GREEK PROPOSALS UPDATE: New Syriza package will pass in Parliament, Coalition resignations make Tsipras future position precarious

expectationsGreat Expectations

11 GREEK COALITION MPs TO RESIGN

Rumours of Syriza/To Potami talks

Greek Parliamentary sources confirmed to The Slog within the last hour that it is now “almost certain” Alexis Tsipras has lost the support of circa 8 Syriza & 3 ANEL Coalition MPs. But the general view is that the new Greek proposals delivered to Troika2 will pass easily, given they mostly concur with mainstream Opposition sentiment.

However, if one looks at the composition by seats of the Athens assembly, even if one discounts electoral sentiment beyond that building (and the OXI rally tonight was pretty limp) the Greek PM is storing up problems for the future.

Doing the maths on the support share-out by seats, one must accept that Syriza no longer has a technical majority upon which it can rely. Tonight, it has 141 seats out of 300. It’s therefore not surprising that rumours of discussions between Tsipras and To Potami leaders continue to circulate.

For many commentators – including this one – that’s the thin end of the wedge: the start, in fact, of régime change by the back door.

There’s been a great deal of apologism flying about in the pro-Syriza media ranks today. I don’t buy it on the whole.

Stay tuned.

Earlier at The Slog: my compleat guide to eurogroupe emoticons

50 thoughts on “GREEK PROPOSALS UPDATE: New Syriza package will pass in Parliament, Coalition resignations make Tsipras future position precarious

  1. Restored ELA (illegally taken away, by the way) means live ATMs on Wednesday, for the price of no guaranteed debt reduction. The Greek people’s representatives, Merkel and Hollande continue to play ‘Let’s pretend’.

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  2. Word on the street is that the proposal will be voted by the Hellenic Parliament.
    However, there will be no deal on this specific proposal.
    Wolfie, through the EG, and with the aid of his satellite FinMins will demand more.
    It is not clear yet whether this is an attempt to cut a bigger piece of flesh or to enforce a Grexit or whatever without explicitly demanding it.
    Has anyone heard anything concrete about that?

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  3. I don’t doubt that there are EU officials who would like to replace Syriza with a ‘technocratic’ government. I doubt that they will have to get involved. Syriza will pay the price for having lied to the Greek people. Firstly, when they campaigned, claiming that Greece could both stay in the euro and increase government spending. Secondly, when they called the referendum, saying that a ‘No’ vote would force the rest of the Eurozone to offer Greece better conditions. The hard left supporters of Syriza will switch to other left-wing parties and soft-left supporters will switch to other centrist parties.

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  4. Bloody shame really, 5 years of pain for almost no gain. They had the Brussels take-your-punishment brigade over the barrel. More boldness in breaching the dam might have encouraged those of Icelandic bent In Italy, Spain and Portugal to have joined the fray and changed EU for the better. (Might of course all be yet another Greek bluff?)

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  5. To Potami is VERY ACTIVE these last 2-3 days.

    As for the possibility of a regime change: It looks like the Friedmanite experiment in Chile is about to be repeated in Europe. What can anyone say about, practically, all the Greek politicians since 1974 that in one way or another paved the way to such a shame – Not to mention its’ symbolic significance.

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  6. Can’t help feeling a certain deja vu symmetry with the Prague Spring and Alexander Dubcek. They kept him on awhile as a fig-leaf, too. “Socialism with a human face” just wasn’t an option for any Warsaw Pact country in the face of the realities dictated by Soviet Power, (and Western realpolitik) and its suppression was the first sign that reform within the system was impossible

    Perhaps this is now a similar point for the western neo-lib/neo-con “free” (hoho) market model: and therefore not a sign of the strength of Europe at all, but of its increasing inflexibility and inability to change towards what people really want. The referendum vote is very important in this context, as traditional political parties across Europe hollow out. As someone recently pointed out, rather pithily, the founding principles of the EU have been replaced by funding principles. The final chapter of the brilliant Tony Judt “Postwar” book foreshadows this change, though he (sadly-big loss) died young before he could live through it.

    Spain will be the next potential flashpoint, and this will not just be Podemos, but some other very interesting bottom-up political groupings allied to it entering the fray. I’d recommend all fellow-readers of JW’s excellent blog to also keep an eye out on OpenDemocracy from time to time, there’s illuminating stuff there.

