Posts by Alex Storey

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1) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1705822)
Posted 1 day ago by Profile Alex Storey
Greece really does need to be thanked as they have opened the EU's Pandora box & this time around, there will be no treaty to close it.

Interview with Herr Schoebbels

And just for fun!:)

'There Is No German Dominance'


'I have never experienced such a flood of agreement.'


'A half a year ago, Greece was preparing to return to the capital markets.'

Big fat lie. Like I said before... This guy doesn't seem to like people very much. Even his own. Just how stupid does he think Germans are?

'Today, the country's economy lies in ruins. That is the Greek government's responsibility.'


'But we cannot abandon the people of Greece.'


'That is why a new program was needed, even if means new hardships for the population.'

Lie & WTF?

'Krugman is a prominent economist who won a Nobel Prize for his trade theory. But he has no idea about the architecture and foundation of the European currency union.'

Is this guy for real?

'We never said that Greece should leave the euro zone.'


Debt relief is not possible within the currency union.


'You should not try to solve your own problems by making inaccurate accusations against others.'

Let me get this straight. So this guy is making false accusations against others to solve his problems, fails to see the irony, yet I'm not allowed to call him a psychopath?

'What is important is the fact that many euro countries have now left the emergency aid program and have experienced a positive economic development: Portugal, Ireland, Spain, even Cyprus.'

Lie. Well except for Ireland who should be OK, the rest will still be screwed 5 years from now.

Q: Is Greece becoming a euro-zone protectorate?


'Thus far, the Greek economy and society have hardly developed in the desired direction.'

Big fat offensive lie.

SPIEGEL: Some €50 billion of that is to be generated via the privatization of assets owned by the Greek state, by way of a trust fund that will be supervised by the euro zone. Many in Greece see that as yet another attempt to turn the country into a kind of colony.
Schäuble: That is nonsense. The idea was that of finding some way to establish a broad foundation for the financing of a future program.

Big fat lie. Just ask ANY East German.

I told Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos: It's not about hurting you, but about collecting the necessary financial means.

'So this is about hurting you, but I know it's not cool to say that, so obviously I'm not a psychopath. Or stupid!'

SPIEGEL: Tsakalotos' predecessor, the enigmatic economics professor Yanis Varoufakis, had a different theory. He claimed that you have wanted for months to push Greece out of the euro zone so as to set an example. Is there something to that?
Schäuble: No.

It must be taking every fiber in his body to not scream, 'You bet your scrawny little ass there is!'

'The real question is: How can I find a solution that is sustainable in the long term.'


'My grandmother used to say: Benevolence comes before dissoluteness. There is a kind of generosity that can rapidly produce the opposite of what is intended.'

Yeah, what the poor lady meant was not to stuff a child's face with sweets. I doubt she meant 'destroy Greece to teach 'em a lesson'.

'At home, we were three brothers, and when we fought, my father always said that the stronger one should back down. And that's how it was in the Greece negotiations. The one in the better position must try to help the weaker one. I tried to do that.'

Now seriously, is there anyone here that still objects to me calling this guy a psychopath?

'The problem is that for the last five years the medicine has not been taken as prescribed.'

Even the IMF knows you are lying your ass off now.

'Greece still hasn't tackled 15 important reforms. That must finally change.'

Apparently Greece has an infinite capacity of "taking" reforms. 15 more? FIFTEEN more!?

'...otherwise we wouldn't have had to travel to Brussels'

What he really means is: 'I could have sent an email with my demands but kept getting dragged to Brussels instead. I hate Europe.'

'Greece is still paying for a public administration that is among the leaders in Europe in terms of the ratio of its cost to economic output.'

What economic output? Will it come mit dem 15 more reforms?

'We in the euro zone are on a real path to success, and it is much more sustainable than it is, for example, in many developing economies.'

Now seriously (again), is there anyone here that still objects to me calling this guy a psychopath?

'...yet the euro zone -- aside from Greece -- is in much better shape than many countries that sometimes wrinkle their noses at us.'

Lie. Iceland? Sweden? The US? The UK? Shall I go on?

SPIEGEL: Is it not so that the euro, as it is currently constituted, divides Europe more than it brings the Continent together?

Schäuble: No, it doesn't.

Lie. And his explanation afterwards has nothing to do with the question!

There's more but I give up...
2) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1705800)
Posted 1 day ago by Profile Alex Storey
Herrn Schäuble is laughing all the way to the bank in Luxemburg.

