Europe’s demands – ostensibly aimed at ensuring that Greece can service its foreign debt – are petulant, naive, and fundamentally self-destructive. In rejecting them, the Greeks are not playing games; they are trying to stay alive.
Conditions in Greece today are reminiscent of those in Germany in 1933. Of course, the European Union need not fear the rise of a Greek Hitler, not only because it could easily crush such a regime, but also – and more important – because Greece’s democracy has proved impressively mature throughout the crisis wrote on June 16 the Projet Syndicate
Jack Lew called Athens : US urged compromise after Tsipras “attack” to IMF
By his personal intervention in the mountaining Greek crisis Tuesday night, and after Alexis Tsipras speech , US Treasury secretary Jack Lew called the Greek Prime Minister to urge him to reach a realistic compromise, under urgent time, the Guardian reported
In a statement, the Treasury revealed that Lew told Tsipras that the Greek people, and the global economy, would suffer if Athens can’t reach a deal with creditors, wrote Guardian
“Lew underscored the urgency of Greece making a serious move to reach a pragmatic compromise with its creditors.”
Last month, Lew told an audience in London that all sides should “double down” their efforts to get a deal fast.
“Responsibility, criminal, has the IMF…”
It was just hours earlier, on Tuesday that the Greek PM, talking on the Parliamentary Commitee of of his party, had said that the International Monetary Fund has “criminal responsibility” for Greece’s debt crisis and called on the country’s European creditors to assess the IMF’s policies.
“The time has come for the IMF’s proposals to be judged not just by us but especially by Europe,” Tsipras told his parliamentary group, two days after the failure of debt talks of the Greek delegation in Brussles with the IMF and the European Union
“Right now, what dominates is the IMF’s harsh views on tough measures, and Europe’s on denying any discussion over debt viability,”
Tsipras said, adding:
“The fixation on cuts… is most likely part of a political plan… to humiliate an entire people that has suffered in the past five years through no fault of its own,”
“The time has come for the IMF’s proposals to be judged in public.. .by Europe,” he told the MPs of his radical left Syriza party, the Guardian had commented
After four months of intensive negotiations, Greece had submitted a proposal that could have been the basis for a sustainable and socially acceptable agreement, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told SYRIZA’s Parliamentary group on Tuesday.
Instead of a reply, the creditors responded with a five-page document that ignored the preceding negotiations, he added.
He said the institutions were demanding high fiscal targets and refusing to accept the equivalent measures proposed by the Greek side. “This insistence on a programme of cuts that has failed and measures that cannot be accepted is not only wrong, it most likely serves political ends and a plan to humiliate not just the government but the Greek people,” he said.
He also accused the previous New Democracy-PASOK government of setting up “a minefield” to sabotage the present government’s efforts. “We knew that it would not be a walk in the park and that there would be no grace period for us. We threw ourselves into the battle when we were up against a minefield, from the previous government that was seeking a ‘left parenthesis’.”
In a brief review of the government’s work, the prime minister stressed that every decision was a great battle against the memorandum regime. “We intend to continue along these lines so that at the end of our four years we will dismantle the memorandum regime,” he said. Tsipras said the Greek side had repeatedly made clear that the agreement reached could not be a continuation of memorandum policies, of austerity and recession that brought only problems to the country.
Noting that the government would complete its fifth month in power within a few days, he said the party had faced an extremely difficult situation from the start and had managed to get the country to stand on its feet, in spite of the difficulties, taking measures to address the humanitarian crisis and to help those with overdue debts.
He also said the mandate given to the Greek government from the people was not one of “creative ambiguity” but a clear mandate to end policies of austerity in the country after five years of harsh measures that had hugely increased social inequality.
“We will continue to the end with the same calmness and sobriety and determination to find a solution, not just an agreement. We will continue, therefore, to work for a solution,” he said. He stressed that the final agreement must include specific and binding clauses for dealing with the country’s financing problem, which became worse during the five-year memorandum period, with exclusive responsibility on the part of the institutions for this outcome.
Tsipras said that the government was obliged to strive for an agreement that will have clear redistributive elements, will not burden wager earners and pensioners further and will place part of the burden on those that had not paid their share for the exit from the crisis.
At the same time, he added, it must be an agreement that did not extend the uncertainty but ended the discussion on the notorious Grexit once and for all.
“Who pays taxes in this country is exclusively the Greek government’s job. The time has come at last for the oligarchy and not working people to pay for the crisis. Not wage earners, not pensioners. Not the self-employed,” he said.
Despite a clamour of hostile statements in recent days, there are still forces in Europe that recognise the mistakes and understand how critical the situation is, forces working to find a just solution, and these are the forces that must prevail, Tsipras said.
White House on the same day, (June 16) urged Greece and lenders to close a deal quickly
Juncker accused Alexis Tsipras’s administration of misleading voters about proposals he had made to help solve the country’s debt crisis.
As Reuters announced, just after Prime Minister’s speech on Parliamentary commitee on Tusday, the president of the European Commission declared
“I don’t care about the Greek government, I do care about the Greek people,” he said noting that many “are suffering more than others in the European Union” from efforts to reduce debts.
“The debate in Greece and outside Greece would be easier if the Greek government would tell exactly what the Commission … is really proposing. I am blaming the Greeks (for telling) things to the Greek public which are not consistent with what I’ve told the Greek prime minister.”
The Greek govt answered acutely, and published, later, the lenders’ proposal script
On that , it is obvious indeed, as the Greek media comment during the last 24h, that the institutions, had asked for pensions cuts and higher electricity bills, as the Greek PM had said. Besides, Greeks voted Tsipras for talking clearly to the people, after five ( at least constant years of lies nad communication chaos .
“We never said it was the view of the Commission, or of Mr Juncker personally,” said the statement referring to the cash-for-reforms proposal that Juncker handed prime minister Alexis Tsipras last week.
The proposal was made by the three institutions (and was handed by Jean Claude Juncker)
The govt statement- that came as an answer, to Jean Claude Junckers’ accusations of misinterprenting the proposal or misinterprenting him-, characterised “positive” the fact that the EU chief had made, even by that way, clear, that he, too, disagrees with several of the proposal’s aspects.
“The Greek government has submitted proposals with measures that fully cover the fiscal gap, transferring the burden from the weakest social classes as well as suggesting a reduction in defense spending.”
Departure Ready to St. Petesburg
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other foreign leaders in the framework of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. “A working meeting has been scheduled with Alexis Tsipras on Friday, June 19, on the sidelines of the Forum,” he stated. The Kremlin’s spokesman, according to ITAR-TASS, said that Putin will also have working meetings with other foreign leaders who will attend the Forum, including Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yang, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, Prime Minister of Mongolia Chimed Saikhanbileg.