk in him, to paraphrase, "We of the Ilk know how to act collectively without caring." I almost emailed this article to you.. but knew you would see it.

Now if only they were willing to do something about the invasion of immigrants. Of course, if they are bankrupt and not offering welfare payments to foreigners... that might stem the tide.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 8:23 AM  

Good man, good decision. Earning those thieves' hatred is indeed an honor.

@Nate - It's less difficult to do so now than, say, 20 years ago as European politics have become remarkably Americanized, but the real difficulty in making the distinction is that the European parties have real parties of the right and left that offer very different visions for their nations and programs for their governance, while there is no real distinction worth talking much about between what we in America call the "left' and the "right," except insofar as they are proxies for stances on race issues.

Varoufakis' comments about the Left being willing to leave the trappings of office over principle more than the Right is also, regrettable, true. As the recent LePen in-fighting in the NF in France, the current NDP in-fighting in Germany and the disaster that is the leadership farce in the UKIP in Britain demonstrates, the Right remains so weak that it continues to call to leadership weak men who need to crowd's approval, and badly.

Which is to be expected, I suppose, a mere 70 years after the utter discredit of all things Right. We've always had a bad hand.

Except for the truth. That we have. Some good men, some brave men, some decent tactics and we could turn the corner, both there and here. But not yet.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan July 06, 2015 8:23 AM  

Would have been real nice if he would suggest criminal penalties upon the bankster's heads. Best I can tell is that privately held paper was taken onto the ECB books, private gain, socialized losses.

Blogger HalibetLector July 06, 2015 8:23 AM  

also... reading this... it all seems to me that there is simply no good way to compare right and left in european politics to right and left in american politics.

That hasn't stopped the left from claiming a victory for left wing politics and ideals.

Blogger Student in Blue July 06, 2015 8:25 AM  

Varoufakis resigning also makes it far less likely he'll suffer an 'accident'. Very smart move, especially when the Eurogroup had shown they didn't have much integrity, if at all.

Blogger Rek. July 06, 2015 8:26 AM  

"cared ... as little about his career"
"And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."

Sigma tend to value principles over reputation and status. Alphas on the other hand have a hard time gracefully backing down from a challenge or attacks to their ego, even for the greater good.

Varoufakis is a noble man.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 8:29 AM  

"That hasn't stopped the left from claiming a victory for left wing politics and ideals."

meh. the american left would've claimed victory no matter what happened.

Blogger Shimshon July 06, 2015 8:38 AM  

If you listen very carefully, you can hear him whispering...I don't care.

Blogger Shimshon July 06, 2015 8:40 AM  

"And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."

Although he is not a Vile Faceless Minion, I think he deserves the title "Vile" be bestowed on him.

Blogger Guitar Man July 06, 2015 8:40 AM  

The Euro fascists are similar to the left-wingers in the USA, correct?

Blogger Salt July 06, 2015 8:43 AM  

NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

When the Greeks finally come to understand that the only proper resolution is a complete Bye Bye to the EU and the EURO, then I'll be impressed. Dicking around, talking about some proper resolution involving debt restructuring and less austerity is no more than saying, "okay, we voted no, but can't you find a way that lets us vote yes?"

Anonymous Different T July 06, 2015 8:43 AM  

"A man of honor," "Good man," "Varoufakis is a noble man."

Barf. This analysis is fucked.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 8:46 AM  

Insightful arguments, Different T. Well made, persuasive.

Blogger VD July 06, 2015 8:52 AM  

Insightful arguments, Different T. Well made, persuasive.

Indeed. He is observably an intelligent and well-educated man. It's such a pleasure to engage in discourse with him.

Anonymous RedJack #22 July 06, 2015 8:54 AM  

A man of honor. A rare one at that.

Blogger Big Rich July 06, 2015 9:07 AM  

Perhaps I misunderstand (and I mean that will all sincerity -- not being sarcastic at all). It doesn't seem to me that this has as much to do with the EU and the Euro as it has to do with trying to borrow your way to a socialist paradise. Greece is a society where you get almost everything free then retire at 45 to a life long pension. Not a bad gig if you can afford it but of course no society can. Yes the bankers stepped in to finance their largess into slavery just like credit card companies do for individuals who want to live larger than their means, but is it the credit card companies fault that Greece has set up a faux workers paradise where productivity is not required to live a life of leisure?

Again, I am open to being educated on this topic as I feel there's something I'm missing from the tone of Vox's articles of late which put the onus on the banks versus the culture that made the banks necessary to finance the lifestyles.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey July 06, 2015 9:08 AM  

The Greek people are just as complicit in this mess as the politicians (for whom they voted) and bankers. That's not to say every Greek is a deadbeat. People tend to be lazy and greedy, as we see here in the US.

Anonymous Dr. J July 06, 2015 9:08 AM  

This is where the problem of the unified currency kicks in. How long will the Grecian banks remain closed? They're desperate for an infusion of Euros and withdrawals remain capped. The EU can just hold them hostage unless and until they break away to restore the Drachma, formulate an alternative exit strategy with Russia's help, or capitulate to EU demands.

Wars have been fought over less, though one has to wonder how demilitarized the European powers have become with the USSA overseeing all things martial these many years.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 9:14 AM  

Again, I am open to being educated on this topic as I feel there's something I'm missing from the tone of Vox's articles of late which put the onus on the banks versus the culture that made the banks necessary to finance the lifestyles.

Do you think that the Community Reinvestment Act was the main factor in the Great Recession?

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 9:33 AM  

"Again, I am open to being educated on this topic as I feel there's something I'm missing from the tone of Vox's articles of late which put the onus on the banks versus the culture that made the banks necessary to finance the lifestyles."

the only lifestyles the debt is financing are those of the bankers.
'

Anonymous Seneca July 06, 2015 9:34 AM  

Don't forget the HUD interpretation of the fair housing act too. Before the 2008 crisis they actually "suggested" a number of the practices that are now illegal (such as paying loan officers a higher commission on subprime than on prime loans) in the name of "fair housing." They are, of course, back to their old tricks now-see the "affirmatively fostering fair housing" publications that they put out. The community reinvestment act saw bad but it was just the tip of the regulatory iceberg.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler July 06, 2015 9:34 AM  

As a Greek-American, I can only say "Tough gazats". Greece has been ruled by Socialists since the overthrow of the Junta. The Greek people as a whole are Communists and Socialists. They lived beyond their means. And now they don't want to live up to the all that Socialist goodies they have been getting. They deserve what they get. When a nation is run by fools, it deserves to live by the effects of foolish socialist economic policies. They deserve everything they get. And yes, Greece is now a Third World Hell-Hole. The Communists and Socilist Greeks made their bed and they can lie in putrid depression. They're idiots. Idiots deserve what's coming to them. Fools is what Fools does--those are the modern day Greeks.

Blogger David-093 July 06, 2015 9:36 AM  

Bravo. I can't imagine the pressure or temptation this man is under right now.

Anonymous John Regan July 06, 2015 9:41 AM  

For me, the debt jubilee is an old proposal that of course has gone nowhere. However, should it ever be done, anywhere, it is the natural occasion for the return to sound money. But politically speaking it would seem to be nearly impossible, because in general the political right may like sound money but they oppose a debt jubilee, and the political left likes a debt jubilee but they oppose sound money.

These political problems are formidable.

Blogger Guitar Man July 06, 2015 9:42 AM  

Wheeler, how's that any different than Americans? Are you saying that my children should be on the hook for the massive debt that the government created?

Blogger Rabbi B July 06, 2015 9:42 AM  

So, what is Greece's next move? I can't imagine the drachma is going to be worth anything if it is brought back. Are they officially out of the "Eurozone?" Economics is admittedly not my strong suit, but I am curious to understand what a country does when it is officially broke.

Blogger Student in Blue July 06, 2015 9:43 AM  

I get the feeling that people think we're cheering for socialism and communism, just because we don't like who they're fighting against.