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  7. Nice, but expected rook move to take a pawn (Tsipras) by Nuland and the US. Time for Vlad to move his queen to a more attacking position while Obama’s King is boxed in before China hits the fan.

    I wonder if Greece has an equivalent to a David Stirling in their military.

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  8. I had heard rumors in the past about a coalition with To Potami in the event that the left platform of Syriza broke away, but I refused to believe them. I thought Tsipras and Syriza had some integrity but clearly I was wrong. This is more than disappointing, especially after the strong (and courageous under the circumstances) “OXI” of the people. Tsipras has gotten by on charm and good looks. He has blamed the people and will continue to blame the people for his missteps (as in “I don’t have a mandate from the people” to do X). Very sad. But thank you, John, as always, for your excellent coverage and analysis.

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  9. Your throw-away comment about the Greek military inspired me to go look…
    Turns out the Greek army, at 90,000 strong (of which 1/3 conscripts), is strategically placed to defend Greece’s borders with the rest of Europe, particularly their ancient and mighty foe Turkey. No help there, then, to combat the mass waves of refugees heading that way now they are perceiving that Greece is currently a better bet than Italy.
    Military spending over the past decades has been higher than the EU average and the Greek military has one of the largest collections of “toys” to play with. All of which need fuelling with 100% imported oil….. Oops? That suddenly got expensive after 2008…

    Greece needs the Euro so it can buy the fuel it needs to run its economy (and its military, natch). And even if the Greeks could “cancel the debt” they’d just have to borrow more tomorrow to pay for the oil they need. Greece has virtually nothing worth exporting and can’t compete on price for what it does export because so much of its economy relies on – suddenly expensive – imported oil. Meanwhile less tourists come, and spend less, because they also have less left over after paying more for energy.
    What it boils down to is Greece cannot afford a modern industrial economy. Nor can Spain, Italy or Portugal. Or France. And soon Germany won’t be able to afford one either, because there won’t be any European partners left for them to force their exports onto. The UK is reaching the tipping point where North Sea production barely meets consumption and soon will have to start paying on a net basis for energy – crunch time here soon after.
    The resource pie is shrinking and we are fighting over the remains – but fighting makes the pie shrink faster – so the fighting intensifies and the pie shrinks faster…..
    Oops – got a bit side tracked from the Greek military there, sorry.

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  10. @Phaedrus, I hope that rumor is true. Wolfie will be doing Greece a favor, for once. Wolfie, just say “OXI!”

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  11. Dear John Ward.
    there is a serious mistake in this post.

    SYRIZA + ANEL = 162 MEP’s.
    minus 11, they become 151 (just enough to sustain their majority).

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  12. The oil situation could be a major headache for Greece but then Vlad does have a couple of cans of WD40 going spare and the companies to extract the reserves from the Aegean. I agree, the cost of oil could be a major problem for the West if Vlad can get the Iranians to warm up the Shia population in Saudi as per the Yemen.

    If Greece does run out of oil then I’m sure their Christian Orthodox friends will be more than willing to help, especially with that Southern Stream pipeline looking for a home.

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  13. In other developments, the ex Fin Min and head negotiator till a few days ago is holidaying in Egina rather than argue his put in Parliament . One would say he has done enough to earn the fees for his next book: ‘How I screwed a whole country up and lived to tell my story’.

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  14. Dear Janusz, Another possible caption for this photo of Tsiparas could have been The Great Pretender.Isn’t what appears to be the end of the Syriza Government so sad & disappointing ? In the unfortunate Kafkaesque EU Europe we live in, I guess this outrcome was to be expected. There are are no Pilsudskis, Venizelos’, FDRs or even Fidels on this planet anymore. In our time, little Alexis is not even a shadow of that brave brief Slovakian who for a short time so impressed the Czechs and the world, Alexander Dubcek. We needed a hero to stand up to the Corporation Big Brothers who rule everywhere now ; except in Hollywood productions,there are no heros. yours,Rob of Cieszyn Silesia Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:01:54 +0000 To: travelingmichel@hotmail.com

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  15. Thierry Meysen gives a little historic perspective on the ‘European Project’. The root cause of the problems of Greece and other European countries. Unsurprisingly the conclusion is ‘it was a carve up’ of European states after WW2 by the US and UK.
    Interesting actors involves ,or as they say,’ the same old suspects’.
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article188082.html

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  16. There was always a strong possibility that Tsipras – or indeed any politician of the Left – would blink first. Perhaps the referendum was only a feint by a faint hearted man who intended all along only to try and leverage compromise. It may well be that the chewing gum (?) of European Union is so well embedded in the sole of the Greek shoe that the OXI vote will now lose it’s focus and the shoe will continue to limp the path to impoverishment dictated by a distant political elite. The idea of a united Europe was to end fighting and yet cowering seems to have been the real result.

