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Monday, January 26, 2015

Alexis Tsipras - It Was Just Like Obama's First Election Night!

Back in 2008, I was a passionate admirer of Barack Obama. First of all, he could deliver such wonderful soundbites in his speeches. And, secondly, he was an outsider to the Washington establishment of cronies and lobbyists. He had the power of the people behind him and I believed him when he promised to really change America. His acceptance speech in the evening of the election was the last time I could see the Obama of the campaign. From then on, he retreated behind closed doors; no more arousing speeches; no longer a revolution against the establishment. The President Obama seemed like another person from the Obama of the campaign.

I have not been a passionate admirer of Alexis Tsipras. However, I did, from the start in June 2012, like his beautiful soundbites. Of course I noticed that he could rally a lot of people behind him but I thought that most of them were the 'crazy ones'. At the outset of this election campaign, I thought the 'crazy ones' would commit such blunders that voters would get scared. Today, I know that 36% of voters cannot be crazy. And I know a few other things.

Tsipras, in his words and in his writings, has made a dramatic shift to the center in recent weeks. If this was only fake, then he is a great actor. SYRIZA's latest policy statement reminded me a bit of what George C. Marshall could have recommended for the reconstruction of Germany after WW2.

As I prepared a guest commentary for a Swiss online paper last evening, something began to dawn on me, and I had to scratch my head when I realized it. Much of what Tsipras has been saying in words and in writings in recents weeks is VERY similar to what I have been writing in this blog since the start. Some examples:

* Greece must drive the process of change and not the Troika.
* Greece must be the owner of the problem and of the solutions and not the follower of the Troika's commanded solutions.
* A National Economic Development Plan is needed and it is Greece who has to make it.
* The increase in tax revenues must come from those who never paid taxes and not from those who always paid them.
* All the parasites of the Greek system must get scared that someone will come along and stop their game.
* Etc.

A Greek economist who allegedly is a close adviser to Tsipras but whose name I didn't catch (his German was perfect!) summarized SYRIZA's policies last evening on Austrian TV. There was not anything which I would have disagreed with. There has been a massive shift in support for Tsipras and SYRIZA outside of Greece in the last days/weeks. A well-known Austrian economics professor called for a public demonstration in Vienna last evening to show support for SYRIZA. A feeling seems to develop, to an extent also in Germany, that any decent human being simply must support SYRIZA.

Despite all my agreements with Tsipras' recent words and writings, why would I still hesitate to throw my support behind him? Here are a couple of reasons which come to mind off the bat:

* I am generally suspicious of rapid changes from Saulus to Paulus.
* While I could buy that Tsipras has changed from Saulus to Paulus, I cannot imagine that his voters and future parliamentarians can also make that change.
* When someone after over 30 years of experience with an exploding public sector still thinks that the public sector is part of the solution and not part of the problem, then I scratch my head.
* Everything I have written about concerned the private sector and private enterprise in general. I have not heard much from Tsipras about the private sector and private enterprise.
* I have almost become obsessesd with the idea that foreign investment is part of the solution for Greece. I have not heard much from Tsipras about foreign investment.
* I have always expressed surprise about Greek corruption and cronyism when, in day-to-day life, I would meet Greeks who are decent human beings with high ethical and moral standards. Still, I find it hard to believe that the SYRIZA leadership and upper ranks consist only of Greeks of high ethical and moral standards and none of the parasites. Something tells me that many of them have been parasites of the Greek system just like so many others.
* Etc.

I generally prefer to see the glass half full instead of half empty. So let me say that Tsipras' glass is half full. But it is still far away from becoming full and it could become empty again very quickly. As Nick Malkoutzis formulated it in this outstanding commentary in Macropolis: 

"The thinking goes that if the people are visibly on SYRIZA’s side its bargaining position will be impregnable. This is the dream, at least. The nightmare is that people will be on the streets protesting because of the failure of a SYRIZA government to reach an agreement with Greece’s lenders, leading to the European Central Bank putting a stop to liquidity. It is a scenario in neither side’s interests but that does not mean it cannot happen".

Or as I once quoted a Greek proverb:

"Any fool can throw a stone into the sea but, once he has done that, not even a hundred wise men can get it out again".

54 comments:

  1. I am also a fan of the Oracle of Delphi, so i will say this: "Tsipras shall negotiate with success not victorious he will return".

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  2. The joy was so big, that SYRIZA's newly elected prof. Costas Lapavitsas, sang the anthem of the EAM, to remember the glorious comunist guerillas of 60 years ago.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCv213sUpaY

    At 5:08. It's heartbreaking.

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  3. Dear Mr. Kastner,

    I have been waiting all morning for your new thread. I am happy with your reaction as i am happy with the reacion of our foreign european compatriates.

    I see alot of this formulation and feedback as very good news and it is in Syriza's hand to use this to their, our, advantage. To be honest I believe Tsipras to be a "cool cat," and the more i follow him and his partners they are quite wise as well. I believe he has known what he has been doing from the time when he was the "right hand man" of Alavanos when Syriza was a meager 3%. The guys knows how to plan and has been cool at every stage of the game. I also believe he knew in 2012 that they were not ready hence said many things that would assure he would not win.

    Since then he has been patient and waiting for the right moment. He saw the opportunity and casually grabbed it.

