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29 October, 2012

Ambiguities, contradictions, stilted questions, but truths also

by system failure

No one would probably expect something new from the recent press conference of the Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras after the last EU summit in Brussels. But, though it may sound strange, through the usual ambiguities, contradictions and soft or even stilted questions, some truths came out loudly.

The first admission from the prime minister's mouth came out early, even before the questions of journalists. Referring to the three things that directly concern Greece, he said:

"The second was the financial union which concerns, among other things, the way of recapitalization of the banks, without burdening the borrowing of the countries. And this interest us greatly, because as you know, when this process is complete, Greece will have the opportunity to benefit from this too, thus reducing its debt."

The prime minister himself admits openly, with this statement, that the recapitalization of banks, at least the way that has been done until now, burdens the borrowing of the countries and increases their debt. A statement that stands fully opposed against the "necessity" of the bank recapitalization which is promoted from the government officials, mainstream economists and systemic journalists as a matter of life and death for the economy. Of course, he didn't explain why so many billions in bailouts were given to banks for the last five years, and why a large portion of the new dose of the loan to Greece will be given also for bank recapitalization.

The continuity of statements contains a glaring contradiction:

"In other respects, I had the opportunity to talk about Greece. And everyone recognized, everyone, without exception, that Greece has made great progress recently. And I pointed out that once the agreement is finalized with a positive report of the troika, should at all costs, quickly, directly, the disbursement of the dose to be expedited. Why? Because the Greek society and the Greek economy are at their limits. The "blood" of the economy called liquidity is zero.

Unemployment has become a nightmare. Extinguishes the right of young people, of children to have dreams. And every Greek, every day, goes through a personal drama. And I told them that "this is not Europe."

I also stressed that the progress that has been made is too great to be put sometimes in danger, through exaggerated statements or excessive requirements."

Therefore, starting his statement, the Greek prime minister claims that, everyone recognized the progress that Greece has done lately, while on the other hand he admits that the liquidity is at zero level, unemployment has become a nightmare, young people do not have dreams, and that every Greek goes through a personal drama every day. But right after that, he repeats that the progress that has been made is great! However, this glaring contradiction reveals completely the neoliberal perception for what progress means: progress means to improve the economic indexes even if one has to destroy people's lives. But the worst is that neither the economic indexes are improving in the experiment called "Greece"! Then who is gaining from this situation? We all know the answer: banks and all kinds of opportunists.

Next, it would be interesting to see a couple of possible stilted questions from the journalists:

Journalist: "It is the first time that you participate with the capacity of prime minister, Mr. president, at the EU summit, a very crucial meeting, in which, however, the issue of Greece was not on the agenda. What, exactly, the country achieved in this meeting, Mr. president? "

A. Samaras: "Well, those we discussed indeed have not been forwarded, if you like, for a specific country, and therefore to have an announcement. But I will tell you that generally what was discussed, was for me, as for many others, a vindication of our positions which we have taken a long time ago for the issue of the development. Namely, essentially opens the way for Greece to benefit from the development, which is now acknowledged by the EU itself as the first major issue.

Certainly, the second is that this reference, which is so positive for Greece, has been put while being out of the agenda, and this changes, if you like, the psychological climate and the mood."

The journalist points out the fact that, in this very crucial summit, the issue of Greece was out of the agenda, thus "opening the door" to the Greek prime minister, who answered that the positive reference for Greece was out of the agenda. A simple positive reference for the country was presented as a great achievement of the government, so great, that a whole question had to be spent for this matter while there are serious other matters which are related to the survival of the Greek citizens.

Journalist: "Mr. president, two weeks ago, Mrs. Merkel was in Athens and you had a detailed discussion. Two days ago you met her again at the European People's Party. Today you had again a meeting with her. Why do you have this obsession for Mrs. Merkel, which among other things can provide a base for political interpretations and misinterpretations. Namely, what more did you say, for example, today and why only with Mrs. Merkel and not another European leader, like - lets say - France's Mr. Hollande, from a big country also."

A. Samaras: "... And since you like to tell you the news, I invited to Athens Mr. Hollande, and he accepted to come with pleasure, I would say. And through the diplomatic way, a specific day of his visit will be finalized.

