GREEK DEBT BREAKING….Samaras unable to sell further austerity to Coalition partners

Greek PM returns home to political vortex

The Slog understands that today (Wed 29th) Greek PM Antonis Samaras returned to meet with his Coalition partners – PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis – but was unable to get their agreement (or anything near it) to the full €13 billion in cuts for 2013-2014 that the Troika insists must be forthcoming before further bailout aid is handed over.

A point of order here: the ‘aid’ will be placed into an escrow account from which approved bondholder creditors can make withdrawals. Almost none of it will go to propping up the social role of the Greek State.

Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras admitted that only the “basic scenario” had been scoped out. He tried to fudge the fundamental problem as “of minor significance”, but the reality is that more wage cuts in senior civil service categories such as the senior admin officers, the military, the judiciary, and orthodox priests are needed; and these are emphatically opposed by New Democracy’s junior Coalition partners.

As The Slog has posted before, the reasons for this refusal are obvious: Evangelos Venizelos, for example,  doubled income and property taxes (and taxed the poor for the first time) as Finance Minister in a previous New Democracy-PASOK government. He doesn’t care a fig for social justice: what both junior partners fear is disgruntled civil servants blowing the gaff on where some of their previous misdemeanours are buried.

As for the Troika, it wouldn’t lose a second’s sleep about how corrupt elites have swindled the ordinary Greek citizen: all it wants is the bulging tax pouch with which to slake the bondholders’ thirst.

Meanwhile, we have yet to hear even one mention of pursuing wealthy tax evaders who owe
the Greek government €63 billion…a bill growing at the rate of around €11 billion a year.

Related: The naked truth about Greek debt in context

61 thoughts on “GREEK DEBT BREAKING….Samaras unable to sell further austerity to Coalition partners

  1. I hope some Greek Sloggers will appreciate the parallel that came to my mind when I read this post…

    “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

    ― Mother Teresa

    • It’s a good quote but was actually made on Dec 13, 1881 by Konstantin Josef Jireček (July 24, 1854 – January 10, 1918). He was a Czech historian.

      Sorry to be a pedant – I just can’t help myself.

    • @William; End game? No, not yet, not by a long chalk, we have to go through massive printing and raging inflation then, social unrest, after that, who knows? We could be facing years of this, as these arrogant hubristic scumbags attempt to continue their denial of reality.

      • John’s image of a massive irresistible all-pulling vortex is closer to the more horrible truth than either of your scenarios I fear. Maybe if William had ended it at ‘end game.’

  2. It may be a long slog (sorry) but hopefully, with the help of this website and other consciousness raising resources, we might one day dislodge the odious cretins who are so bent on their own ‘enrichment’ and our misery.

    • I did once hope so, but now only see the cretins generally cannibalizing us with a few morsels of higher consciousness to savor along with the rest — who may be far tastier for all I know. But the odious cretins probably have vast gastronomic experience in such realms, handed down over their vile malodorous odious generations of vampirism and inter-breeding with swine.

  3. Hehe! I hope they all get what they deserve, they won’t because there will be another fudge. Imagine, if they were as good as getting things right as they are at fudging…..
    Still, I suppose fudging does enable the greedy scumbags to feather their own nests. And nest feathering is something they seem to excel at, isn’t it?
    I truly hope the greedy scumbags die in abject pain and poverty, they care not a jot about any others, just themselves. SCUM of the first order.

      • But where in our citizenry are the persons who will inflict this pain on the right people?Who,names etc,are the elite that deserve the pain?

  4. First: “corrupt elites have swindled the ordinary Greek citizen”… and this presumably includes corrupt government elites

    Second: “We have yet to hear even one mention of pursuing wealthy tax evaders who owe the Greek government €63 billion…a bill growing at the rate of around €11 billion a year.”

    So it would seem that the real question in Greece is… who has to reform first? The government learning to earn their tax revenues, or the wealthy taxes evaders learning to pay their taxes…

    I mean as long as the first does not occur, one could make a case for the wealthy Greek tax evaders to keep their money, while all this gets sorted out, since that money could come in really handy afterwards. That is of course as long as the wealthy Greek tax evaders do not lose their Greek hearts waiting.