Hehehe :) And that's probably the single biggest complaint and worry I have about the EU right now. Hardly anybody else appears to understand just how HUGE the Luxemburg fiasco is! It's not advanced macroeconomics FFS! Juncker makes Bernie Madoff look like a rookie and somehow he's STILL President of the European Commission? How?? In what parallel universe did I wake up in?!

"...considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history."
3) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1705796)
Posted 1 day ago by Profile Alex Storey
You are making a claim, doubling down on it, so now you got to provide evidence that Schäuble actually exihibits any of those symptoms.

Hehehe. No I don't. And you don't want me to either. You have a brain, an education, tools at your disposal, and an interest in the subject. I'm sure you can come to your own conclusions.

And I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to come to mine. And they are:

...he is a pathological liar with a overinflated sense of self worth and a glib manipulator.

Hell yes, hell yes, and hell yes.

...he has no emotions, feels no guilt, has no empathy and lacks any kind of personal responsibility.

Pretty much, absolutely none whatsoever, absolutely none whatsoever, and the last one is too vague (but as far as tearing up the EZ almost singlehandedly, hell yes).

...prove that basically the guy is a criminal

Huh? The post you are replying to said: "I think you are assuming that ALL psychopaths are criminal or homicidal. They are not."

Being wrong or an idiot is not a crime.

Neither is being a psychopath. Also the whole point of quoting wiki was to show you I'm not calling him a psychopath because I've confused stupidity with psychopathy. I'm calling him a psychopath... because I'm convinced he is a psychopath:)

But worst of all, I've already answered to all that in a previous post (copy/paste below quote)

Prove he is a...

Absolutely not. I didn't ask anybody to take my word for it. I believe I clearly asked (or clearly "dared" if you prefer) everyone their opinion of the guy. YouTube and Google are your friends. Like Sirius has said, I'm not here to convert anybody. You've mistaken me for an evangelist. I'm actually trying to put a puzzle together. If you have any new pieces for me, they would be deeply appreciated.

Plus, you are essentially asking me to go into an in depth analysis of why I think Joffrey Baratheon is psycho. I can't do that if you haven't actually watched Game of Thrones. But after you DO watch it, I'm kinda hoping you won't feel the need to ask me that question! :(
4) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1704280)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I object to the terms 'psychopath' and 'fascist' because it would be the incorrect use of both terms.

You are wise to do so because statistically you'd be right. Attacking a rant on the internet usually ends up in the level-headed person's favor. Your only mistake is thinking the person doing the ranting is NEVER being level-headed. I know I'm "loud" but I'm nowhere near as loud as the average opinionated Frenchman for example. And if you're wondering why I think I can get away with a French cliché it's because of real-life experience i.e. having travelled to half of France on 3 separate occasions and having quite a few "loud" French friends whom I love dearly. At first you feel like you are being "attacked" but you soon realize it's not personal, just their "normal" tone of voice and attitude.

I've spent a ridiculous amount of time with psychopaths at work. They make fantastic movies and television. I also hear they make wonderful surgeons for example. I think you are assuming that ALL psychopaths are criminal or homicidal. They are not. But they do ALL lack empathy and that's another little fact you got wrong (IF I remember correctly, you may never have said that in which case I'd obviously be mistaken).

So anyway, you made me read through the whole wall-of-text on Wiki about what a psychopath REALLY is... and he's exactly who I thought he was. In fact, it just reinforced my "diagnosis". And since I'm in the rare mood of actually enjoying nitpicking etymology:

Wolfgang Schäuble: Psychopath (clinical). Also an Empire Builder.
Jean-Claude Juncker: Psycho* Chief executive officer
Martin Schulz: Psycho* President
Jeroen Dijsselbloem: Haven't made up my mind yet

(Donald Tusk is the next guy that will be going through my vetting process btw because of a couple "red flags". But I know nothing about the guy so any info you guys already have would be deeply appreciated.)

*Now obviously there's no psychiatric definition for "psycho". These two are actually narcissists. But "narcissist" sounds way too innocent, because in reality "narcissists" are pretty much a different kind of psychopath. In other words, just as bad. Therefor the word "narcissist" is not pejorative enough to help us understand each other so I'll be using "psycho" instead.


High PCL-R scores are positively associated with measures of impulsivity and aggression, Machiavellianism, persistent criminal behavior, and negatively associated with measures of empathy and affiliation.

