Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Greece - A Democratic Signal For A Return to Reason?

I have just read that, according to a skaigr poll, only 45,5% of Greeks agree with the government's negotiating strategy (down from 72% in February) and as many as 39,5% say the negotiating strategy is wrong (up from 28% in February). Now those are interesting figures in the context of democracy.

The new Greek government have been champions of declared democracy. The election victory and the overwhelming support since then were the means which justified just about everything else.

Will the government pay attention to those 39,5% of Greeks who think the government is on the wrong track? After all, that's more Greeks than ever voted for SYRIZA! Will the government pay attention to the fact that support of their strategy has tanked from 72% to 45,5% in only 2 months? Will the government be respectful of the vast majority of Greeks who definitely want to hold on to the Euro?

We may be about to see evidence as to how much respect the new government has for democracy when democracy doesn't suit its fancy.


  1. Yes, I watched this yesterday evening, on Skai. For myself I made just one conclusion, after: on the moment the most Greeks still support Tsipras.
    Was depressed by this thought.

    Today I find this post and how wonderful to read your deeper view on these percentages! You are right! Tsipras' own constant defense for what he is doing was and is: the people, what do they want?

    You made it clear. Has somebody the email address of Mr. Tsipras? I will send him the link to this blogpost.


    1. How can you get Skai in Norway???

    2. @Klaus: nothing from this person makes sense, so why pick on just that issue?

    3. @ Antoinette
      I asked because we cannot get any Greek TV in Austria ever since ERT was closed down (one good reason to open ERT again...).

    4. Guest(xenos)April 21, 2015 at 1:18 PM:

      For such rude comments you should apologize!
      BTW: I won't specify anymore what I think about your postings


    5. @Klaus:

      Various Greek TV stations (in Greek language) are given on satellite lists but I never checked if they are active (Can do so if it is of help for you).

      There might also exist Internet streams. When ERT was closed by government I had a look at it, but since for me the language sounds like chinese I gave up....

    6. @Herr Trickler: your hypocrisy is astounding, since what I wrote is no different from comments you have made about me. And it is not a rude comment, since it is my sincerely held opinion.

  2. On the wrong track, so what's the right track? Human beings look for their own interest. If greek people want to stay in Euro, its because they dont want to see their savings and their purchasing power go down quickly even if it can come back thereafter, while they should be explained that paying back all the gvt debts will surely affect their purchasing power less dramatically but on a steady downard pace

    1. I hope you don't assume that the debt will go away in case of Grexit. The debt is denominated in Euro and most of it is subject to international law. That debt will be there after the Grexit in the same form and fashion as it was before Grexit. The only difference is that, after Grexit, the official lenders will realistically cut much of their loans (but certainly not all!!). My guess is that they would try to put Greece into a situation where the debt amounts to about 60% of the Drachma GDP. And don't forget the 60 BEUR in the hands of private creditors. Just remember Argentina...

    2. @Klaus. At a time when no European government could give a ***k about what its electorate thinks, other than at election time, this is not a valid question. We have reached a stage in advanced democracies where the existence of democracy itself is questionable, other than the occasional theatre of organised elections and manipulation of public opinion in the run-up to those.

      No Greek government, with the possible exception of Andreas Papandreou's first few years in the early 1980s, ever had significant majority support. Not even at election time. That is why the voting system is rigged to give additional seats to the largest party -- otherwise, Greece would be in continuous political crisis with unstable minority coalition governments (like Italy). In this context, Tspiras would be a fool to do as you suggest. Of course, any government anywhere worries about decline in opinion poll support; but again, given the prevalence of corrupt opinion polls in Greece it would be foolish to pay much attention.

    3. I was just making comments on polls that expressed fears of consequences rather than agreements on how to deal with this problem, and consequently are useless.
      Regarding the debt, who can force a sovereign to ever repay if it destroys its nation (as always in human history)? So when you r about to default, a nation tries to live on its means, issues currency when needed and should not ever again count on borrowing. But this behaviour harms country that lend to Greece, so this debt should be swapped into Greece assets rather than just discredited so that it bears no interest and everyone would have benefits in Greece recovering.

  3. I'm not too keen on polls in Greece, it is a very populist country and polls tend to favor the ones who are celebrating their 5 minutes of fame. However, 22,6% (or 2,24 million) Greek voters voted for Syriza. I do not understand why that should give them the moral right to decide how 333 million Euro Zone citizens shall spend their tax money.
    @ Klaus, I do not share your belief that the individual countries will take part of the loans off their books; they will keep them on for the foreseeable future.

  4. Democracy - a return to reason??

    From the Guardian:

    Meanwhile, the Greek government’s decision to bolster state coffers
    with the sequestered funds of local municipalities has been described as
    a coup d’etat - not by the political opposition but a Syriza MP –
    highlighting just how incendiary the move has been.

    “It is tantamount to a coup d’etat that does not suit our
    character and leftwing conscience,” Yannis Micheloyiannakos, a Syriza
    deputy from Crete railed this afternoon. “Nothing can justify the
    government’s action.”

    You can at least count on some Cretans. Hopefully more real opposition is to come.

    1. Opposing treasurers will not transfer their funds and most probably the supreme Greek court will revoke that law.

    2. I read yesterday on Crashonline.gr, that the centralizition of funds from municipalities in greece was a requirement and request made by Troika. That this is a manner to better control how funds are distributed and basically see what is the total economical cash flows of the central and decentral gorvenments.


    3. One should hope so.

      Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas, however, said today:

      "Greece aims at 2.5 bln euro buffer from state entities' cash reserves"

      BTW. How does all this tapping into the last cash reserves to get them going into June relate to your theory that Syriza wants to default?