Thursday, November 6, 2014

Greek Politicians - A Competition in Irresponsibility!

I have commented on a couple of occasions before (here and here and here) about the totally irresponsible statements by allegedly responsible Greek politicians about the possible threat of a SYRIZA government. As irresponsible as these threats sounded individually, when one sees a compilation of all of them, one becomes speechless. The Frog has made such a compilation in Greek and ThePressProject has translated it into English:

The Frog

And here are the 10 terrible champions:

# 10: ”...Lending to the country will cease!”
“Markets are reacting to the prospect of a Syriza victory, owing to its lead in the polls. They’re saying ‘guys, if you are going to hold elections in three months and make Syriza the government, we are informing you that we do not want to lend the country any money'” - Health Minister Makis Voridis.

# 9: “...there won’t be a single euro left in the banks”
“If [Syriza) are ever given the chance [to govern], which they won’t be, then the money will leave the banks, there won’t be a euro left” - Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

#8: “...Not one euro will remain in the banks (I, at least, will take my money abroad)”
In imitation of the prime minister, one ‘usual suspect’ took the issue a bit further:
“Syriza’s secret agenda is the drachma. So, if the government falls not one euro will remain in the banks” - New Democracy lawmaker Adonis Georgiadis.

#7: ”... ATMs would shut down”
“If he [Alexis Tsipras] plays tough guy in Europe, it won’t be long before ATM machines shut down in Greece, just like they did in Cyprus” - Government spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi.

 #6: “...Pensions will be lost!”
“If [Syriza’s declarations are implemented], I assure Greek pensioners that their worst nightmare will be become a reality when they go to the bank and do not get their pension" - Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis.

#5: “The markets are doing what they are doing to us because of the hint that Syriza will come. If it comes, then mayhem will ensue” - Development Minister Nikos Dendias.

#4: “...We will return to the drachma in one week!”
If [Alexis Tsipras] does what he said at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, we will be back to the drachma in a week” - New Democracy lawmaker Adonis Georgiadi.

#3: “...the country will fall apart in 48 hours!”
“If Syriza becomes [the country’s] first party, the country will fall apart, no matter how many hands of elders Mr Tsipras kisses and how many foreigners he hangs out with” - Former deputy prime minister and prominent Pasok member Theodoros Pangalos.

#2: “...Lafazanis' image will adorn the new 1,000 drachma note!”
“ [If Syriza wins the elections], two options are available. The country will either beg its creditors for an even harsher memorandum or it will return to the drachma to the great satisfaction of Mr Lafazanis (a Syriza MP), whose image will most likely adorn the new 1,000 drachma note” - Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

#1: “...they will burn and kill!”
“There will be so much hunger and stench that all those jumping up and down about the smiling boy Tsipras, who shakes it up before the Pope, or Dourou, will be on the streets and will burn and will kills” - Former deputy prime minister and prominent Pasok member Theodoros Pangalo. 


  1. They are in full election mode, but "you aint seen nothing yet". Expecting it to be great fun I checked out the scenario in the constitution. The script is there for a spectacular event.
    Latest on the 12 February 2015 the parliament will make a roll call to elect a new president; the candidate requires a super majority of 66%. Failing that a new roll call will be held 5 days later, again with a super majority of 66%. Failing that a new roll call will be held 5 days later, this time requiring only a super majority of 60%.
    Although the rough script is in the constitution there is plenty of room for improvisation. How about these? The government proposes a Syriza candidate and Syriza do not vote for him. Or, Venizelos send more warships to Cypriot waters to prove that Greece has a geopolitical significance. Or, the government annonces that Greek hydrocarbons are 3 fold the previous estimates, and profits will be distributed tomorrow. Or, all private debt will be forgiven. You can add your own favorites.
    We will hear lies, threats and promises of a magnitude that is unusual, even for Greek politics. 300 corrupt and greedy narcissists will be on stage for 10 days. One can only hope that European politicians will keep out of it.
    By the time a new president has been elected Greece will have proved to the world that they cannot govern themselves, in retrospect the 2012 election crises will look like a period of calm and tranquility. A word of advise, capital controls please, and while you are at it, close the Athens Stock Exchange at the same time.

    And I will be, OBSERVING GREECE.

    1. Spot on, as always!


    2. Mr. Leonard, today i withdrew my money from the bank and bought drugs from the pharmacy. Is there anything else i should do? Will there be violence? How long will it last?

      Thank you.

  2. I don't know if they are irresponsible but, for once, these clowns are right. Have you met anyone waiting for Tsipras to come to power so that they invest in Greece? That is a good indication of what Greeks are going to do too.

  3. One is puzzled to see a banker of your experience and presumed knowledge to be so sanguine and serenely undisturbed that the ascension of Syriza into power would be economically costless and hardly a threat to the economic and political viability of Greece. To believe that the international financial markets would give a free pass to a potpourri of Marxist ideologues to resuscitate and implement its by now historically dead socialist agenda, is the ultimate irresponsibility. But it is obvious that in a "competition" of RESPONSIBILITY you will run last.

    1. Remember that I am Austrian and that we once had Jörg Haider in Austria. Haider went from 3% support to over 30% in little over 10 years. No politician can manage that on his own. Haider's turbo was that the political establishment outcast him; that the political establishment called him and his party what the Greek political establishment is currently calling Tsipras and SYRIZA.

      It is my conviction that extremists, be they from the right or the left, come to power only when the political establishment paves the road for them.

    2. So, are you part of this "political establishment" that as carelessly and frivolously "paves the road" for the extremist Syriza?

    3. If I were a politician, my focus would be on getting voters, not on alienating them. As a banker, I was always more successful when I 'praised my competition away' instead of talking it down.