Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Presuming that the Athens News version had been translated from French into Greek and then into English, I went to the French source, hoping it wouldn't be as bad as it looks.

Hollande met en garde les Grecs contre une sortie de la zone euro Holland warned the Greeks against leaving the euro area
François Hollande a demandé aux Grecs de tenir leurs promesses, mercredi 13 juin, dans une interview à la télévision hellène Mega channel, quatre jours avant des élections législatives dans le pays. "J'ai conscience que les électeurs (grecs) doivent avoir la pleine souveraineté, mais je dois les prévenir que (...) si l'impression est donnée que les Grecs veulent s'éloigner des engagements qui ont été pris et abandonner toute la perspective de redressement, alors il y aura des pays dans la zone euro qui préféreront en terminer avec la présence de la Grèce dans la zone euro", a prévenu le président français.Francois Hollande called on Greeks to keep their promises, Wednesday, June 13, in an interview on television channel Mega Hellenic, four days before parliamentary elections in the country. "I am aware that voters (Greek) must have full sovereignty, but I must warn them that (...) if the impression is given that the Greeks want to move away from the commitments that were made and abandon the whole perspective of recovery, then there will be countries in the euro area which will prefer to put an end to the presence of Greece in the euro area ", warned the French president.
"Je respecte le peuple grec. Il décidera ce qu'il voudra à l'occasion de l'élection du mois de juin, le 17", a-t-il ajouté. Selon le chef de l'Etat, "respecter les engagements qui ont été pris, cela ne veut pas dire rester dans la même situation et j'ai même notamment plaidé auprès de mes collègues, chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement pour que les fonds européens, les fonds structurels qui ne sont d'ailleurs pas utilisés, puissent l'être pour que la Grèce retrouve de la croissance". "I respect the Greek people. They will decide what they want in the election of June 17," , he added. According to the head of state, "to honor the commitments that were made does not mean to stay in the same situation and in particular I have negotiated with with my colleagues, heads of state and Government, to ensure that European funds, structural funds that are not even used, could be used so that Greece finds growth ".
Pour autant, François Hollande estime que "l'abandon pur et simple du mémorandum [plan de rigueur] serait regardé par beaucoup de participants de la zone euro comme une rupture". "J'ai fait en sorte que la croissance soit maintenant le thème sur lequel nous devons mettre les Européens autour de la table et prendre de nouveaux engagements", a-t-il affirmé, mais "la situation financière est devenue telle que nous devons aussi avoir des garanties pour que les banques puissent être préservées et financées. Nous sommes déjà dans une autre étape. C'est ce que doivent comprendre les Grecs aussi", a-t-il ajouté.However, Francois Hollande estimated "the outright abandonment of the memorandum [austerity plan] would be viewed by many participants in the euro area as a rupture" . "I made sure that growth is now the topic on which we must put Europeans around the table and take new commitments" , he said, but "the financial situation has become such that we also have guarantees for banks to be preserved and financed. We are already in a new stage. This is what Greeks must understand too ", he added.
A l'intérieur de la zone euro, "nous devons être solidaires les uns des autres, faire des efforts par rapport à nos devoirs de responsabilité (...) Je veux préserver la zone euro", et les pays qui en sont membres "doivent pouvoir le rester, à condition de le vouloir et de le décider. C'est ce que vont faire les Grecs le 17" juin, a-t-il martelé. "Ce que je demande" aux Grecs, "c'est d'avoir confiance dans ce que nous pouvons faire ensemble, d'avoir aussi le souci de la vérité, c'est-à-dire de faire le choix qui leur paraîtra le meilleur et s'ils veulent rester dans la zone euro, de savoir que l'Europe leur viendra en soutien parce que c'est nécessaire, et qu'en même temps des efforts sont à faire", a-t-il insisté.Within the eurozone, "we must be supportive of each other, make efforts in relation to our duties of responsibility (...) I want to preserve the euro area", and the countries which are members "must be able to remain so, provided they want to, and decide to do so. This is what the Greeks are going to do on 17" June, he said. "What I ask" of the Greeks , "is to have confidence in what we can do together, also to have concern for the truth, to make the choice they deem the best and if they want to stay in the euro area, to know that Europe will come to their support because it is necessary, and that at the same time efforts need to be made ", he insisted.

