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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How Greece Could Live Within Its Means Despite Default

I came across the below interesting proposal. It smacks of excessive neo-liberalism but I cite it here, nevertheless.

"How can Greece pay for wages and pensions when in default? Greece could reduce the highest public sector salary to the level of the second largest and then both to the level of the third largest and then these three to the level of the fourth largest; and so on until all the necessary reductions are effected so that the Greek state breaks even. Furthermore, Greece could cancel all defence contracts till further notice. That the Greek state will do all that is necessary so as to survive without one euro of additional, expensive loans from the EU."

Any thoughts?

35 comments:

  1. It's all hopeless. No way a Greek government will have the power and the backbone to do what needs to be done.

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  2. This is exactly what the EU target is. Force Greeks to plan carefully financially. Greeks are "genetically" unable to do it, so they need to be forced to "practice" it. What SYRIZA does not realize is that the lack of cash in the economy is forcing the Greeks to behave like the rest of Europe and concentrate on getting the best value for money, instead of looking for political solutions to their problems or looking for expensive things to impress their neighbours.This change will be the most lasting effect of the crisis and it will not help SYRIZA politically, even in the sort term.

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  3. I am afraid that the man who made this proposal would never accept that it is in any capacity associated with neoliberalism. :-)

    «Δραστική μείωση, της τάξης του 90%, όλων των δημόσιων δαπανών με χαμηλό πολλαπλασιαστή στο εσωτερικό της χώρας: Π.χ. να ανακληθεί αύριο, για ένα χρόνο, το 90% των διπλωματικών και των διπλωματικών υπαλλήλων (οι οποίοι απλά θα παίρνουν τον εν Ελλάδι μισθό τους μετά την επιστροφή τους). Παύση πληρωμών, για ένα χρόνο, στους προμηθευτές οπλικών συστημάτων έως νεωτέρας. Γενικά, άμεση στάση πληρωμών που δεν μεταφράζονται σε ενεργό ζήτηση εντός της ελληνικής αγοράς.

    Από-τα-πάνω-συμπίεση μισθολογικού και συνταξιοδοτικού κόστους (χωρίς να αγγιχθούν τα κατώτερα εισοδήματα). Πιο συγκεκριμένα, το Γενικό Λογιστήριο του Κράτους καλείται να ταξινομήσει όλα τα εισοδήματα του δημοσίου (μισθούς και συντάξεις) ξεκινώντας από το υψηλότερο προς το χαμηλότερο. Η από-τα-πάνω-συμπίεση θα λειτουργεί (στην βάση σκεπτικού που, κατ' εμέ, συνάδει με την αρχή περί δικαίου, γνωστή ως maximin, του Αμερικανού φιλόσοφου John Rawls) ως εξής: Παίρνουμε το υψηλότερο μισθό και τον συμπιέζουμε στο επίπεδο του δεύτερου υψηλότερου. Κατόπιν, παίρνουμε αυτούς τους δύο και τους συμπιέζουμε στο επίπεδο του τρίτου υψηλότερου. Μετά, συμπιέζουμε τους τρεις αυτούς μισθούς στο επίπεδο του τέταρτου υψηλότερου. Συνεχίζουμε έως ότου εξοικονομηθεί το ποσόν που, σε συνδυασμό με τα έσοδα από τα φορο-ομόλογα και τις οικονομίες από το μέτρο 2 πιο πάνω, ισοσκελίζουν έσοδα και έξοδα του κράτους (ώστε να μην τρέχουμε πίσω από την τρόικα ανά πάσα στιγμή). Έτσι, δεν μειώνονται καθόλου τα κατώτερα εισοδήματα (τα οποία, είναι δεδομένο, έχουν τον μεγαλύτερο πολλαπλασιαστή»

    http://www.protagon.gr/?i=protagon.el.article&id=9751

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  4. This was proposed years ago by Prof. Varoufakis

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    1. Correct. I first read about it in his blog in June 2011. I still remembered it to this day because it had struck me as an outstanding idea at the time (the part about the waterfall; can't judge the part about military expenses). Varoufakis indeed had a lot of good ideas. Why on earth he implemented none of them after becoming Finance Minister beats my imagination.