Facet 1: Interpersonal
    Glibness/superficial charm
    Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying

Facet 2: Affective

    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Emotionally shallow
    Callous/lack of empathy
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Facet 3: Lifestyle

    Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
    Parasitic lifestyle
    Lack of realistic, long-term goals

Facet 4: Antisocial

    Poor behavioral controls
    Early behavioral problems
    Juvenile delinquency
    Revocation of conditional release
    Criminal versatility


As to the word "fascist" I'm using it in the neo-Italian context. More to do with dictators and less to do (in fact not at all to do) with Nazis. Or, for example, have you ever heard the expression "eco-fascist"?

5) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1704254)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
A quick flashback to 2010 when this whole mess got started...

It's easy to forget just how panicked the US was. It's easy to forget Sarkozy threatening Merkel he'd break up the Euro and take the South on his side. It's easy to forget Merkel crying like a baby because she would actually have to make some sort of decision for once in her life. It's is to forget how Merkel immediately started lying her ass off about how lazy Southern Europeans are, in effect trying to turn the people of her country into racists. It's easy to forget how Dr Schoebbels opposed bailing out the EU and how much he hated Greece and wanted it thrown out. It's easy to forget how -once he found out he couldn't throw Greece out- he immediately started handing out punishment to force Greece out. It's easy to forget that the biggest loan in history was dumped on (tiny) Greece in order to bail out the EU and had ****-all to do with any kind of "solidarity" towards Greece.

Oh and apparently it's easy to forget that this was all Team Germany. All other core EU countries were still licking their wounds for the first 3 years and not a peep was heard by ANY of them.

And by forgetting all that it's very easy to miss the fact that it took Dr Schoebbels 5 whole years to prop-up the EU banks by plundering Greece as punishment for its "profligate ways". And now that everybody feels safe there'll be no contagion, the "solidary" thing for Dr Schoebbels to do is to throw a thoroughly destroyed country to the wolves and finally be able to single-handedly guide Europe into the Dark Ages. It's a good thing he's not a psychopath or anything (yes, that's sarcasm).

Or did you guys miss all those episodes? I'm sure they're quite easy to find if you DO feel like watching them.

Meanwhile, here's a (random) quick summary of Episode 1 (Pilot):


On the optimistic view, the crisis consisted of the acute risk that a Greek default on its national debt would lead to a cascading series of defaults in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and maybe even Italy. That series of defaults would crush the European banking system, possibly bankrupt the government of France, and create huge ripple effects in Asia and the United States. Even worse, mere fear of this scenario was becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. Investors worried about a Spanish (and Irish, and Portugese, and Italian) default were pushing up borrowing costs and therefore making a bankruptcy more likely.


Policymakers around the world worried about a scenario in which a single national default (most likely in Greece) would create bank runs in other countries, which in turn would force new defaults. Those defaults would create their own bank runs and an even bigger waves of defaults. Defaults by countries the size of Italy and Spain would cause massive losses to foreign banks, and trigger a new round of global financial crisis.

In the interests of avoiding mass panic, non-European leaders generally tried to project an air of public calm about this. But certainly the American government spent much of 2010 and 2011 terrified of a true disaster emanating from the other side of the Atlantic and lobbied as hard as possible for a solution that would avoid as much.
6) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703810)
Posted 7 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
And an older article written just before Greece's "partners" handed the country a long list of "reforms" to "help get the country back on its feet".

I'm hoping all you guys in here realize that every single time you heard the words "Greece has come unprepared" or "Greece has not proposed any reforms" or "Greece has written out its suggestions on the back of a napkin"...

What that really meant was, "We're ignoring any rational arguments and suggestions. This has nothing to do with economics. It never did. This is about b****-slapping Greece and any other country that even dreams about making any economic suggestions to Dr Schoebbels. We'd send you an email with our demands if only to avoid Varoufakis' machine-gun yammering (which we don't understand anyway, doesn't he know we're all just a bunch of lawyers?) but we fear the peasants people of Europe may get upset if we do. We are not psychopaths and we are not stupid. The ball is in Greece's court. Our door is shut."


NEW YORK – The Greek catastrophe commands the world’s attention for two reasons. First, we are deeply distressed to watch an economy collapse before our eyes, with bread lines and bank queues not seen since the Great Depression. Second, we are appalled by the failure of countless leaders and institutions – national politicians, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank – to avert a slow-motion train wreck that has played out over many years.

