Alexis Tsipras' "open letter" to German citizens

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Tsing Tao, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Awesome letter. "No more debt" for Greece. But...but...I thought debt didn't matter??

    Alexis Tsipras' "open letter" to German citizens published on Jan.13 in Handelsblatt, a leading German language business newspaper

    Most of you, dear Handesblatt readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence.

    In 2010, the Greek state ceased to be able to service its debt. Unfortunately, European officials decided to pretend that this problem could be overcome by means of the largest loan in history on condition of fiscal austerity that would, with mathematical precision, shrink the national income from which both new and old loans must be paid. An insolvency problem was thus dealt with as if it were a case of illiquidity.

    In other words, Europe adopted the tactics of the least reputable bankers who refuse to acknowledge bad loans, preferring to grant new ones to the insolvent entity so as to pretend that the original loan is performing while extending the bankruptcy into the future. Nothing more than common sense was required to see that the application of the 'extend and pretend' tactic would lead my country to a tragic state. That instead of Greece's stabilization, Europe was creating the circumstances for a self-reinforcing crisis that undermines the foundations of Europe itself.

    My party, and I personally, disagreed fiercely with the May 2010 loan agreement not because you, the citizens of Germany, did not give us enough money but because you gave us much, much more than you should have and our government accepted far, far more than it had a right to. Money that would, in any case, neither help the people of Greece (as it was being thrown into the black hole of an unsustainable debt) nor prevent the ballooning of Greek government debt, at great expense to the Greek and German taxpayer.

    Indeed, even before a full year had gone by, from 2011 onwards, our predictions were confirmed. The combination of gigantic new loans and stringent government spending cuts that depressed incomes not only failed to rein the debt in but, also, punished the weakest of citizens turning people who had hitherto been living a measured, modest life into paupers and beggars, denying them above all else their dignity. The collapse of incomes pushed thousands of firms into bankruptcy boosting the oligopolistic power of surviving large firms. Thus, prices have been falling but more slowly than wages and salaries, pushing down overall demand for goods and services and crushing nominal incomes while debts continue their inexorable rise. In this setting, the deficit of hope accelerated uncontrollably and, before we knew it, the 'serpent's egg' hatched – the result being neo-Nazis patrolling our neighbourhoods, spreading their message of hatred.

    Despite the evident failure of the 'extend and pretend' logic, it is still being implemented to this day. The second Greek 'bailout', enacted in the Spring of 2012, added another huge loan on the weakened shoulders of the Greek taxpayers, "haircut" our social security funds, and financed a ruthless new cleptocracy.

    Respected commentators have been referring of recent to Greece's stabilization, even of signs of growth. Alas, 'Greek-covery' is but a mirage which we must put to rest as soon as possible. The recent modest rise of real GDP, to the tune of 0.7%, signals not the end of recession (as has been proclaimed) but, rather, its continuation. Think about it: The same official sources report, for the same quarter, an inflation rate of -1.80%, i.e. deflation. Which means that the 0.7% rise in real GDP was due to a negative growth rate of nominal GDP! In other words, all that happened is that prices declined faster than nominal national income. Not exactly a cause for proclaiming the end of six years of recession!

    Allow me to submit to you that this sorry attempt to recruit a new version of 'Greek statistics', in order to declare the ongoing Greek crisis over, is an insult to all Europeans who, at long last, deserve the truth about Greece and about Europe. So, let me be frank: Greece's debt is currently unsustainable and will never be serviced, especially while Greece is being subjected to continuous fiscal waterboarding. The insistence in these dead-end policies, and in the denial of simple arithmetic, costs the German taxpayer dearly while, at once, condemning to a proud European nation to permanent indignity. What is even worse: In this manner, before long the Germans turn against the Greeks, the Greeks against the Germans and, unsurprisingly, the European Ideal suffers catastrophic losses.

    Germany, and in particular the hard-working German workers, have nothing to fear from a SYRIZA victory. The opposite holds. Our task is not to confront our partners. It is not to secure larger loans or, equivalently, the right to higher deficits. Our target is, rather, the country's stabilization, balanced budgets and, of course, the end of the grand squeeze of the weaker Greek taxpayers in the context of a loan agreement that is simply unenforceable. We are committed to end 'extend and pretend' logic not against German citizens but with a view to the mutual advantages for all Europeans.

    Dear readers, I understand that, behind your 'demand' that our government fulfills all of its 'contractual obligations' hides the fear that, if you let us Greeks some breathing space, we shall return to our bad, old ways. I acknowledge this anxiety. However, let me say that it was not SYRIZA that incubated the cleptocracy which today pretends to strive for 'reforms', as long as these 'reforms' do not affect their ill-gotten privileges. We are ready and willing to introduce major reforms for which we are now seeking a mandate to implement from the Greek electorate, naturally in collaboration with our European partners.