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    2. I think because prof. Varoufakis had to obey to the goverment's lines. I remember in February when he came back, where he replied "i signed an agreement with the EU, because i had goverment mandate to return with an agreement". This would imply, that it wasn't his own plan. When prof. Varoufakis took office, he had said "that we should prepare for austere life". I think professor Varoufakis would have preferred to test his own theory by defaulting already in March. But Tsipras didn't want to. Tsipras, if you have observed, has also done something very clever. He didn't take any unpopular measure all these months. Nothing. They kept saying they would keep their red lines. Why? So that they keep the people with them. Because they knew that either way, they would need public support either for memorandum or for drachma. And when you tell the truth early on, you lose public support. Better keep the people with you with lies for as long as you can and present the truth only at the last minute. Tsipras played well.

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    3. Maybe this explains why
      http://www.grreporter.info/en/psychological_portrait_yanis_varoufakis/12965

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  5. I would have thought this proposal is more ordoliberal than neoliberal. As in Schröder's Agenda 2010 - "we all have to suffer some pain for the greater future good of all of us"

    @theAthensdog - why then did Greece not learn these lessons in previous financial crises. As I understand it, this is not the first.

    Greeks cannot be transmogrified into Germans, any more than a blade of grass can a become an oak tree. The beauty of Europe lies in the diversity of its cultures born from millennia of conflict.

    Much as I don't like saying it, I agree with Farage. The EMU is a failure, the dream of the Euro becoming a second reserve currency has turned into a nightmare. Better to find a way to dismantle the EMU than to crucify Greece - i.e. share the pain.

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  6. This is a too simplistic example of internal devaluation. Greece should have reached equilibrium in 2012 by 1) reduction of number of public servants and 2) reduction of salaries.

    They will be forced to do both, with Grexit or without.

    H.Trickler

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  7. Dear Mr. Kastner and Roger (reply from other article) and All,
    I have been breaking my head for the past months to figure out what is going on. Reading every piece of information from left right foreign and local. I have been doing so, as to see what my future holds because I am planning person. Yesterday I believe I had an awakening and saw the jigsaw puzzle of Greece.
    Please bear with the long post. To make things short please note the Problems of Greece, the subjects of Tsipras, and the final solution.
    Problems of Greece:
    1. Corruption
    2. Tax evasion
    3. Bloated/Inefficient On the most vs GDP public sector
    4. Oligarchs
    5. Clienteles.
    The above is a huge web that has been finely meshed to protect each other while the truly healthy Greek economy is starved.
    Subjects:
    1. The Greek People.
    2. The European People.
    3. The Greek Politicians.
    4. The Foreign Politicians/With Creditors.
    5. The Greek unbreakable (Kathestos) Lets call them Oligarchs.
    How can you solve your problems listed 1st when considering the subjects listed in the 2nd. It is has been proven, by the last 3 governments, that they are incapable of doing this. Meanwhile any government leading to the crisis. The conventional means cannot be used. It is quite meticulous but I have pieced everything together. An unorthodox method is needed to solve our problems. What is in the mind of Tsipras?
    Tsipras has no tactical plan but he surely has a strategic plan. I am quite sure many have realized this. Merkel, Lagarde and I believe the Americans. The plan is get Greece back on track. To do so it is quite hard when juggling all of the subjects listed above.

    ...continued V....

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    1. @V:
      For a long time I had advocated kind of a Greek Lech Walensa to remedy what you correctly list as problems 1-5.

      However, after what Tsipras has achieved in the past months makes me think that can not achieve this, especially because he got an important part of supporters by embellishment of a sad reality.

      I wonder why you do not recall that for long periods of time Tsipras had favored Grexit and only said the contrary when he realized that on that route he could not win the election.

      All his actions make full sense when you assume that he desired Grexit but publicly pretended the opposite.

      Imho Merkel also would prefer it, but the one who dares to say it aloud will have lost the blame game...

      H. Trickler

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  8. .....continued....V

    He came in for elections at the right moment. He had momentum and took the opportunity. It is said his whole party lied his way into office. A lie is only a lie when you believe what is being said, is the truth. No Greek, not even the fanatical Syriza supporters believed such a Thessaloniki plan can be made. Syriza was elected for change in Greece and stamp out that which has been ailing Greece so long now. And by the why and try to get a better deal.

