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Who Will Hold The Troika to Account for Asphyxiating Greece?

This is a good question posed by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on British daily Telegraph.UK “Who will hold the Troika on Account for asphyxiating Greece?” Probably nobody…

 “Germany has clearly taken the decision to expel Greece from the euro, whatever the new Greek government does.

Vice-Chancellor Philipp Roesler says the “horror” of Greek exit has worn off. The markets will hardly miss a beat when the day comes.

Greece has already failed to complete 210 targets imposed by the EU-IMF Troika.

“Unfortunately it is likely that Greece will not be able to fulfil the requirements. And I say quite clearly, if Greece fails to comply, there should be no more payments to Greece. I have to say I am more than sceptical,” he said.

Before we all join together to kick the Greeks when they are down, let us be clear why the country has kept missing the targets.

The Troika originally said that Greece’ economy would contract by 2.6pc in 2010 under the austerity regime, before recovering with growth of 1.1pc in 2011, and 2.1pc in 2012.

In fact, Greek GDP has been in an unbroken free-fall. It did not grow last year. It contracted a further 6.9pc, and is now expected to shrink 6.7pc this year.

This was entirely predictable – and was predicted by many critics – since Greece faced an IMF-style austerity package without the usual IMF cure of devaluation. The Troika’s ideology of “expansionary fiscal contraction” – which the IMF has to its credit since abjured, but the fanatics in charge still swear by – is breaking a whole society on the wheel.

The result of this Great Depression – as the Greek prime minister calls it – is in implosion in tax revenues. The budget deficit has remained stuck near 9pc of GDP despite draconian wage cuts and hospital closures.

Roughly speaking, the Troika has misjudged the scale of economic decline over three years by 12pc of GDP.

“That is a massive miscalculation,” said David Bloom, head of currencies at HSBC.

“The collapse has been exponential. Greek GDP is contracting faster than they can reduce debt. The Troika really has a duty to give Greece the next tranche of money,” he said.

As for the failure to carry out the privatisation programme (mostly property), how on earth is Greece supposed to comply? Mass sales of real estate right now would tip the property market into an even deeper downward spiral, taking the economy with it.

It is a lonely task sticking up for the Greeks – given the sins of their elites over the last decade – but do we really have to put up with the false narrative coming from the EU’s creditor core, and the self-serving eyewash by the policy architects of this disaster in Brussels, Frankfurt, and indeed Washington?

What Mr Roesler really means is that Germany is not willing to spend any taxpayer’s money on Greece. Not one euro.

Previous losses were entirely concentrated on pension funds, insurers, banks, and other private holders who took a 75pc haircut – punished for their loyalty – but there is not much more to be squeezed out of them.

Any further aid puts creditor governments directly at risk. That’s what this is all about.

OK, but please cut out the humbug, the rhetoric about Europe’s unshakeable will to hold EMU together, the flowery promises to uphold the cause of peace and comity in Europe.

It is all just squalid calculation, and a lot of lies.”

by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard via Telegraph.UK

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22 comments

  1. Nobody will hold the Troika responsible, unless the Greek people do it now. Don’t count on your government, they are spineless puppets who dance to the tune that’s played by their master, the Troika.
    The Troika are not interested in Greece, they are not interesed in the Greek people, and they are definitely not interested in what their “medicine” has accomplished and done to the people.
    All they are interested in is to recover as much money as they can for the clients, the banks. That this money was created on paper, is a figment of somebody’s sick imagination and never actually existed is totally besides the point. THE SUMS MUST ADD UP, even if based on fictitious money. And the people of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, soon Italy, have been chosen to be the ones to pay up. At any cost. After manipulating elections and simply installing “friendly” governments, nothing will stop them unless the people do.
    It’s time to say “enough”.

  2. yes KTG… i feel our frustration and sadness and so many other emotions brought on by this calculated – though at the same time sometimes miscalculated – farce that continues to chip away at our dignity and integrity. I’m not a full Greek but I have Greek roots and have lived in Greece for over half my life. The depression, desperation and TEMPORARY resignation that permeates, surrounds and chokes us has become part of us. Hope you don’t mind the song I’m going to include along with my share on facebook. thanks again and KEEP TALKING GREECE!!!!!!!

