Tuesday, 17 February 2015

We are Spartacus - We are Syriza

Market transactions are inherently unstable. Contrary to fantasy economics, as soon as circumstances allow a minority to leverage themselves into a stronger bargaining position, they will exploit others and push to get a bigger and bigger share out of any deals for themselves. Unless there are robust rules and regulations to maintain a level playing field, this minority will grow in wealth and power.

In the run-up to the Great Depression in the early 20th century, the wealthy elite reached the position where they were taking such a large share of the world’s wealth that the poor were unable to purchase the goods and services that were being produced. But instead of taking less in profit and paying more in wages, their one thought was to make more money by lending money to the have-nots who would then have to pay back with interest to the have-plentys.

Of course squeezing people’s pay and pushing them into debt was not, and never will be, a sustainable strategy. When the debt mountain reached crisis point (compounded by people borrowing money to gamble on stocks and shares), the world’s economy collapsed.

A century on, the financial elite have been at it again. Profits flow to the wealthy and powerful, and debts are piled on the poor and vulnerable. To prop up this one-sided system, austerity has been deployed to silence those who may otherwise object to such structural distortions. But the people who have been saddled with the bill of banking irresponsibility are not going to remain silent anymore.

In Greece, Syriza are demanding a fairer deal. What happens in their negotiations with the Eurogroup will have major implications for all of us. And in their quest for social justice and economic sanity, we are all Syriza.

In this context, a reliable source close to the negotiations at the 17 February 2015 Eurogroup meeting has asked for the following message to be shared widely so people know what is really going on:

“Dear all,
As you probably already know, tonight things did not go well at the Eurogroup 17 February. There are several rumors around, leaked documents which make the big picture confusing.

The following paragraphs give the basic story - which might change Europe's future in the coming weeks. Please forward this text to anyone who can contribute at spreading the word in the public domain:

As you may have heard things did not go well. There was a compromise deal brokered by Juncker and agreed to by Draghi and Lagarde and Moscovici. But it was sunk by Djisselbloem, presumably on German pressure. In the Eurogroup meeting and the subsequent press conference, there was little help from either Lagarde or Moscovici.

They say => complete the existing programme with some flexibility in implementation on our part but they never tell us what this flexibility will entail. On the contrary, they say sign first and then we will discuss with you areas of flexibility

We say => give us a bridging programme and we have spelt out our commitments not only during the bridging period but also for the essential elements of the new compact with our partners long term

We have done our best to reach a reasonable compromise. What we have faced is naked power and blackmail.”

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