GREECE CRISIS: Did Troika2 doctor the latest ‘leaked’ Varoufakis ‘recommendations’?


I’ve been saying for three years now that one of the weaknesses of Zero Hedge is that, being a US site, its knowledge of Europe on the ground is superficial. Over the weekend, in fact, ZH may well have been duped (at one level or another) by ‘attachments’ purporting to come from the office of Yanis Varoufakis. The fact that the letter is ‘officially’ listed on EU sites won’t cut any ice with Brussels-watchers: the EC, Draghi and Schäuble have done (and are doing) far worse things than doctoring a letter.

Below is how the Varoufakis letter ends….there are two things to note here:


The signature seems genuine, but note that nowhere does it touch the ‘PS’. This could easily have been added later. However – equally important – it says that the attachments correspond to the list order of 23rd February. That’s the Tuesday before Perfidious Friday. Nowhere in that list does it say anything about the paragraphs below, which ZH reproduces from the attachments:


The first paragraph sounds real enough, although Varoufakis is talking about tax evasion here, not avoidance. The rest of it is a fantasy, and so toxic that nobody in their right mind would write it down for the ECB et al to leak instantly. The funniest passage for me is ‘students, housekeepers and even tourists in areas ripe for tax evasion….wired for sound and video….the data that they will produce will have legal weight and be actable upon….to issue penalties and sanctions’.

Somehow, an army of spies is to be recruited from a hotch-potch of people just gagging to have their own cash-paid lifestyle put in jeopardy.

Zero Hedge is, as far as I can see, very anti-Big State – as am I. But I’m not a libertarian…and the evidence over the years suggests that ZH is. I’d guess that, at the moment, given the choice between the Troika and Syriza, the various Tylers are having a job deciding whom they hate most.

The remote possibility that Yanis was just taking the mickey with this suggestion is hugely overridden by one obvious motive for faking the attachment: to scare the crap out of upper working and middle-class Syriza supporters……thus pushing them back towards other alternatives more acceptable to Troika2. And that says to me probably Schäuble, perhaps Draghi, or the CIA.

That Zero Hedge would be receptive to such a sting is evident in much of the editorial comment about Greece in the rest of the piece:

‘And here comes the Greek tax collecting police state….the only attitude it will shift is one toward civil war, as millions of Greeks, long used to generations of free-riding, are suddenly forced by the Greek Tax-collector police state to change their behavior, to which they will respond appropriately.

Ain’t gonna happen, especially when one considers what happens to the tax-collector hopefuls once of them is captured and beaten to an inch of his life or just an inch further…. should this plan pass, the Varoufakis government has at most a few days before it is swept from power, most likely violently.’

Oh dear. First up, these small traders are not the ones Syriza is after…but featuring them betrays a Troikanaut mindset. Varoufakis has himself said the priority is to “destroy the oligarchy”: Spiro selling baseball caps in the street is not who he has in mind.

Second, in case ZH hadn’t noticed, the Prime Minister is Alexis Tsipras, not Yanis Varoufakis.
Third, ‘beaten to within an inch of his life’ and ‘swept from power’ are just ridiculous generalisations that belong on the loopy wing of the Republican Party.

Finally, ZH is the only news provider to have gone with this interpretation. All the others on offer (beyond the usual lunatic fringe) are clear about Syriza’s real target for bringing tax evasion to an end. This, for example, on the February 23rd text from Reuters (my emphases):

‘Work toward creating a new culture of tax compliance to ensure that all sections of society, and especially the well-off, contribute fairly to the financing of public policies. In this context, establish with the assistance of European and international partners, a wealth database that assists the tax authorities in gauging the veracity of previous income tax returns….Staff adequately, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the GSPR and in particular the high wealth and large debtors units of the revenue administration and ensure that it has strong investigative/prosecution powers, and resources building on SDOE’s capacities, so as to target effectively tax fraud by, and tax arrears of, high income social groups….Identify cost saving measures through a thorough spending review of every Ministry and rationalization of non-salary and non-pension expenditures which, at present, account for an astounding 56% of total public expenditure…..’

