GREEK AUSTERITY LATEST: Austerity vote will be carried, but doubts grow about details, asset sales

Hysterical Domesday propaganda masks the real tragedy

While there seemed to be general media agreement this morning that Greece’s austerity package will not be voted down by Deputies in Athens, sources both in Greece and among credit suppliers are of the view that some of the detail will be rejected. There are also growing signs among lenders that cutting losses now would be preferable to what the EU is attempting to achieve.

“I’ve been told that the ruling Party will nick it,” said one late yesterday, “but there are some bits of it that will fail, without a doubt. There is a long, long way to go on this yet”.

“Part of me would like the package to be voted down,” said another, “this is a stay of execution, not a pardon”. Sources close to a major Swiss creditor also told the Slog that there was little faith among professionals that Greece could survive.

Meanwhile, the scare-mongering media assault has gone into hysterical overdrive. ‘Greece faces suicide vote on austerity’ warned the FT’s main front page headline; the ‘suicide’ bollocks was extracted from Greece’s central bank governor, George Provopoulos, who has been quoted as saying “For parliament to vote against this package would be a crime. The country would be voting for its suicide.” Suicide is obviously still a crime in Greece. And voting against what the EU wants is about to be.

Ollie Rehn was also turning the screw from Brussels: “The only way to avoid immediate default is for parliament to endorse the revised economic programme … must be approved if the next tranche of financial assistance is to be released,” he said in a statement, “there is no Plan B to avoid default”. Are we all clear on this one now? The Conservative Opposition in Athens, however, takes an entirely different view – which happens to coincide with mine. Antonis Samaras reiterated his objections:

“This policy is wrong, it has exhausted the Greek people and Greek society,” he told parliament. “If we perpetuate this mistaken policy we will only make things worse, both for Greece and for Europe.”

However, it’s time to welcome Queen Christine back into the melee, albeit at three seconds to midnight. The new IMF boss – you read it here first – said she hoped the Greek people would unite on the austerity issue. I think quite a lot of us wish for that Mme. Lagarde, except perhaps not in the way you mean. As we have seen here many times before, Christine Lagarde is an idiot. And Richard Blackden airs her lack of experience with unconscious humour in the Telegraph this morning (my italics):

‘The first and least troublesome [issue] is some inevitable concern within the IMF that she’s not an economist.’

Blackden has a point: compared to the factory-fitted idiocy, Christine’s inexperience probably doesn’t count. You really could not make this up.

Following The Slog’s analysis of Greek assets last week, several mainstream media have repeated my point: it’s a fire sale, and so the prices will reflect that; and there is little appetite out there at the moment for buying assets, let alone Greek assets.

I stick with what I’ve asserted all along about this madness: Greece will not get the assets away, and will not be able to keep up with the new restructuring. Further, once it becomes clear to the Greek people that they have sold their sovereignty in order to prop up three French and two German banks – and Wall Street CDO insurers – there will be hell to pay. And finally, we have at least another four of these collapses to go through yet.

We are about to find out just how gluttonous the EU’s citizens are for this kind of obscene punishment.

14 thoughts on “GREEK AUSTERITY LATEST: Austerity vote will be carried, but doubts grow about details, asset sales

  1. Now is a good time to short UK gilts and US T-Bills. I have to agree with Peter Schiff (Ron Paul’s economic advisor) that when bond yields spike they will do so sharply and when global interest rates go up that’s when the phoney economies collapse. That’s unless the BoE and the Fed go for unlimited QE to drive yields down and then its £5 for a loaf of bread.


  2. I’d rather walk down to the bookies, have a punt on the tennis , pull 12% for the day and pay no tax or commissions.


  3. “We are about to find out just how gluttonous the EU’s citizens are for this kind of obscene punishment.”

    Quite considerably I’d say. Even when the reality of the reasons behind this new austerity package become widely known; sure there might be some more agro on the streets of Athens but it will be contained and the EU True Believers will stay at arms length spinning furiously.
    Their belief is that the euro and EUSSR MUST survive at ANY COST. Not too different to New/Old Labour’s spending programmes despite a huge UK govt deficit and growing national debt. This is socialism.


  4. The thing is without total revolt none of the actual countries citizens can do a damn thing about it. The politico’s just carry on wending their merry way down ‘stuff the taxpayer’ street and knowing that the police lines have been hardened enough to protect them from their folly. It is only when things get really nasty and the police lines get overrun, the politico’s find themselves dancing on lamp posts (not that I really want this) that they will stop playing with peoples lives and futures.


  5. Ideally, I’d like to see the Colonels take over and then Greece would be suspended from the Euro and the EU. The drachma returns Greece defaults. After a while Gthe colonels leave and Greece rejoins the EU but not the Euro. Job done!


  6. I am tempted to wish for the idea to become real if only to watch the likes of Cameron realising that crapping himself ain’t gunna make people like him – from the approaching crowd !
    But in reality, when these revolts start dangling people – they tend to do a damn sight more dangling than is absolutely necessary ! There are many innocents who would very likely get caught up in the danglefest ! Especially a (which is most likely) left wing inspired takeover ! The left trenders have a lot of form on revolts which do not encourage me of their goodness. They also tend to organise the masses of useful idiots to take part !
    Now if we could be sure of a dangle session followed by a general election with the BIG3 current parties banned from existing then possibly yes – I might go for it too :)


  7. David Stirling was a founder of the SAS and toyed with the idea of a coup against Harold Wilson. Mad Mike wasn’t he a Saffer?


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