Blogger Joshua_D July 06, 2015 9:46 AM  

Guitar Man July 06, 2015 9:42 AM

Wheeler, how's that any different than Americans? Are you saying that my children should be on the hook for the massive debt that the government created?


Social contract! Blah, blah, blah! Obligations!

jk

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 9:46 AM  

The Greek people as a whole are Communists and Socialists. They lived beyond their means. And now they don't want to live up to the all that Socialist goodies they have been getting.

What percentage of the various bailouts have been used to fund "socialist goodies" and what percentage have been used to pay banks?

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 9:48 AM  

I get the feeling that people think we're cheering for socialism and communism, just because we don't like who they're fighting against.

Also, it says on your chart that you're all fucked up...you talk like a fag...and your shit's all retarded...

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 9:52 AM  

The propositions that the Greeks have since the days of the Junta behaved politically like over-indulged socialists with unrealistic expectations and that they were preyed upon by Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Bankster scum are not incompatible. Quite the contrary.

However, the evidence in this case is beyond clear that the average Greek, who is now expected by the Banksters to finance their enormous...well, I was going to say "profits" but that's not quite the right word to describe the proceeds of theft...cannot be reasonably held to be responsible for doing that, even if said voter is a pie-in-the-sky, retire-at-45 socialist moron.

Anonymous Giuseppe July 06, 2015 9:56 AM  

Rabbi B,
Vox will no doubt correct me, because from his webinar with Nate it was clear to me that as he is more level headed than me Vox plans to play within the margins of the realities before us. I tend to look only at the min-max cases.
So my view is Greece has lost nothing and by introducing their own currency back in they will win.
Start planting food, get back to basic manufacturing of goods and an economy not based on debt, but on actual production and fuck the rest of the world. Let the EU come pay us in gold if they want anything from us and that's that.
Yes radical. (That's how I roll) Yes hard. Yes very hard in the short run, and it may precipitate war because it works and it removes power from the debt vending bankers. But it is, I believe, the best real way forward in rhe long run.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 9:56 AM  

@32 Josh

This just in, new statement from Greek PM Tsipras:

Shit. I know shit's bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.

Blogger LibertyPortraits July 06, 2015 10:00 AM  

If only I could react in the same way with my private debts as nations do their public.

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 10:00 AM  

Even if we were to take at face value every charge brought against the Greek people, it would not change the fact that the bankers and beaurocrats are, best case, most forgiving scenario, drug peddlers to an addict and loan sharks to a man known by all parties to be bankrupt.

But that would be unfair to drug peddlers and loan sharks: at least the product they dish out actually makes it to the user.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 10:01 AM  

If only I could react in the same way with my private debts as nations do their public.

You can, for all non student loan debt...

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 10:06 AM  

Vox and Krugman in agreement this morning.

I better go back to bed.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 10:11 AM  

@36 -

As Josh pointed out, Chap 7 or 13 their asses, it's a lot easier than many people think and usually can be done pro se with a minimum of expenses.

If you are underwater on real property used as a home and you only own one home (i.e. it's not an investment property, vacation home, etc), do what the Banksters do themselves and simply mail in the keys IF AND ONLY IF you live in a non-recourse state, meaning mortgagor can only look to the property to satisfy the debt and may not pursue the mortgagee any further for any deficiency or anything else. Banks do this ALL THE TIME. The non-recourse states are:

Alaska
Arizona
California
Hawaii
Minnesota
Montana
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Washington

As usual, y'all East Coast people are screwed. But, then again, that is the Banksters' back yard.

Blogger David-093 July 06, 2015 10:11 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger hank.jim July 06, 2015 10:14 AM  

How is resigning a good option? His successor can reverse his decisions. If he remained, he could ensure his position is maintained. He'll still be under tremendous pressure to change his mind.

Anonymous zen0 July 06, 2015 10:17 AM  

Hope he keeps blogging as things develop.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 06, 2015 10:25 AM  

also... reading this... it all seems to me that there is simply no good way to compare right and left in european politics to right and left in american politics.

I think the European Left is just a little farther down the road than the American Left. They're on the other side of the realization their leaders sold them out to banksters and crony capitalists. The Left in the US still thinks Obama will pay their mortgage for them.

When Big Rich says they were trying to borrow themselves to a socialist paradise, yes, I think that's true. But it only starts off with people getting lots of stuff for free. As soon as the banksters and corruptokrats have looted whatever capital the country had stored up, the free stuff dries up and the people find they've been used as collateral for loans the banksters kept for themselves. So yeah, they screwed up, but that doesn't mean they should continue screwing up by continuing to support the international corruption.

Blogger luagha July 06, 2015 10:27 AM  

Euro-banker-weenie 'partner': "He didn't fall for the old 'switch-the-papers-on-him-at-the-last-minute' trick!! What are we gonna do?!?"

Get him fired, of course. "We cannot negotiate with this man!"

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 10:33 AM  

We were one of those creditors. Yes, we were strong-armed by the EU to lend money with our triple-A rating, and then lend the money to Greece with first-world interest rates. But still, our money.

The more they suffer, the wider my smile gets. Starve, motherfuckers. Hope it's painful.

Blogger luagha July 06, 2015 10:35 AM  

When going through all the assigning-of-blame, remember that by the EU's rules, Greece should never have been allowed into the EU in the first place. The bankers had to bring in Goldman-Sachs to play around with the record-books so that Greece's drachma-debt didn't register on the metrics written into the EU law in the first place.

If people had followed their own rules, this never would have happened. If they stopped loaning more after the first bailout and restructuring, it never would have happened. If they stopped loaning more after the second bailout and restructuring, it never would have happened. At each time, they made the problem worse and continued bad actions.

Blogger Guitar Man July 06, 2015 10:39 AM  

Markku, that's like cosigning a car loan for your crack addict cousin.

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 10:40 AM  

"Your" money. You are not free to choose how to spend it, how to save it, how to loan it.

Really, it's a silly a notion as the idea that a slave has "his" master: in what, way, exactly, is the possessive actually appropriate?

Finland should get out of the EU and hang anyone within its borders that sold their brethren into servitude.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 10:41 AM  

We'll get to that hopefully, but first I'll be content to giggle like an idiot at Greeks starving.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 10:47 AM  

Markku, that's like cosigning a car loan for your crack addict cousin.

With a gun to your head. Yes, it was always obvious what would happen. But at least that crack addict cousin will go to withdrawals when he runs out of money, or get his kneecaps drilled by people he owes. And then, at least you'll get paid in entertainment.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 10:47 AM  

@Markku -

I feel you pain and understand your point completely. Your nation and your nation's good credit was looted for the capital to lend, and this was done under false pretenses. I don't ask you to feel sorry for the Greeks, let alone support them, but to realize, as one of your new governing parties realizes, that Finland's interest does not lie in a EU dominated by financial interests who enjoy legal impunity and who cannot be voted out of office.

Finland was wronged, and, yes, the Greeks benefited from that wrong-doing, but it's your own EU-crazed leaders that led Finland down that path.

I'm *very* happy to see your new sensible government, and especially your new PM, who is a very impressive man. Any solid Christian man who can build successful companies, begin a religious revival and remain such a craftsman that he can build the beautiful coffin used at his son's funeral...well, let me just say that such a man is so far beyond anything on offer in the U.S. that even if you have strong disagreements with him on this or that policy you should feel very lucky to have a country where such a man can still hold office.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 10:52 AM  

Yes, we were strong-armed by the EU to lend money with our triple-A rating

"Strong-armed"?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 10:53 AM  

"Strong-armed"?

I don't know the details of the threat we received. Or possibly I have forgotten it.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:00 AM  

He says, "And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."

All right. I will indulge. Whenever I hear of starving Greek dumpster-divers, I will indulge him anew.

Anonymous zen0 July 06, 2015 11:00 AM  

47. luagha

If they stopped loaning more after the second bailout and restructuring, it never would have happened. At each time, they made the problem worse and continued bad actions.