The letter does indeed mention ‘robust use of surveillance technology’: but the rest of it leaves one in no doubt that such equipment is going to be in fat Ministries and on Ouzo Palaces, not street vendors and tavernas. The real problem of Greece’s economic development is crooked bureaucrats and tax-evading plutocrats. Varoufakis knows this. Obviously Zero Hedge doesn’t.

Anyway, tomorrow’s another day for all you Eurogroupies out there; let’s see what develops from the meeting. Thus far – in the light of this black op – the gossip is ironic: most attendees, apparently, have ignored the letter.

Yesterday at The Slog: In 2015,Truth is stranger than satire

47 thoughts on “GREECE CRISIS: Did Troika2 doctor the latest ‘leaked’ Varoufakis ‘recommendations’?

  1. Was it doctored: almost certainly. Unlike the previous documents that had some EU nonce’s digital fingerprints all over it, this time they scrubbed the metadata from all of it. At least they are learning….slowly.


  2. Varoufakis is swimming directly against the bankster tide here: the current project is austerity & serfdom for the plebs, & wealth flow upwards to the 1%s.
    “If trends continue,…the richest 1%…will have more wealth than the remaining 99% by 2016”

    Only 4 years ago it was 388 billionaires, not 80.

    This list of 80 does not include those with real wealth:

    These 8 families + UK royals + Dutch royals own all those 80 on the first list. Rothschild’s wealth alone is estimated at $500 Trillion. For scale. US (official) unrepayable debt is now ~ $18 Trillion.


  3. … millions of Greeks, long used to generations of free-riding, are suddenly forced by the Greek Tax-collector police state to change their behavior, ….

    This totally misses the point as to why the Greeks that I know, explain the endemic culture of not paying taxes. Greeks have never willingly paid taxes any ‘Invader’: The Ottoman Empire, Nazis and now the Troika, being simply the latest example. Most believe that any taxes paid at present will not be used in Greece, but to line the pockets of the Sprouts, IMF and German and French Taxpayers and Bankers. Hence your average Greeks, I know, consider tax avoidance to be a “silent protest” and “doing their bit for Greece”. They do not care a jot about continuing to run up ever larger paper debts to the EU, because if Rajoy and Woolfie think the Greeks will ever pay back every cent one day, they seriously have another think coming. Buying four months time will, I think be seen as a good move by Varoufakis and Tsipras…..the next negotiations at the end of April and smack bang in the middle of the UK General Election, will be for the future of Greece and the Eurozone.

    If Greece were Grexited (by fair means or foul), and had zero or limited access to money markets, but ever penny of tax raised was going to help to rebuild the Greek economy, get teachers back in work and the kids back into decent schools, get youth unemployment down and talented 20 somethings to come back home, pay the elderly the pensions due to them, and get many medicines back into hospitals and pharmacies….I reckon that the average Greeks would be only too happy to contribute sensible rates of tax to help their own country. As for the Rich, they evade tax in every Country…not just in Greece, and that should be a Global priority….but there again, it isn’t.

    Greece is a little country, where even in Athens, I have discovered that a lot of folks know each other…while out on the islands, almost everyone knows everyone (or is probably distantly related)…so any strangers turning up with a large webcam bulge in the middle of their chests. and asking to pay for their hotel room or jet ski hire in cash, is very likely to end up being towed behind a local fishing boat as Calamari bait !


  4. For some reason,the phrase “beaten to an inch of his life or just an inch further”,reminds me of this;

    At Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday, his friend Don Rickles told the following joke:
    “I owe Frank everything. He saved my life once. I was in Vegas and these guys were
    beating me up. And after ten minutes Frank came by and said to them, “Okay. That’s enough.”


  5. ZH has changed in the last 6-12 months, it no longer seems to represent the radical free thinker but seems to be slowly morphing into something more fixed in the mainstream. Various commentators on the threads support this view and I believe that the original Tylers have long since sold up and moved on.

    Two years ago the basic thrust of ZH was ‘get out of the fiat system, get out of town and build a bunker’ now it has toned down the rhetoric.

