In spite of strikes, protests, and long broken promises by prime minister Alexis Tsipras, the Greek parliament did as it was commanded to do by Germany: Approve pension cuts.
The vote was close, but Tsipras’ Syriza coalition holds a two or three seat majority in the Greek parliament.
By a count of three, Greece did as it was ordered.
The Financial Times reports Greece Approves Pension and Income Tax Reforms.
The Athens parliament has approved broad reforms of the country’s pension and income tax systems ahead of Monday’s emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers and IMF officials aimed at completing the first review of Greece’s €86bn bailout.
The bill passed by 153 votes in favour to 144 against in a roll-call vote following a heated two-day debate.
Anti-austerity protesters had gathered outside the parliament building on the third day of a public transport strike called by unions opposed to the new measures — part of a €5.4bn fiscal package agreed with bailout monitors from the EU and International Monetary Fund.
“This law may be voted through parliament but it’s not going to be put into practice,” said one activist.
More Demands Coming
But before closing the review and providing Athens much-needed bailout aid, the IMF and the German government are insisting that Athens go a step further and legislate an additional €3bn in “contingency measures” in case the agreed cuts prove insufficient to meet the programme’s budget surplus targets.
Athens has said it is politically impossible to legislate specific future cuts, and the European Commission has backed a Greek counterproposal for across-the-board cuts that would only be triggered if the programme veered off course. The IMF and Berlin have rejected the plan, saying that untargeted cuts are counterproductive. Eurozone officials said that the stalemate over the contingency measures made it unlikely that any agreement to close the first review will be reached at Monday’s meeting.
One has to wonder what game IMF chief Christine Lagarde is playing. On one hand she demands debt relief for Greece, on the other hand she demands more “contingency measures” that she knows full well will be needed.
Nothing has changed. Both sides pretend Greece will pay back what it cannot possibly do.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
John Caldicott said:
Looks like they’ve gone for another can kick down the road and screw the people.
One has to wonder what game IMF chief Christine Lagarde is playing.
Answer: Keeping her salary of $467,940 (£298,675) a year plus $83,760 additional allowance a year is not subject to any taxes…
That explains the whole game in a nutshell. Who else would pay her for a few boring speeches a year?
It is actually much worse than that greg. Read this:
Oh, Lisa Haven… saw that about a month ago. My guess is that the IMF is really an Arm of Goldman Sachs. Notice the mayhem Obama is creating to smokescreen the real news. Bathrooms, LGBT (Light Green, Blue, Teal), gun control, running interference for Hitlary. Washington DC needs an enema in a real bad way. You’ll know that the SHTF by watching the real estate prices in Gaithersberg, Md crash as the lobbyists leave.
Adam Price said:
Christine is a very charming lady and her presence is highly desired for speeches and other appearances.
Then hire and pay for her yourself.
Stuki Moi said:
I’m starting to wonder if the gun The EU is holding at Tsipras’ head behind closed doors, is disallowing Greek registered ships to call on EU ports, unless the Greek government play ball. Pretty much all onshore “industry” Greece has ever had, is either gone or about to be. IOW, not much in the way of a powerful lobbying bloc.
Pensioners and government employees would be another group that may initially have wanted the charade to go on, but now they are getting the shaft harder and harder every quarter. So I have a hard time seeing them demanding Tsipras go along for much longer.
The only group I can imagine who can muster up enough concentrated capital, to hold even self proclaimed “socialists” hostage, are the Onassis’ of the world. Many of whom are genuinely rich and, but represent an industry which, aside from some weird national pride related to being number 1 at something, doesn’t really contribute much to the average Greek.
Adam Price said:
The “average Greek” is of NO RELEVANCE AT ALL. The Greek people are the problem and all of them need to be rounded up and sent to Siberia and Greece needs to be totally taken over by Germany to make it a great place once again.
Fortunately, the plans are fully in place and now being implemented for that to happen quickly and very effectively and efficiently!
And the pot boils hotter. Lets see who jumps out and who stays in.
The world is broke and the only “wealth” to be claimed is yet to be produced…far out into the future. If we are consuming our future now, is there really any future…in the future?
I listened to supposedly conservative talking heads exclaiming how outrageous it was the Trump would suggest that our government defaults on its bonds, or at least devalues them….all while everyone in the world KNOWS that existing debts will not be repaid, deliberately so, and require massive inflation (devaluation) in order to remain solvent. So WHY is Trumps suggestions so outrageous??? Because he suggests that it is the BONDHOLDERS who take the loss rather than the American people?
What a horrible scam this is that we are told that we must take the hit again and again in order to keep our economy afloat. Pure blackmail and larceny…. a gun to our heads. And Trump has the audacity to suggest that maybe those holding these bonds, those who helped perpetrate this sham by funding the ongoing fraud, should somehow share in this disaster.
Recall how bondholders at GM were told in no uncertain terms to eat it….for the good of the country and GM’s unions. And yet GM is still with us, investors piling in to jump on the sure thing coattails of government backing.
We all understand the necessity of confidence to sustain any system, especially its currency and economy, but when that confidence is sustained ONLY by fraud and corruption, of what value is THAT? When people buy into stocks and bonds, not on the validity of their real value relative to markets, but premised solely on our government’s willingness to perpetuate fraud and theft through massive printing and debt to sustain them, those who participate are equally guilty of fraud. No different than drugging a woman for sexual “permission” rather than entering the relationship honorably. Morality is dead and only the willingness to rationalize the theme that “everyone is doing it” to profit or gain prevails. Honorable, moral behavior is the muppet’s choice, the dupe, the rube, and the American dream of working hard and getting ahead has become suicide.