    The Co-Governemnt with Anel. I saw this from the first moment a very smart move. Looks completely unorthodox but it was a great move by both party leaders. (And now I know why ND tried to frame ANEL with a scandal before the elections). Syriza a right "radical government» (far from it) needed a counter weight. And extreme but not so extreme right wing party with him. ANEL was perfect. Having a leftist government alone would not survive. Having some right in the government gave Tsipras the room to do what he needed. Buy time. Anel being in the government allows right voters to feel calm. Let’s be honest. There is no ideologies anymore in politics. Aside from the KKE and Golden Dawn. Tsipras is no more of a communist than you Mr. Kastner.

    Negotiation. One asks why Tsipras has brought negotiations down to the wire. Well he needed time. Time to learn what is really going on inside the country, inside the eurocrats and most importantly educate Europeans in detail, the suffering of the people of Greece and those who are responsible for it. One last thing. Varoufakis, this was his job but I believe more importantly stress the importance of debt refinancing. Varoufakis is not conventional and he has let us down, but I believe time will prove what and who he is.

    The referendum. Why did he do it for a difference of only 60 mil, between his program and Junker proposals? Because it has nothing to do with the program or agreement. It has to do with Greece internally. The minute the presentation of the new program made light the drums of the old politicians began, “that you are no different” etc etc. “Lets make a national governement” etc etc. (This would lead to another failed government had ND succeeded) To stamp out his opponents once and for all he had to call the referendum. It had nothing to do with the euro. It proved as a source and tool for various internal aspects. One to see how strong the oligarchs still are, who are the true enemies of Greece and see the will of the people. Gaining 60 % No, he knows as the Greek people know they voted “no” for a better deal not for no to the euro. This is regardless to what Europe thinks. Don’t take our “no” offensively. It was purely for internal Greek consumption. Also to see how ahead he in the polls he is. With such a landslide victory, Samaras had no choice but to resign. ND now has no head. Pasok has no head. There is no respectable replacement. If elections are held Pasok will die and ND will reach 10% at best.

    With the political police out of the way, who are protecting the old oligarch system, the oligarchs are now exposed.


    .....conitnued V

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  9. ....conitnued V....

    He goes to Europe now and apologizes that the last 5 months is his fault, but in truth it was a necessary time for him to gain strength. (Original deal was 8 bil in in reforms and now it will be 11-12 bil. The economy also stopped. Unfortunately this is collateral damage as to meet his final strategic goal and as that is to get Greece off the operating table.) The only other political figure I feel, I trust right now is Potami. Theodorakis. He has also not had time to get his hands dirty. He is right now backing Tsipras 100% and he has no ideological ties. The other day, Terrance Quick an old greek TV news face, part of the Anel, stated that Anel does not want to brake off from Europe and is pro the new agreement. Hence if the radical right party is saying this it means an agreement is on its way. It is to prepare the people.

    Capital controls. It was necessary but not for the reasons you all think. Actually it plays for many reasons. Capital control where “forced” on us to use. Blame the eurocrats. Present that you are fighting for the best deal. “Blaming the eurocrats” is just smoke in the face.

    I think Merkel with Tsipras are on the same page. Merkel rejected Samaras last year not because she did not like him but because she knew Samaras could not get the job done. Fix Greece. Hence Tsipras. She has supported him from the start meanwhile trying to keep her government together. Schauble knows Merkel believes in Tsipras, but he is sure Tsipras will be no different than any other Greek leader. Especially a leftist. This the tension between the two.

    So how can you say to a people whom have suffered for 5 years that they need to suffer for another 5? You need to put on a show but also finds news ways to get to those who have not paid in. The whole show is for the people as so they can rally behind one person one leader which Greece has lacked for so many years. With a true leader people will follow and not rebel.


    ....conitnued V....

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  10. ....continued V.....

    Back to capital controls. Varoufakis made some proposals that nobody listened to. It is not the VAT but the VAT collection. Also our discussion yesterday Mr. Kastner on the tax collection method. Well how do you get the people to ask for receipts use cards and enforce Mr. Schaubles proposal of direct collection of VAT. How do you do this without a law without having the whole Greece in an uproar? Capital Controls. After the deal they will remain but the daily withdraw amount will not go up too much. (Not applicable for business though). Hence people will use cash cards. Using cash cards will require receipts be issued and the real black economy will shrink. Tax evasion in one sector will be handled. You leave capital controls for 2 years and the people will be trained. (2 months ago I went to Portugal and saw an 80 or so old lady buying a pack of gum with the cash card.). Then you put Schaubles idea into work. By using cash cards you solve many problems with one stone. It is a simple program for when a cash card transaction is made. The value of the sale goes to the acct of the salesman or business person and the tax goes right into the cache of the government. Immediate tax collection, no requirement for business men to submit end of the month tax statements, reduce government bureaucracy and most important no arrears in VAT tax collection. When this balances the economy, proper prices on product will follow, a healthy economy will grow and ultimately lead to reduction in VAT. It is a brilliant plan and hope it works out as I say.