    There has also been a concomitant lowering of the bar when it comes to verifying the veracity of the material they repeat.


  6. It’s probably due to the fact that the Tylers are like the rest of us. Bored waiting for the economic tsunami (we know is coming) to arrive after the Lehman earthquake. After a while, the corruption and manipulation becomes so obvious that you just cannot be bothered. Zerohedge is still worth the occasional visit. Albert Edwards is on there today and he’s always on the money.

    After all, the DT and BBC are hardly worth the energy pressing click.

    Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.


  7. Actually, “Spiro selling baseball caps in the street” seems pretty much what the Troikas have in mind themselves, and the kind of policies they have historically sponsored e.g. in Spain and, quite particularly, in that “good boy” national government who’s learnt austerity so well it viciously turned on Greece during Varoufakis’ negotiations.

    I’m talking of course of Portugal, where legislation was introduced a few years back as part of the bailout ‘austerity packages”, whereby all and any member of the public is legally required (sub poena of legal prosecution if they fail) to demand a receipt for services and/or goods, even for the cup of coffee you swallow each morning at the cafeteria’s counter. A car is then raffled amongst the receipt numbers entered on the governmental website. And this in a country where, funnily enough, the PM himself has been caught this week with a rather sexy debt of his own in evaded National Insurance payments.

    And this is, in my opinion, the difference, and why teachers and good pupils alike are now so rabidly setting themselves at the heels of Greece and her flock-mentality resisting government: because as far as I can see, Syriza’s government do not intend to have the poor paying for the crisis alone.


  8. I posted a comment here at 8.55 am this morning. It is labelled as “in moderation”, when John assures me he no longer moderates my comments.
    More evidence of this site being monitored & messed with.


  9. Quite so, I suppose to a certain extent by various means ZH has been fought to a standstill, you can’t be a firebrand forever – not in this current media climate anyway.


  10. If this is accurate then it is more evidence for the argument that the slog needs to be moved a server under direct control of JW and hosted at a domain well away from the EU/US axis.


  11. I’ll try posting now, IP, but in three bits.
    1) text: Varoufakis is swimming against the Bankster tide here.
    Their preferred trend is austerity & serfdom for the plebs & wealth accumulation by the 1%s.
    If trends continue, by 2016, the 1%s will own half the world wealth.

    Here I referenced a site. With a reference to the top (allegedly) 80 billionaires.

    Then I remarked that this list, only 4 years ago would have been 388 billionaires owning half the world’s wealth.

    The I referenced a site showing that 8 top families own all the 80 billionaires, with a remark that, since 2009, Central Bankster & govt policy have caused this wealth spread. It’s not a recession, it’s a robbery.

    The 8 families include top central banksters, the Brit & Dutch Royals.


  12. Seems to have worked, & yes I reckon John’s site should be made more secure, but I don’t have the first clue how to do that.
    I’ve had a chat with a mate experienced in such matters, & been told if I keep posting & annoying TPTB, I will get my computer taken over.
    I read recently that Brit forces are training 1500 keyboard warriors to police us.
    We live in interesting times.


  13. @jdseanjd

    I have just posted an item containing three links and it too is listed as “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    I guess it is a WordPress thing, not a Wardy thing!



  14. I think the wordpress rules are only 1 link per comment….so try posting your comment again with only one link, and then reply to your post twice with the other 2 links.


  15. I think the wordpress rules are only 1 link per comment….so try posting your comment again with only one link, and then reply to your post twice with the other 2 links.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. If my estimated worth was $500 trillion, I might buy my local football team some success.
    Pray tell what the Rothschilds are doing with their wealth?
    Presumably they are at least paying large dowries for fabulous partners.

    If they are just hoarding it, it isn’t wealth.
    If they have reinvested it in financial markets, then they are as dumb as the rest of us.
    If they are controlling all world events, then I sneer at their incompetence.
    If it turns out they own me, I might just hunt them down.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am trying to reply to Robin Banks above I have added a link 3 times and the comment just vanishes into the ether… trying this without the link.