    I am thinking and hoping he is much wiser than we all thought him to be. I like that he formed governement in less than 12 hours and i believe he would have done it even with 155 seats. It was premade and there was no bad reaction to the selection. Not even from the hardliners. So i come to your list.

    continued.......


    V

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  4. I don't believe in Tzipras sudden conversion, he is just trying to be all things to all people. I don't think most of his voters believe him either, so, why did they vote for him?
    They didn't want the election, they don't believe he is a better PM, they want to stay in EZ at all costs, they don't think he will deliver what he promises, they don't think they will be better off with a Syriza government. That does not seem rational, and maybe it isn't. Maybe it's more about feelings.
    From the beginning of the adjustments in 2010 Greeks have felt punished and humiliated by Europe. Their politicians of all hues have amplified that view, and deflected all anger towards "the others". Maybe Greeks see this as a way to extract their revenge on Europe and regain their pride, maybe Tzipras play on that.
    Did Europe subject Greece to a correctional process (punish it)? They sure tried. The objective being to protect the society by:
    -Showing society that justice has been (will be) done, thereby preventing others from doing the same.
    -Preventing the perpetrator from repeating the act by limiting his freedom for a period.
    -Socializing the perpetrator in such a way, that when he regain his full freedom he will not wish to repeat the act.
    Did Europe humiliate Greece? Depends on your perception. Europe will maintain that they held up a mirror, Greece will claim the the mirror was flawed and distorted the image.
    Alas, the anger and distrust is there on both sides, divorce please.
    Lennard

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    Replies
    1. Mr. Lennard,

      You have been "observing" Greece, for many months now, yes? Maybe it is time to add to your profound knowledge, the notion that his name is "Tsipras" and not Tzipras", just like Merkel is not Mackerel.

      Delete
    2. @Lennard January 26, 2015 at 2:12 PM

      Nobody can know in advance how Tsipras will act as a president of Greece, so a fair attitude is "Let's wait a short moment and see".

      Klaus Kastner has very well described how he perceived Obama before and after becoming president and I personally did feel the same way.

      Obama promised to close that abominable Guantanamo disaster, and today it still exists - Imho that says it all.

      H.Trickler

      Delete
  5. conitnued....

    * I am generally suspicious of rapid changes from Saulus to Paulus.
    ---Its a politicians job to sway opinions and gather votes and then crystalize into what the people want. Stay in EU stop the austaerity
    * While I could buy that Tsipras has changed from Saulus to Paulus, I cannot imagine that his voters and future parliamentarians can also make that change.
    ---We knew he would do this. it is his bargaining chip. Like i told you other times, saying what he will do give them "troika" and advantage and wait around the corner. He says and unsays. So people know what he is after but not outloud. People in cafe and markets say it. Get half of what you want and we will be happy.
    * When someone after over 30 years of experience with an exploding public sector still thinks that the public sector is part of the solution and not part of the problem, then I scratch my head.
    ---Depends how you look at it. I am not for public sector but maybe he is thinking of an efficient public sector...? An american type public sector in greece wouldn't be so bad.
    * Everything I have written about concerned the private sector and private enterprise in general. I have not heard much from Tsipras about the private sector and private enterprise.
    --- he doesn;t need to mention anything. it is rolling on its own. no need to touch the subject. i hope.
    * I have almost become obsessesd with the idea that foreign investment is part of the solution for Greece. I have not heard much from Tsipras about foreign investment.
    --- if he achieves half the things he will say the economy will keep going stability will remain and investment will come on its own. Never understood why politicians need to broker foreign investment. let the private sector handle this.
    * I have always expressed surprise about Greek corruption and cronyism when, in day-to-day life, I would meet Greeks who are decent human beings with high ethical and moral standards. Still, I find it hard to believe that the SYRIZA leadership and upper ranks consist only of Greeks of high ethical and moral standards and none of the parasites. Something tells me that many of them have been parasites of the Greek system just like so many others.
    ---- we are all concerned about this. not sure what will happen.
    * Etc.

    Overall if he achieves a deal and he will as i have told you many times, this has been pre fabricated, he will have a huge popularity. He will assure 4 years and another 4 years later. If he creates a general happy and positive environment in Greece and improve general society even by 30% i will not mind being bumped up a tax bracket. as i have said my compariates happiness is my happiness.

    In reading your first paragraph about obama and then the list of many things you said what greek government must do.... well it is very close to what Kapodistria had to do and did when Greece was in economic shambles after freedom was achieved in greece.

    I am optimistic. It will be good for europe. We all need a new direction and lets hope brussels ses this too.

    V

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree with most of this. Klaus: it is typical across countries that parties with a strong ideology that is their distinctive character (if not actually voter appeal) when faced with governing are obliged to interpret their ideology in rather practical terms. That is the nature of politics -- the art of the possible, pragmatism. Any government that fails to do so will quickly fail to remain in power.

      So, do not be surprised that the policy statements coming from Syriza are rational and convincing: this is now their mean electoral appeal (as opposed to hard left ideology) and will also be their principal strength in gaining international support and greater bargaining power with the Troika.