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  17. Nick the Greek,
    That man was a ratbag when he ‘worked’ here in Australia.
    Opportunist, bully, and pseudo intellectual.
    On the telly here the other night we saw him roar off into the sunset with the gorgeous blond on the back. Having posed around, his work done, I am not surprised he is writing a book of his adventures. If it doesn’t sell or make any money he can always get some money from his oligarch dad. Bet it wont be in Euros or Drachmas though.

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  18. @ Hb – “The idea of a united Europe was to end fighting ”
    That’s what we were supposed to believe, plus the little bit about facilitating trade. I’ve read various versions of its origins and protagonists, leaving me to doubt the official rationale put forward, especially when one ponders about what lays behind the well-known phrase: “They lost the war but won the peace”. What do we have today but a triumphant economically flourishing Germany dominating 28 other countries that it invaded and dominated briefly 70 years ago? Afterwards, with most of its debts written off, courtesy of the Allies, and little compensation paid in war reparations for the devastation they caused, they set about winning again but with a different kind of weapon. The irony is that whereas THEY were granted debt forgiveness in order to survive financially, they won’t extend that same ‘generosity’ to the Greeks, to whom (shame on them) they actually owe war reparations. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the Greeks, instead of “cowering” again, don’t make more of this situation.

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  19. Greece votes emphatic ‘NO’.
    6 days later, parliament votes emphatic ‘YES’.
    Dow Jones up 200 points on the day.
    This is a done deal. EU democracy at work again !!

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  20. Two scenarios: One I’ve seen has Tsipras and Yaroufakis being traitors all along, actually working for Goldman Sachs. I disbelieve that idea.
    Another is that Tsipras, knowing that the eurogroup will reject any proposal no matter how sweet, can then win the P.R. battle when it is proven Germany wanted a Grexit all along. Then the Grexit would win more support and sympathy for the other countries Germany is looking to destroy.

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  21. A taste of things to come perhaps?

    Britain votes emphatic ‘NO’.
    6 days later, parliament votes emphatic ‘YES’.
    Dow Jones up 200 points on the day.
    This is a done deal. EU democracy at work again !!

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  22. @frenchnews1online

    I suspect the only Greek bluff will come in the promised economic reforms, much needed regardless of whether Greece stays in the Eurozone if the Greeks are to have the standard of living to which they aspire, will not be implemented.

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  23. Which ever way you look at it, Syriza and Sissypras came to power with a mandate to end austerity. They have singularly failed to do that. In fact, now, they have succeeded in suffocating their country and people with even more austerity than they were originally being asked to sign up to.

    I don’t believe that this is some master-plan that Tsipras was working towards all along. He’s just another gutless politician whose bought into the euro dream, and that’s more important than the nightmare that his people are having to live through.

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  24. Just to add one more thing. I can see now why he was squirming like a toad when Nigel Farage was addressing the EU Parliament. What was it Farage said… “Your moment has come Mr Tsipras, take back your country”…

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  25. @Phaedrus

    Wolfie may try to extract his last pound of flesh. However, given suspicions that he takes his orders from the other side of the Atlantic, expect him to ultimately accept a deal with the Greeks. Obama has made it very clear in the last two weeks that the US wants Greece to stay in the Eurozone. Rumours of a deal between Greece and Russia to develop an oil pipeline will only strengthen the US’s position.

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  26. Or possibly they were being played by the EU to turn the Greeks against their own government by ruining their economy even further, thus making EU control seem more necessary and desirable. This crisis barely affected the value of the euro, which says it all about how serious it in fact was in economic terms.
    I suspect Farage is being used in this country by our establishment for the same kind of reason, as John has alluded to before. They’re happy for him to stick the knife into the euro for the Americans but will move heaven and earth to stop him entering the UK Parliament to hold their own people to account.

