Thursday, January 29, 2015

Open Letter to the New Finance Minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis

[ SYRIZA has folded some more. Now Greek pensioners pay money to the IMF so that the IMF can pay Ukraine, so that Ukraine can pay Russia's Gazprom. ]
 
[ Deleted. There is no point. SYRIZA folded and voted to extend the ridiculous sanctions against Russia. The dream was nice while it lasted. Move along, people, nothing to see here, just some more fake European "democracy." ]

[ People have convinced me that SYRIZA should not be written off. Their first order of business is, quite understandably, lifting austerity imposed on the Greek people, not changing EU foreign policy. Still, my preference is not to lobby politicians, and to treat them as forces of nature, of a perverse kind. I try to adhere to Solzhenitsyn's maxim of "Don't trust them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them." ]

29 comments :

UnbekanntImInternet said...

If Grece want to play the "Give me XYZ or I default and leave Eurozone" gambit they have to be able to do it. And that means facing a completely closed capital market for a decade or more. So a balanced budget and current account balance are absolute prerequisite. I do not see either met, much less so if Siryza goes forth with its political program. Conclusion: a greek drama is in the making.

stevelaudig@gmail.com said...

It is wise to remember the lessons of Iran and Guatemala of the 1950s and elsewhere subsequently. The financials will use democracy to destroy freedom with the result being neither, merely slavery. The slave power, as understood by the abolitionists in the US north beginning in the early 1800s is a continuously arising phenomenon because if there is one sure lesson about the humans is that enough of them love slavery for it to always make a comeback. and wealth and power are always skilled at increasing wealth and power. cheers. Go Greece reject financial totalitarianism. Your ancestors beat the ancients invaders from the East who rode horses and you can beat the modern invaders from the West riding Benz.

. josé . said...

One important issue is land ownership. I would suggest a law that requires that by Dec 31 of this year, all real estate in Greece must be owned by Greek citizens. Any real estate currently owned by foreigners or limited liability corporations must be sold by that date, or its ownership will revert to the government to be auctioned for government revenue.

John Doyle said...

I hope you know how modern money works? Greece has to behave from now on like it is monetarily sovereign. It has to understand money while real in its effects comes from nothing. Money is created by fiat and requires no backing except the credibility of the state to honour it. So that will be on a time line, set into the future. After all Greece itself is also a concept, like any nation. It will survive and in the future will regain its national value.
Subjecting the country to the wiles of the IMF and banking incompetents is just a recipe for disaster.

Charles Fasola said...

You fail to comprehend the fact that a balanced budget or surplus for a sovereign state is a net deficit for the private sector. If you would like a simple equation that validates my comment just ask and I will provide it.

Nathan said...

Greece is bountifully blessed with water, arable land and a history of cultured civilisation. There is a booming back to the land movement amongst Greece's youth. Everyone knows someone with an old farmhouse it seems, so if people are willing to turn their back on 32 hour govt jobs in Athens, sitting around sipping latte and scooting off to pensions at 55 years old, the hinterland can support good life. It has done for all of known history and that won't change. The fundamentals of Greece are strong, when viewed through Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
Greece isn't suited to industrial consumerism, and it's been a painful lesson for many. The quicker that Greece turns its back on industrial consumerism the better.
It is my opinion that Siryza shouldn't even seek concessions from the EU, but just leave, reject the Euro, default on all Euro denominated national debt, and focus on educating the domestic population on the sort of life that Greece can abundantly provide, and what that will immediately mean for all citizens. Essentially, Siryza has the opportunity to usher in the biggest and most ambition Transition Town program yet seen, at a State level. I believe Japan would quickly follow suit. They would do well as an island nation once more, if a 50% population die off over a single generation can be considered "well". But once they are back under 60 million souls, things would become sustainable there too. Better to embrace the inevitable and try to arrange some semblance of decent planned energy descent than to live in denial and face a crash unprepared.

ken titterington said...

Godspeed indeed, you small and courageous country!

Good Luck to you all - you can be a bright and shining beacon to all who want to see the back of the neoliberal experiment.

sjoh said...

Inclined to share Nathan's sentiments (above), re: the "opportunity" of a large scale transition town policy. It's worth noting that TT initiatives have to date tended to be 'bottom up', and efforts to date at top down social engineering (e.g. the pol pot back to the land solution) have not always worked out well. The Nazis, too, had a back to the land theme (inspired by German Romanticism) which appealed to a people under stresses of modernism in general and financial machinations/economic pressures in particular. So, the key for Syriza will be to see out any 'transition' away from current economic tyrannies, without tarnishing the effort whilst wielding power themselves. What could possibly go wrong? Well, Yanis seems to know his stuff, but let's not forget Dmitry's earlier posts on Kropotkin (detailing the many pitfalls of the nation state) and of course K's own beautiful little books. Perhaps a reminder for a measured optimism only, rather than untempered enthusiasm at this curious development in that wonderful country.