      The outcome will be, as every Greek knows, that they will fail to deliver on some detailed issues. There are harsh economic realities, in terms of job creation and economic growth. However, in my opinion, if they can enforce a more rational policy for the eurozone -- something other than the mindless austerity and permanent debt of Greece -- then the Greek people will support them. Nobody, in any country at the best of times, expects politicians to deliver anywhere near 100% of promises. The issue is how much Syriza will be able to achieve.

      The other issue, which has not been discussed, is what will happen if Syriza fails. Let us assume the worst, in this scenario. Would the electorate merely return to ND support (it seems that Pasok is dead). My feeling is that there would be massive support for Chryssi Avgi and KKE -- the two extremes -- and this would be very dangerous. This possibility, of the political collapse of Greece if Syriza fails, is a strong bargaining position in Europe. They tried Pasok and ND, and the results are miserable: Syriza is actually Europe's last chance to keep Greece (and the rest of southern Europe) within the European democratic system. This danger should be enough to get the Germans very worried indeed, and perhaps find solutions acceptable that previously they rejected.

      Delete
    2. Mr. Guest (xenos):

      If SYRIZA fails, people won't go to KKE, unless KKE changes its mind about wanting a stalinist Greece, "outside EU, euro, NATO" and possibly the planet. Either some other party will arise in the meantime or the voters will turn to Potami. New Democracy, did better than i expected, despite giving a 2 year struggle against populism, alone against everyone (SYRIZA at their head). But they need to change to a younger leader, to renew the party. Samaras said he isn't willing to leave, because he expects soon an impasse between EU and SYRIZA and sees it as a chance to come back.

      But just like the people who voted SYRIZA didn't vote it en masse for Mr. Varoufakis' soundbites nor for Tsipras' leadership skills (in polls Samaras was beating Tsipras and "none of the two" was beating both in the question "who is better for PM", those who voted New Democracy, didn't do so for Samaras, but because they saw it as the only force that for 2 years did something against populism, against the left led trade unions that want the status quo, etc.

      Golden Dawn, for now, is "controlled" and as long as ND is in opposition and SYRIZA doesn't feed them, they should remain stable. The problem with Golden Dawn is this. The Greeks are reactionary. When you prohibit something, they react. Golden Dawn, has thus formed a "hard nucleus" of voters, that are supporting them, because they see them as the only true "anti-systemic party". In fact, they have been stripped by state party finances by parliament vote, because they are under trial (guilty before proven innocent), the bulk of MPs has been imprisoned for more than 18 months witout trial, total media embargo, no electoral campaign, yet they retain their forces, exactly because of that. One more reason why ND must renew itself and SYRIZA hold his horses on the usual urges, like the one of "giving mass citizenships to immigrants and open borders". At some point, the Golden Dawn trials must be done.And i doubt they can all be convicted, despite the political interference to the judges. Democracy is supposed to treat everyone as equal. The more you treat them unequally, the more you heroify them to some angry right wingers.

      Delete
  6. But why is he forming a coalition government with the "Independent Greeks", a party which is clearly and fiercely anti-west, anti-EU and anti-German, and much more aggressive than Syriza? It is not a good message he is sending.

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    1. I think IG could be a perfect alibi for Tsipras to justify to his voters that he couldn't keep all of his promises (after all, they didn't let me...).

      Delete
    2. Dear sir,

      Tsipras had quite a wide offering of governing partners. PASOK was willing. Discarder because...nobody wants to rule together with PASOK, if he can avoid it. Potami and ANEL (Independent Greeks).

      The reason to choose one over the other, is brieffly mentioned here:
      http://www.usay.gr/article/71890/poies_einai_oi_kokkines_grammes_toy_kammenoy_gia_synergasia_me_ton.html?category_id=2784

      Potami's "red line", was "we don't put in peril, our european position". As Tsipras said in an interview, he doesn't want Potami, because in the negotiations with Merkel, Potami's leader would be "sitting next to Merkel on the other side of the table". Or as Mr. Stratoulis says in the link above, "we would be Potami's hostages". There is also the opinion in SYRIZA, that Potami was made by initiative and covert financing of some media magnates (the employers of its leader), with the scope exactly to be the governing partner of SYRIZA.

      This leaves IG. What are the 3 red lines of independent greeks? As Mr. Kammenos said, they are:
      1) national issues
      2) respect towards the church.
      3) Don't overtax the medium class.

      None of them are really bothering for Tsipras (1 and 2 are bothering some in SYRIZA, but they are not of critical importance) for the negotiations. Even better, ANEL is "antimemorandum" party, unlike Potami.

      Delete
    3. Now Tsipras changed his mind and proposed to the Potami to join the goverment. Maybe it has to do with protests inside his party about forming goverment with ANEL and he wants to dilute that. But now Potami rejected the offer.

      http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/445995/stis-7-to-apogeuma-i-sunadisi-tsipra-theodoraki/

      Delete
  7. Fully Agree! "I am anti-EU, I even choose the most anti-EU partner, but..."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Could be. But wouldn't To Potami have been a better choice? In relation to the Troika IG will let him do all the tough things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. Hadn't thought about it.

      Delete
  9. Yes, wonderful soundbites. Politicians have a knack for them. Too bad that's all they'll ever be, soundbites.

    Defeatist? Fatalist? Maybe. But having lived all my life inside the Greek society, I know what it's capable of, and it's just not capable of export-led growth. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise, and the results support my view.