Adam Price said:
Donald Trump for President 2016.
Thankfully, Donald has a lot of experience with bankruptcy restructuring of debt, and America is sure going to need every drop his experience!
It would seem the ECB and IMF do not offer a path forward. Time to turn to Russia and BRIC. Russia may be willing to rent a naval and air force base in the Med. The talking heads in Brussels would have a stroke.
Adam Price said:
Obviously, NOBODY is going to “give” Greece any money. The PROBLEM IS THE GREEK PEOPLE AND THEIR GROSS PROFLIGACY and they certainly are not going to get help from anyone in the BRICS where most all of those countries are in FINANCIAL CATASTROPHES themselves.
Obviously no one is going to give them money. However their current banker is giving them the shaft. Time to change bankers – BRICS. They also need income from a non EU member hence money from military and naval base rents and the elimination of their armed forces would improve their balance sheet.
They are not Northern Europeans and don’t share the same cultural or religious heritage. They have been kicked around by many outsiders for a long time. Maybe if they quit trying to be like others and found their own path they would better off.
Adam Price said:
Nearly all of the BRICS are TOTALLY BROKE with their own economies collapsing, so there will be no funds at all from the BRICS for Greece.
Here’s a theory. The Germans are barking mad.
I don’t say this lightly. No other conclusion however fits the facts.
Like most crazy people, they will soon find they have not a friend in the world.
Because the problem with crazy people is; they’re crazy!
Merkel is getting a little cuddly with Putin too. Let’s see how this plays out.
Adam Price said:
Europe would be a much better place if totally controlled and run by Germany. All of the separate central banks and governments could be totally abolished savings trillions of dollars of waste. Corruption could be totally eliminated. All monetary policy could be set by the Bundesbank ensuring total and miraculous efficiency and efficacy. All tax revenues could flow to the Bundestag which could determine the proper spending for each and every province of Germany.
The Fourth Reich will soon be a vibrant reality and will save Europe from its all of its pathetic self-destructive proclivities.
What could possibly be more wonderful or more excellent?
Next up in the Greek “democratic process”: The Greek Parliament now has the opportunity to vote “NAI” or “OXI” to totally surrender to the Fourth Reich!
As a practical matter, the Fourth Reich is fully in charge, though it has been a bit costly overall and the bills keep rolling in. But on the bright side, Germany hasn’t had to roll a single tank this time around!
What are you talking about? Germany is not much different today than France or Belgium. Just look what it took to build the Berlin Airport. Besides Germany is a very corrupt country. And if they were fully in charge rest assured every migrant in the world would be welcome in Europe. Germany is a country itself that needs to be broken up.
Adam Price said:
Germany is not “broke” at all, but rather the MOST SUCCESSFUL country in Europe by far and has TOTALLY REUNIFIED and is growing stronger every day and is really all that is even keeping the EU together these days.
So basically the extreme left is pursuing the same policies the extreme right had.
Adam Price said:
Mission Accomplished said:
Like duh. The money is needed for all the migrants Greeks are forced to accept.
Coming to a soon to be restocked Caucasian people ranch near you.
It’s a wasting asset with YOU on it.
Swallow some more Prozac and relax like good cattle.
Thing is though Mish, Greece would have to cut real pensions if they defaulted and left the Eurozone. If Greece were to make real cuts in public expenditure to the point where they could bring down taxes, with a lot of fudge they might be able to bring Greece back from limbo without a full on default and collapse of the Eurozone over Greece. It isnt likely, but if Greece really ran a fiscal budget surplus it has the possibility of success.
(And yes I know loans at zero or sub market rates of interest are in effect a capital transfer from EZ countries to Greece).
Stuki Moi said:
Thing is, if Greece could run a reliable surplus, why bother squandering it on paying banksters for long ago sunk costs? For decades and decades on end?
And, remember, there is not some profligate, lazy dude called “Greece” lounging around Mediterranean beaches on Germany’s dime, that is supposed to have to pay. But rather a bunch of young Greeks who had no say in the matter when the loans were taken out, and received no benefit from them. Yet are supposed to spend their lives as bankster chattel, simply to maintain some childish illusion about the moral necessity of “paying off your debts.” That, at best, may have made some sense in the days of face-to-face borrowing money from your relative or neighbor based on good faith and a handshake alone.
Maintaining the above particular sleight-of-hand long past it’s due date, is central to the progressive illusion of making people somehow “responsible” for the profligacy of the ruling class. The sooner it is blown sky high and then buried under the rubble pile in which it has always belonged, the better off the whole world will be. From Greece to Japan to the US, and everywhere in between. “Not my signature on the loan document, not my bloody responsibility.”
It is worse than that. The sense of entitlement of those who borrow and spend on the behalf of others, and those that credit that, is destructive to the moral of a society. It is the de facto manifestation of a pre-planned control where the action is funded before it has a calling, and is then implemented according to the will of a select few using the excuses and reasoning they choose, and to enforce the perceptions they like. There is no democracy in this framework as it is applied by force, it is contradictory to state ‘ the people rule to force themselves’, it purposefully makes ‘the people’, whether Greek or any other, seem useless and incompetent, if not pathetically confused.
A true democracy will be where individual voluntary action is safeguarded and encouraged within a strong discipline of responsibilities that represents the ethic of the demos, and no more. Any other is to remove the cracy, power, from the people.