Iliyan Dobrev said...

Sure, quite sensible overall, yet still missing the point - why would Germany allow Grexit happen, see its long-dream Mitteleuropa, the one worked so hard to establish crack on the seams? If you think Merkel is acting on orders across the Atlantic, think again - this article sums it up very nicely - http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/01/26/2772 - I personally do not think that this will be a walk in the park for Greeks, this will be their defining struggle, one that more than one generation will build their world-view on.

Jolly said...

Be bold,your actions are being followed by the oppressed austerity suffering peoples of Europe and beyond.
You have the mandate from the people.
The old story of Hans with his hand in the Dyke comes to mind.....
My metaphor places you as Hans,a new player in the political game..
1)Do you place your hand in the Dyke which is starting to crumble,which stands for the EU/TROIKA/USA?....The water being held back by the Dyke are the peoples of Europe and beyond...
2)Do you do something that at first may seem totally counter intuitive and welcome the collapse of the Dyke,and the outpouring of oppressed and repressed peoples washing away the unelected EU/TROIKA/USA cabal.Cleansing the world of these parasitic banking corporatist elites.
Do not fear the unknown outcome,what can possibly be worst than the abhorrent corruption and forced austerity,by the very people who engineered the Greek Tragedy for profit and power.
My last comment is about the rebuilding of Greece.....Aquaponics

Margie said...

Not only that, but here are some additional things to consider

1. You will be the ONLY (x) European country to be able to trade your agriculture with Russia! While Europe struggles to find markets for its agriculture/fisheries

2. Russia has offered you the "gas" hub proposition for Europe (another source of income)

3. Perhaps you could boot out NATO and for some kind of trade of goods/services, offer your ports to Russia?

4. I think Russia will be more supportive of other enterprises as well. Right now in Russia there is a major thrust in the area of sciences, and this would offer some more opportunities for your youth, to study in Russia, or other science ventures whereby your climate and location would be helpful? I understand their education is far superior to that of the west currently.

5. Once you get the ball rolling with Russia, I am sure mutually beneficial honorable trades will be organized with China as well. What about instead of BRICS, it could now be BRICGS? (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Greece, South Africa0 or BIG-RICS? (Brazil, India, Greece, Russia, Iceland, China and South Africa?

I think as long as people can have a roof over their heads, water, food, and warmth in winter, and basic health, the rest is bonus.

So if trade deals can be made with Russia and other countries, to cover the basics, you can move on from there.


I think the world over, many of us are incredibly thankful for your courage and integrity. I keep thinking of "the Mouse that Roared" and smiling.

Greg Schofield said...

Before writing off the role of the Syriza government it is worth considering the Popular Front it has created and needs to maintain if Greece is not crushed by US-EU hubris.

It was elected not to solve foreign policy issues (Greece is already pro-Russian), it was elected to dissolve the burdens of debt, end austerity and lay the foundations of a national prospering economy.

Quite rightly it is coming to the creditors table with no distractions.

It is now all in Merkel's lap, this is a serious (EU) internal rising power, every victory it gets will spread to Italy, Spain, Portugal and even France.

She needs to make giving nothing look like everything, but also undercut Syriza as "not the way" ie debts are forever, poverty is the future.

I think this is not possible, If Greece leaves the table, it is the whole EU that suffers, Greece has Chinese and Russian investment already in the wings, it can and will act as a trade nexus that is sanction busting, this is already set up to happen.

Best of all once Greece starts to prosper (and it would not be hard to improve on their present lot), the bottom half of the EU will follow it.

My suggestion is this is not about radical policy but practical policy -- history takes care of the rest, the limits are already set, the egg will burst, the water has been boiling too long, there is no way to prevent it now.

rapier said...

On the Greeks demurring on Russian sanctions, one has to have some sympathy for the realities of power. It's best to imagine they were given an offer they couldn't refuse. (everyone knows the Godfather reference I hope)

The fact is the Tsipras government exists on the whim of the US as does every government of every weak nation on earth. Sure the US has traditionally been restrained by appearances from overt overthrow of governments not routinely understood as being enemies but the restraint is fading fast. Opposing the war against Russia may have been a bridge too far.

Harry Seldon said...

You are wrong Dmitri: Tsipras a pris contact avec la chef de la diplomatie européenne, Frederica Mogherini, et s’est plaint auprès d’elle de ce que ce communiqué avait été publié sans s’assurer du consentement de la Grèce, alors que l'UE devrait obtenir l’unanimité de ses 28 membres pour décider d’imposer des sanctions supplémentaires.

seemorerocks said...