    Also, Klaus, you say:

    "I have not heard much from Tsipras about foreign investment."

    On the contrary, Tsipras has said that he will cancel all privatizations that are under way (airports etc).

    Also:

    "I have always expressed surprise about Greek corruption and cronyism when, in day-to-day life, I would meet Greeks who are decent human beings with high ethical and moral standards."

    You seem to misunderstand. You judge people in irrelevant situations and reach a b&w conclusion like that. Here's how it works in reality. I bribed to get my driver's license (a precaution in case I didn't pass the test). Does that make me a bad person? Have I given you the impression of a bad person? Does that make my trainer a bad person, or how about the tester (the most corrupt of the parties involved)? If you met them in real life, would they give you the impression of immoral persons?

    That's Greek society for you.

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  10. Tsipras' strategy of trying to fuel antigerman sentiment, in order to rally up public support to his negotiations, continue. After using the song "Antonis" (written about a real incident of a greek prisoner in Mauhausen), in his public speeches, he continued today. Instead of going to the memorial of the unknown fallen soldier, just outside the parliament, to pay tribute, he preferred to go to the Kesaniani shooting range to lay flowers, where the Germans were commonly executing captured resistance members.

    http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/445952/sto-skopeutirio-kaisarianis-o-tsipras-amesos-meta-tin-orkomosia-tou/

    Because:
    "The thinking goes that if the people are visibly on SYRIZA’s side its bargaining position will be impregnable".

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps not such a very good idea. The choice of Merkel-hating IG as coalition partner is only stirring up anti-Greek sentiments in Germany.

      Varoufakis will have to play the "good cop" really god: “What we will come to Frankfurt and Berlin and Brussels with is a plan to minimise the cost of that Greek debacle to the average German,” (in Ekathimerini).

      Delete
    2. The anti-greek sentiments in Germany existed since 2010 and certainly before the elections. In poll before the greek elections 61% of Germans wanted Grexit. So in Greece there is the proverb "the wet isn't afraid of the rain". I think Tsipras is aware, or rather, i hope he is, that in order to play a game against Germany, he needs allies. His avidity to come to power as soon as possible, prevented him from waiting 1 year for elections, when in Spain Podemos willl likely rise to power. He is probably now counting in support from France and Italy, for the fact that they have their own interests against austerity. Otherwise, Thucydides has predicted the outcome of negotiations of Greece vs Germany, in the case where one part isn't prepared for kamikaze actions.

      Prof. Varoufakis is the obvious driving force behind Tsipras' change of line towards the center in the last months. Tsipras' speeches and positions have written "Varoufakis" all over the place and Varoufakis was advisor to former PASOK PM George Papandreou, so you understand how come Tsipras is repositioning more towards the center.

      Delete
  11. It is rumoured that Tsipras will have only 10 "super-ministries", each of which, will encompass 3-4 normal ministries. This is probably an attempt, to hold a cabinet with few people he can keep close to his political line. But, past such experiments, have shown that usually ministers get drowned when dealing with so many things and without any former experience, it is hard to understand, how such a minister can handle 4 ministries at the same time.

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    Replies
    1. It turns out that it was a media move to show that there is something "new". In reality they are 11 ministries, but in total there are 40 persons in the goverment, 9 less compared to the last one. They simply baptized the ministers as deputees, to show that they run a smaller goverment. One former PASOK MP has 1 of the "super-ministries" (a message from Tsipras to future defectors, that "those who jump ship and come to SYRIZA, shall be rewarded"). Noteworthy, minister of "production reorganization", is Mr. Lafazanis. You can forget any involvement of the private sector there.

      Delete
  12. From a fiercely pro-SYRIZA and pro-Golden Dawn banking website:

    "Alexis Tsipras has now the opportunity to build upon everything good done in the past 5 years, take advantage of the favourable circumstances and momentum, honouring the agreements for bank support with the EU. The big chance he has, is to gain the whole credit for himself from the turn-around of the greek economy. It would be the exact opposite of what happened to George Papandreou, who paid 5 years of Kostas Karamanlis' goverment with his own bankruptcy". Because, now, most of the "dirty job" in the country has been done, the cuts have been done, there is better prospect, without this meaning the road will be easy.

    http://bankingnews.gr/%CF%80%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE/item/179458-%CE%B9%CE%B4%CE%BF%CF%8D-%CE%B7%E2%80%A6-%CF%81%CF%8C%CE%B4%CE%BF%CF%82-%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B9%CF%80%CF%8C%CE%BD-%CE%BA-%CF%84%CF%83%CE%AF%CF%80%CF%81%CE%B1,-%CE%B9%CE%B4%CE%BF%CF%8D-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9-%CF%84%CE%BF%E2%80%A6-%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%BA%CF%8C-%C2%AB%CF%80%CE%AE%CE%B4%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%B1%C2%BB-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9-%CE%B7-%CE%B9%CE%B4%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%86%CF%85%CE%AE%CF%82-%CE%BC%CE%B5%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%83%CF%84%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%86%CE%AE-%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%82-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CF%81%CE%B5%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%BC%CF%8C.html


    Ironically, Tsipras is trying for 2nd time, to convince Kostas Karamanlis, to be SYRIZA's candidate for President of the Repubblic.

    http://www.real.gr/DefaultArthro.aspx?page=arthro&id=387568&catID=1

    This answers your question, about whether Dimas was a good candidate.