If this mismanagement continues, not only Greece but also European unity will be fatally undermined. To save both Greece and Europe, the new bailout package must include two big things not yet agreed.

First, Greece’s banks must be reopened without delay. The ECB’s decision last week to withhold credit to the country’s banking system, and thereby to shutter the banks, was both inept and catastrophic. That decision, forced by the ECB’s highly politicized Executive Board, will be studied – and scorned – by historians for years to come. By closing the Greek banks, the ECB effectively shut down the entire economy (no economy above subsistence level, after all, can survive without a payments system). The ECB must reverse its decision immediately, because otherwise the banks themselves would very soon become unsalvageable.

Second, deep debt relief must be part of the deal. The refusal of the rest of Europe, and especially Germany, to acknowledge Greece’s massive debt overhang has been the big lie of this crisis. Everyone has known the truth – that Greece can never service its current debt obligations in full – but nobody involved in the negotiations would say it. Greek officials have repeatedly tried to discuss the need to restructure the debt by slashing interest rates, extending maturities, and perhaps cutting the face value of the debt as well. Yet every attempt by Greece even to raise the issue was brutally rebuffed by its counterparties.

Of course, as soon as the negotiations collapsed two weeks ago, the truth about the Greek debt began to be stated. The IMF was the first to break the silence, acknowledging that it had been urging debt relief but to no avail. The United States then let it be known that President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had been trying to convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to offer debt relief to Greece, also without success.

Then even Schäuble himself, by far the staunchest opponent of debt relief, admitted that Greece needed it; but he also claimed that such relief would violate European Union treaty provisions barring bailouts of governments. Following Schauble’s remarkable acknowledgment (made publicly only after utter catastrophe had struck), Merkel herself opined that perhaps certain kinds of relief (such as cuts in interest rates, rather than in the debt’s face value) could do the job in a way that would be consistent with EU rules.

The fact that the Greek debt overhang was acknowledged only after negotiations had collapsed exposes the deep systemic failures that have brought Greece and Europe to this point. We see a European system of crisis management that is fraught with ineptitude, extreme politicization, gamesmanship, and unprofessionalism. I certainly do not mean to excuse Greek clientelism, corruption, and mismanagement as ultimate causes of the country’s predicament. Yet the failure of the European institutions is more alarming. Unless the EU can now save Greece, it will not be able to save itself.

The EU today operates something like the US under the Articles of Confederation, which defined the US’s ineffectual governing structure after independence from Britain in 1781 but prior to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. Like the newly independent US, the EU today lacks an empowered and effective executive branch capable of confronting the current economic crisis. Instead of robust executive leadership tempered by a strong democratic parliament, committees of national politicians run the show in Europe, in practice sidelining (often brazenly) the European Commission. It is precisely because national politicians attend to national politics, rather than Europe’s broader interests, that the truth about Greece’s debt went unspoken for so long.

The Eurogroup, which comprises the 19 eurozone finance ministers, embodies this destructive dynamic, meeting every few weeks (or even more frequently) to manage Europe’s crisis on the basis of national political prejudices rather than a rational approach to problem-solving. Germany tends to call the shots, of course, but the discordant national politics of many member states has contributed to one debacle after the next. It is the Eurogroup, after all, that “solved” Cyprus’s financial crisis by partial confiscation of bank deposits, thereby undermining confidence in Europe’s banks and setting the stage for Greece’s bank panic two years later.

Amid all this dysfunction, one international institution has remained somewhat above the political fray: the IMF. Its analysis has been by far the most professional and least politicized. Yet even the IMF allowed itself to be played by the Europeans, especially by the Germans, to the detriment of resolving the Greek crisis many years ago. Once upon a time, the US might have pushed through policy changes based on the IMF’s technical analysis. Now, however, the US, the IMF, and the European Commission have all watched from the sidelines as Germany and other national governments have run Greece into the ground.

Europe’s bizarre decision-making structure has allowed domestic German politics to prevail over all other considerations. And that has meant less interest in an honest resolution of the crisis than in avoiding the appearance of being lenient toward Greece. Germany’s leaders might rightly fear that their country will be left holding the bill for European bailouts, but the result has been to sacrifice Greece on the altar of an abstract and unworkable idea: “no bailouts.” Unless some rational compromise is agreed, insistence on that approach will lead only to massive and even more costly defaults.