    Capital controls will also do many other good things but I won’t go into detail now.
    Tsipras, you say has those left voices in his government. The left or communist voice you hear, cannot speak unless Tsipras allows them to speak. His popularity will sky rocket. The left part of the government is no more than tools to get the job done. Lapavitsas just like Varoufakis in due time will soon leave the government on his own, when we sign the agreement. He may stay because I still have not figured out his role in this big show. Lafazanis will do anything Tsipras says and I am thinking Dragasakis is the backbone to the whole theater. The producer so to say. I also found out who the speech writer is who is from my island. A brilliant linguist.

    .....continued V......

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  11. ....conitnued V....

    Change is coming. Maybe some pain with this new agreement but I finally believe we will have some chance of succeeding without further wasted money from our European brothers and sisters. And by the way, Tsipras may disagree on some points on the new agreement but what is the main issue he wants in the agreement is an obligation or fine print to our creditors, that the debt issue will be addressed.
    Tsipras will sign. He does not have bad intensions. If he does I will shoot him myself. But I think the above logic leads to the conclusion to a better, fairer and prosperous Greece. If things do come as the above, that is when you Mr. Kastner can help in the tactical issues, if you ever deice to go in.
    BTW, even with the largest agreement “austerity deal” to come, Tsipras will call elections. Staying in the euro and making an agreement, he will win 50-60% of the vote without question. With such power, change will be possible.
    Also other key aspects which also confirm my theory that he will sign and put change forward, is that KKE completely disagrees with him. If Tsipras wanted to break ties with Europe they would be close to him.
    When you hear Greek news now I am 2nd guessing everything now. Since my awakening, when I hear ND and PASOK old rhetoric of some oligarch media outputs trying to find scandals or propaganda, to reduce the power of this new government, what comes to mind the old clientistic oligarch system, as withering fish out of the water caught by a fisherman? That which you hear is the last breathes of that fish which is about to die. If Tsipras succeeds, we will all see a new Greece tomorrow. The USA and Russia have both played key roles in this theatre. The only way Greece will leave the Euro is if either Russia or the USA directly funds Greece and that won’t happen.
    A German eurocrat spoke yesterday publically to Mr. Tsipras. “You will be remembered as the man who impoverished his people or become a true leader and help your people to a better future, as the great Greek Leaders of the past.” I put all bets on Great Greek Leaders of the Past. Tsipras is not stupid nor lucky.
    Sincerely,
    V

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    1. That last comment was not made by a German Eurorcat. Instead, it was Guy Verhofstadt, former PM of Belgium, in his response to Tsipras' speech in the European Parliament.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P84tN0z4jqM

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    2. My Apologizies Mr. Kastner.
      V

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    3. Dear V,

      thank you very much for your long and explaining posting!
      I have doubts in Tsipras but I really really hope you are right and I am wrong!

      Best wishes,
      Roger

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    4. Hi Roger,

      The first step is an agreement. 2nd is plan but babysitted in a way Mr. Kastner has stated. Greek plan of action committe with the help fo eu. 3rd is a set time table for debt discussions.
      Listen, we need to get the private sector unstuck. We were all on a good roll. I personally have over 30-40 projects projected into 2018 on hold. If the banks unfreeze, at least for the businesses we can keep the mometum going. I also have an awesome efficiency project on the "drawing table" but it makes no sense unless this new crisis is resolved.

      Personally, i would leave capital controls for an extended period of time for individuals. I am laughing my ass off. I just read that the government cache has now 1,4 billion just from the 1st installment of taxes. People are scared of a haircut so they are unloading loads of cash anywhere, even pay taxes. People are also buying tons of valuable products to reduce any kind of haircut. So funny how i made my 1st installment of tax returns 1st of the month by my general goodness. Everyone else did to unload their accounts. (I was a duck in chicken pen in the USA and i am duck in a goose pen in Greece)

      We may have solved the economical hoarding created in the greek crisis by mistake. Everyone is buying stuff and paying bills!!!!

