Sunday, 28 June 2015

Greek Referendum: Daily Updates Eyewitness Reports


10:13 AM
To:,,, Greece Solidarity Campaign, Bob Archer, Left Unity,,, Mike Davis, Vivianne Lakra, Brian Heron, Manuel Cortes, Ben Folley, Sam Tarry,, Nasia 

11th July 2015
251 votes for €13b cuts.
Syriza loses parliamentary majority down to 145 MPs
2 Syriza MPs vote openly NO
Lafazanis, Konstantopoulou, Lapavitsas, Stratoulis abstain.
So two ministers Energy and Labour are probably on way out.

If agreement is reached (not 100%) either reshuffle with new grand coalition with all the other Memorandum parties or new elections...

Either which way Syriza will go the way of LAOS, PASOK, Dimar....

5th July 2015
Massive NO vote 61% to 38% with around 40% abstention
Class based vote Perama (dockworkers) 77% NO Ekali 85% YES
No electoral region a YES vote
Around 5.5m voted
Left increased vote by around 25% from 2.7m to 3.3m since January 2015
Rightists collapsed to 2m from 2.3m
Massive media propaganda using pensioners didn't work, Greeks no longer frightened of Grexit.
Invalid/blank 5.8%
Spontaneous party in Athens, Sindagma Sq

OXI Rally
After yesterday's demo where more than 700k  turned up it is clear that none of the existing political formations can impose their will on the Greek people. Unless one believes hungry stomachs can be filled. The rally in Sindagma is more important than the actual Referendum.
a) the rally was full of Greeks. There were no illegal immigrants there. 
b) average working class people from daily life. 
c) everywhere there were Greek flags with communist ones. Absent were all flags of the European union.
d) the size of the rally just in Athens indicates a big OXI vote in the cities. It's a class vote based on those devastated by austerity.
e) Syriza will have problems turning any OXI vote against the numbers seen at the rally.
f) Tsipras was visibly shaken by both size and passion of the rally....
3rd July 2015
Kammenos stated army will guarantee safety and security
IMF asked openly for a 33% cut in Greece's Debt
E Tsakalotos Syrizas Chief Negotiator stated we went to Referendum as we couldn't pass cuts
Last YES and NO rallies tonight
KKE rally abysmally small

2nd July 2015
Lapavitsas stating we are staying in Euros on Syriza s programme. In other words Merkels.
Banks open for pensioners, no issues today.
Adverts started pro EU campaigns.
Syriza MPs emerged openly against Referendum
Two ANEL MPs have turned
If YES vote Varoufakis stated that he will resign
Syriza blaming correctly closure of Banks on ECB

1st July 2015
State of Play
State of play re Greek Referendum
Don't count your chickens before they hatch! Influence of corporate media may not be as powerful. On the ground when leafletting most people are for NO. Many believe the whole event could be stage managed to sell a new package of cuts using the Debt (as negotiable now on the table) so Syriza can sell it internally. Its alleged Varoufakis as I give us the Debt on table we will give you the Referendum...But with $3trillion losses on stockmarkets worldwide the longer this continues the worse it becomes...Schauble said With a NO vote Greece remains in Euro....ND candidates had breakdowns on tv when they heard IMF wasnt paid. ECB could pull plug on Monday. Greece has printing presses and can print Euros to cover cash withdrawals. The issue is whether the Syriza leadership wants a resounding NO vote. Which so far it clearly doesn't.

Tsipras made new proposal a new MoU around €30b without IMF
Media stories about ECB collapsing two systemic banks to influence voters intentions.
Rightist rally 'Staying in Europe'. ND nutters on tv going mad about closed banks.
Dragasakis stated we might cancel  referendum. Zoi (House Speaker) said it can't be cancelled.
IMF default occurred.

30th June 2015
Massive NO demo in Sindagma by Syriza.
Tsipras won't pay IMF tonight so default.
Chinese stock market opens 25% down in 3 days.
Tsipras mentioned possibility of double referendum Irish style...
Syriza reps weirdly absent from corporate news networks.