We are now truly at the endgame. Greece’s banks have closed, its debt has been acknowledged as unsustainable, and yet the future of both the banks and the debt remains uncertain. The decisions taken by Europe in the next several days will determine Greece’s fate; wittingly or not, they will determine the EU’s fate as well.
7) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703790)
Posted 7 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Here's the blah-blah-blah (once more):
"Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade."

And here's a link:
Germany, Greece, and the Future of Europe

Snippets of article below.


NEW YORK – I have been helping countries to overcome financial crises for 30 years, and have studied the economic crises of the twentieth century as background to my advisory work. In all crises, there is an inherent imbalance of power between creditor and debtor. Successful crisis management therefore depends on the creditor’s wisdom. In this regard, I strongly urge Germany to rethink its approach to Greece...

In normal circumstances, economies overcome a debt crisis by cutting government deficits, shifting production from domestic sales to exports, and recapitalizing banks. The budget surplus and export revenues allow the economy to service its foreign debt, while bank recapitalization permits renewed credit expansion.

If the export boost is large enough and rapid enough, the earnings it brings largely offset the decline in domestic demand, and overall output is stabilized or even returned to growth. Spain, Ireland, and Portugal were all able to cushion their post-2008 slumps with a surge in export earnings. Remarkably, Greece could not. In fact, Greek export earnings in 2013, at €53 billion, were actually €3 billion lower than in 2008, even after domestic demand collapsed.

That is not surprising, for three reasons. First, because the European rescue packages did not recapitalize the Greek banking sector (the focus was on bailing out German and French banks), potential exporters could not obtain the operating credit required to support their retooling needs. Second, Greece’s economic base is too narrow to support a significant short-term increase in exports. Third, administrative, regulatory, and tax obstacles hindered the export response, especially as the tax increases in the rescue packages made it even harder for small and medium-size enterprises to grow and establish new markets abroad.

In my view, the policy response by Greece’s partners, led by Germany, has been unwise and highly unprofessional. Their approach has been to extend new loans so that Greece can service its existing debts, without restoring Greece’s banking system or promoting its export competitiveness. Greece’s initial €110 billion bailout package, in 2010, went to pay government debts to German and French banks...

Year after year, Greece’s creditors have promised that the bailout packages would bring about a meaningful rebound in output, employment, and exports. Instead, the country has experienced a depression comparable to the decline in output and employment that Germany suffered from 1930 to 1932, the years that preceded Hitler’s rise...

The formula for success is to match reforms with debt relief, in line with the real needs of the economy. A smart creditor of Greece would ask some serious and probing questions. How can we help Greece to get credit moving again within the banking system? How can we help Greece to spur exports? What is needed to promote the rapid growth of small and medium-size Greek enterprises?

For five years now, Germany has not asked these questions. Indeed, over time, questions have been replaced by German frustration at Greeks’ alleged indolence, corruption, and incorrigibility. It has become ugly and personal on both sides. And the creditors have failed to propose a realistic approach to Greece’s debts, perhaps out of Germany’s fear that Italy, Portugal, and Spain might ask for relief down the line.

Whatever the reason, Germany has treated Greece badly, failing to offer the empathy, analysis, and debt relief that are required. And if it did so to scare Italy and Spain, it should be reminded of Kant’s categorical imperative: Countries, like individuals, should be treated as ends, not means.

Creditors are sometimes wise and sometimes incredibly stupid. America, Britain, and France were incredibly stupid in the 1920s to impose excessive reparations payments on Germany after World War I. In the 1940s and 1950s, the United States was a wise creditor, giving Germany new funds under the Marshall Plan, followed by debt relief in 1953.

In the 1980s, the US was a bad creditor when it demanded excessive debt payments from Latin America and Africa; in the 1990s and later, it smartened up, putting debt relief on the table. In 1989, the US was smart to give Poland debt relief (and Germany went along, albeit grudgingly). In 1992, its stupid insistence on strict Russian debt servicing of Soviet-era debts sowed the seeds for today’s bitter relations.
8) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703318)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
From the staff at Der Spiegel. (Parts of the article between the dotted lines below)

Schäuble's Push for Grexit

Not that it wasn't obvious for anyone paying attention but it's always nice when someone like the Spiegel confirms you're not crazy after all :)


Now Germany's policy on Europe is revealing itself as a curious mix of indecision and brutality. That brutality, for the most part, comes from Schäuble.