Yes. The EU designed an austerity program for Greece that promised to deliver economic growth within 2 years. Figure 1,(Not Available Here) which is taken from that document, predicted that the economy would grow 1.1% in real terms in 2012, and faster thereafter. On that basis, it saw unemployment peaking at 15% and government debt peaking at 150% of GDP.


EU2010ProjectionsInstead, real output is 25% lower than it was when the program began, and the economy has shrunk in nominal terms for every year of the program (it only grew slightly in “real” terms last year because the rate of deflation exceeded the rate of decline of nominal output). Unemployment hit the Great Depression level of 25%–meaning that 40% more Greeks were out of a job than the EU promised would find themselves unemployed. And the Greek government debt to GDP ratio rose to 180%, not because Greeks weren’t paying debt down, but because the GDP fell faster than the debt was reduced.


As Steve Keen ( who wrote the above ) says
"If someone sold you a diet plan and you followed it but you gained 20%, you would sue."

Blogger IM2L844 July 06, 2015 11:07 AM  

If they've done the right thing for the wrong reasons, they may lack the resolve for committed follow through and be ill prepared for the inevitable counterpunch. If it was just a grand gesture, they might still cave before all is said and done. I don't think it's not over yet.

Anonymous zen0 July 06, 2015 11:15 AM  

> I don't think it's not over yet.

It isn't not over until its not over, as Yogi would have said.

Anonymous Big Bill July 06, 2015 11:19 AM  

Markku, there is going to be more than enough starving and chaos going around in the near future as the New World Order unravels. If history serves as a guide, there will probably be plenty of bloodshed as well. Perhaps the Greeks (followed by Portugal, Italy and Spain) will light the way for a new Europe. Let us hope the Greeks find a way through this thicket without too much suffering. We could learn from them.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 11:22 AM  

The Greek people are just as complicit in this mess as the politicians (for whom they voted) and bankers. That's not to say every Greek is a deadbeat. People tend to be lazy and greedy, as we see here in the US.

I am no expert on Greece, but I tend to agree from afar that the people are complicit too for electing these people. To me the true party that seemed to care about Greek sovereignty was Gold Dawn, and the Greek people sat back and watched as the Golden Dawn leadership was arrested on trumped up charges and thrown in jail.

Is there any party in Greece, besides Golden Dawn, that actually understands the greatest threat to Greece is not financial, but demographic?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:23 AM  

They might, because they are the kind of people who find offensive even the SUGGESTION that you have to pay back what you have borrowed. We're just barbarians, so they deserved the money. It was their birthright. And it was offensive of us to even have to make them go through the indignities of signing the contracts.

That's the kind of people that may indeed pull through. Not us, though. Not people who think it an issue of honor to pay your creditors back, instead of taunting them for having given you money.

Anonymous zen0 July 06, 2015 11:24 AM  

Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt. The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.

Thomas Piketty, In an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit.

Anonymous A Visitor July 06, 2015 11:25 AM  

To find a man who is an office of political power that upholds his word is a rare breed indeed. My hat is off to the man. "Varoufakis resigning also makes it far less likely he'll suffer an 'accident'." To quote Samuel L. Jackson in Basic, "Those of you I find lacking will not remain. Those of you that do not quit will have a training accident. This base suffers three such accidents a year, accidents I am not hesitant to repeat if you cross me."

Anonymous Donn #0114 July 06, 2015 11:28 AM  

Step one: Loan Social Greece Money

Step two: ???

Step three: Profit!

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 11:29 AM  

Finland was wronged, and, yes, the Greeks benefited from that wrong-doing, but it's your own EU-crazed leaders that led Finland down that path.

It was a public referendum, if I'm not mistaken.

Blogger michaeloh59 July 06, 2015 11:30 AM  

I must say I am surprised by the number of comments the premise of which is that the Greeks are victims of the Banksters. Big Rich had it just right; the Greeks EZ come EZ Go third world profligacy has not been admirable, nor does it make them victims. The Banksters were lining up to loan to those fools because the new rules are that profits go to the Establishment and losses are presented, regretfully but necessarily to the taxpayer. Nice profits at little risk. Is it not clear that Syriza is just as much a part of the EU Establishment as Merkel? The poor cousin to be sure, but family nevertheless. They whine about requiring Greeks to live within their means (which they demonize as "austerity") just as Merkel feigns concern for the German taxpayer. I do not see any nobility in Syriza. They have ridden the stupidity of Greeks to power and I doubt they will let a perfectly useful crisis pass. They will stay in the Eu because that serves the Establishment and they are the Establishment. There will be a deal that requires a slightly smaller subsidy from the productive northern nations and that keeps Syriza in power, the banks will get their money because the banks are owned by the Establishment, and the EU taxpayer will be picking up the tab. You see, everybody who's anybody will do just fine, and that includes Syriza and the former finance minister. This so called crisis is just a little intra-family spat between the rich cousins and the poor cousins- they will mutually agree to screw the tax slaves and kiss and make-up. Just my 2c.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 11:34 AM  

"With a gun to your head. Yes, it was always obvious what would happen. "

and you're blaming the cousin... instead of the guy who put the gun to your head.

Blogger Salt July 06, 2015 11:35 AM  

from ZH - "Greece Set To Restart Negotiations, IMF "Ready To Assist" Greece, Lagarde Says"

into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

lmao

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:36 AM  

and you're blaming the cousin...

Because at present, the cousin's attitude is what's in my face. They're acting like we're the bad guy for having given them money that they have no intention of paying back, and they are the innocent victim that has just heroically pulled through by deciding they're indeed not going to pay.

The gangster's day will hopefully come. But the cousin's pain will probably come sooner. So, I'll settle for that for now.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 11:36 AM  

Germany = Coke Dealer.

Greece = Coke Addict

Debt = Coke

Finland = Coke head's more responsible cousin.

Coke addicted loves coke... but doesn't have the money to buy coke... so the coke dealer is has lent him money to buy the coke with. The coke dealer has belatedly realized that the coke head can never repay the him... so... he's gone and found the coke head's responsible cousin...and put a gun to his head and said, "Lend your coke head cousin money... or else."

The person at fault here is the Dealer.

The Dealer... is Germany.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 11:37 AM  

and you're blaming the cousin... instead of the guy who put the gun to your head.

Again with the "gun to head" meme?

How is the promise of power, wealth and hegemony a "gun to the head"?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:39 AM  

Go pound sand, Porky. You are so far beneath being worthy to be addressed by me that it's not even funny.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 11:41 AM  

I wasn't speaking to you, Markku. You already admitted that you had no idea what you were talking about.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 11:41 AM  

"How is the promise of power, wealth and hegemony a "gun to the head"?"

Porky... don't claim to know more about finnish politics than a fin living there. You look like a dumb dumb.

Blogger Student in Blue July 06, 2015 11:42 AM  

@michaeloh59

You're failing to account for:
A) the fact that 92% of the bailout money going to Greece went to financial institutions,
B) apparently they were promised their economy would bounce back from this bailout, of course it didn't happen because Keynesiasm is incorrect - regardless, they're ticked,
C) just because Greece in general were idiots about the whole thing doesn't make the IMF less culpable for the bad loans they made to people who they should've expected couldn't/wouldn't pay them back

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 11:43 AM  

'Because at present, the cousin's attitude is what's in my face. They're acting like we're the bad guy for having given them money that they have no intention of paying back, and they are the innocent victim that has just heroically pulled through by deciding they're indeed not going to pay."

That... dear Fin... is because the Greeks are finally standing up for Greece.

Rather than being frustrated with them... you should learn from their example... grow a pair of balls.. and stand up for Finland.

Which by the way.. if you'd done so in the first place... you wouldn't be in this mess at all.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 11:45 AM  

"I must say I am surprised by the number of comments the premise of which is that the Greeks are victims of the Banksters. "

Maybe you should consider the fact that those who are on the side of the Greeks happen to know a great deal more about economics than you do.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 11:46 AM  

Porky... don't claim to know more about finnish politics than a fin living there. You look like a dumb dumb.