  18. Varifocals and Tapisarid are behind enemy lines and can’t signal true intentions to their fellow greeks without the evil Dieselplant getting wind!


  19. Pingback: John Ward – Greece Crisis: Did Troika2 Doctor The Latest ‘Leaked’ Varoufakis ‘Recommendations’? – 8 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  20. Evidently, austerity is a real bitch.


    Pass the Metaxa!

    We pay no tax ah!

    Drinks are on Angela!

    Come on, baby, do it for Denmark?


  21. jds

    Try as I may, your bloody comments keep coming up for moderation. You have not, by any chance, been shagging the Downing St cat have you?


  22. Sticking it to the man?. This is the reason that the Greeks avoid paying taxes? ………Well then they should really stick it to the man and default on their debt and bring back the Drachma. Then they could joyfully pay ALL their taxes and build a new Greece based on honesty. In this new Greece tax cheats would be towed behind a local fishing boat as Calamari bait! Don’t hold your breath for this to happen any time soon. .


  23. The Rothschilds are using their wealth to fund a takeover of the planet, FTW.
    Their dream, & that of their frontmen Rockefellers, Soros & Maurice Strong etc is a one world totalitarian govt, with no middle class, just serfs. The middle class is being taxed to death to pay for eternal wars, & impoverished by jobs offshoring.
    Google Agenda 21 for dummies. What is not sustainable? The middle class is not sustainable. Maurice Strong. UN founder & funder, architect of UN Agenda 21.

    Their preference for marriage is, apparently, nieces. Keep the money in the family.


  24. They are trying mightily to force world events, but Putin is not playing ball, nor China, apparently.
    I believe their strategy is to destroy all nations, as they have balkanised Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya & the African countries NATO the North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation is currently destroying. Afghanistan was never more than a federation of very different tribes. Warlords do not a country make. This will pave the way for a planetary “Govt”.


  25. They own the West. All govts, all media.
    The banks Lehman, Bear Stearns, Northern Rock, etc crashed & our poxy muppet politicians deemed them too big to fail & lumped their debts on us all, all small taxpayers. They own all of us.
    The exception is Iceland, whose people rose in fury at this treacherous move by their politicians, & jailed some bent banksters. Things are coming to a head in Ireland also. You won’t hear word one in our lamestream media about Iceland’s success post the 2008 crash. They are growing at something like 5%pa, I believe. Gordon “we saved the world” Brroon the globalist fool, did his best to keep Iceland in the central bankster jail of debt.


  26. I’m living in Greece, reporting from Athens (independently) and I speak Greek. The government spokesman defended the undercover tax spies suggestion on Friday, after it was widely received with ridicule from financial journalists to the Greek public to Greece’s tourism chief. There is really no need to conjecture about Varoufakis’ reform list being doctored. The Syriza govt submitted a more detailed version to the Eurogroup today, of the original letter and reform proposal sent last Thursday, and no-one from the Syriza govt has claimed that the letter you have analysed here, which was leaked in Thursday, has been doctored. The Syriza govt, does, however, get right on the front foot and issues press releases clarifying when Varoufakis’ statements have been misreported by the media. It’s clear to me as a Greek citizen and resident following all of this closely, that this govt is way out of its depth with regard to governing and most importantly, negotiating with the troika, and the heavyweights in Brussels and Berlin are in the process of shredding them. Varoufakis and Tsipras still believe, however, that the troika’s view and policies re austerity / debt repayment can be reformed, and this is the crux of the issue – it is a false belief! From the outset – when the IMF was invited by Papandreou in 2010, the creditors’ position has not budged one millimetre. It won’t now, because it doesn’t have to. Greece has zero bargaining power within the euro. The political turmoil which is now unfolding has this at its heart. The view from Athens – the new govt is well meaning, still has huge support, but looking more and more like a train wreck every day and the Greek people, who are falling into poverty under a crisis they did not create, deserve better.


  27. Pingback: John Ward – Europe Getting Out Of Hand : Austria Refuses To Bail Out Carinthia, Varoufakis Makes The Referendum Threat Before Today’s Eurogroup – 9 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

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