Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Also, where does the original diarist get the idea that the austerity measures are all fudged?

According to the IMF, there have been severe cuts: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02139/crisis_2139624c.jpg

by Upstate NY on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:45:38 PM EST
Austerity has been unrelenting, served in dosages higher even then those reserved up till now for 3d World countries. The casual reference to the 13.5 billion Euro (and rising)cuts, omits to mention that these are something like 7% of GDP over 2 years. Now, since real recession will be higher because of the measures than that projected by the troika, and since recession means extra cuts as far as they are concerned, this will probably reach 10% of GDP, in an economy on its 3d year of turbo-austerity, with a humanitarian catastrophe looming. I just hope Merkel and the troika will allow UNICEF to send food aid and not count it as social spending / taxable income - and insist it be sent off to ECB coffers.

The primary deficit reduction between 2010-2011 must have been in absolute terms a world record. Then it started stabilizing not because the cuts stopped, but because the austerity dried up the tax base, sent people out of work or to informal work in never before seen numbers, and the ridiculous taxation imposed became impossible to collect.

A war would have been less destructive to the economy and to society...

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

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:13:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what is the government trying to gain by continuing to accede to German demands?
by rifek on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:32:08 PM EST
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... while praying for some form of divine intervention that might let them salvage their continued ability to breathe, personal fortune and political careers. In roughly that order.

Considering their alternatives, that's not actually a bad pick. For them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact (and this has been stated almost directly) they're hoping that if they are compliant enough, at some point the Protector Powers will come and help us poor sinful paupers. They're trying to keep propping up the dilemma "austerity or GRexit" and are investing a lot in the fact that the big oligarchs are backing them 100% (watching Greek TV, private or public, a foreigner would find it difficult to surmise that SYRIZA is the Official Opposition, or what they are for). The forces the government are representing, anyway, are not exactly distressed at the prospect of seeing Greece turn into a low labor-cost, low-tax haven with most of its public lands, enterprises and infrastructure sold for pennies...

The fact that the oligarchs are backing this destruction, might point to some sort of deal between banksters (who after being bailed out are given the remnants of the public banks which were made "unsustainable" on purpose by the terms of the PSI deal), public contractors and ship-owners (who are doing well enough to have recently bought a large part of the German container fleet) with the troika, or some other involved party...

Also they are hoping that the extreme xenophobic reflexes they are triggering with the help of the Mass Media (thus creating a climate that strengthens the Golden Dawn Neonazis) are diversion enough, for enough people, that they might survive this winter.

Finally,  do not underestimate the inferiority complex that Southern European elites (I'm seeing similar attitudes in Portugal and Spain - Italy is probably different) have in respect to their Nothern counterparts. Having said that, the indifferent contempt with which Samaras is treated is shocking. Samaras asked to be spared further cuts in police officer and military salaries - for obvious enough reasons. Even this was denied by the troika.

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

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 05:17:35 PM EST
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I'm saying they'll have to start reneging because more is impossible, and what they've already agreed to is nothing but destructive.
by rifek on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:30:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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