Shut up you fat, drunk dwarf. I didn't claim to know more than someone else.

I asked a simple question: what was the gun to the head?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:47 AM  

It's pretty much as impossible to convince the collective Finnish psyche that you can just not pay your debts as it is to convince that lying might be a good idea.

Hopefully we'll indeed go separate ways with EU. The direction of our politics seems to be headed that way, though not as strongly as I might wish.

But in any case, we'll pay back every cent. Even to the dread Banksters. Because at the end of the day, it's our name on the dotted line. They did no wrong by offering a deal that we chose to take. They did a helluvalot ELSE wrong, but in THAT, they did no wrong.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:48 AM  

what was the gun to the head?

I cannot remember, and since it's you asking, I cannot even BEGIN to be motivated to find out.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 11:51 AM  

Again....not addressing you, princess.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 11:54 AM  

" I didn't claim to know more than someone else.

I asked a simple question: what was the gun to the head?"


Stop with the bullshit semantics Porky. You are playing the same stupid game you always play... talking shit then trying to redefine it all away.

You asserted that there was no threat... even as Marrku claimed there was.

You're not a finn. You don't live in Finland. He is. And he does. So yeah.. He's way more credible on this than you are. Which makes you look like a dumb dumb for arguing it.

Blogger luagha July 06, 2015 11:58 AM  

When the mob does it, it's called a bust out.

Mob threatens the owner of a store, takes control. Buys stuff on credit. But it doesn't sell the stuff in the store. That stuff gets bust out the back door to sell on the streets for cash. Meanwhile, the owner is forced to take out more loans for cash and merchandise, all of which goes to the mob.

Until finally the payments can't be strung out any more. Then the mob moves on and lets the store go bust, leaving banks and creditors holding the bag and the threatened owner with busted credit.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 12:00 PM  

no doubt you see Luagha... its just the deadbeat store owner's fault for borrowing to much and not paying his debts

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 12:02 PM  

"It's pretty much as impossible to convince the collective Finnish psyche that you can just not pay your debts as it is to convince that lying might be a good idea."

The morality of it is simply irrelevant. Gravity doesn't give a damn about the morality of bodies crashing into the ground at 800mph.

Physics doesn't give a damn about the morality of a car load of kids getting smashed by a semi-truck.

Economics doesn't give a damn about the finnish views of debt repayment.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 12:04 PM  

@11b - Regarding Piketty's point - He's largely referring to the post-Versailles German reparations debt and, while he is factually correct, politically he is wrong; what he is advancing is a very, very, very French point of view. One could almost hear Clemenceau's voice coming out of his mouth.


@zeno - Regarding Golden Dawn - Any Greek party stupid enough to adopt the symbolism of Greece's WWII hated enemy is doomed to failure. I've heard more than one Greek say that while they generally agree with them, "you can tell they are traitors just by looking at them," as one put it. GD is going nowhere.

Blogger michaeloh59 July 06, 2015 12:04 PM  

student in Blue I don't see where we disagree. I makes sense that the bailout money goes to repay those loans, thus it goes to the Banksters, right. The Establishment took other people's (taxpayer) money and lent it to the Greeks knowing that it wouldn't be paid back? Oh now there we disagree in this sense, the loans will be paid- but not by the Greeks! The taxpayer will be required to ensure that the Banksters don't lose a Euro. Think TARP! It's the new rules under which the rich Establishment lends money- if it works out I get the profits. If it doesn't well I'm too big to fail. That's what it means to Be the Establishment isn't it? One gets to make the rules.

And Syriza is as Establishment as Golden Dawn is not. They are left wing mainstream Europe are they not? The very last thing they want to do is leave the Eu and rule over a backwater like Greece. They want to be important. If they leave the EU then who would they blame for Greek incompetence? Stay in the EU, blame the EU bogeyman for all your failures, and be lionized by the EU Establishment for keeping millions of tax slaves in the EU, and providing the Establishment with the Blacks of Europe which are so useful in the never ending shakedown of the taxpayer (in. Much the same way blacks in America are used to shakedown and morally kneecap whitey).
Leave the EU? No way. If Syriza are Greek Patriots then we should predict a Grexit. however I'd I am correct and Syriza is the Establishment then there will be no Grexit, but rather a prolonged and oh so deliciously useful "crisis". There you have it, a falsifiable proposition.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 12:07 PM  

It may have been a bust-out, but Finns became personas non grata in Greece the moment we loaned them money, but dared to argue that we should have collateral in case of default. Even the suggestion that Greeks - the pinnacle of civilization - might not pay their debts on time and to the penny, was incredibly offensive. So even then, Finnish travellers knew that if they wanted to enjoy their vacation, they should go somewhere else than Greece or its islands.

And now the inevitable happens, and AGAIN the Greeks are the victims. Whoop de damn do.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 12:07 PM  

I encourage everyone to note Markku's righteous anger.

This is why there should not be an EU in the first place.

(It also pretty conclusively proves the Norwegians the smartest of the Scand. tribes...sorry, Markku)

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 12:09 PM  

I remember, because my family almost always had our vacations on the Greek islands until then.

Anonymous BGS July 06, 2015 12:09 PM  

The Greek people as a whole are Communists and Socialists

What about Golden Dawn? I have not heard anything about them in months and a few min of searching for their US website only turns up stories of Nazi soup kitchens.

"Strong-armed"?I don't know the details of the threat we received.

Loan Greece the money or we will released the pictures of your politicians snorting cocaine off of 12yo boys penises( had to lower the number after seeing your age of consent)

Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War.

The designed to be impossible to pay debt of the treaty following WWI that had Jews negotiating on both sides is what caused WWII.

Blogger Guitar Man July 06, 2015 12:10 PM  

Markku, hence, the EU needs to go. And if it takes the welfare states of the EU to start it, then by all means, let it begin.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 12:10 PM  

You asserted that there was no threat... even as Marrku claimed there was.

Skepticism is not an assertion. It actually would not surprise me one bit to find that the EU strong armed it's members.

But absent any evidence I will probably remain skeptical. That a very savvy and intelligent local like Markku can't remember the details of a supposed scandal of globally epic proportions tends to make me think it didn't happen.

But again... wouldn't shock me in the least if it were true.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 12:11 PM  

(It also pretty conclusively proves the Norwegians the smartest of the Scand. tribes...sorry, Markku) We are Slavic, not Scandinavian. Together in Fennoscandia by geographic accident, but very different genetically.

Blogger Student in Blue July 06, 2015 12:18 PM  

@luagha
When the mob does it, it's called a bust out.

When I did a search for "bust out", the closest thing I could find was "bust-out fraud" and it's not quite how you described it here. Different term, or what?

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 12:19 PM  

We are Slavic, not Scandinavian. Together in Fennoscandia by geographic accident, but very different genetically.

And those genetic differences are very useful as a club to bash a certain faction on this blog with.

Anonymous BigGaySteve July 06, 2015 12:20 PM  

Because at the end of the day, it's our name on the dotted line. They did no wrong by offering a deal that we chose to take.

"If you where a bribed politician selling out my homeland my love" the Hugo award winning tale enjoyed by bankers everywhere.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 12:20 PM  

The designed to be impossible to pay debt of the treaty following WWI that had Jews negotiating on both sides is what caused WWII.

They put the nazi in ashkenazi?

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 12:21 PM  

"The Greek people as a whole are Communists and Socialists"

As is all of europe. What's your point?

"I encourage everyone to note Markku's righteous anger."

yep.

This is why there will definately be a war. Because europes favorite pass time is killing europeans.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 12:25 PM  

When we're not killing Europeans, we're just trying to figure out which Europeans to kill first.

And there's, of course, always the green zero on the roulette wheel - Jews.

Anonymous BGS July 06, 2015 12:25 PM  

This is why there will definately be a war. Because europes favorite pass time is killing europeans.

