Posts Tagged ‘This Is A Coup’

#ThisIsACoup Yanis Varoufakis in conservation with Paul Mason

December 24, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis in conservation with Paul Mason discussing the 20 February 2015 agreement with the EU. Bad as it was, it was not as bad as it could have been, as Yanis Varoufakis managed to obtain agreement on changing the worst aspects that had previously been imposed on Greece.

Additional film footage for the Paul Mason documentary #ThisIsACoup.

I was in contact with a Greek friend on the eve of the referendum. She was in two minds of how to vote. She had last her job a year ago, after much effort she had found two temporary jobs. She had voted for Syriza in January. She had lost one of her two jobs, had not been paid for the other. She was in despair.

After the No vote, rejecting EU austerity, I thought she would be happy. No, they will punish us.

My friend, as with many Greeks, showed great courage in voting Oxi. To only then be betrayed by  Alexis Tsipras and Syriza when they signed a surrender document.

Talking to Greeks in Athens in October, where there was hope in January, now there is despair. They have lost all confidence in politicians.

The exception is Yanis Varoufakis. He commands a great deal of respect. My Greek friends working in a coffee shop in Cyprus (there being no work in Greece) refer to him as their hero.

The way forward is for Greek people to resist, they cannot rely upon elected politicians, to establish alternative sharing economies, alternative currencies.

#THIS IS A COUP – My comments on Paul Mason’s documentary

December 19, 2015

Thank you Yanis for your corrections.

We await with interest your detailed account of the first six months, and what led to those six months.

Exit from the euro would have been the best option, but, Greece was not in a position to exit. Greece lacks a currency, it would have taken a year to introduce one, in the meantime Greece would have gone into meltdown.

What Greece should be doing, is introducing a parallel currency or local currencies, that are outside the control of EU and ECB.

There also has to be resistance by the Greek people, they can no longer depend upon Syriza who signed a surrender document.

Yanis Varoufakis

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 14.20.44.pngPaul Mason’s recently released four-part documentary #THIS IS A COUP, on the crushing of the Athens Spring, offers much food for thought. Paul and I have had many opportunities to discuss the issues it covers, including on stage in London in front of a magnificent audience. When the time comes, I shall publish my full account. But for now, here are some comments for each one of the four episodes, culminating to a general comment at the very end – see below.

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This Is A Coup

July 14, 2015

What they’ve arguably got is a global reputational disaster: the crushing of a left-wing government elected on a landslide, the flouting of a 61 per cent referendum result. — Paul Mason

Paul Mason is a rare example of a journalist who knows what he talking about, especially when talking about Greece. He gives a chilling account of how complete the Occupation of Greece by the Fourth Reich and how deep the humiliation of the Greek government.

And yet today, on Wato, there was nothing. I expected reports from the street, reports from the Greek Parliament.

The austerity measures imposed are even worse than Greece has had imposed over the last five years, and that has seen GDP shrink by 25%, unemployment at 25% (youth unemployment 50%), 25% living below the poverty line, suicides and infant mortality on the increase. And during this period debt has increased from 125% of GDP to 175% of GDP. IMF figures indicate getting worse.

There are seven pages of what Greece must comply with, and these are only minimum conditions.

It was as though the Dark Forces of Mordor had swept over the Shire.

There has been no offer of debt relief. A vague hint of pretend and extend.

There are two sides to a debt, the creditors and debtors. It is wrong to treat the debtors as though they are somehow morally inferior.

If lenders lend money for which there is no hope of repayment they are at fault.

Feckless and greedy banks, lent to Greece.

The banks were bailed out when more money was lent to Greece in 2010. The debt then was unsustainable, but it was a bail out for bankers, not Greeks.

When a debt is un-payable, it has to be written off. Extend and pretend is that a pretence, that simply passes the problem into the future. Rather than admitting the debt can never be repaid, more money is lent to enable the debt to carry on being serviced.

It does though have the effect of placing the debtor under the control of the lender.

The Greek debt has to be written off, that is the only way forward.

In Mediaeval times, there was a Jubilee Year, every seven years when all debt were written off.

We have the concept of bankruptcy, when debt is written off, and creditors like vultures pick over what little is left.

The Greek debt must be written off. Not used as an excuse to wage economic terrorism against Greece.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has told the country that the deal he signed, is not a deal he can support, but that he had no choice.

There is a way forward, and that as architect of the euro Bernard Lietaer  has suggested create a parallel currency. The logistics cannot be underrated, but are not insurmountable.

Does there have to be one secondary currency, could have a national currency and also local currencies for Athens, the islands or groups of islands. The Central Bank could print and distribute these local currencies.

Could also have a digital currency. Local currencies exist in digital form in Bristol and Brixton, this could draw upon their expertise (payable via smartphones). Cumbersome to use, but probably less inconvenient than queuing at a cash machine to draw out 60 euros (and that assumes the machine not empty).

Roll-out out of a digital currency would take some time. If families who had the app on the smartphone, had money on their smartphone, they could help out their neighbours, with the neighbour trusted to pay them back, this would ensure more rapid implementation.

All participants could have 1000 euro-equivalent created in their digital account, for small businesses, local shops 5000 maybe even 10000 euro-equivalent paid into their accounts. Emloyees could be paid all or part in the digital currency. The same applies to all government employees.

If the system worked on p2p, block chain, it would be transparent and secure. And would not need a central bank to function.

Quantitative Easing does not work, this would work as the money would be injected into the local economy, where there is a liquidity crisis, it would stimulate economic growth.

There also needs to be support for sharing economy, social enterprises, open coops, open commons, all of which isolate from external shocks and make more resilient to economic terrorism by the Fourth Reich.

Greece must move to an orderly exit from the EU, and encourage allies to do the same. Leave the Germans with smouldering ruins of their own making.

Germany has shown, nothing has changed in their mentality since a Blitzkrieg across Europe more than 70 years ago.

The message we are getting from the Fourth Reich is that they do not recognise democracies, do not care about people, and will quite happily use economic terrorism to destroy a country that does not bow to their demands.

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