    • Well put, Per. The chicken and the egg argument, and it would seem to be tricky.

      One factor to keep in mind is the actual rate of tax demanded. For this year, the first €12,000 is tax free, the starting rate is 18% rising to 45%.

      The middle range is stiff but possibly bearable, then you learn that social security is 16%, plus 28% from the employer. Economists will argue, I think rightly, that the employer’s share actually comes from the remuneration which the employee might otherwise get.

      So to encourage tax compliance, there is a mountain to climb.

      http://www.worldwide-tax.com/greece/greece_tax.asp

    • More than a bit disingenuous if you care to maintain for too long that ‘the government’ and ‘wealthy tax evaders’ are to be regarded as disjoint and unlinked sets in the sense of some abstract disjoint Venn diagrams of set theory or unlinked information age systems flow chart.

      • Thank you Geo! Here in Greece they are one & the same. Not only do the parliamentarians pay no taxes on a starting salary of 8000€ per month x 16 months, with perks that actually double the value of that income….but their job is to protect the interests of the rich tax evaders (often themselves) & corporations, for which & from which, money & ‘investment’ also flows. NOT chicken & egg: one & the same.

      • Most ‘governments’ these days seem to have protected themselves from ‘prosecution whilst in office’ which is a corruption in itself and straight away gives the politicians absolute immunity before even starting to work out thier scamming methods. In the UK we do not have this sort of legislation. Instead we have a political class that absolves itself directly in the laws so that they do not have to conform to those which they subject the rest of us to (thus they do not break the law) or they invent a ‘special rulebook’ for themselves to operate under which effectively does the same thing.
        The mother of parliaments is not immune to the same corruption they have seen and admired (and compared themselves as being not as bad as) from afar.
        It is a small thing but we never have groups of MPs huddled in the rain having a smoke because ‘royal palaces’ are exempted from the smoking ban. They always find a reason to exempt themselves where required and yet are they not subject to the ‘death by smoking’ reasoning behind the ‘ban’ ? does it not cost the same to treat them from their ‘smoking induced illnesses’ ? Yet they exempt themselves for only one reason….
        All of these ‘bans’ (with every other day a new ‘ban’ being proposed) is all about control. The hammer of the state to show you that they are in charge and you WILL comply. You WILL feed them your labour (through taxation), you will give of yourself from cradle to grave……….even when the contract (payment for required services) agreed has long since been broken !

      • @morningstar

        The immunity from prosecution clause was one of the reasons people found the proposed ESM objectionable.

        With all that nicotine no wonder Westminster need to spend £3bn on redecorating.

  5. What I suppose is eating me the most is, we are many, they are few, yet we still allow them to abuse us relentlessly, making us pay for their mistakes, denying us democracy, in fact any say on anything, they insist they know best and we know nothing.
    And when the tide turns, which it inevitably will, they will cry ‘We did what we believed was in your best interest’ Mmmm..

    • @KFC
      A good argument against democracy I fear: the stupid voted in by the ignorant at the expense of minority of intelligent folk.

      God, life sucks in the Bliar world of global economy: I wish that I had emigrated back to the Antarctic when I had the chance (having spent 3 happy years there in the aftermath of the Falklands War, oblivious to the same old bollocks that was going on then…).

      We ARE doomed, I agree. Just a question of when. JW: just about where on the bollocksometer do you really think we are? Full scale deflection?

      • @the moderator
        You are kidding me!?

        Where the eff has my original post gone in response to the bourgeois Lion ripping the freaking throat out of the proletariat Wildebeest- child?

        JW – for God’s sake, help me here or I shall not post again.

      • @SMacA

        Thanks. We are truly lucky to have blogsites such as this.

        If and when the s**t really hits the fan we would need a very special person or two to lead us out of the resultant mess and avoid totalitarianism.
        So far the horizon looks empty. But as they say cometh the hour…. When it does sloggers will be ready with their sceptical scalpels.

    • Will we have the gall to drag “them”out into the street with their progeny and remove them from the gene pool?How else can this be solved and they know it

    • And the masses will cry – we are now doing what is actually in our best interests…………setting the historical precedent.