I would not be giving up so easily on the Greek government. Hear how Yanis Varoufakis takes on the BBC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiIO4YciewU#t=366

My hope would be that Russia and Greece can come to an agreement to bail out Greece before the end of the month along the lines of the offer by Mr. Siluanov

Charles Fasola said...

Thank you John. The big lies about money and its creation perpretrated by the private banking criminal cartel to confuse and control the masses is the biggest obstacle to positive reform. If more would come to understand modern money the necessary steps for reform could and would commence. Now if only sovereign nations took back the power of money creation we would be on our way to a better world wide society. Who controls the money creation power controls the nation and now the world.

Unknown said...

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.cz/2015/02/eu-sanctions-meeting.html

Give them chance, I mean Syriza, they have enough problems to be dealt with. I mean dream was/is nice other think is to be realist...

Ondrej

janeflurry said...


Dmitry:

Please undelete original post. It is still relevant.

Also relevant: Manifesto for a New World Order, George Manbiot. Chapter five has specific recommendations.

michigan native said...

Just when you started to feel sorry for Greece. An open letter should be sent to the PM of Hungary to have his security forces on full alert, as I suspected another Kiev style coup may be attempted there. From Russian news https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O35_Ai6EsMU

Francois Tremblay said...

Did you know you're on page 223 of the Deep Green Resistance book? Fascinating reading, and it was a nice surprise to see you there. Hope you have a good 2015.

Here is the part from the book where they talk about your work:

"Dmitry Orlov, in his book Reinventing Collapse, writes as an "eyewitness," having watched the economic collapse of the Soviet Union. He grew up in Russia and emigrated to the US, and during his periodic visits back he was able to watch the disintegration of the Soviet economy. His description in many ways mirrors John Michael Greer's template of collapse as a series of declines rather than one catastrophic event."

rapier said...

Right on cue after the non vote but but late muttered assent to renewed EU Russian sanctions it seems Obama and France at least are signaling some write off of Greek debt.

Now there are mutterings about military aid to help Ukraine defend themselves from the separatists. As if they aren't getting it already but what they need is longer range guns to shell the separatists cities. What they really really need is the US Air Force to flatten the towns and cities of Donbass.

You better face it Dimitry, Obama is all in on eliminating Russians, or Slavs as Hitler would say, from Ukraine. He did just say that the US and England won the war in Europe and our hand picked man, Ukraine Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said two weeks ago that Russia must never be allowed to invade Ukraine or Germany again. Or in other words the most bizarre sort of historical revisionism is now US policy.

Screaming Sardine said...

Perhaps things are not as they appear. From http://www.sott.net/article/292173-Syriza-and-Russian-sanctions-Best-option-for-present-big-decisions-in-future

"In my opinion Thursday's decision was the best that could be expected in the circumstances. As I said the big decisions are still to come. It would be of no benefit to Russia, Greece or Syriza if Syriza had provoked a crisis in the EU on Thursday on a question of extending the least important sanctions, which caused a dramatic escalation of the economic crisis in Greece, which in turn meant that Syriza was either swept from power in Greece or was unable to make independent decisions when the big decisions come up in July. "

James said...


How Greece Could Change the Future of Europe
https://news.vice.com/article/how-greece-could-change-the-future-of-europe

The Greek Hope by James K. Galbraith
www.socialeurope.eu/2015/01/greek-hope/


Germany has a convenient but flawed collective memory
http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30094
http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30094

V. Arnold said...

Actually, Syriza did not vote to extend sanctions and openly protested the extension.
As to the rest?
We'll see...

Ronald Langereis said...

Removing that post was the right thing to do. Or the new Greek gov got cold feet, or they're not the 'revolutionaries' they paraded themselves for before the elections. Imagine the political leverage they could've obtained, if only they'd vetoed the EU's Ukraine propositions! When reading up on Varoufakis' blog, I realised that leaving the euro was the last thing he intended. On the contrary, what he wants is more EU, more financial chicanery. With the Spanish Podemos movement, it'll be exactly the same, I'm afraid.
Keep it up. Dmitry. Once, the whole heap of lies will implode. It only will take a little longer.

michigan native said...

Planes crash, mysterious cancers, sudden coups? Watch Greece, Hungary, and Venezuela. http://kingworldnews.com/paul-craig-roberts-new-greek-government-may-assassinated/

Josef Kazantski said...

You're right to be sceptical Dimitry and I think this article should serve to remind us all that Tsipras and Syriza is, in all likelihood, just business as usual.
http://hellasfrappe.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/busted-tsipras-side-by-side-with.html

Glenn said...

Hope you didn't delete your open letter, Dimitry.



Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday agreed to boost bilateral ties in a telephone conversation during which the latter invited the new Greek premier to an event in Moscow in May to mark the victory over Nazism.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_05/02/2015_546951

mantrid said...

Still Dmitry, I'd love to read the original post. Decisions might be made or not, but the "whys" are still important, I'd like to hear that man!