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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rescues Can Be Failures, Too!

Skiing in the Alps can be dangerous. Many skiers deviate from the official slopes, with or without professional guides. The authorities have marked dangerous areas with all sorts of red flags and red lines and those who cross them are fully aware that they do so at their own risk.

There are many avalanche accidents every year. Most, fortunately, have a happy ending but every once in a while skiers get submerged by the avalanche. Rescue teams show up immediately and, fortunately, in many cases their rescues are successful. However, there are quite often avalanche accidents where the rescue teams fail and casualties take place. And, every once in a while, there is an accident where rescue teams failed and where their failure may be due to mistakes in the rescue effort.

It is not unusual that the relatives of victims of avalanche accidents where mistakes of the rescue teams are insinuated, subsequently sue the rescue teams. And it can happen every once in a while that they win their case in court; i. e. the rescue teams are declared guilty under the law.

Which raises the question why rescue teams had to go out and rescue in the first place.

21 comments:

  1. "Which raises the question why rescue teams had to go out and rescue in the first place."

    Good heart?

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    1. You misunderstood my question. If there had not be a violation of proper and responsible conduct, there wouldn't have needed to be a rescue.

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    2. Ah! Now i see. Well, it is a bit of the eternal question that arises in many sectors of life. "If the patient wasn't smoking for 30 years, there wouldn't be a necessity for pneumonectomy". At the same time, a doctor that makes a mistake, risks legal action against him. Anesthesiologists even more. In some countries they are required to be covered by triple insurance to be allowed to enter a surgery. So that if law suit arrives, the insurance will be the one to pay. It's a mad world...

      Still, in the greek case, i think that future economic historians will be having a blast for years. Because i am certain there will never be a common verdict on nothing.

      Recently i watched this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjKvm6yc_ZA

      And other of the series. But the best part is this: In the alpinists' case, they risk a law suit. In the doctor's case, even worse. In the creditor's case, some were even promoted. Ironic, isn't it?

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    3. It's going to be a repeat of Allende in Chile. Allende had run the country into the ground but to this day his followers are convinced that he would have achieved paradise if domestic and international "evil forces" had not formed a conspiracy to torpedo his paradise.

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    4. Allende was lucky to be destituted by coup and substituted by a loathed dictator. Tsipras won't be so lucky.

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  2. Well, this is a failure of law. Nobody should engage in a rescue mission without a clear legal mandate that their efforts are made without liability and prejudice -- in other words, they will do their best to save life and cannot be held responsible in law for reasonable actions. Of course, they can be held accountable for unreasonable conduct.

    This is a Germani type legal problem I suspect, although it is also found in US law and increasingly in UK law. It is a big mistake, and workers should refuse to undertake rescue missions without a change in the law.

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  3. For the record, i think the tale with Tsipras will not be over, since there are rumours of the troika proposing a brief extension. A logical move for Tsipras, would be: "Surrender" to the troika, with exchange, a written comitment for debt restructuring (and ideally funds for investments). If he doesn't get it, sign a brief extension and go to elections...

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  4. Nice Correlation.

    I think the Greek question wasn't as simple as you correlate it to but point taken

    V

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    1. Another interesting question could be: Was the original motivation for the rescue attempt, the rescue of Greece or of the european banks? If one answers the latter, then the rescue didn't fail...

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    2. The rescue was EXTREMELY successful from the standpoint of foreign creditors! The current account went into surplus (it no longer is) which means that the country was financially self-sufficient. And the primary balance went into surplus which means that new money had only be lent to pay interest. Truly a grand success for creditors!

      I think it's clear that the original motivation was to protect the Euro and the banks in the hope of avoiding a global meltdown. If all the Greek debt had been in Martian dollars and owed to banks on Mars, there would have been little excitement between Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin.

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    3. I agree. So the rescue was a success after all...

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    4. @Klaus. I hope you realise that your comments here are completely inconsistent with your comments to me on the other article, "top level decision making". If the rescue was in the interests of the foreign creditors, it is hardly a surprise that it damaged the interests of the Greek people (and the economy).

      Any government attempting to negotiate about how the rescue should be managed is guaranteed to meet with very nasty opposition from both creditors and part of its own population that sees its interests as different from the mainstream population -- i.e. the richer segment (but investors, or rentiers, not producers).

      And can you not see that by prioritising creditors and rentiers over producers the eurozone damaged the possibility for the greek economy to reform? It's all very well to throw around the idea of "reform", but if everythng you do makes reform impossible, then this is just a political game -- nothing short of theatre.

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    5. @V. I don't actually accept the analogy at all, which is why I confined my comment to the Alps.

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  5. Now the attrition starts for SYRIZA... SYRIZA's "Comunist Tendency" (one of the parties inside SYRIZA), through its "Revolution" newspaper, is calling SYRIZA MPs to vote against the deal.

    http://www.marxismos.com/

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  6. Assuming there is a deal, what would happen if the bill failed to get a majority of SYRIZA/ANEL but would pass thanks to the opposition?

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    1. If you are ready to believe Tsipras' previous statements on this, if he can't get his own MPs to vote for it, he will go to elections. He had leaked this repeatedly to the press in June, as a warning to SYRIZA MPs (it is also one of the reasons that i was telling you that he isn't planning on premeditated default. When you have premeditated default, you don't irritate your more rebellious MPs for no reason).
      Because by going to elections, he can simply weed out of the electoral lists, the MPs that refuse to obey him...

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    2. Goverment spokesman Sakellaridis repeated it today: "if the agreement doesn't get the votes of the coalition MPs, then the goverment can't stay".

      http://www.iefimerida.gr/news/213285/sakellaridis-ekloges-den-perasei-i-symfonia-apo-tin-sygkyvernisi

      Tsipras, yesterday, capitulated. The media damage has been already done. Even if we assume that today changes his mind and says "i take all back", the fact alone that we read Syriza's own proposals (which include indirect cuts even in pensions), has destroyed the illusion of the Thessaloniki program and the whole "antimemorandum" concept. So, at this point, Tsipras will might as well go ahead with it. Unless of course the creditors ask him to surrender even more. What has happened is already that Tsipras has more or less been forced to propose to the creditors what the creditors wanted. He tried to save face by doing indirect against direct cuts and avoid full privatization. But the essense is, he surrendered and the damage is done already...

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    3. An interesting sidenote. Prof. Varoufakis, who usually is the first to jump to the media and give his take on summits etc, is yet to be seen or heard. One could suspect that he is disappointed by the "surrender".

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    4. That would be a typical Greek outcome: a paradox.

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    5. To Guest (Xenos),

      I think that even though some MPs inside SYRIZA and inside the party are boiling, they will not dare to make the goverment fall. It's too early to dispute openly Tsipras and make the goverment fall. There is time for that later, when Tsipras' popularity will have decreased.

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    6. To Guest (Xenos)

      It isn't a paradox. Many SYRIZA MPs, in good faith and naivety, believed in their own campaign (and Thessaloniki program). The story that was narrated so many times before the elections by Tsipras and prof. Varoufakis, was convincing for many.

      So, now, much like their electorate, several Syriza MPs have to face the reality. It's difficult to predict the reaction of so many MPs (many of which are unknown to the wide public), but logic says that overall they won't make Tsipras fall. If they do make him fall, there will be elections and i am curious to see whether SYRIZA will be still one whole party and if not, what the positions of each fragment will be.

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