      Have Good Afternoon,

      V

      PS: I also see Mrs. Merkel will have her hands full with her parliment to give Greece another load. She is really righteous and we owe to her for supporting us so faithfully.

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    5. This is interesting. I hope you are right. However, if this all was intentional: given the enormous amount of damage that was done to the economy and people in the intervening five month, I am hard-pressed to agree that it is worth this price.

      If capital controls have been a means to the end of combating VAT evasion, surely, the government could have figured out a way to impose them back in February, instead of running down ELA? This would have come at much lower cost, the economy would have been in much better shape to absorb the shock, and I even seem to remember that Klaus suggested a form of capital controls a few years ago.

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    6. Yes, You are probably right on the bank issue, but i must assume that it is more to their inexperience to be able to negotiate wile not killing the running everyday economy.

      If the deal gets signed i expect elections if there are many no syriza votes, but i doubt. Even the extreme left in Syriza will vote yes to the deal backing Tsipras.

      Today i swallowed a huge pill and sat and watched and read all of Lapavitsas statements and interviews. Yes grexit under the supervision of Mr. Kastner maybe would be worth while, but this guy was out there. How this guy was elected is beyond me. I could run a Grexit betterthan him. But i had to watch him as to gain a realistic opinion on his rhetoric.

      Sincerely,
      V

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    7. To be honest, Occam's Razor suggests to me that the entire saga of the last 5 months is best explained by Syriza's unpreparedness to actually govern. I very much doubt that they had a real plan behind this; rather it was extreme difficulties in making the jump from therapy group (this was discussed in an earlier blog post) to governing party. It certainly doesn't help that politics, in general, is pretty cutthroat, and that you get steamrollered if you don't have appropriate mentors and don't have experience in what you are doing.

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  12. Lots of thoughts about that, and not recent ones either. Seeing that the government employees are better off than most others there is no reason not to take the whole nation into that program. ELSTAT yesterday published their figures for income distribution, as usual they are dismal. The 4 quartiles were 9 : 17.6 : 25.8 : 47.6. And no, The 9 was not the highest income quartile but the lowest. And don't believe the highest quartile is lifted up by the superrich, they don't report any income at all. These 100% could also be distributed as 21 : 23 : 26 : 30, like you do in developed countries. That way the government would lower their wage and social costs, without reducing the money flow in the real economy. It would have the added benefit that the government would not be humiliated by having to beg money from countries with better income distribution. Would that be socialism? Well if it is Greece would be in good company. Many countries in EZ have much better GINI coefficient than Greece's bleak 34.5. At random, France 30, Germany 27, Austria 26.3, Finland 26.8, Holland a whopping 25.1 not nations I call socialist ones. Syriza! It becomes harder and harder to hide behind your socialist facade, you are as populist and statist as the previous governments.
    Figures courtesy of ELSTAT and CIA World Facts.
    Lennard

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  13. @ V
    You can say to the people who have suffered for 5 years that they will have to suffer for 5 years more because it is the truth. If you are at Mani and want to go to Athens you can not plan your journey as if you started in Corinthos. If you want to build a skyscraper you can not start at the fifth floor and pretend to have a foundation. Know thyself also mean know where you are. Yes it is hard, and require a sense of realism I often miss in Greece.
    Lennard

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    1. @ Lennard,
      Always with a very nice, short and smart posts. Yes you are right on the most part but inside most greeks there is the realization of where that start point is. They just need to accept it. Start point is indeed in many aspects at 0. Even some at -50, but there are aspects which are ahead. If the majority of society is ready to move foward the shit will simply be left behind.

      I would like to see some baby steps. Few steps here and there. The many steps and it is very possible to skip walking and go to run!. It is how i work.

      Sincrely,
      V

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  14. To Add,

    Guy's speech was really amazing. This is the healthy politicians i love.

    Sincerely,
    V

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    1. Well, not everyone shares your opinion. Below is the comment on it by Dimitris Palaskas (and my response to him). I know Dimitri well. He is a younger man of high integrity and character. Also a very good dentist. And yet, he has become rather fanatic.

      Dimitris Palaskas: I saw his theatrical speech. What a disappointment for every European who believes in democracy. What a relief for every CEO (banks included).

      Klaus Kastner: Well, you either mean well for the future of your country or your ideology (unless you can bring your ideology in line with what's good for your county's future).