    Our task is to bring about a European New Deal within which our people can breathe, create and live in dignity.

    A great opportunity for Europe is about to be born in Greece on 25th January. An opportunity Europe can ill afford to miss.
  2. Pasok, the socialist party from Greece was responsible for all the corruption and other problems in Greece. And the whole population tried to cheat as much as possible too. Greece created a problem, Greece should solve the problem. A country gets the government that it voted for.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
    d08 likes this.
  3. wow, what a slap in the face of the German taxpayer that literally bailed out those pigs (well just one piG). At the time when Greece just squeezed the last dime out of German taxpayers' arses was when your average hardworking blue collar German employee had to watch on the evening news how his nation's national flag was burned by those Greek faggots. How many times has Tsipras laughed into the face of Germans as if it was a nation that had in any way turned their faces away or closed their wallets when Greeks partied like some gay clowns without paying their tabs the next day when the party was over? How many German flags were burned on Athen's streets? Is that the same guy who now asks Germany's conservatives to take him seriously?

    Oh wait, could it be the negotiations between many in his cabinet and party with Russian high level politicians fell through that he now comes and sucks Germany's cock? Did his power play by involving Russia at those sensitive times not go down so well with other European leaders that he is now backing off? I would completely raise the ante on this socialist motherfucker and grab him by his balls and squeeze as hard as possible. Fucking Greeks!!! (I mean that literally!!! Lazy bastards who dare to blame even 1% of their self-afflicted economic wounds on Germany that paid the absolutely highest amounts to bail those pigs out). Socialists can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

  4. "Live in dignity"? Anyone in Greece suffering from hunger or lack of shelter? I have not heard such, I just see tons of BMWs and Mercedes cruising the streets of Athens. Fuck you, you first learn what "Austerity" even means before you open your filthy mouth. Please...can someone please kick them out? They can buy German cars from now on at 500% luxury import taxes (at least let the kleptomanic top pay for their enjoyments). Oh, and while we are at it, lets impose a trade tax between Germany and ex-Euro-Greece and let's see who suffers more, I have my doubts that couple olives and goat cheese will make up for all the goodies that you Greek morons want from Germany".

  5. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Whoa, easy fella. Goos fraa-baa....

    Do a little searching, there are many Greeks who are deep in poverty. I'm sure, like many places, there are rich folks sporting BMWs, etc. But there are a lot of Greek poor.

    As for olives and cheese, I think the Greeks would go back to tourism (which they should) if they went back to a cheap Drachma. Default would hurt Germany (DB in particular) as much as it will hurt Greece.

  6. d08


    Having been to Greece a year ago, it's true that there are plenty who are struggling but there are also lots who seem to have this inherent dishonesty in their blood, cheating and lying which seems to be considered normal (this is what I experienced).
    They need to return to farming and living way more simpler lives, similar to Turkey.

    They elected the politicians, they pay the price. Whining about the past now isn't right as the same people benefited from the system when it was working in their favor.
    Zr1Trader likes this.
  7. Any poverty in Greece is Europe's or particularly Germany's fault? I could not disagree more.

    Sure, any default hurts, but for God's sake, let's please not repeat the same mistakes from the 2008 financial crisis and bail out those who deserve to go bankrupt. If Greece already gets a lifeline thrown and now even considers refusing to start saving and scaling down then let's get those junkys and hookers off our backs. They can suck on Russia's tits if that milk tastes better. I about had it with those farting into Germany's direction regarding anything with the word "greece" (aka grease) in it.

  8. absolutely right. If you were also in Greece when the bars and nightclubs were loaded to the brim in Athens and rest of Greece while Germany still had to stomach the billions it had to cough up for its own re-unification and getting the Eastern part to similar standards than the West while pumping hundreds of millions into Southern Europe then you would understand the sentiment reached in Germany. People there are sick of hearing the same made-up stories originating from Greece. No German has done any injustice to a single Greek. Not even Deutsche Bank has. They took risk and should be handsomely rewarded if their investment turns out fine or take the loss if it did not. But here comes the problem: It is none of Greece's fucking problem what the German tax payer does with its national bank. If German elected officials decide to bail out DB (in the worst case if ever needed) then Greeks should care a rat's ass about it. Period.

  9. lol Volpunter is on the rampage.
  10. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Where did I say it was Germany's fault? All I'm saying is that adding debt to solve a debt problem isn't the answer. That's all. The rest of what I think has been created by you. You need some anger management classes! Maybe sing a few lines of "I Feel Pretty".

    "Let's not repeat the mistakes of 2008 and bailout those who deserve to go bankrupt"....what about the first two bailouts for Greece?
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
    #10     Jan 29, 2015