Its bad enough that non Europeans are outbreeding Europeans in Europe while on the dole/welfare. If they don't kill off the non Europeans first all of Europe will devolve into the 3rd world.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 12:25 PM  

Makku - Of course, you are correct: Finns very different than your neighbors. I meant only of that northern group that was under so much pressure to join the EU, which only Norway resisted.

I would be interested to hear your new govt's take on current events, if you would be so kind.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 12:28 PM  

Even though Anti-EU (Finns Party) and Pseudo-Anti-EU (Center Party) forces did well, it's still nowhere nearly enough seats to have formed the senate. So, it's a mixture of Pro-, Anti-, and Anti-was-popular-at-the-time-so-we-rolled-with-it. It's probably not going to have any coherent position.

Anonymous zen0 July 06, 2015 12:48 PM  

> This is why there will definately be a war. Because europes favorite pass time is killing europeans.

After WW2, the Europeans noticed this as well. This became the motivating force behind the Euro project, who's purpose is to make everyone interdependent so they don't go killin' each other.

It started with the European Coal and Steel Community:

The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an international organisation serving to unify European countries after World War II. It was formally established by the Treaty of Paris (1951), which was signed by Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism,[2] and would ultimately lead the way to the founding of the European Union.

The ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared his aim was to "make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible"[3] which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a common market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr.


If they had left it at that, maybe they would not be in the current mess, but humans have a knack of screwing things up.

Blogger Student in Blue July 06, 2015 12:52 PM  

@michaeloh59

Think of it instead like Occupy Wall Street, before the weird "Progressive Stack" stuff happened.

It makes no sense to play Captain Save-A-Ho with banks that make ridiculously bad decisions - if they were insolvent before being bailed out, why would they be any different afterwards?

Meanwhile IMF is trying to beat as much money as they can from a dead pinata. Yeah they don't care where the money comes from as long as they get money in the first place, but they just don't want their Greek bonds to go belly-up.

What I was trying to point out in my previous post was that it's not so much that Greeks are victims or Greeks are complicit, but that most of the posts have been commenting about how finally someone is standing up to bankers.

In a sense it's like rioters vs the corrupt police. Neither side is particularly doing the right thing but it's definitely a sign of change, and the side which had enjoyed nigh-immunity from consequences of bad decisions are possibly finally getting a wake-up call.

Anonymous Donn #0114 July 06, 2015 1:00 PM  

Nate - they took a break from wholesale levels for a while. I guess it's back on for the twenty first century.

Blogger luagha July 06, 2015 1:02 PM  

There's various forms of bust-out, Student-In-Blue.

In some it's the creditor who builds up trust and disappears. In others it's done with relatively new accounts. In the mob method, the mob subverts someone through the threat of violence, so as to take advantage of their length of credit history so they don't have to build it up themselves and can get more. Also they have the means of 'stealing' the merchandise and selling it as well as taking the borrowed cash coming in.

But don't listen to me, google up 'Sopranos Bust Out.'

In this case of course, the bankers forcing these issues are the mobsters busting out the cash both ways, and now we've hit bankruptcy.

Now, if the Greek Socialists really want to be clever, they should let Goldman-Sachs buy up a lot of factories/land/etc and then nationalize it out from them.

A few times.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 1:10 PM  

You Americans have your North and South, and there is an amount of resentment between yourselves. But it's just one conflict. It's not like inter-European relations where we have a very fine and cultured resentment from a huge number of conflicts. Southron hate for Yankees is like Edam cheese. European hatred for Europeans is like Gorgonzola blue cheese.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 1:18 PM  

Now, if the Greek Socialists really want to be clever, they should let Goldman-Sachs buy up a lot of factories/land/etc and then nationalize it out from them.

Hehehehe!

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 1:18 PM  

There is this vague, overarching threat of the European Union. But it's a new enemy. It's a dark, indefinite menace.

But then there are the actual European peoples. Oh, THEM we know. We know EXACTLY what our hate for them tastes like. One is a Gorgonzola. One is a Roquefort. One is perhaps Danish Blue - suboptimal but will do in a pinch. So, we might perhaps smell a little sulphur in the air from this new enemy and be concerned, but give us even a little glimpse of our old ones and we'll forget about it immediately.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 1:21 PM  

If the EU is going to collapse, it's going to be due to country X thinking country Y has made them their shmuck through the vehicle of EU, with many different pairings of X and Y. THAT'S what we'd care about enough to get on barricades.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 1:22 PM  

Let the hate flow through you

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 1:22 PM  

Southron hate for Yankees is like Edam cheese. European hatred for Europeans is like Gorgonzola blue cheese.

And our hate for all of you Eurotrash is like a nice brick of Velveeta.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 1:27 PM  

Completely unsophisticated, yet surprisingly satisfying.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 1:27 PM  

@Porky -

Don't use "our" when you are clearly speaking only for yourself. What are you doing anyway just throwing around insults like that at Markku? What the hell is the point of that? It's not even clever.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 1:31 PM  

And note that I don't refer to the intensity of the inter-USA hate with Edam. I refer to its simplicity. Every child starts their journey to cheese with something like Edam. It's just one thing. One taste.

That will then serve as a reference point to what you think cheese tastes like. Then you start appreciating the complexities of other cheeses.

You know exactly why you hate Yankees. You could explain it in a few sentences. Not so with Europe.

Anonymous Dr. J July 06, 2015 1:32 PM  

This is why there will definately be a war. Because europes favorite pass time is killing europeans.

Which is quickly followed by someone going full retard and invading Russia.

Blogger Scott Rassbach July 06, 2015 1:33 PM  

On NPR this morning, I heard say Mr. Varoufakis was 'sacked'. I've looked further, but haven't found any other references to him being sacked.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 1:33 PM  

Southron Yankee hate is much closer to inter European hate than just some family squabble

Anonymous Feh July 06, 2015 1:38 PM  

Honor and nobility = paying your fucking bills.

Honor and nobility =/= borrowing money so your worthless, slothful people can sit on their asses all day.

I hope the krauts:
a) don't lend the filthy Greeks another pfennig, and
b) send the Bundeswehr down there to repossess the country and sell it on ebay.de

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 1:39 PM  

We know exactly why we hate everyone. Especially the French

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 1:39 PM  

"Honor and nobility = paying your fucking bills."

Oh shut up.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 1:40 PM  

What are you doing anyway just throwing around insults like that at Markku? What the hell is the point of that?

Please shut up, you idiot cornbagger. You certainly didn't seem concerned when it was Markku throwing around the insults.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 1:43 PM  

Oh, now this is finally getting interesting. What's a cornbagger?

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 1:43 PM  

Honor and nobility = paying your fucking bills.

Honor and nobility =/= borrowing money so your worthless, slothful people can sit on their asses all day.


Shouldn't the Germans repay their bills from both world wars?

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 1:43 PM  

We know exactly why we hate everyone. Especially the French

+1 to that.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 1:44 PM  

Okay so we all agree that we hate the fucking French?

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 1:47 PM  

@Scott Rassbach -

The PM asked for the FinMin's resignation for reasons that appear to be related to the PM's opinion that Varoufakis is not well-positioned to take the negotiations further for a number of reasons.

Personally, I wouldn't use "sacked" in that particular context, as it carries shades of meaning which would lead the unwary reader or listener to draw incorrect inferences from the term, but it's not exactly untrue either.

It's a typical modern-journo trick to use words or phrases which are technically true but fundamentally misleading in a manner helpful to one's own political side.

Let me guess: BBC or The Guardian?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 1:47 PM  

We know exactly why we hate everyone. Especially the French

Now, see; simple. But I don't ONLY hate the French. Their shtick and their language is charming, too. You don't want to be on the receiving end of their cowardly arrogance unless you have something to then promptly knock them silly with, but it's not MERELY disgusting. It's familiar and homely too.