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    2. Mr. Kastner,

      You have the luxury of being outside of the fishbowl You know us and observe us. When you are inside of the fish bowl things look blurry.

      Everyone is entitled to his views and it must be like that if we are to grow as humanity as a whole. But when you are looking through the blurry fish glass sometimes the stubborness does not allow you to see the growth.

      It was something similar to what I commenting to roger a few articles back. Greeks need to wake up and look into the mirror to reveal who they are. That is the most important. You know the greek saying i am sure, "don't remove your tail outside." Now is the time for all Greeks.

      We must find the best in everything. I have even with my corrupt governments. You have also greatly contributed to me. (I hope to learn more from you.) Many people have awaken and many greeks are changed. We must now not sulk in the misery otherwise nobody needs to fail us as we will have failed ourselves. And enough with the finger pointing. Do whats right and you shall succeed.

      Sincerely,
      V

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  15. The Greeks don't have any difficulties planning. When the McKinsey Greece 10 years ahead report was published in 2011, I found some prior reports produced by Greeks in Greece that advocated the same ideas - indeed I would guess the McK used those reports in preparing their own.

    The one on PPP was written by someone in the Finance Ministry. AFAIK, it was never implemented; another was produced by an exec in the Pharma sector. My memory is that both were written before the Lehmann Event

    Greece's other main problem is the clientelist political culture – which was the main point of Verhofstadt’s rant.

    If you look at the overall tax take from GDP over the past 70 years across advanced economies, you'll see it doesn't change much in any one country. The sources change e.g. from income to consumption but the overall take is pretty flat. For Greece its ~30%, for France it's ~45%, for Estonia it's ~32%. It seems to me that the Greek's want a big state like France has, with a tax take that's less than Estonia's which I'm told runs a small and efficient state sector (lots of IT).

    I stumbled on this a few days ago, The Two Europes - The American Interest

    It’s from Francis Fukuyama, written in 2012. If I was as smart as the author I could have written the article, it sums up what I've been thinking since 2010/11 . So what’s changed since 2012, some might say SFA. Except that Mr Draghi has carved out a firebreak around the rest of the EZ. And Syriza has won an election.


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  16. SYRIZA MP Mitropoulos (former PASOK): "We failed, we lost, we are risk becoming a left parody. We are being transformed to a neoliberal party, asked to implement, the most asphyxiating, antisocial program. We must avoid Grexit, because we are incapable of managing it and we can't bring more harm to the people".

    http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/491971/mitropoulos-apotuhame-hasame-kinduneuoume-na-metatrapoume-se-aristeri-parodia/

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  17. @ V
    While I can admire your optimism I find it unfounded for the nation. As for running before you can walk, I see it as falling into the usual trap Greece create for itself. It's all about "short cuts, jump starting and leap frogging", never about long, planned, tedious work. The result is usually that when you find out that the short cut is a dead end, you return to square one and complain that others blocked your way, until the next promising short cut present itself. It's an endless butting the head against the wall with bouts of "what can one do" in between. Too much energy is wasted on achieving things effortless.
    There never seems to be time to do things right, but always time to do them again.
    Lennard

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  18. Mr. Kastner,

    Your next post or following coming up posts. Please post the final agreement as i have read the draft and would like to comment on it. It will also shed light to many commenters of the deal with greece.

    What kind of debt deal do you expect from the eu side? I assume from what i am hearing it is along you lines suggested.

    Sincerely,
    V

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    1. As I just wrote in a new post, I am quite amazed. Alexis Tsipras has the chance of gaining my respect, after all. Of course, this may all be playing games but I do get the impression that Tsipras is a bit of a different person from the one a week ago. Could it be that he expected, or even hoped, to be beaten by the "yes" and when he saw the result and all the frenzy, he became worried about his own courage?

      A Greek journalist tweetet today: "Tsipras is defeated. Humiliating him now would be wrong. The Greek people would consider that their own humiliation and a betrayal by Europe!" I couldn't agree more!

      Someone else raised asked: "How would creditors handle the prospect of Tsipras bring bailed now, only to prepare for and attempt Grexit in a few months time?" My response to that: if that were well planned and professionally and effectively executed, why not?

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  19. Prof. Varoufakis, will NOT be in the parliament tonight for the vote. Citing "family reasons" he has embarked to a ship towards Aegina island, off the coast of Athens.

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  20. It seems there are rumours that prof. Varoufakis will still vote through letter.

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