It's awful. He's effectively asking them to elect a corrupt right-wing government with a corrupt PASOK fig leaf.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 05:05:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when Nigel Farage (MEP, UKIP) makes more sense than François Hollande (French President, PS)
*European Parliament, Strasbourg, 13 June 2012

  • Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament - http://nigelfaragemep.co.uk

  • Joint debate: European Council meeting - Multiannual financial framework and own resources

A. Preparation for the European Council meeting (28-29 June 2012)
Council and Commission statements

B. Multiannual financial framework and own resources
Council and Commission statements


"Another one bites the dust. Country number four, Spain, gets bailed out and we all of course know that it won't be the last. Though I wondered over the weekend whether perhaps I was missing something, because when the Spanish prime minister Mr Rajoy got up, he said that this bailout shows what a success the eurozone has been.

And I thought, well, having listened to him over the previous couple of weeks telling us that there would not be a bailout, I got the feeling after all his twists and turns he's just about the most incompetent leader in the whole of Europe, and that's saying something, because there is pretty stiff competition.

Indeed, every single prediction of yours, Mr Barroso, has been wrong, and dear old Herman Van Rompuy, well he's done a runner hasn't he. Because the last time he was here, he told us we had turned the corner, that the euro crisis was over and he hasn't bothered to come back and see us.

I remember being here ten years ago, hearing the launch of the Lisbon Agenda. We were told that with the euro, by 2010 we would have full employment and indeed that Europe would be the competitive and dynamic powerhouse of the world. By any objective criteria the Euro has failed, and in fact there is a looming, impending disaster.

Here's the key point
You know, this deal makes things worse not better. A hundred billion [euro] is put up for the Spanish banking system, and 20 per cent of that money has to come from Italy. And under the deal the Italians have to lend to the Spanish banks at 3 per cent but to get that money they have to borrow on the markets at 7 per cent. It's genius isn't it. It really is brilliant.

So what we are doing with this package is we are actually driving countries like Italy towards needing to be bailed out themselves.

In addition to that, we put a further 10 per cent on Spanish national debt and I tell you, any banking analyst will tell you, 100 billion does not solve the Spanish banking problem, it would need to be more like 400 billion.

And with Greece teetering on the edge of Euro withdrawal, the real elephant in the room is that once Greece leaves, the ECB, the European Central Bank is bust. It's gone.

It has 444 billion euros worth of exposure to the bailed-out countries and to rectify that you'll need to have a cash call from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. You couldn't make it up could you! It is total and utter failure. This ship, the euro Titanic has now hit the iceberg and sadly there simply aren't enough life boats."

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 05:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While Tsipiras continues to argue that Greece needs to remain in the Euro and the memorandum is toxic, Hollande responds with veiled threats of expulsion, and Rajoy sets down plea for greater European integration in a letter to Van Rompuy (ElPais.com in English)
"It is necessary to adopt decisive and forceful measures to leave clear the irreversibility of our integration project, and in particular the single currency," the letter said. "The uncertainty regarding the euro is preventing the adjustment measures many countries are carrying out to have the desired effects that they should have," the letter continued. "This situation is worsening in an accelerated manner and it is necessary to address it as soon as possible."

Rajoy made the revelation on Wednesday in Congress, where he told lawmakers that what was required at the moment is for European to make a strong commitment statement in favor of greater union before opening a debate on how best to achieve this. "The future of the euro depends on us initiating this debate," he said. "The road won't be easy but it is an indispensable goal on which we must be in agreement."

But don't worry, Germany and the Netherlands think everything is a-ok. From Eurointelligence: Germany says no to banking union- existing tools are apparently adequate
We always feared that Angela Merkel's recent endorsement of a political union was a deflection, and this fear is now confirmed. The FT reports from Berlin that German officials are now playing down any expectations that Germany is ready to support a banking union and eurobonds, insisting that the existing tools of crisis resolution are adequate.

Instead German officials are pretending that they support a long-term process of political union. We are now back to where we were before: there is a need to act fast, but the German chancellor is chronically incapable of making the political case for burden sharing. Expectations in the German media, and among coalition politicians have also been "managed" in such a way that an agreement for a banking union would come as a total shock.

The Dutch finance ministry also said yesterday, according to Reuters, that a banking union should be seen as a long-term project that cannot be implemented immediately.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 05:48:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW what is the PSOE up to nowadays? Any serious anti-austerity voice in the party, any serious anti-government initiative?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 05:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing at all can be expected of the PSOE, for a long time. This is a big problem in the Spanish political scene. Besides, the United Left can not evolve into a kind of Spanish SYRIZA.
by PerCLupi on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 06:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not even given two years of Russia-style austerity?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 07:05:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a higher unemployment rate than Greece. I shudder to think what Spain will look like after two years of "rescue".