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  13. "* Greece must drive the process of change and not the Troika."
    You can't have the cake and eat it too. You can't have someone dictating what you do and cancel your wishes and at the same time claim that it's your wish.


    "* Greece must be the owner of the problem and of the solutions and not the follower of the Troika's commanded solutions."

    Being the owner of the problem and the owner of the solution, are different things.

    "* A National Economic Development Plan is needed and it is Greece who has to make it."

    This again, clashes with points 1 and 2. It is why Tsipras has been saying that he won't follow nor govern with troika and why Mr. Dragasakis has said that "if we are to follow troika's demands, our program can't be implemented". You can't drive a car in 2.

    "* The increase in tax revenues must come from those who never paid taxes and not from those who always paid them."

    This can't be done overnight. More pay taxes than before now, because of the calculated income based on assets, instead of the declared income. The program of electronic asset registry, where one will have to declare income, valuables, cash, stocks, etc, is ready for this year for Tsipras to use.

    "* All the parasites of the Greek system must get scared that someone will come along and stop their game."

    This is why one of the first Tsipras' commitments is stop privatizations and gain back what's been privatized (i doubt he has the money, but surelyi he has the will). So that trade union leaders that run state companies, can continue to live as parassites like before, because now they are SYRIZA's trade unions.

    Infamous leader of DEI's trade union Fotopoulos, in SYRIZA's last convention:
    http://images32.inewsgr.com/1839/18398593/1.jpg

    He is very happy, because Tsipras was supporting him in his strikes against ND's plans to split and sell half of DEI.

    http://www.antinews.gr/KOINONIA/i-ellada-omiros-ton-fotopoulon/i-ellada-omiros-ton-fotopoulon.jpg

    http://s.enet.gr/resources/2011-11/tsipras--3-thumb-large.jpg

    Which answers your question on why Tsipras sees the public sector as key. For the same reason that Tsipras has accepted a plethora of former PASOK MPs in his party and other lower level former PASOK politicians. Because they have a "network" inside the state structures, so now, he can gain control over what was PASOK's once and it's a way to "dilute" the radicals of his party. Former PASOKers don't have any trouble to shift to a center policy, as long as they are left alone to their parassitic bond with the state. While SYRIZA's radical core, does. So, Tsipras is making a deal with the devil: "I take former PASOKers aboard, i gain access to the "green state", i gain votes and i dilute the hardcore leftists in my party".

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  14. To the gent enlightening me on PM Tsipras name, thank you. Mea Culpa, it was in no way an attempt to humiliate PM Tsipras.
    Lennard

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  15. A new breeze is already blowing in Greece. Mr. Dritsas is now free to make SYRIZA lines as deputee minister responsible for shipping and his wife Mrs Christodouloupouloy, deputee minister responsible for immigration. Because, in SYRIZA, we don't support nepotism.

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  16. The only hope in that cabinet, comes from the finance ministry. Varoufakis + Mardas. I hope they lock Mrs. Valavani somewhere where she can't do any harm.

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  17. Deputee minister of Interior Affairs: Mr. Voutsis. His son was convicted for armed robbery and grenades and guns were found in his home. Convicted for 8 years in jail in 2007, out of jail in 2010 (judges are lenient if you are leftist):

    http://www.newsbomb.gr/ellada/news/story/48956/katadikasthke-o-anarchikos-giwrgos-bogiatzhs-boytshs

    Deputee minister of public education: Mr. Kourakis. His son was..."almost arrested" in a group of youngsters with molotov bombs, but PASOK's minister Vugias (and former SYRIZA), preferred to call the anti-riot police and let all go, with result that Mr. Kourakis son, was also let go. The minister said that "they weren't arrested, they had dropped their weapons and in order to defuse the situation, we didn't do arrests".

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

    This is how police works where there leftists and sons of leftists MPs involved.

    Now Mr. Kourakis may help educate the children of others like he did his own.

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  18. Good news for Cosco!

    Mr. Dritsas, right after being appointed deputee minister for shipping, said: "The islands and shipping will play primary role in the development of the country. TAIPED will suspend immediately all procedures to sell the majority share of OLP".

    Meaning, while there will not be further privatization of the harbour (or any harbour), he didn't say that he will kick the chinese out of the part they already have!

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  19. Alexis Tsipras, after choosing George Papandreou's advisor (Prof. Varoufakis), now chooses also George Papandreou's favourite painter! It is customary for the new PM to choose a paining he likes for the PM's office.

    George Papandreou, had chosen a painting by greek artist Stamou "Endless Field- Dephi". You can admire the paining here:

    http://www.matrix24.gr/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/papandreoumaximou1.jpg

    Hillary Clinton, found it fabulous too!!! She was thrilled!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp27xQRh8d0

    This is the painting Tsipras chose and is from the same artist, called "Endless Field - Lefkada" (an island).

    http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446258/o-pinakas-pou-dialexe-o-tsipras-gia-to-prothupourgiko-grafeio-tou-sti-vouli-/

    The colours are closer to SYRIZA (reddish), but the master strokes are the same, the detail, the light, the shadows, beat even those of George Papandreou's choice.