Blogger Scott Rassbach July 06, 2015 1:49 PM  

@Jourdan: NPR

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 1:49 PM  

The French are a fine people.

Especially their girls.

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 1:51 PM  

French girls, french ships; beautifully built, hopelessly manned.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 1:51 PM  

@Scott Rassbach

Okay, so I was close. Leave it to the pompous windbags of NPR to use a British term.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 1:53 PM  

"Now, see; simple. But I don't ONLY hate the French. Their shtick and their language is charming, too."

The fact that you're indecisive doesn't make the hate more complex. It makes you a pussy.

if your'e gonna hate the french... hate the fucking french. Stop being a pussy about it.

Their cities smell like piss. Their wine sucks. Their language makes us want to beat them with a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire. A pox on them.

See that? That's hate. That's how you do it.

None of this.. "oh but we like this and that..." no. fuck you pussy. HATE.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 1:54 PM  

"The French are a fine people. "

No.

The French Suck. Everything about them sucks.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 1:56 PM  

Now, see; simple.

Keep on telling us how "simple" we are, Eurotrash. It is really fucking endearing.

And then you complain about French arrogance.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 1:56 PM  

@Alexander

VERY witty and very funny, well done, sir.

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 1:58 PM  

Jourdan,

Sadly, I stole it from somewhere - I think from the Sharpe's books but I wouldn't go so far as to bet the farm on that.

Still, points to me for remembering a gem when I heard one.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 1:59 PM  

See that? That's hate. That's how you do it.

This is Schrödinger's hate. It's easy to talk. But hate is realized in the act. The question is, will we pick up the baseball bat with the barbed wire and hit them with it, or not. At that point only can you tell if we proper hated or not. Right now, there is no answer to the question.

After all, Bane knew how to shed a tear for you as he's killing you, too.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 2:00 PM  

Oh, now this is finally getting interesting. What's a corn bagger?

One who picks undigested corn from feces and places it carefully in a bag.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 2:04 PM  

Now you are begging for my attention again, Porky, after just only a little while before affecting to be disinterested. But I see through you already.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 2:06 PM  

"After all, Bane knew how to shed a tear for you as he's killing you, too."

pshht... Bane cried over cotton commercials.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 06, 2015 2:14 PM  

Non, Nein, never and OXI to the illegal fraudsters gangster banks IMF, EU - here is the reality thieves, the debt and your perverse pleas for bailouts/ins or financial destruction is pure financial terrorism.

How dare you place pensioners into torment.

How dare you tear down Jamaica, Ireland, Greece, Spain and other countries, raid the deposits at your own karmic risk, those who take from the dying and dead shall give back.

You've taken from me but my Lord can give back, our Lord can restore and heal all those who have lost or we are blessed to be poor and austere for our God shall uphold us.

You wicked and perverse soulless demons, you've hurt the innocents, lied and have the audacity to threaten more econo doom?

You banks think Putin will tolerate your inistiatuions of lies?

Face Putin!

Bring it on!

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 06, 2015 2:14 PM  

Edit: institution.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 2:16 PM  

Now you are begging for my attention again, Porky, after just only a little while before affecting to be disinterested.

You mistake "shut up, Eurotrash, I'm talking to Nate right now" for feigned disinterest.

Must be a translation thing.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 2:21 PM  

Jamaica?

Yeah mon...

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 2:24 PM  

Jamaica?

That's like the old joke:

A man walks into a bar and sees Hitler and Stalin sitting at a table. He walks up to them and asks what they are doing. Hitler says were planning WW3. The man asks what's going to happen this time. Hitler says this time were going to kill 15 million Jews and a bicycle repair man. The man asks why a bicycle repair man. Hitler turns to Stalin and says see I told you know one would care about the 15 million Jews.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 2:26 PM  

Regarding Golden Dawn - Any Greek party stupid enough to adopt the symbolism of Greece's WWII hated enemy is doomed to failure. I've heard more than one Greek say that while they generally agree with them, "you can tell they are traitors just by looking at them," as one put it. GD is going nowhere.

I would think any true Greek would identify with the meander, a traditional symbol of Greece. As for being traitors, I suppose you can tell the ruling establishment are the real traitors just by looking at all the Africans and Pakistanis in Athens.

If the Greek people are that stupid that they will believe the black meander on a red flag is somehow a reincarnation of the nazi flag, but yet ignore the third worlders that have taken over entire neighborhoods in their midst, then I suppose I can only enjoy their upcoming grief.

As for picking symbols that are bad for ones image, using the hammer and sickle doesn't seem to hurt the Greek Communist party much.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 2:30 PM  

Yeah, they changed the flag afterwards, but there is no way you would convince me that this is "just" the Greek symbol.

I can see your trollface to Finland if you try to say that.

Anonymous Different T July 06, 2015 2:41 PM  

Did I miss Vari say he was giving up politics?

I read he said he would resign if Greece voted "Yes," and then he did resign to help with future negotiations. Did he say he was done after the negotiations, or just playing nationalistic political martyr in a futile battle over carrion? Ready to stick his beak back into the carcass once some of the other vultures go away?

Anonymous A.B. Prosper July 06, 2015 2:43 PM  

Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

not new advice but certainly germane.

As for Greece and the rest of the PIIGS, what they need is less trade with Germany and other net exporters and more domestic. development. Otherwise all these countries do is prop up surplus industrial production from other countries at the expense of their own people.

Of course Germans would have to have children for that to not crush them otherwise they don't have demand and apparently even the immigrants aren't having many kids these days.

Ah gotta love an efficiency trap

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 2:44 PM  

Before the law, the trolling would indeed have a point. If there are laws about displaying the nazi swastika, then that is not it. Those laws would be irrelevant.

But as for the Greek who is thinking about whether that is a flag they want to flock under, they are going to know immediately what they wanted to communicate with that design, and make his decision accordingly. To THEM, Golden Dawn cannot legitimately complain. Golden Dawn made its choice, and now they have to live with the consequences of that choice.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 2:49 PM  

Yeah, they changed the flag afterwards, but there is no way you would convince me that this is "just" the Greek symbol.

I suppose if they really wanted it to look like the nazi flag they could have enclosed the black meander inside a white circle. However, I find the whole debate over their flag immaterial. The Golden Dawn aren't the ones who have opened Greece's doors to Pakistan and Africa.

I've recently spoken with a relative who returned from a vacation in Greece. They told me how surprised they were to see areas of Athens that were devoid of Greeks. Even their local Greek friends told them about areas that they should never go to. This came as a shock. These relatives had visited Greece in the 1980s and always remarked how they felt perfectly safe in Athens. They described walking down the streets at 2 am with no fear, and contrasted this to major American cities at that time. Now, however, they felt things had changed significantly and were very disappointed. On the plus side I think they are now coming closer to my view on immigration to America.

Blogger Student in Blue July 06, 2015 2:51 PM  

@luagha
Oh, that certainly makes a lot of sense, especially after reading up on the other forms of bust-out fraud. Thanks for the distinction.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 2:52 PM  

To THEM, Golden Dawn cannot legitimately complain. Golden Dawn made its choice, and now they have to live with the consequences of that choice.

And yet the Communist Party of Greece can unambiguously use the hammer and sickle without suffering any consequences.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 3:02 PM  

"Yeah, they changed the flag afterwards, but there is no way you would convince me that this is "just" the Greek symbol."

That is in fact a Greek Symbol. Its a Greek Key. They are literally all over the place in architecture and other art.

So sorry. You're wrong.

You may as well call UGA Nazi because their uniforms are Red and Black.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 3:04 PM  

That is in fact a Greek Symbol. Its a Greek Key. They are literally all over the place in architecture and other art.

As I said, I've spent most vacations in the Greek islands before we lent them money. I know exactly what that symbol is, and how common it is.

Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 3:05 PM  

You may as well call UGA Nazi because their uniforms are Red and Black.

A real nazi never would have lost control of the program as many times as Richt has.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 3:06 PM  

I vigorously defended the choice of the symbol back when we all first heard about Golden Dawn, and considered the opponents absolute ignorant morons.