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 07:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Spanish people are not awared (concienciado?). Even with 10 years of austerity Siberian, there would not be something like SYRIZA. In that situation, people would call a "savior."

I believe a consciousness-raising action is urgently needed in Spain and Europe. A Spanish Party (French, Italian, German, etc) for a Social Europe.

Now, people can feel "the crisis". If you miss the opportunity, there will be a maximum globalization, with governors servers of it.

I think in Spain it can be perceived well.

by PerCLupi on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 09:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While you're probably right, I must point out that two years ago no one in Greece could have publicly predicted that SYRIZA would evolve into SYRIZA without suspicion that they are on crack. SYRIZA was polling around 3%, 15 months ago...

The IU -> SYRIZA scenario would go like this: First PSOE would have to start splintering. Then a left/sane faction would have to join the IU. Then the IU would have to seek alliance with other credible forces that would prop up its street cred which could be built by unwavering, clear and principled support of popular movements against austerity. That would involve removing any people who are too soft on the PSOE and recognizing that whatever remains of the PSOE is a political opponent, pretty much on the same level that the right is.
Then a leader with some public charisma would help, but is not really, absolutely necessary...
The problem is that at this stage there is no time for this scenario. Developments will occur at too rapid a pace so who knows... How strong is the fascist right in Spain right now and how high the level of xenophobia?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 07:41:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The IU -> SYRIZA scenario would go like this: First PSOE would have to start splintering.

Now that Spain has been "rescued" almost exactly 2 years after Greece, the situation is that the PP parliamentary group needs to start leaking parlamentarians, like PASOK did, until the government loses its supermajority and becomes vulnerable to a no-confidence motion. For PP parlamentarians to break party discipline seems unthinkable right now.

I think it's more likely that Spain's economy will tailspin to 30-35% official unemployment (60-70% youth unemployment!) and then social unrest prompts a suspension of civil liberties than that the PP will lose its parliamentary supermajority. The government has already legislated a criminalization of nonviolent civil disobedience.

But the PP base (and the parliamentary backbenchers) are right now in a state of perplexed shock both at the political/economic situation and at the government's performance (and performance art). So, who knows, there could be an internal revolt.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 08:13:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since Spain has an industrial base (that Greece doesn't have) isn't the whole of Europe frightened that Spain will--at some point--decide not to take on any more debt in this crazy, crazy plan of the troika?

Are people concerned that Spain will leave the eurozone precipitously? If they are not, should they be?

by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 08:55:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
#VivaSyriza was (might still be) trending impressively in the Spanish tweetoshere. And the hope and goodwill being projected through it are impressive. Apparently there is great internal demand for such a project.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Jun 15th, 2012 at 11:19:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've seen that. Pleasantly surprised
by Euroliberal on Fri Jun 15th, 2012 at 03:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain there are something "worse than fascism" today's politicians are the grandchildren of grandparents, no children from their parents, ie caciquismo (perversion of the idea and the use of the power).

 UI is marked in Spain, very different from what it was in Greece. The Socialist Party is also marked and no alternative leaders.

 Since people from IU, from the PSOE, and new people, a new party would be required, unmarked, looking to the future.

 I quit. Sorry. I have to go to the doctor.

by PerCLupi on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 10:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is one of the problems that I see with the indignados. They could very well challenge established parties if they chose to participate in electoral politics, but there's a reticence to enter politics. If they did, you would have a Syriza type party.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 10:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have 1/2 hour. I agree.


by PerCLupi on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 at 10:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Greece. it happened in a timespan of a handful of months, if not weeks or days. I note that only in the last in Wednesday before Sunday May 6, had been recorded in the polls that Syriza might end up second party.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband
by Kostis Papadimitriou on Sat Jun 16th, 2012 at 11:11:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering the record of Greek pollsters, as well as their close affiliation with the two clientilist parties, I think a better measure of when Syriza became a credible threat would be the shift in the propaganda from "there is no alternative" to "Syriza is not an alternative."

To be blunt: If a Greek polling agency about whom I knew nothing else told me that a majority of the Greeks believed that sky to be blue, I would email talos and ask him whether the result was credible before believing it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 16th, 2012 at 11:19:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In any case, voters moved quite suddenly in Greece. And I believe that is the lesson for Spain, too.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband
by Kostis Papadimitriou on Sat Jun 16th, 2012 at 11:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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