      Last time the people rose, they rose for a democracy and cut of a kings head. The crown has been stolen and now adorns the collective head of those who have corrupted the democracy bought so dearly by so many, so long ago.

      Those that rule us have taken to themselves ‘the divine right of kings’. A ruling system which was rejected centuries ago. Democratic rule has been destroyed by those who are elected to protect it. The checks and balances designed so long ago have been destroyed. The Judicial system corrupted to prevent recourse.

      We are back to seeing the poor prosecuted for being poor. The wealthy (and those organisations reliant on tax funding) punishing those who through no fault of their own cannot increase their income, and the state skewing numbers and statistics to avoid giving them the assistance they ‘need’ to keep on the right side of the ‘states appropriation of income programmes’. It is simply impossible to ‘cut benefits’ and then demand payment from a state organisation – moneys which have not been handed out.

      Now I am no leftie but I do have a heart for those who honestly want to improve their lot but though trying are getting nowhere……….except further into the pit of despair……….people are being crushed by the state and its corrupted greedy organisms…..

  6. Maybe someone should tell the researchers in the Mekong Delta that they are not actually the first to discover penis-heads with fishy behaviour. These land crawling phallostethidae who strut their ill-gotten power and wealth are, after all, just that; dickheads, who should be put back in the water where they belong.

    • Quite true. Brilliant observation. Problem might be though that people are inordinately impressed by phallic symbols.

      What a shame if so.

      • @Geo: Nobody’s ever been impressed by mine.. Or, to put it another way, it’s not the symbols I’m worried about… these (dickheads) are the real thing!

  7. Pingback: GREEK DEBT BREAKING….Samaras unable to sell further austerity to Coalition partners/ Ελληνικό χρέος, τελευταία νέα , Ο Σαμαράς δεν είναι σε θέση να πωλήσει περαιτέρω λιτότητα στ

  8. I seem to remember that the Greek austerity measures were supposed to include a large reduction in the state workforce. What actually happened was that quite a proportion were placed ‘in reserve’, doing nothing on 60% pay for a year. Presumably the Troika was happy about that? What happens after the year (which must be soon)?

    • Actually that didn’t ‘work out’ ha ha.
      They are all still with us late & soon.
      And the top managers of state owned utilities not only were ‘forgotten’ in the wage cuts, but have been receiving 2000€ a month or 3500€ a month (depending on seniority) ‘family allowances’ to help during the crisis.
      This during a time when the average extended family of 3-6 people is now scraping by on 600-800€ per month.

  9. Greece’s problems are numerous and of herculean size , there is no solution therefore , there are only choices and steps to the right direction and we have yet to see one of them .

    • However the politicians whose job is to represent the voting majority and the country in making the right choices ‘n’existe pas’.
      In almost every country now the problem IS the political class & its cronies.

  10. The three stooges are just posturing. They know that further measures will invite social unrest.
    My guess is that Tsipras will be in the driving seat soon. I`m no leftie but he might be what is needed right now.
    Interesting…..innit!

  11. We truly are led by geniuses here in Greece. First someone had the bright idea of adding a special property tax to all our electricity bills, thus making it difficult to avoid payment. When it was deemed to be ‘unconstitutional’ to disconnect the electricity supply for non-payment of the tax, DEI the electricity supplier, was left with a shortfall of between 600 and 700 million Euros in lost revenue as hundreds of thousands of households defaulted. (The structure of the electricity bill made it impossible to pay only the electricity component). It is now proposed that for a payment of 50 Euros, DEI will decouple the electricity component from the tax, enabling householders to pay for their electricity.
    I don’t anticipate being trampled to death in the rush pay.

    • @Dave. You couldn’t make it up, could you?
      It appears the fundamental cause of Greece’s troubles is corruption right the top. (Not singling out Greece it happens here in the UK too.) if that is so, it will continue for ever until the Greek people take matters into their own hands. Any sign of that where you are?

      • I wish it was just ‘corruption right [at] the top’, but that is simply not so. It permeates every layer of Greek Society. Local government in my experience are unbelievably corrupt – got plenty of amusing stories on that one. And nor do I think much of the Greek political class, some of whom I have met and know. But I don’t think much of our political class either for similar reasons.

