Ruled by cowards

That was my first thought this morning, the Guardian is full of news, on how Greece “needs up to €60bn (£42bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space” and stabilise the economy“. Really? In all this, no move will be made until after the referendum, but the fact that Greece goes a way they do not like, a 60 billion Euro carrot is thrown into the mix. So as we see that the IMF now reveals a deep split with Europe as it warned that Greece’s debts were “unsustainable”, which we already knew, we see absolutely nothing on the accountability of Greece, its choice of politicians and it taken political policies in the last decade.

Consider the rules at creditcard.com ‘Preteens should learn that borrowing money costs money, and that when you borrow, you make a promise to repay‘, now there are two main reasons why things go wrong, the first is because things change, a person loses his job, a town falls into recession, these are usually temporary issues, and a delay tends to solve matters. Yet when the child has a compulsive buying disorder, that person will have all the toys and all the goodies and no usable credit card. Last there is the group of people who are both in denial and rationalising, this applies to Greece and pretty much the political BULK of the EEC.

They are in denial that they overspent and they are rationalising why it was spent in the first place. Greece being the front runner, because Greece is now in the hot water tub. More important, several players are now stepping on the plate stating things like unsustainable and debt relief, which was a given for a long time, yet NO ONE is holding Greece accountable (at present), for the things they did. It will be pushed towards ‘it was the previous people’ and these people are not to blame. We can allow for both to be truths, yet the current administration has done NOTHING to make serious changes, changes to prevent this from happening from now on. This makes them equally guilty. So as the Guardian published yesterday ‘IMF says Greece needs extra €60bn in funds and debt relief‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/02/imf-greece-needs-extra-50bn-euros) and now follows it up with ‘IMF says no third bailout without debt relief‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/jul/02/greek-debt-crisis-athens-creditors-referendum-yes-no-live) yesterday, it seems to me that the people behind the screens are slowly releasing information in an urge to keep the status quo going, the fact that this will hit everyone down the track is not their concern, like former Greek politicians, they will leave it for the next person to solve.

What a tangled web we weave!

Now, we see additional hilarious statements as Yanis Varoufakis starts spinning its tail. With messages like “Europe has taken a “Political decision to shut the banks down” as a way to force Greece to accept a non-viable decision” on Bloomberg. Let’s not forget that the ECB had to give Greece 3.3 billion in emergency cash, making the total of cash through the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) €68.3bn (£50.3bn) (source: BBC), so this means, that whilst people can only get 60 euro’s a day, and as some source stated “Greek banks down to €500m in cash reserves as economy crashes“, we see that 11 million people could take out 660 million euro’s leaving absolutely no money left in the banks (or ATM’s for that matter), so, how about stating that the banks were closed because Greece had no money left? As a professor of Economy, I would hope that Yanis Varoufakis can use an abacus and calculate the dire situation for himself. Giving us the issue that as a politician he is spinning half-truths as I see it (I do accept that as a politician he had very little options to work with).

You see in all this, my massive issue is not the status this parliament is in, they were handed a really bad hand. It is the utter inaction that propelled this situation into the limelight. So why bash Tsipras and Varoufakis? That is the question I ask myself, because I must look at reasoning in all matters!

I have no hatred or ill feelings towards Greece, I always loved Crete! I have nothing against these politicians as persons (never met them), but their actions call into the light certain elements we must inspect and investigate, even within ourselves, because if we do not do that, we become players in the blame game and there has been way too much of that on many sides of the monopoly table.

Now we look at news with more ‘fearing’ upcoming events of utter negativity ‘Greek economy close to collapse as food and medicine run short‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/03/greece-economy-collapse-close-food-medicine-shortage). First the subtitle “Alexis Tsipras urges people to vote no in Sunday’s referendum as capital controls bite and vital tourism industry sees tens of thousands cancel holidays in Greece“, how interesting as politicians and spokespeople were all about on how tourism was great and how the numbers would continue.