Then I saw the actual flag.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 3:16 PM  

Then I saw the actual flag.

Where do you draw the line? You, and many others, say the GD flag resembles the Nazi flag. But what about all the flags that bear some resemblance to the Confederate Battle Flag, such as Jamaica? Or what about all the other flags that proudly bear the symbols of communism?

Who gets to decide what is prohibited? And why are some symbols that may or may not resemble a hated ideology banned, while other symbols are allowed without any debate or fuss? I just don't like the fact that others seeming always get to decide what is or is not kosher, especially when what passes for kosher represents a higher body count.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 3:19 PM  

Where do you draw the line? You, and many others, say the GD flag resembles the Nazi flag. But what about all the flags that bear some resemblance to the Confederate Battle Flag, such as Jamaica?

I'm not drawing a line anywhere. I'm going to keep showing people that flag, and let them react as they react.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 3:20 PM  

Golden Dawn designed it, I'm showing it. Fair game.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 3:22 PM  

"I'm not drawing a line anywhere. I'm going to keep showing people that flag, and let them react as they react."

The fact that people are ignornat is hardly a good defense. The flag no more makes them NAZI any more than Alabama's flag makes it Scotland.

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 3:24 PM  

A real nazi never would have lost control of the program as many times as Richt has.

Zing!

On the other hand, UGA's logo was mistaken for the country of Georgia a week or two back, so perhaps it's not entirely farfetched.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 3:27 PM  

UGA has a logo?

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 3:30 PM  

Well... the black "G", at any rate.

Was used instead of the flag of Georgia in a Georgia - Poland soccer mach, I believe it was.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 3:32 PM  

I vigorously defended the choice of the symbol back when we all first heard about Golden Dawn, and considered the opponents absolute ignorant morons.

Then I saw the actual flag.


Suddenly the Eurotrash loses his nuanced, sophisticated palate.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 3:34 PM  

I'm going to keep showing people that flag, and let them react as they react.

As pointed out by Nate, the fact that people are ignorant is hardly a good defense. Additionally, most people will have not viewed that flag prior to hearing or reading reports in the media that the flag is definitely a Nazi symbol. In fact I bet what happens in at least 9 out of 10 instances is that a person is reading an article about Greece in the AP or some similar news service when they come across a sentence that mentions, "the Golden Dawn, a neo-fascist party with a Nazi-like symbol." They then google the GD flag, and with biased mind, might very well come to the conclusion that the flag is indeed a Nazi symbol.

My guess is if people looked upon the flag, and looked at what the GD stood before, BEFORE having their opinions biased by media coverage, they might very well come to a different conclusion.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 3:40 PM  

Golden Dawn designed it, I'm showing it. Fair game.

Markku, as a Finn aren't you more offended by the emblem of the Greek Communist Party than of the Golden Dawn? I thought Finland was an ally of Nazi Germany after all. Wans't it the communists that tried to conquer your nation?

Do you have a similar view of the KKE's symbol?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 3:41 PM  

Markku, as a Finn aren't you more offended by the emblem of the Greek Communist Party than of the Golden Dawn? I thought Finland was an ally of Nazi Germany after all.

I'm not offended. I'm just showing the flag.

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 3:44 PM  

I'm just showing the flag.

Do you ever show people the KKE flag?

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 3:49 PM  

If they start making a bullshit argument about it to me. So far they haven't, so it's off my radar.

Blogger Danby July 06, 2015 4:04 PM  

This is just bullshit.
GD purposefully designed the flag to evoke Nazi symbolism.
Greeks see the flag and it sends exactly the signal it was intended to send, "We should have gone along with the Nazis."
Greeks hate the Nazis with a burning flame of hatred far more intense than Palestinians hate Jews. Even more than they hate Turks. Taki talks about the time his father blew up his own factory because the Bundeswehr was using it. The GD flag was an intentional "fuck you" to middle-class Greece. Its purpose was to get the flag outlawed."

So, GD gets exactly the reaction they were looking for, and now they're martyrs of the White cause or some bullshit.

If they wanted to actually implement a rational nationalistic policy, they would have designed a different symbol. Were I Greek, I would be looking to build a political faction that is nationalist without invoking Pagan or Nazi symbology. I'm pretty sure a lot of Greeks would go for that.

The flag would be a cross of St. Gorge with a meander border, in blue on white.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 4:08 PM  

"If they start making a bullshit argument about it to me. "

yeah.. because "you're nazis because symbol!" is totally not a bullshit argument

Blogger Kirk Parker July 06, 2015 4:09 PM  

Jeez, Porky -- no one doubts the actual existence of eurotrash, but no one with any sense puts the Finns among them.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 4:10 PM  

yeah.. because "you're nazis because symbol!" is totally not a bullshit argument

I'm just showing the flag.

Blogger Nate July 06, 2015 4:13 PM  

"I'm just showing the flag."

Rhetoric. its nothing but visual rhetoric. Embarrassing.

Blogger Alexander July 06, 2015 4:20 PM  

Yes well flags - especially the flag of a new, unestablished group, are visual rhetoric.

Given that most people are idiots, you are a fool to choose a color scheme and similar symbol that would allow your enemies to paint you in such a foreseeable manner. In which case Golden Dawn ought be led by people who aren't so stupid.

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 4:45 PM  

Jeez, Porky -- no one doubts the actual existence of eurotrash, but no one with any sense puts the Finns among them.

Sneering self-righteousness? Check.
Inflated sense of sophistication? Check.
Knee jerk reaction to anything remotely naziesque? Check.

Screw 'em. We invented the internet, the space shuttle, and Hooters.

They invented.... Angry Birds.



Blogger Josh July 06, 2015 4:47 PM  

Screw 'em. We invented the internet, the space shuttle, and Hooters.

Boobs FTW

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 4:48 PM  

I will admit, however, that Markku scores points for saying "vacation" instead of "holiday" which proves he's not entirely eurotrashy.

Blogger SirHamster (#201) July 06, 2015 4:56 PM  

I'm not drawing a line anywhere. I'm going to keep showing people that flag, and let them react as they react.

I have no dog in the fight and was skimming through. I looked at the pic because of the promised entertainment value of "trollface".

"Gee, that looks like the Nazi flag. Who's that for?"

Anonymous Porky July 06, 2015 5:01 PM  

pronounced "aw-lee-day". As in "Ar yoo heauh on awleeday?"

"No dumbass. I'm on vacation."

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 5:09 PM  

Let me take you far away
You'd like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You'd like a holiday

Exchange the cold days for the sun
A good time and fun
Let me take you far away
You'd like a holiday

Blogger Derrick Bonsell July 06, 2015 6:08 PM  

"We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office."

I can't stop laughing.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell July 06, 2015 6:08 PM  

"We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office."

I can't stop laughing.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell July 06, 2015 6:08 PM  

"We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office."

I can't stop laughing.

Blogger Thucydides July 06, 2015 6:39 PM  

This is really one of these events where you wish the worst for everyone. The greek politicians who lied to get into the EU. The Greek public who voted for "free stuff" for decades, never intending to pay for it. The EU bankers and bureaucrats, who's short sighted greed led them to continue making loans to Greece, knowing full well that there was no way for this to end well.

Even now, while we may cheer for the Greeks sticking it to the EU; they are doing it for all the wrong reasons. The No vote was a two year old's tantrum upon being told there would be no more ice cream and cake, not a principled measure against debt bondage.

And there are no Greek politicians (or almost anywhere else, for that matter) who are willing to take the hard measures needed to actually lead the Greek economy into recovery. Think about that next time you contemplate the debt and unfunded liabilities of the US or individual State governments (and I can't be smug, the Province of Ontario is in many respects in even worse trouble than Greece).

Blogger Groot July 06, 2015 6:55 PM  

"@78. Porky

Shut up you fat, drunk dwarf."