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  20. The new greek cabinet illustrated!

    http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446277/tora-i-orkomosia-tis-neas-kuvernisis-sto-proedriko-megaro/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Minister Kourakis declared that he has much to do in the education. I expect radical changes in literature school books, that should finally include some of his own poems. Also in Chemistry books, children should learn how to safely prepare a proper Molotov cocktail. Minister Kourakis is also dubbed "the vagina poet", for his attention to the subject. No translation can do him justice,however, i will do my best to give a little taste:

    (Her) What is my vagina? (Him) It is a syringe without the plunger that calls the phallus to poke together by the drug of love. (Her) Syring or Tunnel? (Him) Tunnel that recals dormant bell ringers. (Her) Dormant or mummified? (Him) All phalluses are mummified totems that get wet by the nostalgia of the womb. (Her) My womb? (Him) Yours. You were born from your womb. (Her) I was born by MY womb.

    You can translate more from here:
    http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/211888/o-boyleyths-kai-poihths-ton-aidoion-/

    The influence from medicine, is evident in his poetry. The use of syringe and drug, are clearly coming from his medical background (pediatrist, former university professor in Athens medical faculty). Duality is often part in his poetry. His metaphysic use of human body and of the genitals is a characteristic in his collections, to reach deeper meanings, as in his other poem: "White club my phallus, knocking on the door of the irriversible/I am blinded by its light/ I see".

    Unfortunately i don't speak german and i am too old to learn it now, but you can see if you can find his poetry translated to german under "Tasos Kourakis".

    These are gems that young children don't learn at school and with him at the helm, there is now hope for some real literature at schools.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah, I remember the Obama enthusiasm, too, even though I was rather a Clintonista. "Hope" trumped reason - maybe this much too unexperienced, much too bipartisan, community organizer really could manage to "change" the system? Certainly he at least would put up a good fight? What a disappointment followed!

    But Tsipras isn't another hopey-changey guy of the same caliber. Obama's promises seemed possible, Tsipras' ones don't even make sense. No comparison, really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tsipras is proving to be man of his word in day 1 at least.

      - Minister Katrugalos: All civil servants who lost their job due to the suspension/mobilization law, and those who were laid off against the constitution, will be hired back. In particular about ERT, "we must go back to ERT, but without clientelism and we must not be vendicative to those who worked for NERIT".
      Also, about the law for the evaluation of civil servants, which he will change: "we want the civil servants to partecipate to the disciplinary boards, but not with clientelism".
      http://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/446376/katrougalos-anakaloudai-oi-apoluseis-logo-diathesimotitas-sto-dimosio/

      - Minister Dritsas: No more of Piraeus harbour to Cosco and the Cosco contract will be revised for the benefit of the people:
      http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/446364/olp-kai-oukrania-oi-duo-protes-anatropes-tis-kuvernisis-tsipra/

      Observations: It is very generous on the part of Mr. Katrugalos that he doesn't feel vendicative to the journalists that now work for NERIT, however, they were hired through competition. Unlike the ERT personnel, who he will hire back, just because he likes so. So he isn't really doing a favour.

      Second observation. Putting civil servants on the disciplinary board and hoping to avoid clientelism, is quite funny. Before you know it, the various trade unions will be controlling the board and the relations between those outside and inside the board, will start developing. It will end just like the disciplinary boards of doctors, who are judged by their colleagues, with the result that it is almost impossible to have a doctor seriously punished for anything.

      This is all return to the past.

      Delete
    2. Yup. Apprently, the Grexit will come faster as I thought. Syriza is already burning the bridges. And while I welcome to put and end to the Troiika support for Greece, even at a high price tag, I'm sorry for the more reasonable Greeks who'll have to rebuild after Syriza has completed its total destruction of the Greek economy. Will there eventually be a Phoenix rising out of those ashes? I am not optimistic.

      Delete
    3. Mr. Gray,

      For Greece to find balance in economy, it must first find the balance in the politics and in the society. This involves also having SYRIZA to rule. The people voted, if they voted the wrong way, it is unfortunate, but it will serve to make understand that being leftist, isn't causing rain of money to come, as is the belief in Greece for the last 30 years, ever since PASOK came to power.

      Delete
    4. An interesting point. This public spectacle of an extreme leftwing government ruining a country in just a few days will hopefully reduce the share if votes for the equally radical party "Die Linke" in Germany. This should help social democrats to become more popular again!


      Btw, it's really Mr. Goods, or simply Gray, pls!

      Delete
  23. The anouncements by Mr. Kourakis. In 2 words: Return to PASOK educational system of 1981.