...But last weekend's marathon summit in Brussels didn't only bring forth a new aid package for Greece. A new Germany was also presented, one with a rather uncomely face.

It was there that Schäuble raised the idea of pushing Greece out of the euro. It was a suggestion that broke a European taboo. Germany, of all countries, was showing another euro-zone member the door. Germany, whose rise is so closely linked to the solidarity and forgiveness of its neighbors.

Schäuble first consulted with other conservative finance ministers belonging, as Schäuble's CDU does, to the European People's Party. Like Schäuble, most were in favor of a Grexit and the men hatched a plan for how they could force Greece from the common currency area. The ministers agreed to formulate such strict conditions for a third aid package that the Greek government would never be able to accept them. As a means to push Greece out of the euro, Schäuble had devised a so-called trust fund, into which all revenues from the sale of Greek assets would flow. For Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, that would have been impertinent enough. But the conservative ministers wanted to go even further and demand that the fund be located in Luxembourg, a stipulation Tsipras could not possibly accept.


I have a humble and simple suggestion. From this day forward ANY eurobrat you hear claiming that the new reforms will help Greece get back on its feet... just put him on your "mental-blacklist" for having the audacity to lie to your face like that. Personally, the word "reforms" (as used buy core EU) just topped my list of severe allergies.

Edit: Oh, and while we're on the subject of buzzwords... Since "TRUST is a one-way street in Germany", the word "trust" just shot up into Top 5 in this week's chart of my severe allergies :(
9) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703097)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Q: Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve?

Unfortunately Mr. V, I already answered that question a couple days before you asked it. Approve? Absolutely not.

Die Zeit, 15th July 2015 - by yanisv


The reason five months of negotiations between Greece and Europe led to impasse is that Dr Schäuble was determined that they would.

By the time I attended my first Brussels meetings in early February, a powerful majority within the Eurogroup had already formed. Revolving around the earnest figure of Germany’s Minister of Finance, its mission was to block any deal building on the common ground between our freshly elected government and the rest of the Eurozone.[1]

Thus five months of intense negotiations never had a chance. Condemned to lead to impasse, their purpose was to pave the ground for what Dr Schäuble had decided was ‘optimal’ well before our government was even elected: That Greece should be eased out of the Eurozone in order to discipline member-states resisting his very specific plan for re-structuring the Eurozone. This is no theory of mine. How do I know Grexit is an important part of Dr Schäuble’s plan for Europe? Because he told me so!

I am writing this not as a Greek politician critical of the German press’ denigration of our sensible proposals, of Berlin’s refusal seriously to consider our moderate debt re-profiling plan, of the European Central Bank’s highly political decision to asphyxiate our government, of the Eurogroup’s decision to give the ECB the green light to shut down our banks. I am writing this as a European observing the unfolding of a particular Plan for Europe – Dr Schäuble’s Plan. And I am asking a simple question of Die Zeit’s informed readers:

Is this a Plan that you approve of? Is this Plan good for Europe?

Dr Schäuble’s Plan for the Eurozone

The avalanche of toxic bailouts that followed the Eurozone’s first financial crisis offers ample proof that the non-credible ‘no bailout clause’ was a terrible substitute for political union. Wolfgang Schäuble knows this and has made clear his plan to forge a closer union. “Ideally, Europe would be a political union”, he wrote in a joint article with Karl Lamers, the CDU’s former foreign affairs chief (Financial Times, 1st September 2014).

Dr Schäuble is right to advocate institutional changes that might provide the Eurozone with its missing political mechanisms. Not only because it is impossible otherwise to address the Eurozone’s current crisis but also for the purpose of preparing our monetary union for the next crisis. The question is: Is his specific plan a good one? Is it one that Europeans should want? How do its authors propose that it be implemented?

The Schäuble-Lamers Plan rests on two ideas: “Why not have a European budget commissioner” asked Schäuble and Lamers “with powers to reject national budgets if they do not correspond to the rules we jointly agreed?” “We also favour”, they added “a ‘Eurozone parliament’ comprising the MEPs of Eurozone countries to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of decisions affecting the single currency bloc.”

The first point to raise about the Schäuble-Lamers Plan is that it is at odds with any notion of democratic federalism. A federal democracy, like Germany, the United States or Australia, is founded on the sovereignty of its citizens as reflected in the positive power of their representatives to legislate what must be done on the sovereign people’s behalf.