And I want to tell you also that, today, the Italian prime minister Mr. Monti, has answered to my invitation when I went to Rome to meet him and he said that he will also come to Athens with pleasure.

Both of them will come, I guess, over time, the dates for both will be determined by the so-called diplomatic chammels"

A completely unnecessary question, since, it had already leaked that Hollande accepted the proposal of Samaras to visit Greece. This question simply served to open another door for the Greek prime minister, so that with his "revelation" and the supposedly fresh news for his initiative to invite Hollande and Monti in Greece, show that he is not attached to the German policies.

In another question, the journalist asks about what the prime minister intends to tell to Greek citizens for the new cruel measures of 13 billion and how will persuade MPs to vote for them, Samaras answers with generalities like "I'm not satisfied", "the Greek people should not pay for public trains' organization", "we are a government who is fighting", "we must show that we are the first who fight and care about the common goal" etc. An answer which is irrelevant to the journalist's question. The only words that we could find that they had probably something to do with the question is that "Those which we have to do, should perhaps have done them a long time ago, many of them on our own, without someone to ask us. I believe sometimes we have to do more than those which our contractual obligations require.", implying that, since we didn't do what we had to do until now, the Greek society must be punished hard and bleed. The Greek politicians of course, despite their huge responsibilities, always stay out of the punishment, as if they are not part of the Greek society.

Another revelation through prime minister's mouth, comes from the answer to the following question:

Journalist: "Mr. President, I would like you to explain where this optimism concerning the release of the dose is based, given that the IMF has a rather different approach to debt sustainability.

Secondly, how all the analysis for the progress of this viability are based on improved benefits for growth, when there was no such a prospering scenario in the past?

And thirdly, because we talk about growth, what was specifically decided for growth today?"

Among other things, Samaras stated that:

"120 billion will come from the European Investment Bank, 120 billion is the total new amount, which can be tapped. The European Investment Bank increases its own capital by 10 billion and thus increases leverage with a 1 over 6 to 60 billion which they can give in one year, so in 3 years can give extra 180 billion, additionaly, where mostly? To the medium-small businesses.Why to the SMB, I say small, small and medium businesses, which mainly need liquidity."

The Greek citizens lately are hearing everyday millions and billions for various purposes, either being cuts, new taxes, all kinds of fines, amounts that have escaped abroad from big tax-fraudsters, bailout packages for banks, or promises to restart the economy. The truth is that we lost the sence of numbers. So it would be useful to clarify, what all these billions are, which the Greek prime minister announced. Certainly it is the program that has already been voted in the European summit on June 29 this year. Certainly all these billions are not of course only for Greece, but for the whole European small-medium bussiness sector. Specifically, the amount that the European Investment Bank announced for the Greek small-medium bussiness sector by 2015 is 1.4 billion. But this is an opportunity to compare the numbers: the maximum amount that the European Investmen Bank is willing to give for the whole European small-medium bussiness sector is 180 billions for 3 years, while only the Greek banking sector has received more than 200 billions in bailout packages for the last 5 years. Further comments are unnecessary.

But the other revelation of the Greek prime minister comes below:

"But let me tell you also, that here was made, in paragraph 9 of the final outcome text, something very important too. Because the European Council asked quickly for those provisions to be adopted, ie through the harmonization of the national contexts of each country to guarantee deposits. That is, in essence, has been passed in paragraph 9 for the first time, the proposal that had been pending in the air, of Monti, to guarantee deposits."

That is, essentially, the Greek prime minister admitted that there was no provision to secure the deposits so far, even at a European level, and hence, the central argument of securing the deposits - which is used as an alibi for all these packages of billions given to the banks - supported very often by the government officials, mainstream economists and systemic journalists, is just a lie.

But, anyway, there is no diference from such decisions. The dominance of the big banks has been secured completely through the last action of the bankers Monti and Draghi, as, they are providing direct funding without the "disturbing" supervision of the eurozone member-states and at the taxpayers' expense, while also they get complete control of the flow and the print of new money across the whole eurozone through the European Central Bank which is converted to a similar Federal Reserve of Europe.

The statements of the Greek prime minister had just officially confirmed the total commitment of the European leaders to this failed economic model that serves exclusively the interests of banks and large corporations and sends to misery millions of European citizens.

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