  3. So, not spending even more money on a hopeless cause equals “aphysxiating”, kt? Under your definition, all other nations on earth are guilty of that, too. There’s lots of lipservices of solidarity, but nobody wants to spend billions of taxpayers’ money to bail Greece out.

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    it’s not my article in case you didn’t notice.

  5. Excuse me pls, very prominently, it says “Posted by keeptalkinggreece in Economy”. Do you expect me to read such stuff through to the very last line?

  6. @Ephilant i agree completely, wish we all did and i almost gave up hope last summer, again in march – and again during both elections. but as they say hope is the last to die ONE SOLUTION 😉

    on a side note, no need to defend getting the facts out of course; some people don’t want or need to see the light

  7. As said before, there is something to be said for chasing that particular breed of Homo Sapiens that refuses to read back up the trees…
    It is made abundently clear that in the author’s opinion (who does know a bit about these things!)Greece can in fact not be held responsible for the situation it is in, to the level it is been held responsible. Yes, there are problems, and they need dealing with, but the ultimate responsibility for this complete debacle lies fair and square with those who misjudged, flatly refuse to aknowledge that they did, and keep on suggesting more of the same ineffective, detrimental “medicine”. Here’s the latest bit of nonsense for you:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/24/us-eurozone-greece-idUSBRE86N11D20120724

  8. It is all just squalid calculation, and a lot of lies.

    And so is this ‘article’. I have to say, that I am getting totally fed-up with idiots like this who have falling clearly for the lies of the Greek nomenklatura and their cronies abroad.

  9. keeptalkinggreece

    ok, sorry, I will make a lead to make it obvious

  10. It is kind of customary to read something thoroughly if you are going to comment on it and expect to be taken seriously.
    On the other hand, if you’re just going to comment for the sake of creating an argument, then you shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously

  11. The author of the article has likely developed selective amnesia. The economic problems Greece is facing right now had accumulated over decades, mainly because PASOK and ND dominated governments were unwilling and incapable to provide short and long term solutions. Expecting to solve Greece’s problems in two years is both unrealistic and unattainable.

    The troika’s economic predictions were definitely over-optimistic and inaccurate, and the Greek government didn’t yet fulfill the majority of its goals. The economic recession is much deeper than expected, the unemployment rate is staggering and market liquidity is low. Some Greek politicians, economists, journalists and others have advocated over simplistic, painless and pleasing to the ears of most Greeks solutions. Some of them are likely having ulterior motives, haven’t yet grasped the seriousness of the situation and simply demagoguing the Greek people. The task of improving Greece’s economic prospects will be herculean, long-lasting, obstacle-ridden and treacherous.

  12. I simply love your optimism and oh so naive trust in the political apparatus being able to solve any of this.

    “the Greek government didn’t yet fulfill the majority of its goals”

    First of all, they are not the Greek governments goals, they are the Troika’s goals. Secondly, which goals did they manage to fulfill?
    Other than getting half the country living on or below the breadline and organising a swimming pool and barbecue in the jail they should all be send to, just in case?

    You really do need to wake up here Nicolas. If you really do believe that this will be fixed and we’ll go back to the good old days, guided by a willing and able government, then this really is the time put your head between your legs and kiss your arse goodbye.
    As I asked you before (and never got an answer to), pray tell us, who is this brave government that sees the light and will take you there, obstacle-ridden and treacherous as the road may be?

  13. Ephilant

    The answer to your question is fairly simple. I’m referring to all the Greek politicians who’re willing to set aside micro-political and personal interests, work tirelessly, offer realistic & attainable solutions and firmly believe that no obstacles are insurmountable.

    The impediments have been raised among others by some unscrupulous Greek citizens, foreign interests, domestic special interests groups and opportunist Greek politicians.