29th June 2015
Banks to re open with €60 daily withdrawal limit ie €1800pcm via ATMs
Average pensions are €500pcm Minimum wage €600 Pensioners without bank cards will be able to go into Greek Ethniki bank and withdraw the whole pension in one go.
Asian European stock markets plunge.
Rally tonight 730pm by Syriza in Sundagma Sq
All public transport free until banks reopen

Local NO campaigns have started in every Athenian sq.
Junquer said we should vote YES.
ATMs working people can withdraw €60
Tourists can withdraw money with no controls.

26th June 2015
Tsipras offered EURO 8b in cuts.

Troika demanded EURO 12b.
Syriza could not remain intact nor Greek business in tourism or agriculture.

This is too little too late but better late than never.
A vote NO signals a break. 

The road points only one way Grexit; Drachma; Exit EU; Cancellation of Debt.
This collision course is inevitable. Its not happening the way we want but its happening. 

Pensions are paid at end of month and people on extremely tight budgets go to cashpoints early.

27th June 2015
178 voted for Referendum proposals.
KKE voted it down with PASOK, ND, Potami.
PASOK labelled proposal for Referendum a coup.

Varoufakis stated if Troika does change position and come to an agreement we will vote YES.
GD voted with Syriza. Their leaders was for Euro last Thursday in newspaper interview yesterday one of their spokespersons came out in support of Drachma.

Schauble stated we can't have both Tsipras and Greece in Euro.
Tusk stated Greces role in Euro is unquestionable.

28th June 2015
Repercussions of KKE decision to vote against Referendum hits members hard with disbelief.
Presstitutes circulate stories about ELA withdrawals fake.
Stories about imposition of capital controls by Varoufakis also fake during day.
Samaras trying to get President to not collaborate on upcoming referendum.
Bankrun by media appears to be fake just by travelling around two districts.

Cabinet meeting 8pm announcement that Stock Exchange Banks closed for one week to avoid rightist destabilization of Referendum.

2k strong demo-rally outside Sindagma Sq by Antarsya Mars against EU calling for 'Default rtn to Drachma'.
Syriza brings out riot police on steps in Parliament.
ND calls for Tsipras to cancel Referendum.
Merkel calls for meeting of all political leaders in Germany.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

‘Staying in Europe’

Hands open for a bag of food. But let us not spoil the image. The issue is ‘Staying in Europe’.
 Hundred long lines for a plate of food. What the issue as long as we are ‘Staying in Europe’.
  Congregation of hundreds of people, conflicts, pushing and shoving for a free ‘meal’, humans searching for food in dustbins. The issue for all of us to ‘Stay in Europe’.
   It would be great if this was a plastic picture for Greece. Hopefully it would be a product of the ‘montage’ of some type of ‘antieuropean populism’
Unfortunately it is a real picture of millions of Greeks who have a different view than the ‘european ideal’, that which is sold by Theodorakis ‘Potami’ (River party)
  This is the Greece whom naturally the locals don’t stay or its foreign dynasties. It’s been crushed by class interests which have been baptised as ‘national ideals’ from the forces of particular ‘populism’, ie the establishment.
This Greece where lines are formed for kilometres for a bag of tomatoes is the Greece of the stolen dignity of food kitchens and lines of homeless. Decaying Greece of the 1.5m unemployed. The Greece of homemade fires. The Greece of the thousands of young you emigrate abroad. The Greece of Ottoman style tax brigandry. The Greece of 700k that are underfed.
This is the Greece of ‘Staying in Europe’. Here there is no ‘creative ambiguity’...
   In the Greece of ‘Staying in Europe’, they who threaten us that we will become... Zambia, are the same who have ensured that we have social and labour conditions akin to ...Somalia. For instance:
Millions of people who are found under the minimum level of poverty.
One million unemployed who are working and remain unpayed for up to 12 months. Extending the income policy of disparity amongst the richest and the poorest Greeks by 7.5%. A fact that brings Greece to the first decade of countries with the biggest disparities on a global level, to be challenging first place amongst Chile, Mexico and Turkey!
Thousands of workers in the private sector who instead of being paid a wage are paid by so they can purchase items from supermarkets.
This is the Greece with which the ‘saviours’ with the flag of the permanent demonstrator Georgiadi they chant ‘We are Staying in Europe’...
In the Greece of ‘Staying in Europe’ they who deceive the electorate and their supporters they paint their ‘rolex’s’ as ours and their Cayennes as ours are the same who have imposed Bulgarian wages.
7 out of 10 workers work for less that E1k a month. 
4 out 10 workers (40%) are paid less than E630net a month. 
30% of those insured in state system IKA (3 out of 10) have a monthly wage under or around the national minimum wage (E586) 
25% of the labour force is paid a wage lower than that of the unskilled worker.  
51% of the new labour contracts which are signed in the private sector are under  the regime of part time employment, under  E500 a month. 
Thousands of young up till 25 year old are working for 180 Euros a month for a 4hr work at E2.25 a day.
Thousands of workers in the private sector who instead of being paid a wage are paid by so they can purchase items from supermarkets.

