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International media in anti-SYRIZA frenzy but why sacrifice Greece?

Ayayayay! Six days before the crucial double Euro Working Group on Greece upcoming Wednesday and Thursday, and the international media pour their last drops of poison, before they enter the Easter vacations.

In an unprecedented anti-Greek-government frenzy international mainstream media race for the Award of the Doomsday Scenario for Greece. Quoting sources anonymous they ‘hear voices’ of imminent Greek default, bankruptcy has started, referendum, Euro exit, new Drachma, parallel currency, double currency, banks nationalization,... you name it. The day has everything, all possible and impossible scenarios that the last surviving cell in a journalists’ brain can produce the moment he/she opens a laptop.

As expected hardly anyone tries to go deep in the causes of the stand-off between Greece and its creditors. No, that’s not the case. That’s the difficult part that would need thinking, in dept analysis and less prejudice, spite and gloat (nice word in German: Schadenfreude).

An exception to the anti-Greek hysteria is an article wondering: Why are we sacrificing Greece for the insiders?, where insiders are those in power and outsiders are the unorganized folks. Insiders and outsiders can be both right and left.

“The Greek economy is broken. The society is fractured and there is a humanitarian disaster in the country, with many people surviving off food kitchens. Yet from Europe, when the Greeks need understanding and sympathy, they get threats.

No one is saying the Greeks are angels in this story, but there is a much darker narrative going on, and it is that the European mainstream political establishment is terrified of parties like Syriza – even though it was mainstream Greek politicians, not radical politicians, that oversaw the wholesale looting of, and corruption in, the Greek economy.

Now that is all conveniently forgotten, and the entire European mainstream is lining up to destroy Syriza and say to their own electorates: “Look, if you vote for non-conventional parties, see what will happen to you.”

Because we are now in an electoral cycle, the conventional parties need to crush Syriza to crush the other nonconformist parties and show their own electorates what voting in a nonconformist way leads to.

When looking at politics in mature democracies, I prefer to use the term insider vs outsider, rather than right vs left, urban vs rural or conservative vs liberal, to describe the electoral fault lines.

The insiders are those, literally, on the inside. They are the people with influence, with a voice at the table, those with a stake in the society. Insiders can either be on the left or the right. They can be traditional public sector trade unions who want no reform or they can be bank bosses who want a bailout. Their game plan is to gouge the state and extract as much rent as possible for their members and interests.

Insiders are organised. They are part of the process of politics and their concerns are listened to by the state. In short, they have access to power and can influence the way it is deployed. […]

The outsiders, in contrast, are those with no one to speak up for them. They have no stake in the political process and are thus on the outside. They are the self-employed small business person, the contract worker, the immigrant, the unemployed and, of course, the young.

They are outside the tent, beyond the process and, because they are not organised, their concerns are never felt.

They too can be on the left and on the right. The small shopkeeper could well have traditionally conservative instincts, while the twenty something contract worker could well be liberal to her core, but they are both outsiders. Neither has a real stake in society; neither has a voice.”

you can read the full article here.

There will be a Euro Working Group meeting April 8th (afternoon) and April 9th (morning).

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  1. The article “Why are we sacrificing Greece for the insiders?” is by a man called David McWilliams, and Irish economist and journalist. He is the very man who predicted the Irish boom in the 1990s and the subsequent bursting of every bubble in sight, only to be laughed out of the house by those “in the know”… Until the whole thing blew up in their faces.
    A man who knows his economics, who knows his banks, and who has an uncanny ability to see the consequences of what is happening for what they are. Not a very nice, but a very true picture…

    • keeptalkinggreece

      thanks for the background info. I was too much in a hurry to do some homework on this.

  2. Henri Myllyniemi

    Correct. I have abandoned the traditional left-right axis concerning politics in Europe. One can easily reason and judge this by looking closely what has happened in few euro-countries:
    France: first it was UMP and Sarkozy (right) and facing TINA (There Is No Alternative.) Electorate rejected austerity and put the hope on socialists (Hollande). TINA stroke back again. No change – same old s…
    Spain: Socialist government in start (Zapatero) and TINA. Electorate ousted government and looked answers from the rightwing PP (Rajoy). TINA maintained.
    Italy: Rightwing coalition led by Berlusconi was in when the crisis broke out. TINA. After that electorate voted for leftwing government (once they could after the previous government was kicked out by the allmighty empress of Europe, you know who she is…) Still TINA.

    When we look the prospects of these countries all of them has got problems with traditional left-right political axis. Front National, Podemos and 5-Star Movement are all quite new parties (FN being a minor one few years back, although it is not that “new”.)

    Additional note: even though The ECB’s pledge for making “whatever it takes” has calmed the markets, the existence of the eurozone is facing now far more serious problem beyong any control: political upheaval.

  3. @ephilant & @Henri M
    +1 !!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Also a fair assessment:

    Also read Ambrose Evans Pritchard this week at the Telegraph