    - Abolition of the "subject databank pool" (an electronic database from which randomly select the subjects for written exams, to exclude human interference).
    - Abolition of the Greece-wide school written exams in the 1st and 2nd class of Lyceum (these exams were put there, in order to upgrade the Lyceum and stop the phenomenon where students were only caring about the last year, where the exams to pass to university faculties were made and as result, they were also ignorant in subjects outside their strict interest, because nobody cared to study something else).
    - Abolition of the law that puts an end to the so called "eternal students". Students will have no time limits as to when finish their studies.
    - Moving to another university compared to the city you originally succeeded to pass, will be facilitated. This in the past had caused the overconcentration of students in Athens, the degradation of periphery universities, but it was a PASOK system that was bringing many votes of happy families, while ND put family income criteria and university capacity limits, which caused discontent.
    - The administrative civil servants in public education sector, that were laid off, will now be hired back.
    - All high school/Lyceum professors whose specializations were abolished through mobilization, will return to their posts.
    - School guardians that were laid off, will return to their jobs.
    - New school books will be written (according to Mr. Kourakis ideals apparently).
    - The "one text" in university classes will be abolished and students will have instead access to electronic library (which is the only good thing amongst the havoc).

    http://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/446411/kourakis-katargeitai-i-trapeza-thematon-epistrefoun-oi-aionioi-foitites/

    It's basically, the system applied from PASOK after 1981. Free migration of students to other cities, 2-3 universities will become overcrowded, the rest will be C class universities, pre-university educations going back to be a playground with students that don't study and see it only as the antichamber of university, no examinations, happy students, happy parents, low education level.

    ReplyDelete
  24. And a small note on "school guards". School guards, was a brilliant idea, that sounds very progressive on paper, of having someone watching over the children, the school, the professors, from various dangers, beyond the "old tradition" of an "overseer" or the cleaning staff.
    It was an excellent idea of how to hire more useless people to the state. Actually, the idea was having the municipality hire their local guardians, to keep happy some of their own voters. They aren't policemen, they have no trainning, their job is simply to protect the public property from vandalism and keep out of the schoolyard, intruders with vandalizing attitude or that want to harm children or professors. They were invented in 2001 by PASOK. ND abolished them, because, needless to say, is that they sit all day doing nothing, while receiving the pay of a policeman. The beauty of this system, is that any municipality, for any school could hire one! So this includes mountain schools, with 10 students, no risk from anywhere really and nothing to watch. It is a very good means of reducing unemployment though and keeping voters happy.

    Greek schools have gone for decades with no need for "school guardians", other than the local "overseer", a man with the job to oversee the cleaning staff, supplies, the premices, small repairs, material needed for the various classes, etc. Now they guardians become again indispensible.

    Obama or Simitis 2001?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This probably created interesting opportunities for pedophiles, too.
      8-(

      Delete
  25. Mr. Kastner,

    Minister Lafazanis:

    "We shall immediately proceed to halting the process of privatization of DEI (the electricity company). DEI will come back entirely to the state and will function for the benefit of the growth with criterial exclusively of production and enviromental".

    http://www.real.gr/DefaultArthro.aspx?page=arthro&id=387949&catID=1

    Mr. Fotopoulos (DEI trade union leader), agrees and can continue running his own little kingdom without fear of some evil private investor explaining him that he isn't owner.


    I must applaud SYRIZA for keeping its word though and serving immediately its clientelle.

    Please have your wife, translate this for you. It is the leader of Dimiourgia Xana, having a chat with Mr. Fotopoulos, exposing him, on how his "fight to save the property of the greek people", is in reality a fight for their own fat salaries and benefits. 597 meur is the annual cost to the state budget of supporting DEI's employees pension funds. The state when selling 49% of DEI, got 1.7 beur. This money was eaten in just 3 years, to support exorbitant wages and pensions of the personnel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2vosnLSdvY

    This is Mr. Fotopoulos having 2 words with his CEO:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En_3rICinMQ

    This is the "new ethos" of the greek Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Minister Stratoulis:

    - Abolition of the "zero deficit" clause imposed by the troika for the auxiliary pension funds.
    - All commitments made by the previous goverment on raising retirement age and lowering of pensions are not valid.
    - In his first laws, he will bring back the 13th pension (Christmas bonus) for the pensioners below 700 euros and 360 euros will be restored to uninsured elder of OGA (farmers pension fund).

    http://www.skai.gr/news/politics/article/274145/stratoulis-katargisi-tis-ritras-midenikou-elleimmatos-apo-tis-epikourikes-sudaxeis/


    ReplyDelete
  27. Minister Skourletis:

    In his first laws:
    - Salaries in private section back to 751 euros.
    - Restoring the law for collective negotiations between employer and employees.
    - Change of the law that allows political conscription (the goverment, when a strike was being declared illegal by court decision or was a serious menace to the society, could "conscript" the strikers to force them back to their jobs. This was always deemed illegal by SYRIZA).

    http://www.skai.gr/news/politics/article/274144/skourletis-proteraiotita-i-epanafora-tou-katotatou-misthou-sta-751-euro-28-1-2015/

    Mr. Lafazanis also repeated that the free electricity for 300.000 households is on its way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, isn't this exactly what they promised?

      Delete
    2. Exactly! And now they must also fund it!

      Delete
    3. Since they can't, at that pace the Grexit will come very soon!

      Delete
  28. Greek ship owners to SYRIZA:
    "if you ask for something logical, we will give it". In recent meeting between greek ship onwers with Tsipras, they warned him that in case he plans to introduce significant changes to the taxation regime of shipping companies, they will change flag to their ships, using foreign countries as base that provide a more lenient taxation regime.