        I think what we are seeing is that Greece is gradually becoming a ‘failed state’. The idea that Greece can stay in the Euro and eventually everything will be ok is arrant nonsense.

      • It is interesting that you will not find a Greek that doesn’t deplore the corruption and tax evasion that is endemic in the country. It is also interesting to note that you will be hard pressed to find a Greek that is not involved in it in some way. Either the giving of gifts/services to local authorities in order to bypass niggling and petty regulations, payment in cash to all tradesmen, doctors, dentists etc to avoid the 26% VAT. The list is endless, we all do it and we all shake our heads and suck our teeth and say how shocking it all is.
        Show me a Greek who says that he is 100% clean and I will show you a liar (or a saint).

    • @Dave. If that is the case, then Greece cannot be saved. And the toxic mixture of society’s apathy and sense of automatic entitlement is endemic throughout the UK too. This thing doesn’t stop at Greece. It’s a cancer.

      • @Dave. That is true, but the UK State is strong and always has been. Therein lies a big difference. As you say everyone is doing it, so everyone is guilty, but in my experience people never look at it like that: it is always someone else. You hear it in the UK, all the bull about ‘the rich’.

        What I sense is that the people are gradually turning their backs on the State, creating a cash economy that is outside the reach of the state and its taxation. This means that the state will suffer an erosion of its tax revenues and even its tax base. Quite how you reconnect the people with the state I really could not say.

  12. Pingback: John Ward – Greek Debt Breaking – Samaras Unable To Sell Further Austerity To Coalition Partners – Greek PM Returns Home To Politcal Vortex – 30 August 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  13. Pingback: A property tax would plunge Ireland even deeper into recession. - Leo Varadkar - Page 13

  14. Pingback: Orders for the Budget have arrived from Europe - more on Property tax - Page 14

  15. In the cold light of morning and rereading this post and comments, the key point seems to be that Samaras has come back to Greece totally empty handed, no relaxation of terms and only a very vague suggestion of a few months deferment to catch up after the elections.

    He won the most votes in the last election on a ticket of re-negotiating Austerity….and because Syriza was a leap into the unkown, the Greek electorate ‘bought’ the idea of a ND led Govt. This key policy has utterly failed. I’m wondering if the Democratic Left will walk…….they might face electoral armagedden if they keep propping this lot up.

    Samaras even went to Berlin/Brussels with a clause saying that if the Greek economy was in a bigger mess than anticipated, re negotiations were possible….and still got nothing. If I were one of the Greek people I would feel very angry and cheated this morning………I agree with a couple of posts above, perhaps Syriza’s time is nearer than we think……Now that would make for an ‘interesting’ Autumn.

      • I agree: this farce is well past its sell-by date. Greece cannot survive in the Euro – it is no more complicated than that. It is gradually destroying her economy and there is no hope of a turn around while Greece remains in this stupid and idiotic creation.

  16. Come the day of reckoning, which is still along way away as TPTB in ALL countries are hell bent on keeping this farce running for as long as possible, the “elite” will still be relatively rich and still at the top of a slightly disordered pyramid. There will have to be blood in the streets before anything changes. In order for this to happen the sheeple must wake up ……..a big ask if history is any guide.

  17. All seedy Hellenic political elite and their colaborators must be excoriated and hanged at Syntagma Sqr.

    There is no any hope for us and this the worst of all.

  18. Pingback: GREEK DEBT BREAKING….Samaras unable to sell further austerity to Coalition partners [The Slog] « Mktgeist blog

  19. This article is very true about Greece. I am a Greek citizen and hit by the huge corruption that persists – even increases in the last few years – in Greece.
    You will never find your right in the Greek Courts.
    A huge amount of judges are corrupt in all courts including supreme courts and “anti-corrupt” commisions with the elite that bribes them and the government officials that intervene to promote several interests.

    Even the current prime minister has himself relationships with corrupt entities that pay brides of millions to key judges for just amazing uncostitutional cases…
    Poor Greece. You have found misery and misery will find every Greek person at the end. With these persons in charge this is 100% certain.
    Misery and Corruption. That’s the problem and the troika has to admit it.
    But the troika it self promotes certain interests as well… such as arms….

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