In sharp contrast, the Schäuble-Lamers Plan envisages only negative powers: A Eurozonal budget overlord (possibly a glorified version of the Eurogroup’s President) equipped solely with negative, or veto, powers over national Parliaments. The problem with this is twofold. First, it would not help sufficiently to safeguard the Eurozone’s macro-economy. Secondly, it would violate basic principles of Western liberal democracy.

Consider events both prior to the eruption of the euro crisis, in 2010, and afterwards. Before the crisis, had Dr Schäuble’s fiscal overlord existed, she or he might have been able to veto the Greek government’s profligacy but would be in no position to do anything regarding the tsunami of loans flowing from the private banks of Frankfurt and Paris to the Periphery’s private banks.[2] Those capital outflows underpinned unsustainable debt that, unavoidably, got transferred back onto the public’s shoulders the moment financial markets imploded. Post-crisis, Dr Schäuble’s budget Leviathan would also be powerless, in the face of potential insolvency of several states caused by their bailing out (directly or indirectly) the private banks.

In short, the new high office envisioned by the Schäuble-Lamers Plan would have been impotent to prevent the causes of the crisis and to deal with its repercussions. Moreover, every time it did act, by vetoing a national budget, the new high office would be annulling the sovereignty of a European people without having replaced it by a higher-order sovereignty at a federal or supra-national level.

Dr Schäuble has been impressively consistent in his espousal of a political union that runs contrary to the basic principles of a democratic federation. In an article in Die Welt published on 15th June 1995, he dismissed the “academic debate” over whether Europe should be “…a federation or an alliance of states”. Was he right that there is no difference between a federation and an ‘alliance of states’? I submit that a failure to distinguish between the two constitutes a major threat to European democracy.

Forgotten prerequisites for a liberal democratic, multinational political union

One often forgotten fact about liberal democracies is that the legitimacy of its laws and constitution is determined not by its legal content but by politics. To claim, as Dr Schäuble did in 1995, and implied again in 2014, that it makes no difference whether the Eurozone is an alliance of sovereign states or a federal state is purposely to ignore that the latter can create political authority whereas the former cannot.

An ‘alliance of states’ can, of course, come to mutually beneficial arrangements against a common aggressor (e.g. in the context of a defensive military alliance), or in agreeing to common industry standards, or even effect a free trade zone. But, such an alliance of sovereign states can never legitimately create an overlord with the right to strike down a states’ sovereignty, since there is no collective, alliance-wide sovereignty from which to draw the necessary political authority to do so.

This is why the difference between a federation and an ‘alliance of states’ matters hugely. For while a federation replaces the sovereignty forfeited at the national or state level with a new-fangled sovereignty at the unitary, federal level, centralising power within an ‘alliance of states’ is, by definition, illegitimate, and lacks any sovereign body politic that can anoint it. Nor can any Euro Chamber of the European Parliament, itself lacking the power to legislate at will, legitimise the Budget Commissioner’s veto power over national Parliaments.

To put it slightly differently, small sovereign nations, e.g. Iceland, have choices to make within the broader constraints created for them by nature and by the rest of humanity. However limited these choices, Iceland’s body politic retains absolute authority to hold their elected officials accountable for the decisions they have reached within the nation’s exogenous constraints and to strike down every piece of legislation that it has decided upon in the past. In juxtaposition, the Eurozone’s finance ministers often return from Eurogroup meetings decrying the decisions that they have just signed up to, using the standard excuse that “it was the best we could negotiate within the Eurogroup”.

The euro crisis has expanded this lacuna at the centre of Europe hideously. An informal body, the Eurogroup, that keeps no minutes, abides by no written rules, and is answerable to precisely no one, is running the world’s largest macro-economy, with a Central Bank struggling to stay within vague rules that it creates as it goes along, and no body politic to provide the necessary bedrock of political legitimacy on which fiscal and monetary decisions may rest.

Will Dr Schäuble’s Plan remedy this indefensible system of governance? If anything, it would dress up the Eurogroup’s present ineffective macro-governance and political authoritarianism in a cloak of pseudo-legitimacy. The malignancies of the present ‘Alliance of States’ would be cast in stone and the dream of a democratic European federation would be pushed further into an uncertain future.