Despite my intemperate LOL, you are stepping over the line here into bullying. I must again refer to the wisdom of anti-bullying activist Randi Harper, aka FreeBSDGirl: "Set yourself on fire. You’ve made your bed, now get fucked in it. Fuck your feelings."

Th-th-th-that's all, folks!

Anonymous 11B July 06, 2015 7:15 PM  

Taki talks about the time his father blew up his own factory because the Bundeswehr was using it. The GD flag was an intentional "fuck you" to middle-class Greece. Its purpose was to get the flag outlawed."

Danby, actually there are a number of Greeks, Taki included, that do not hate the Germans. They despise the communists much more than the Nazis. A number of conservative Greeks like Taki actually felt the Germans were doing the right thing until they went genocidal on the Jews. Many in Europe besides the Greeks rightly feared communism and were on board to stop the spread of the hard left. I know some Greeks with Taki's point of view who actually lived during WW2 in Greece.

What is fascinating is that these Greeks of whom I speak are prideful that Hitler respected their tenacious defense of their homeland so much that he mentioned it during a speech he gave at the Reichstag. He said, " Historical justice obliges me to state that of the enemies who took up positions against us, the Greek soldier particularly fought with the highest courage. He capitulated only when further resistance had become impossible and useless.". The Germans even allowed the Greek soldiers to go home instead of rounding them up in POW camps.

Now I know Greece is, and has been, heavily divided between right and left going back to WW2. The right fought the Germans, but once they surrendered did not actively participate in the resistance like the left did. Many on the right in Greece, like those in France, were somewhat content after the Germans came in and purged the communists. I suppose had an invader gone after the right wing, those on the left would have cooperated more with the invader than those on the right.

After the war the right and left fought a civil war over control of the nation in which Truman intervened in 1948. This split between the left-right continued up through the Greek Junta which was a right-wing military government. In the past 30 years or so the left has become more politically dominant, and thus you see the media in Greece and the academic elites etc., coming out against Golden Dawn. This hatred of Golden Dawn is not just hatred of them, but hatred against the right going back to WW2.

In a way the current population of Greece is getting what they deserved. They have trended left over the past few decades and voted into office the guys who like to spend other people's money on the social safety net that they now will no longer be able to afford. As my Greek acquaintance who lived during WW2 told me, "all the industrious Greeks have left, and only the lazy ones remain."

I am sure those in Greece who are perfectly comfortable with the Greek Communists abhor the GD flag and are quick to label it Nazi. But I am sure there are right wing Greeks who are not offended, but lack the clout to do anything about it. It is probably somewhat similar to how many like me have no problem at all with the Confederate Battle Flag, but are powerless as the media gin up outrage and have that emblem banned. I doubt even a majority of 50 percent in America want that flag banned, but the media has put the spotlight on it and even so called GOP leaders have abandoned it. I imagine there are a significant number of Greeks who feel similarly about GD, but the media-government complex is all on board to ban them.

Maybe I am wrong and maybe all the right wing industrious Greeks have fled so that only the lazy, lefties remain. But I don't think the GD symbol is as universally despised as you think. I know the Confederate Flag is not, but reading the international press, it would seem that all America is wanting to ban that proud banner. BTW, I purchased my first Rebel Flag just after eBay announced their ban.

Blogger Danby July 06, 2015 8:45 PM  

The GD could have appealed to a Greek history of discipline, courage, industry and thrift, it certainly exists. Instead, they appealed to explicitly Nazi and explicitly mittle-european symbols and ideology. I am sure there are many Greeks who didn't mind the German occupation, just as there were a great many French who didn't mind the Vichy government, whatever they may have said after the war. Still, the entire episode was one of national humiliation, and the question at hand is not really right vs left even in European terms, but Nationalism vs transnationalism. If you want to appeal to the patriotic stirrings in the heart of all Greeks, why would you want to remind them of their humiliation at the hands of the Wehrmacht?

In other words, GD does not intend to be a mainstream political party. It is an attempt to capitalize on disaffected neo-pagan wankers for both a livelihood and whatever drabs of political power you can extract. And that's why the flag was intended to outrage. If you're trying to attract disaffected, deracinated neo-pagan wankers, inciting outrage from the middle classes is how you go about it.

Anonymous Anonymous July 06, 2015 9:29 PM  

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Anonymous Anonymous July 06, 2015 9:36 PM  

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Anonymous Jack Amok July 06, 2015 9:40 PM  

I never considered The Scorpions to be Eurotrash, but I'm sure opinions differ.

Blogger Danby July 06, 2015 9:43 PM  

@Anonymous
Pick a name. anonymity is considered rude here.

The situation is more like if you were underaged, and the loan documents were signed not by you, but by you ex-wife. Who is both the bankruptcy magistrate and sleeping with the bank director.. And they are demanding 20 years indentured servitude. And you have not seen one penny of the money.

Because they have the documents in order, you are therefore not morally justified to repudiate the debt?

Bullshit.

Hell, banks walk away from their own debt all the time. So do corporations. It's called default. Happens literally every day.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 06, 2015 9:46 PM  

Gees, I'm out of character or off my game. I totally forgot about the golden dawn and KKE flag. A statesider like me doesn't always recall the most important messages of the failed EU debacle.

Anonymous zen0 July 06, 2015 9:47 PM  

Danby, actually there are a number of Greeks, Taki included, that do not hate the Germans. They despise the communists much more than the Nazis. A number of conservative Greeks like Taki actually felt the Germans were doing the right thing until they went genocidal on the Jews.

I find this interesting because I am currently reading history of the time, and it seems to me that yes, the Germans wanted to purge the Jews, but they did not go genocidal about it until they were in a war situation, where the choices become limited..

They probably would have been happy to send them all to America, Britain, and Russia, and take their shit, but Roosevelt, Churchill, and Schtalin would not have approved.

Sure, wild speculation. But the camps had only 25000 people in them at the onset of the war, and they were not jews.

Just a thought.

Anonymous Boomer "bafoon"[sic] "validictorian"[sic] July 06, 2015 9:55 PM  

Damn, Porky, you really got the VFM wilting-lily brigade shriveling up in this thread. Watch your step, being a big mean bully is serious business to some of the sycophants around here.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper July 06, 2015 9:56 PM  

As I posted a Cappy Cap's the OECD notes via the Greek Reporter here http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/04/21/oecd-greeks-are-hardest-working-people-in-europe/ That Greeks work more hours than anyone in Europe.

If this is true what they are somewhat crooked, tax adverse compared to how much they spend and under developed, not lazy.

Also a lot of these countries economies have been hurt by unemployment and population aging. The former is the efficiency trap I mentioned up thread, simply there is not enough well remunerative work for the size of the population.

If that could be stopped or reversed and sound polices implemented what would happen in in time the population will decline to carrying capacity, perhaps half or less current amounts and that is a good thing. The 25% unemployment and 25% underemployment /low paid workers will vanish and the work/population ration will self repair.

As for population aging, its a product of urbanization, simply, more people in cities means smaller families, moving from, larger to smaller families means population aging.

However if the population declines, in time the population period will self repair and its highly probable that the aging issue will be corrected, Now I don't know what the supportable population, it could be 2 or 3 million or 5 or 10 with good policy choices,

None of this would be a problem if the Elites weren't so desperate for more cheap labor and people to rule. Because of this treason they bring in the refuse of the world. stop that and the problems self correct.

Anonymous anti-Porky zen0 July 06, 2015 10:00 PM  

181. Porky July 06, 2015 4:48 PM

I will admit, however, that Markku scores points for saying "vacation" instead of "holiday" which proves he's not entirely eurotrashy.


$&$% you Porky , you simpering pile of festering excrement.
From the depths of Hell I revile you.
Your Mother sucks cocks in Hell, and your spawn will all have homosexual partners.
May you die a horrible death in a conflagration.

We of Canukistan say "holiday" and we are the most beloved people on the face of the earth, while you are nothing but a bunch of scuttling claws in silent seas.


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