EUROBLOWN: Troika rejects 45% of Athens Coalition ‘savings’

As The Slog predicted, the Troika is about to accuse the Greeks of holding out on so-called savings. Is Pandora’s box about to be jemmied open?

Only around 6 billion of the €11.5 billion in spending cuts calculated by the Greek government has been deemed realistic by the Troika. The triad of bondholders, ECB and IMF is now rumoured to be demanding immediate public sector sackings to enable Athens to make up the shortfall.

This is going to set an ambush of tigers loose among the European pigeons. On the one hand we have Merkel fessing up to the potential disaster of Grexit (and thus she won’t allow it) in the context of a German electorate already pissed off with what it sees as Greek perfidy. And on the other we have Bankfurt plus Lens Weidmann predicting that exactly this sort of thing was bound to happen…and will one day bankrupt the Bundesrepublik.

Representatives of the European Central Bank, the European Commission
and the International Monetary Fund met with Prime Minister Antonis
Samaras on Monday and ‘informed him of their scepticism about some of the
coalition’s measures’, although Samaras had known for some time of the suspicions. For those who are awake, The Slog reported some time ago how, at the root of this, there is a strong suspicion within the Troika that the Greek negotiators are holding back secret funds against what increasingly look like many upcoming rainy days.

Some €2.2 billion worth of cuts  (including about 1.2 billion in savings from reductions in operating costs in the public sector and 500 million euros in savings from financing for local authorities) have been rejected outright by Greece’s lenders as being unrealistic. The inspectors also asked for more details about some €3.5 billion worth of cuts. “We are trying to convince them about our position. The effort continues,” said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.

Whatever happens here, we are back at the old sticking point: Finance Ministry sources say the troika insists that some savings should come from immediate sackings in the public sector. The inspectors argue (silly them) that employees at public organisations already closed down should
be fired, but the politicians still hope to avoid direct sackings. And of course, we all know why: fired civil servants sing like canaries.

Stay tuned: this can only get worse.

27 thoughts on “EUROBLOWN: Troika rejects 45% of Athens Coalition ‘savings’

  1. Bring it on. I’m going “long” on sticky tape and balsa wood. There’s not enough in the world to cobble the troika’s plans together. I anticipate high demand for the stuff across much of the med before Christmas.

      • @FrankS, No – Having read all the erudite early morning contributions, especially from the Greek sloggers, the inescapable conclusion is that the current situation in Greece and across the wider EZ is much worse- it is about to become well and truly Fupt!

      • I got a job offer yesterday… 7 days a week, 15 hour days… 700 euros a month… totally serious… when I told him that was inhuman, he responded ” that is how it is now”… bravo Merkel, job accomplished.

    • Ahhahahahahahahaha… so true… what I don’t get is why do any of these supposed cuts, debts, or numbers based on Euro economics matter to anyone… why can every other European country fudge their financial stats and only Greece get’s blamed for the downfall?… do you believe in the accuracy of Italian debt figures? or even the real German debt? No… everyone is maing this crap up as they go along… the real numbers haven’t added up for a long time, pretty much anywhere.

  2. J Ralston Saul recently penned an essay on the topic of ‘Slaves to Money and Growth’. In that essay he made a number of very clear arguments for the folly we are currently witnessing (The witless being in charge). Apart for the demonstrable intellectual illteracy that abounds amongs elites and the political class of the western world we have arrived at a place in time and history where saving banks is more important than saving a country hence the duplicitous folly and foolish exertions which JW keeps us up to date.

    Saul poses a question which is not rhetorical but which encapsulates the dilemma:

    “Is there a single example in Western Civilisation over the past 2500 years where a broad policy of austerity has pulled a civilisation out of crisis and set it on the road to wellbeing, prosperity or growth? No. There is no example. There is no evidence” (Saul 2012). As a young chap I read economic history, history, economics and politics and I have to agree with Saul, there is no example.

    This will not stop the fools from trying the same failed policiies, the same sterile scorched earth policy that is public finance these days and all for what? Nothing. These morons and they are legion are going to wreck us all and then some.

    Then how the ‘fk” are we going to deal with depleted energy resources, a buggered environment a fast changing and hostile climate and mass unrest across the globe. Yep we sure are on the highway to hell.

    • ” Apart for the demonstrable intellectual illteracy that abounds amongs elites and the political class of the western world we have arrived at a place in time and history where saving banks is more important than saving a country ” Mike H , so right . History in the West feed us constantly with new models of authoritarians.Anthropological types of manic powers and tyrannies .Currently we have the bankers , new authorities independent of states, lands, cultures and circumstances.Before them we had the military rulers experts in wars and games and divorced from the good of the country or civilisation , all it mattered was their superiority.Before them were the ideologies ,passionate about the truth and their beliefs slaughtered millions to apply their ideas , divorced as well from human relations , homes , countries , they came in political forms or religious forms with only centre their egos and personal convictions .In the past Greece fought numerous times against them .This time around we impose nothing to them .Bankers stand more dangerous than armies but our politicians corrupt and useless , our intellectuals silent .Thomas Jefferson said that the end of democracy will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.( Just last week the unellected Mario Draghi enthroned himself in a place above parliaments and courts , as you say ” thank God JW keep us up to date )

  3. Alfatoxin – Slick but sadly more delusional wishful thinking- reminds me of a modern Von Daniken actually, sorry mate, he’s crazy. Gentleman has obviously not heard of the Laws of Thermodynamics and has no understanding of the concept of entropy. It is a matter of simple arithmetic and its called the exponential function and it applies to everything, us, the stuff we use, the stuff we create and the stuff we don’t have. This collossal rort which is finance and banking will deprive us of the capital and confidence in money and instutions to do what we need to do to save our arses, simple. Keep reading JW’s priceless posts to see how it all unfolded – me I am just sitting back and watching events unfold, my vote is useless as the people I vote for are liars, fools and have already been bought, so they never do what we want they to do and they have’nt a clue about what to do anyhow.