For example ‘The record boom in Greek tourism with more to come, says Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura‘ (at http://www.neomagazine.com/2015/04/greece-has-never-been-sexier-the-record-boom-in-greek-tourism-with-more-to-come-says-tourism-minister-elena-kountoura/), where we see  “All entities that deal with tourism including our ministry and the people of Greece have come together and joined hands so that 2015 will be an even better year. The feedback so far is very positive and we feel very optimistic“. Which is an April 2015 article, in my article of April 22nd, we see the Ekathimerini quotes, where the quote a drop of 50% came from, which I thought was overly pessimistic, it had foundations as Global Travel reported a predicted drop of 40% from the Russian shores. Now we see that Ekathimerini might be getting closer to the mark than we thought. Tourism is an important factor, because it is the first and direct influx of funds to the small business owners all over Greece, with a stated 50,000 tourist’s now changing destination, it becomes a very dangerous time for the Greek economy, when the tourists stay away Greek gets a new level of nightmares to deal with.

Then we see the quote “Greece’s economy is on the brink of collapse after the capital controls imposed ahead of Sunday’s referendum left the country with shortages of food and drugs” as well as “The survival of the Syriza coalition, formed just over five months ago to repudiate five years of austerity programmes, was in doubt as Greece started to suffer shortages of basic provisions, including the sale of vital drugs in pharmacies nationwide” You see, the second one is the problem, it hides another matter, the fact that a generic ‘commercial’ side can no longer survive in the Greek environment. I knew it was going to be bad, but this is showing another matter all entirely, a side many papers left in the shadow of the events. You see, if capital controls brought basic shortages to the surface, what else are the people (not just the Greeks) unaware of?

Consider the quote “Greek islands, where thousands of holidaymakers headed this week, have also been hit, with popular Cycladic destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini reporting shortages of basic foodstuffs. More than half of Greece’s food supplies – and the vast majority of pharmaceuticals – are imported, but with bank transfers now banned, companies are unable to pay suppliers“, and contemplate what capital controls allows for limiting the requirement of food and medication, unless it is done on credit, or done under a condition when currency has dwindled to zero. Of course the situation is not that simple, yet when imposed capital controls (as reported) stops food and medication from reaching the people. If it is a governmental ploy to push for a vote (not entirely impossible) than we can truly state that the game is changing for the Greeks and the power players behind the mirror.

This is given added weight when we consider “The ECB will meet on Monday to decide whether to step up its help to Greece under its emergency liquidity assistance scheme. The head of Greece’s banking association, Louka Katseli, told reporters: “Liquidity is assured until Monday, thereafter it will depend on the ECB decision.”“, so is this part of the fact, or is it another level? You see, if the Emergency liquidity opens the influx of medication and food, we have a nation truly out of cash. This is not a story that makes me happy, it is a sad continuation for a nation of people who have ended up with the short end of the stick for too long and in addition their latest government has done almost nothing to quell the issues that truly needed attention. So as we are now a day away from the referendum, we seem to bulk up question after question, most of them all relate to the referendum and more important, what will the consequence be on Monday?

Monday will be a milestone for the Europeans, not just the Greeks. You see, no matter what, the French and the Italians will be all about securing their borders, securing their financial status, because when we see Mark Carney all over the news with “He said the risk to the banking system in the UK has increased but added that the central bank was ready to take whatever action is required to protect Britain“, yet he also warned that Britain’s exposure to the rest of the Eurozone remained ‘considerable’” (at http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-3146443/Greece-deadlock-risks-UK-financial-stability-warns-Mark-Carney-adds-BoE-ready-action-protect-Britain.html). It is the part that is ignored by many people and a many reporters. You see, no matter what, France and Italy will be all about setting their projected and their presented status.