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  27. I find it incomprehensible that Alex Tsipiras has succumbed to the Eurocrats and is to subject his people to more austerity.
    He held a strong set of cards in any negotiations.
    • A mandate from the Greek people to reject any further austerity programmes.
    • A strong claim to reject much of the debt as Odious and thus cancelled.
    • A strong claim to war reparations from Germany.
    • Support from Russia, via entry to the BRICS and compensation for a gas pipeline to Europe via Greece.
    • Leverage, by threatening to exit the EU, Euro and NATO ,thus disrupting the financial and military plans of the US.
    I can only surmise that the last issue was repugnant to the US and a case of crossing the Rubicon. Pressure was exerted ,similar to Chile and Allende. You do not go against the Hegemon and live to tell the tale.
    This saga is not complete and has a way to run and I do not pre-judge Tsipars courage or ideals until all facts are known.

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  28. @ alexei. It’s hard to disagree with any of that, except that a flourishing economy is now beyond the reach of even Germany who will soon have to face the fact that they are wearing a hollow crown. They will no doubt pretend that the train to glory can be kept rolling with a few running repairs, but the reality is that they’re running out of track in any case and ponzification doesn’t seem to be working. Sooner or later this must inevitably have an electrifying effect on the passengers some of whom, it turns out, only had a third class ticket in the first place.

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  29. I think perhaps that we consider them ‘negotiations’ is a mistake on our behalf. They are not, there is no negotiation, it’s do as your told or else. The illusion that ‘negotiations’ are taking place is just that, an illusion.

    ‘You do not go against the Hegemon and live to tell the tale.’

    Therein lies the nub of the matter.

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  30. The Question is..what really could have happened here? tell me? the majority of Greeks as stupid as it is and a concept that to this day i don’t understand is that they want to stay in the EU and keep the Euro..

    so it really doesn’t matter what government comes in and negotiated with the demons..they will never have a mandate to say that they want a specific deal or we are leaving..its that simple..so any government who goes into negotiations without a mandate will ultimately get screwed.

    In this case, i dont blame this government, they wanted out, all of us with half a brain want out, we all know with a devalued currency will be the best outcome in the nearer long term..but the people don’t..they cant have both..it is impossible..so i blame the people in this case..they deserve what they get..i feel bad in saying this as a Greek but its the way it is..

    Now all our ports will be under foreign control as well as other holding..Sadly Greece is no more..it hasn’t been for a long long time..

    God Bless “Stelios Katzanzidis” he saw it all coming..

    RG

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  31. But “Vlad” needs to sell that oil and gas – either for hard currency or for goods to an equivalent value, but he’s not going to give it away for free. Greece’s main problem is that it doesn’t have all that much that the world wants to buy, and what it does sell is expensive compared to developing countries which have less overheads (like healthcare and pollution controls). Regardless of what the EU does or doesn’t do to Greece, the country is not able to afford a modern industrial economy and pretending otherwise just hastens the decline.
    The Southern Stream pipeline won’t help Greece any more than a very similar pipeline has helped Ukraine. The claimed resources under the Aegean must be either small, very dispersed or technically difficult or expensive to produce – if they weren’t they would be being exploited right now.

    The cost of oil already IS a problem. Stirring up Saudi would make the problem worse, agreed, but the modern industrial world was designed to work on cheap $20 per barrel oil in plentiful supply. Mass transit, just-in-time delivery, globalisation, mining, infrastructure, maintenance, air transport, massive tankers – all of these are more expensive when oil is $60+ per barrel thus other parts of the modern economy – welfare, healthcare, leisure, community – are starved of funds. Pretending that this situation is temporary, until “growth resumes”, is the fallacy that is contributing to our decline. Growth cannot save the modern industrial economy, it can only make it collapse faster and more messily.