    The tax cheats will continue doing their utmost to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Some predatory foreign investment banks, some economists and others, will continue promoting the inevitability of a disorderly default of the Greek economy. Some of the Greek citizens who have benefited from the old system of political favoritism, nepotism, of working less and paid more, demanding more rights and seeking fewer responsibilities, will not give up their fights easily. The Greek politicians of criticizing and denying any blame, talking but not acting, enumerating problems without providing realistic solutions, conducting negotiations with the troika via domestic and foreign TV channels and newspapers, of populism, opportunism and shifting with the wind, will follow the same scripts diligently. They will read from the same texts while giving speeches to the Hellenic Parliament, during political events they’ve organized and to striking workers. Some professional politicians will keep telling the Greek people what they want to hear. Namely, that there’s an easy and painless way out of the economic crisis. They will continue regurgitate their favorite slogan that a different path than theirs will lead the Greek economy to a dead end and to catastrophe. No matter what the obstacles are, Greece should keep its eye on the ball. The goals of achieving a viable public debt, balanced budgets, and securing a better and prosperous economic future for the Greek people, are all within its reach. GREECE, YES YOU CAN !!

  14. Wow – what a strange concept, actually reading and comprehending something before commenting on it? Obviously not Gray’s strongest suit.

    We used to have a saying…”Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth (or fingers?) in gear”…

  15. I share your optimism as well Nicholas! In Greece there is however a very cult like following of Marxist ideals that hold onto the belief that there will be an apocalyptic destruction of the current system followed by the utopia of Communism bringing with it transformation of all into altruistic & caring human beings. These people are like the born-again wackos that believe that building the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem will help bring back Jesus! LOL!

  16. ” I’m referring to all the Greek politicians who’re willing to set aside micro-political and personal interests, work tirelessly, offer realistic & attainable solutions and firmly believe that no obstacles are insurmountable.”

    And pray tell me, where do you expect to find this fictitious specimen in Greece, or anywhere else for that matter? You have more chance in proving the earth is indeed flat or that Terry Pratchett give a true account of the history of mankind…

  17. Earth shattering concept indeed. 3660+ posts on KTG, all headed with “posted by KTG in…” and giving the full source of the post either in or at the bottom of the full post. And it wasn’t noticed, not once?
    But this does of course highlight a much wider problem, especially in the ranks of those who think they matter. Instead of asking time-wasting stupid questions like “Is this what you mean?”, or making ridiculous comments like “Could you repeat please, I didn’t quite understand what you meant”, it’s much more preferred to go in shooting from the hip and asking questions aftwerwards, if there’s anybody left in the room. Which there usually isn’t, and that is then taken as a sign of agreement by all involved.
    Unfortunately, seeking clarification on somebody elses point seems to be perceived as a sign of weakness, a relinquishing of a position of power. What isn’t realised is that pigheadedly trying to enforce your own point of view, no matter what, is wrongly perceived as a sign of leadership. It is, in reality, proof of narrow-minded stupidity.
    Unfortunately, in politics and economics it not those suffering from that stupidity who pay the price for it. Not initially, anyway.

  18. keeptalkinggreece

    unfortunetaly such ideal politicians get swallowed by the system

  19. keeptalkinggreece

    cool down, it’s not worth getting upset about it.

  20. whether it’s on the smaller scale of things like a blog or the larger scale fo things like European politics, it is actually worth getting not upset, but pretty militant about. Simply because most of the problems are indeed caused by entrenched postions resulting from the lack of listening and the non-existing notion of trying to understand what the other party is sying, or not sying as the case may be. A simple “Is this what you mean?” and the leeway to expand without prejudice prevents a load of very serious unpleasentness afterwards. Anybody who has ever tried to sepreate a few arguing kids will thell you the same thing. Unfortunately, in Europe, we are not dealing with kids here. Or actually, coming to think of it, we actually are, big, and very spoiled ones…

  21. keeptalkinggreece

    sometimes I understand the “what do you mean?” as an explanation request for my some sentences in bad English lol

  22. These politicians simply don’t exist because politics IS the system.