Yet, it is the French RFI that gives me “Elsewhere in Athens, in a backstreet with graffiti-painted walls not far from Omonia Square, is the Alexander the Great restaurant. Its terrace is full. But not full enough to keep the business running. “We have only 10 tables, down from 30, because the overheads were too high,” says Sodia Blacho, a lawyer who helps her father run the eatery in her spare time. “We are a family business. All our family members help around without being paid. We used to have 10 staff members but now we have only three left. We have to borrow individually some money to invest in the business and to keep it going.”“, this shows a different side. We all know that many restaurants are depending on tourism, but beyond that people have to eat, when places like this falter, is it a combination of issues? Not just the tourists, but what happens when business models fall under the changing conditions of an economy to this extent? I feel certain that there are more places, other places that have a similar issue to deal with. The interesting wisdom that people ignore as they bash a word called austerity, words of wisdom come from Dimitri Sotiropoulos, a senior research fellow with the Eliamep think tank, where we hear “Any type of austerity measures you can think of will be necessary in the next two years for Greece to stand again on its own feet and hopefully this will happen within the Eurozone. If it is going to be No, the prospects of Greece remaining in the Eurozone are very bleak”, the heart of Austerity ignored is a nation (actually pretty much all EEC nations) keeping a proper handle on its budget, when Greece falls, France and Italy become the next players that need to realise that the jig is up, no matter how committed and how up to date their payments are, when Greece falls 11 million people will start looking for any answer, anywhere in Europe to keep them alive and no one will be able to blame them. The news is only overshadowed by an article published today in the Economist (at http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21656720-legal-reforms-may-help-chip-away-mountain-non-performing), where we see the quotes “the government last week introduced an emergency decree aimed at unblocking a backlog of bad loans. The hope is that this would allow banks to lend to more deserving companies instead and so boost the economy, which after three years of recession grew by 0.3% in the first quarter“, “This has become especially problematic as the financial crisis has caused the number of companies in distress to soar: annual corporate insolvencies rose from around 6,000 in 2007 to more than 14,000 a year in 2013 and 2014. The result is a mass of impaired loans—€325 billion ($360 billion) as of December“, as well as “Italy’s justice ministry has appointed a commission to come up with plans for a comprehensive overhaul“. This is all emphasised by the subtitle ‘Legal reforms may help chip away at the mountain of non-performing loans‘, nice to see an article to phrase what I have been telling for almost a year. Italy might have options as it is making changes now, not in a year from now when it is possibly too late, with almost 30,000 companies going bankrupt in the last 2 years, this year will be a cruncher for Italy, especially with a contracting economy. All this changes with Greece, with 2.6 trillion in debt, Italy is another player altogether, even though the Italian outlook is nowhere near deadly at present, the Greek situation will push Italy (France too) towards the Abyss, now Europe has two direct options, the first is the four nations banding together (UK, Italy, France and Germany), yet the UK referendum is not sitting well with the other three players and France remains an item too. If President Hollande, President Sergio Mattarella and German Chancellor Angela Merkel set up a triad of economy between Italy, Germany and France, there is an option for limited growth, in that vision the UK becomes a pariah as the referendum talks have been voiced, in all that Hollande has time, but once Marine Le Pen gains too much traction with National Front, his options are over. In all this, those players will drop Greece like a bad habit, because Alexis Tsipras overplayed a really bad hand and he played it badly too. No matter how ‘clever’ some see the acts, those with all the coin behind the mirror will not hesitate to take a bruise regarding Greece if it means keeping the total 5 trillion debt issue from both Italy and France safe, when that goes it all stops for everyone.

No matter how it all goes next, the one change that will fill the minds of the policymakers will be legislation and prosecution, the view on how it filed in Greece is something these two nations cannot live with, through all this the French and British referendums will sound and it will have an impact on all changes that insiders and outsiders would want. When these evolutions remain absent, its population will see to what extent they are ruled by cowards, for the mere simplicity of fact that at present no one will get out of this without skin in the game, Greece was not cause of it, it just brought it to the surface a hell of a lot faster.

 

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