This is the Greece with which the ‘saviours’ with the flag of the permanent demonstrator Georgiadi they chant ‘We are Staying in Europe’...

In Greece of ‘Staying in Europe’ the majority of the people is in a situation much worse than that of bankruptcy. Only one element can be seen: The final bills towards the banks, public sector and insurance coffers are more than the whole GDP of the country!
GB'>7 out of 10 workers work for less that E1k a month. 4 out 10 workers (40%) are paid less than E630net a month. 30% of those insured in state system IKA (3 out of 10) have a monthly wage under or around the national minimum wage (E586) 25% of the labour force is paid a wage lower than that of the unskilled worker.  51% of the new labour contracts which are signed in the private sector are under  the regime of part time employment, under  E500 a month. Thousands of young up till 25 year old are working for 180 Euros a month for a 4hr work at E2.25 a day.

n","serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-GB'>Thousands of workers in the private sector who instead of being paid a wage are paid by so they can purchase items from supermarkets.

This is the Greece with which the ‘saviours’ with the flag of the permanent demonstrator Georgiadi they chant ‘We are Staying in Europe’...
 We are ‘Staying in Europe’ then. But a little honesty doesn’t do harm. Staying in Europe either in the form of ‘We Belong to the West’ or with the form of ‘negotiations’ which extends the old Memorandums and leads to ’47 pages’ to new MoU, is about a Europe which is called the ‘European Union’, is empowered by Schauble and has transformed Greece into Bulgaria (wages) transformed it into Somalia (levels of social justice) and has returned to levels of Ottoman (taxation).
     We are ‘Staying in Europe’ then. But lets us not close our eyes. In this Greece of this ‘Europe’ the astonishing pictures provided show this precisely what large layers of the population live like.
They are pictures which were repeated many times over in Nea Smirni, in Peristeri, in Kolonos, Drapetsona, Nikaia, Menidi Elefsina and Thessaloniki.
Pictures which show reveal other things: Their hatred which they show towards these people all those who are full of ‘humanitarianism’, the so-called ladies of charity, who when you show them these pictures they rush to attack you for ...’populism’ (!) use idiocy as a defence starting from the barricades of Northern Mykonos but talking about ...North Korea and they respond: ‘We are Staying in Europe’...

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Leo Panitch Greece in Suspended Animation