    Tsipras on his side, warned them back, that if they do that, in the time they will need to complete the transfer, they will be put under the microscope of the tax authorities, making it probable that they will be called to pay high fines until they can disengage from Greece. Tsipras thinks that this will act as restrain from having them flee Greece.

    http://bankingnews.gr/%CE%B5%CF%80%CE%B9%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%81%CE%AE%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82/item/179645-%CE%B5%CE%AC%CE%BD-%CE%BF-%CF%83%CF%85%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%B6%CE%B1-%CE%B6%CE%B7%CF%84%CE%AE%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9-%CE%BA%CE%AC%CF%84%CE%B9-%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BA%CF%8C-%CE%BF%CE%B9-%CE%B5%CF%86%CE%BF%CF%80%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CE%AD%CF%82-%CE%B8%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%B4%CF%8E%CF%83%CE%BF%CF%85%CE%BD-stop-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B7%CE%BD-%CF%80%CF%8E%CE%BB%CE%B7%CF%83%CE%B7-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%BF%CE%BB%CF%80.html

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Alexis Tsipras - It Was Just Like Obama's First El...":

    Exactly! And now they must also fund it!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Alexis Tsipras - It Was Just Like Obama's First El...":

    Greek ship owners to SYRIZA:
    "if you ask for something logical, we will give it". In recent meeting between greek ship onwers with Tsipras, they warned him that in case he plans to introduce significant changes to the taxation regime of shipping companies, they will change flag to their ships, using foreign countries as base that provide a more lenient taxation regime.

    Tsipras on his side, warned them back, that if they do that, in the time they will need to complete the transfer, they will be put under the microscope of the tax authorities, making it probable that they will be called to pay high fines until they can disengage from Greece. Tsipras thinks that this will act as restrain from having them flee Greece.

    http://bankingnews.gr/%CE%B5%CF%80%CE%B9%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%81%CE%AE%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82/item/179645-%CE%B5%CE%AC%CE%BD-%CE%BF-%CF%83%CF%85%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%B6%CE%B1-%CE%B6%CE%B7%CF%84%CE%AE%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9-%CE%BA%CE%AC%CF%84%CE%B9-%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BA%CF%8C-%CE%BF%CE%B9-%CE%B5%CF%86%CE%BF%CF%80%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CE%AD%CF%82-%CE%B8%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%B4%CF%8E%CF%83%CE%BF%CF%85%CE%BD-stop-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B7%CE%BD-%CF%80%CF%8E%CE%BB%CE%B7%CF%83%CE%B7-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%BF%CE%BB%CF%80.html

    ReplyDelete
  31. Meanwhile, in the Athens stockmarket:
    - DEI -11% yesterday, -17% today.
    - OLP -8,25%

    ReplyDelete
  32. Mr. Kastner,

    You are right! Obamacare by SYRIZA too! Minister Xanthos:
    - Abolition of the 5 euro ticket for hospitalization
    - Abolition of the 1 euro per medical prescription.
    - Hiring of more health care personnel particularly in the province,

    http://www.skai.gr/news/health/article/274168/xanthos-katargeitai-to-5euro-sta-nosokomeia-to-1-euro-stis-sudages-proslipseis-sto-esu/

    To be honest, a SYRIZA candidate (former ANEL MP) that did get voted again with SYRIZA, did say before the elections that SYRIZA would print some billions of euros and people laughed at her showing her in front of photocopiers printing euros! Turns out, she was telling the truth!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Given a weeks preparation, I can change flag on any ship within an hour. Do you think the owners have done their preparations? And the ships or accounts are not even physically here.
    Lennard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Lennard,

      On this rare occasion, that calls for champagne, i agree with you! It's not even a matter of preparation or not! Half of the greek fleet already flies foreign flag. There are countries like Malta, Panama, Liberia, that give total immunity to ship owners. To the greek ship owners that currently still fly greek flag, it's just a matter of risk vs benefit. If the suspect that Tsipras wants to leech them and be every year his hostages, they will prefer to pay whatever fine Tsipras will give them, after years of legal battles that will stall payments, rather than having to deal with SYRIZA.
      In Piraeus there are specialized law firms that can open you an offshore company in 30 minutes. Imagine if the greek ship owners don't have their own lawyers with a ready plan.

      Delete
  34. This is the new minister of Interior (and police is in his jurisdiction). He already anounced that policemen will now be without weapons when near public protests and in stadiums. It is not clear yet, if he considers shield and club weapons or not.

    Here is the minister trying to breach the riot police wall, in order to be able to get in and occupy ERT (which explains why SYRIZA is in such haste to restore ERT).
    http://i58.tinypic.com/bheq7r.jpg

    http://i57.tinypic.com/2a7ebtk.jpg

    There is a question however. Is it guaranteed that the protesters will also be unarmed?
    http://i59.tinypic.com/2mnkoi9.jpg

    http://i60.tinypic.com/107rzt4.jpg

    http://i62.tinypic.com/2yos7x2.jpg

    You can certainly reply, that now that SYRIZA is the goverment, the chance of armed protesters is much smaller, since in the past, the hooded protesters burning Athens, were coming out of SYRIZA's marches that they had "infiltrated". Or you can argue, that policemen will get what they deserve, which is what many SYRIZA voters say. But, let's say for argument's sake, that Tsipras, even if slightly disappoints some of his voters and they go to protest, maybe under some other leftist factions, can the minister guarantee that they will be unarmed?

    ReplyDelete