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  32. I have to say I find the events of the last week more than a little perplexing. I am minded to agree with Salford Lad; the situation has a way to go yet. I cannot understand how someone given the support of the nation in a referendum on Sunday can, only four days later, make a proposal that would land his country in an even worse position than it was before he started. What was the point of indulging in such an expensive plebiscite if it’s result is to be ignored? I suppose it is always possible that Tsipras is merely agreeing with what the creditors’ demand to get his hands on the bail out money and has no intention of implementing any of the rest of the agreement. I can quite easily see that without an overall majority in Parliament, introducing legislation to implement reforms could be bogged down for months, if not years. But surely, given the experience of the past, the creditor’s will already have factored this in as a possibility; unless they really are even more incompetent than they appear. Not all the cards are on the table and there is a very palpable sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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  33. A few days ago I said to my wife, I said ‘that there Tsipras is going to go the same way as Mussolini if he isn’t careful’.

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  34. Am I missing something here about Varoufakis?
    Regardless of what he has done in the past, he fought hard for Greece in the current round of Eurogroup negotiations.
    With Tsipras’ latest offer it seems clear to me that Varoufakis was forced to resign, as he stood in the way of Tsipras’s cowardly turnaround.
    I had been hoping that Tsipras had some backup plan, with the public not privy to such info, that would explain his recent moves. But it seems that leaving the Euro is a line he cannot contemplate crossing – stronger than any other lines.

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  35. Ah come of it folks !

    Greece exiting the Euro, or even refusing to obey their dictats, puts both the EU and NATO in a precarious position.

    Did any of you REALLY think the CIA was going to sit by and allow this to happen ? Really ?

    People across the world are already waking up to the fact that neither of them has any reasonable excuse for existing at all.

    Other than as a tool for American imperial expansion.

    Once Varoufakis’s exit stage right had been engineered, the writing was on the wall. Syriza and the ‘left’ will now be systematicly dismantled and even more Greek people will die.

    Its funny how nobody ever mentions the casualties.

    How many people have been killed as aresult of EU policy in Greece ? Including Suicides by people tormented to death, starvation, neglect, homelessness, and extreme poverty?

    Oh, and what about the UK ? While the moron-o-scope churns out an endless shitstream of programs to brainwash YOU all into believing everyone on benefits is an evil, layabout exploiting the system, how many of YOU asked –

    What is the suicide rate amongst all the thousands of people sumarily thrown off benefits ?

    What is the death rate amongst all those thousands of people thrown out of their homes by the bedroom tax ?

    How many people in the UK have died as a result of Suicides by people tormented to death, starvation, neglect, homelessness, and extreme poverty?

    Do we all resent our own supine, obedient slavery so much that we have come to hate those beneath us ? Is that how we convince ourselves that we are not cowards, and that those poor scum DESERVE to be treated that way ?

    TAKE A LOOK AT THE USA. THATS THE MODEL FOR BRITAINS FUTURE. Oh, and dont forget, the US banker and industrialist clique that created, armed and funded the NAZIS are still running America. The same families. The same names.

    Enjoy your day off slaves. Dont get too used to it though. Ve haff plans for your veekend inst der futerzee.

    ARBEIT MACHT FREI.

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  36. We have yet to see exactly what will play out in Greece but, I suspect nothing other than a ‘technocrat’ govt will be in place before too long.
    It should serve to remind others that still imagine the the UK is going to be able to leave the EU of exactly who is in charge here because, if Washington wants the UK in the EU, then were staying in the EU.

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  37. This weekeend it may become clearest than ever before that EU conservatives might not working on how they will keep Greece and all of the rest unwilling/skeptic/assertive/poor members in EU but how to to achieve a smooth and properly selective exit, controlling the financial damage and following a political victory over the romantics and beaurocrats.

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  38. Tsipras may be playing a Greek game here, accept the terms with a good long period attached to them and then do none of the privatization bollocks that the Edictators demand. Whilst preparing the banks over months for a parallel currency. The ‘Greek Euro’. Looks like a Euro, unusable in the other E countries, but 1:1 parity in Greece for domestic use. Accepted by non-EU countries with an interest in kicking Schauble up the shitter, e.g.. Russia. Could be a winner.

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  39. RG
    I find myself very moved indeed by your lament. For myself, I think it’s largely the older, smug Greek middle class – the professionals – who want the euro gravy-train to continue.
    Either way, I wish you the best of luck in the future. Greece isn’t dead my friend; it’s just regrouping.

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  40. Beeb : “Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the talks would be “extremely difficult”” Surprise surprise, the Gauleiter wants more. Maybe a few Jews to the gas chamber would mollify his insane lust Syriza.

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