  4. Dear John,

    “This can only get worse” certainly and not only for Hellas.

    Things to come !!

    The deplorable Troika requires now 6 working days per week, 13 hours working day 78 hours per week the only commitment from the other side is 11 hours rest per day, ( very generous , are they ?) and this for both Public and Private sector.

    They provoking us.

    Still all these bums and thieves are in power supported by the European Political elite however at the end , there it will be an end, I hope that all the deplorable Hellenic political elite and their collaborators will be excoriated and hanged at Syntagma Sqr.

    Currently there is no hope and there is nothing to be lost for us and this the worst situation for “them” to face.

  5. Pingback: John Ward – Euroblown : Troika Rejects 45% Of Athens Coalition ‘Savings’ – 12 September 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  6. Today I suspect we will witness a travesty of justice possibly unseen before. It will render the Karlsruhe a joke possibly never to be taken seriously again.
    I do hope I am wrong.

  7. @Yana “Thomas Jefferson said that the end of democracy will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”

    True – and here we are teetering on the edge of the end of democracy, and in the case of Greece we have already tipped over into free-fall, without yet hitting bottom.

    The “EU crisis” is a purely economic problem that could have been solved by various well publicised economic mechanisms at EU level. These would not have involved sovereign impoverishment, broken the EU Labour and Social conventions, or involved further integration. Sovereign default is by now a common occurrence, with a track record wealth of standard and constructive solutions hammered out between defaulting sovereigns and the IMF and creditors. Mexico, for example. The EU refused the advice of experienced professionals from the start.
    Instead, our economic problem proved to be a political gift horse.

    Instead of constructive economic solutions, we have been enduring a an undeclared political fight inside Europe between competing agendas. This crisis has been driven by the EU agenda for further political integration on the one hand, and the German industrialist & banking agenda on the other as represented by the german CDU party – a coalition of interests which did not hesitate to ‘wage-dump’ [austerity] its own working population over a 10 year period, a policy which contributed enormously to the north/south imbalances. These 2 agendas have different objectives yet as we have seen they can work hand in hand. Add to this the obfuscation of propaganda, false moralism, disinformation, ‘bought’ politicians and sheer lack of information / open discussions of alternatives for European populations….

    Someone commented in this blog recently that it is war by economic means. I would use ‘imperialism’ instead of ‘war’. War is still an option.

    Greece has been signed & delivered by a combination of an elected government (Papandreaou) and an unelected, appointed government (ECB placeman Papademos). Our present elected coalition government continues on the same path. There is no public discussion of alternatives or Grexit and even the present debate over terms and conditions of the Troika are fed to us as generalities, and as never the clear menu. The greek population (and EU population) is being manipulated by sheer lack of information and undeclared purposes.

    Having impoverished 60% of the pop. – ie the private sector without sufficient (or any) savings to export – the present government is now fighting over reductions in a mostly parasitic public sector which represents the politicians’ clientilist votes. God knows what is happening with state assets since this is kept out of the news. Now that people are actually working in Greece for 2€ an hour (those lucky enough to be employed), one of the long-term creditor aims is being ‘introduced’ in the name of investment & growth. ie Martin Schulz, [german] head of the European Parliament and Hans-Peter Kietel, head of the Federation of German Industry [and before that: of Hochtief in Greece, which was given the commission at EU level in the early 1990s through skullduggery & trade-offs to build Athens airport and various highways] have both announced a plan to establish Chinese-style Special Economic Zones here with 13 hour workdays & 6 day weeks. SEZ are special entities which evade EU Labour and Social Conventions, and also evade the taxation laws of the host countries for the “investing” companies.

    Greece is positioned to be the new China (now that Chinese workers demand labour rights); conveniently situated inside Europe with enormously reduced transportation costs, no currency exchanges or trade tariffs! No doubt Portugal & Spain are to receive similar ‘rescue packages’ somewhere down the road.

    The EZ’s economic crisis was a huge opportunity for Europe’s neoliberal business elite, and was hijacked by their politicians from day 1.

    The deliberate impoverishment of constituent sovereigns has been just a means to an end, a step. And also the dismantling of the original aims of the EU, the EU conventions , the EZ as constituted legally, at the cost so far of (pesky) democracy.

    Meanwhile only defence resides in the continued existence – thank God! – of the various sovereigns, and our one democratic mechanism – the vote.
    The problem and challenge lies (as JW knows too well) in getting REAL information out to the EU public.

  8. Karlsruhe haven`t even pronounced yet and Barroso is already spouting on about new treaties and deeper integration ……… unbelievable

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