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“We made Mistakes” IMF’s Thomsen Briefs Foreign Media about Greece

Representative of International Monetary Fund Poul Thomsen, one of the so-called Troikans, admitted that there were mistakes in the bailout agreement between Greece and its lenders. According to Sunday newspaper TO VIMA, shortly before the Eurogroup meeting on October 8th and the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Athens a day earlier, Poul Thomsen had briefed representatives of foreign media in Greece. The briefing took place in Hilton Hotel, where Thomsen and the other Troika representatives reside, when in Athens.

The main points of Thomsen’s briefing:
 
–  “We have reduced wages, but we did not open the closed professions.”
 
– “The way we approached competitiveness in Greece was wrong.”
– ” We covered half the way, cutting wages and we needed to make changes in the labour market, to open the markets and the closed professions.”
– “The main problem is that we are in the fifth year of recession and still have positive inflation. And this creates an uneven distribution of the weight.” 
According to TO VIMA,  the first words spoken by the Danish official were that we must dissolve the impression that they are pushing for tougher measures and we do not trust the government to implement them. However, he added that the troika has no good experience from the ability of the Greek authorities to control spending in the municipalities and the health sector.
Poul Thomsen spoke also about a two-year extension of the program but he refrained from tlaking about the sustainability of Greek debt. 
 
 “The extension creates a funding gap for 4 years, but if there is no funding, then we should come back with more measures.”

As regards to the prime minister, Thomsen said that he [Antonis Samaras] succeeded in diplomatically rpomoting the Greek issue, but that nobody wants another program that moves off track.

TO VIMA submitted a request to the IMF about the briefing of Thomsen to foreign journalists. The reply the newspaper received by the IMF spokesman was that

 
“There was not official briefing, no notes were distributed to reporters.”
 
TO VIMA asked also about the purpose of the briefing, but got no answer. (TO VIMA via newsit.gr)
 
I thought the Troika was not supposed to speak to journalists… But apparently the briefing was off the record… lol
 
PS We accept ‘objections’ by those not invited in the briefing and ‘confirmations’ plus ‘additional info’ by those present. 🙂
 

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7 comments

  1. admitted that there were mistakes in the bailout agreement between Greece and its lenders

    No shit, Sherlock. While he’s spilling the beans, he might as well concede the same thing goes for Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Lituania, Slovakia, and everywhere else the went in to “sort” the problems.
    The real problem is that the Troika does not go in to “sort” the problems of the country. They go in to solve the problems of the banks, by getting the people to pay for those problems, with the willing cooperation of puppet governments too scared to stand up and be counted by those who matter, the people.

  2. Hey Ephilant,

    (Sorry, until just now I thought your chosen name was Elephant and until a post indicating otherwise, I used to think you were a woman, I guess I am used to too many bland North American males, who are bland no matter what they speak about and with almost no facial expression either).

    Anyway, do you think the timing of his admission means anything?

  3. @ Jean,

    well, thanks for the complement. Last time I looked I was still very much of the male variety, but no worries, it’s not contagious. I have a complete tribe of daughters, granddaughters, and the recent addition of 2 great granddaughters in one go who do balance out the blandness of male-dom 🙂
    Ephilant comes from 1 of my sons who still, at the age of 36, can’t say elephant. And the funny thing is, he does the same thing in different languages…

    Anyway, as for the “admissions”, as they “happen” to coincide with the rather strange expansion of Herr Schauble’s vocabulary who seems to have suddenly learned a lot of new words apart from “Nein”, I don’t think this is coincidental at all.
    As I’ve said on a number of occasions, I think the gangsters in the Troika have realized that they have been playing it too rough in order to save the butts of the gangsters in international finance. The “wealth” these guys claim to have and manage is to a large extent tied up in debt. Unless that debt get paid, the wealth will not materialize, and that’s what this is all about. Monetizing their investment in other people’s misery. When Lahmans went down the tube, the financial world got a fright. Not because of the bank going down the swanee as such, but because of the enormous losses inflicted on it’s customers, who are not you or me, but the large financial investment companies. And what had they invested in? Subprime lending, derivatives, and all the other nicely packaged debt they had sold to unsuspecting Joe Soap and subsequently repackaged, sold and resold to each other.
    Where does Greece come into this? The whole scam is a virtual merry go round of bonds and government papers and all sorts of things, except for actual money. The money doesn’t, and never did exist. As long as the make belief is backed up by paper, things are fine. This does however necessitate NONE of the components dropping out of the circle, meaning, no sovereign debt can be allowed. If it does happen, then the happy virtual merry go round suddenly becomes a very expensive, deadly game of musical chairs, and last one left standing picks up the enormous bill…
    The admission by Thomsen is not an admission of unnecessarily screwing Greek Joe Soap to the wall. It is an admission of leaning to hard on Greek Joe Soap which endangers the realization of this virtual wealth. That’s what the guy is worried about. Neither he nor his puppet masters give a figs about Joe Soap, Greek or otherwise. They will do everything to protect their investment, and today that means getting people to pay, by any means. Including government sponsored and executed theft.

  4. Thanks, Ephilant.

    You have lots of grace. I agree they have realized they were playing too rough there and are trying for a bit of softball now.

  5. keeptalkinggreece

    ah, it’s all for publicity or better say a sign of support to Greece. I didn’t see any soft ball while they talk with the government of the upcoming cuts. minimum wage 586 euro gross/month for 10 years?that’s hard @@kia (if you allow me lol)

  6. No softball at all I’m afraid.
    There’s an interesting story breaking at the moment that illustrates just how immoral these guys are. In 2001 Argentina defaulted, and “burned” a good few “bondholders” and other creditors. Including NML Capital, a subsidiary of US hedge fund Elliot Capital Management who got burned for 300 million USD or so. A few days ago the Libertad, the Argentinian Naval training vessel was impounded in Tema, Ghana, through a court order obtained by NML capital. Included in the impounded goods are >strong> the 300 crew members of the vessel. Normal people call this piracy, in the financial world it’s called debt recovery, and if need be, 300 people will be held hostage to get what they want.
    In the case of Greece, 11 million people are being held hostage. In Spain some 60 million, in Ireland 5 million, in Portugal 10 million.
    and that is literally what we are, hostage to the vulture capitalists to ensure that they will get their money.
    These guys are nothing short of the equivalent of a scumbag estate loan sharkin a suit, operating on a global level.

  7. Yeah, that is harsh.I’m sorry I didn’t mean to suggest that suddenly things are made easier because these guys are talking differently.