Greece in Suspended AnimationSHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Tuesday announced that Greece will pay the 1.6 billion Euros they owe the IMF beginning June 5th. The country has been cash-strapped, and negotiating with its creditors the Troika, made up of the IMF, the European Central Bank and European finance ministries for months now.
To discuss this I'm joined by Professor Leo Panitch. Leo has just returned from Greece, where he has been discussing the current situation with his colleagues and friends. Leo Panitch, as you know, is a professor of political science at York University in Toronto. He is the UK Deutsche book prize winner for The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire.
Leo, thank you for joining us.
PERIES: Leo, you've just returned from Greece. Give us a sense of the people you met with and what they're saying.
PANITCH: I should say, the sense one gets politically when you're in Athens right now is that the country is in a state of suspended animation. Everybody is waiting to see what will happen in terms of the outcome of the negotiations. The kind of movements that propelled Syriza into office, into the state, are not in motion. One of the ministers, Aristides Baltas, who is minister of culture, education, religion, and sport, which is the largest ministry in Greece, described this as a immobilized movement. And this is of course problematic, because emblazoned on Syriza's program is the argument that even when we enter the state, we'll only be able to do what we want to do insofar as there is a diversified, multidimensional movement of subversion in society behind us.
Well, that is not bubbling up. It's immobilized. That's not to say that there isn't still massive support, there is. But not in the form of movement, not in the form of the kind of creative things one saw with the solidarity networks where people were sharing pharmaceuticals, food, et cetera. They're not turning themselves into alternate forms of an economy, an economy of need and talent and creativity rather than an economy of profit. Not on their own, at any rate. And the government is so preoccupied with the negotiations, committed as they are to staying in Europe--while committed as they are, very equally and strongly committed to stopping the torture, the economic torture visited on the Greek people, that they too aren't oriented to animating and mobilizing at the base.
That's the overwhelming sense one gets when one's there. It's a very difficult situation. And it's fascinating to watch it playing out in real time.
PERIES: Leo, finance minister Yanis Varoufakis did announce apparently that they will be able to pay the 1.6 billion owed to the IMF coming up in June. How did they manage to do that?
PANITCH: They haven't done it, it's smoke and mirrors. And it contrapredicts the commitment that other ministers have made, most recently the Interior Minister [Voustis], who I heard say the same thing two weeks ago in a public meeting in Athens, that they would not even pay the 300 million that are due on June 5th rather than pay the wages and salaries and benefits that are due at the end of the month.
There's some talk now that the three payments that are due to the IMF in June might be bundled together and paid at the end of June rather than the first small installment on June 5th. What's going on I think--and in that sense I don't think that Varoufakis was [inaud.], is negotiations of the kind that will find means of coming up with the money from elsewhere inside the IMF, or from the European Central Bank, that will effectively allow them to move one pot of money from one area of debt to another pile of money, to the IMF. Neither of them wants to play an end game here. Although the inner cabinet of ten ministers said June 5th is the absolute deadline and they made a unanimous commitment, and I know this for a fact, every single one of them, that they would not pay the 300 million to the IMF rather than pay wages and salaries.
They will all find the way around getting past that June 5th deadline. And what looks to me the case, although no one admits this in public, is that the Europeans will keep on, or the Troika will keep on drip-feeding Greece, because they don't want them out either. Above all, the Americans don't want them out, I must tell you.
PERIES: And why is that?
PANITCH: Well, because it's a very fragile geopolitical situation, with what's going on in Eastern Europe now, and what's going on in the Middle East, and the Americans don't want a shift in the geostrategic situation whereby Greece, which has always been a very key country in the Mediterranean geostrategically, moving out of the Western orbit.
So I don't think that this is going to get settled. I think that this will continue to be negotiated. There will be a means, I'm pretty sure, of evading these deadlines for payment, or making the payments as occurred with the previous 750 million that was owed the IMF in May, where where the IMF suddenly discovered that Greece had a 650 million account with the IMF and they used that to cover that payment.
I don't think one ought to be paying quite as much attention to this dance of payments and this dance of deadlines, than the media would want us to. Sure, there's intense negotiations going on. But I think they all want them to continue, in a sense. It could get to the point where in exchange for another very significant bailout, if you want to call it that, or delay in when Greece needs to pay its debts, the Greek government will agree to a form of words, and to some measures that they would need to undertake anyway in terms of tax collection, and in terms of rationalizing the pension system and the VAT system, so on, that they'll strike an agreement [inaud.] The Europeans will be able to say, you see, even this government has agreed to structural reforms. And Syriza will say, and will mean, that we're the ones who are implementing these reforms, and we'll implement it in a way that will not penalize poor and working people in this country. That's the scenario we're facing.
And those inside Syriza who are proposing to pull out of the negotiations, return to the Drachma, impose capital controls, et cetera, I think know themselves, I think this applies even to those who are inside the cabinet of that [persuasion], that they will not break the collective discipline, and break away from the majority, even if it's a narrow majority inside the cabinet and inside the party on this issue.
I should also say that they themselves are not very impressive, the left platform, in terms of mobilizing. The type of alternate economy, the type of alternate production, the kind of transitional production that would be needed were one to find Greece outside of the eurozone, or even more drastically outside of the European Union.
PERIES: Leo, let's take that up in the next segment, what you described as being Greece in suspension, Greece in, Greek government waiting to see what the Troika will do, and everything seems to be so much up in the air as you described. Let's in the next segment take up the options available for Greece in terms of both economic development and dealing with this financial crisis.
PANITCH: Very good, Sharmini.
PERIES: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.