Dr Schäuble’s perilous strategy for implementing the Schäuble-Lamers Plan

Back in May, in the sidelines of yet another Eurogroup meeting, I had had the privilege of a fascinating conversation with Dr Schäuble. We talked extensively both about Greece and regarding the future of the Eurozone. Later on that day, the Eurogroup meeting’s agenda included an item on future institutional changes to bolster the Eurozone. In that conversation, it was abundantly clear that Dr Schäuble’s Plan was the axis around which the majority of finance ministers were revolving.

Though Grexit was not referred to directly in that Eurogroup meeting of nineteen ministers, plus the institutions’ leaders, veiled references were most certainly made to it. I heard a colleague say that member-states that cannot meet their commitments should not count on the Eurozone’s indivisibility, since reinforced discipline was of the essence. Some mentioned the importance of bestowing upon a permanent Eurogroup President the power to veto national budgets. Others discussed the need to convene a Euro Chamber of Parliamentarians to legitimise her or his authority. Echoes of Dr Schäuble’s Plan reverberated throughout the room.

Judging from that Eurogroup conversation, and from my discussions with Germany’s Finance Minister, Grexit features in Dr Schäuble’s Plan as a crucial move that would kickstart the process of its implementation. A controlled escalation of the long suffering Greeks’ pains, intensified by shut banks while ameliorated by some humanitarian aid, was foreshadowed as the harbinger of the New Eurozone. On the one hand, the fate of the prodigal Greeks would act as a morality tale for governments toying with the idea of challenging the existing ‘rules’ (e.g. Italy), or of resisting the transfer of national sovereignty over budgets to the Eurogroup (e.g. France). On the other hand, the prospect of (limited) fiscal transfers (e.g. a closer banking union and a common unemployment benefit pool) would offer the requisite carrot (that smaller nations craved).

Setting aside any moral or philosophical objections to the idea of forging a better union through controlled boosts in the suffering of a constituent member-state, several broader questions pose themselves urgently:
◾Are the means fit for the ends?
◾Is the abrogation of the Eurozone’s constitutional indivisibility a safe means of securing its future as a realm of shared prosperity?
◾Will the ritual sacrifice of a member-state help bring Europeans closer together?
◾Does the argument that elections cannot change anything in indebted member-states inspire trust in Europe’s institutions?
◾Or might it have the precise opposite effect, as fear and loathing become established parts of Europe’s intercourse?

Conclusion: Europe at a crossroads

The Eurozone’s faulty foundations revealed themselves first in Greece, before the crisis spread elsewhere. Five years later, Greece is again in the limelight as Germany’s sole surviving statesman from the era that forged the euro, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, has a plan to refurbish Europe’s monetary union that involves jettisoning Greece on the excuse that the Greek government has no ‘credible’ reforms on offer.

The reality is that a Eurogroup sold to Dr Schäuble’s Plan, and strategy, never had any serious intention to strike a New Deal with Greece reflecting the common interests of creditors and of a nation whose income had been crushed, and whose society was fragmented, as a result of a terribly designed ‘Program’. Official Europe’s insistence that this failed ‘Program’ be adopted by our new government ‘or else’ was nothing but the trigger for the implementation of Dr Schäuble’s Plan.

It is quite telling that, the moment negotiations collapsed, our government’s argument that Greece’s debt had to be restructured as part of any viable agreement was, belatedly, acknowledged. The International Monetary Fund was the first institution to do so. Remarkably Dr Schäuble himself also acknowledged that debt relief was needed but hastened to add that it was politically “impossible”. What I am sure he really meant was that it was undesirable, to him, because his aim is to justify a Grexit that triggers the implementation of his Plan for Europe.

Perhaps it is true that, as a Greek and a protagonist in the past five months of negotiations, my assessment of the Schäuble-Lamers Plan, and of their chosen means, is too biased to matter in Germany.

Germany has been a loyal European ‘citizen’ and the German people, to their credit, have always yearned to embed their nation-state, to lose themselves in an important sense, within a united Europe. So, setting aside my views on the matter, the question is this:

What do you, dear reader, think of it? Is Dr Schäuble’s Plan consistent with your dream of a democratic Europe? Or will its implementation, beginning with the treatment of Greece as something between a pariah state and a sacrificial lamb, spark off a never-ending feedback between economic instability and the authoritarianism that feeds off it?

[1] “Elections can change nothing” and “It is the MoU or nothing”, were typical of the utterances that he greeted my first intervention at the Eurogroup with.

[2] Moreover, if the Greek state had been barred from borrowing by Dr Schäuble’s budget commissioner, Greek debt would still have piled up via the private banks – as it did in Ireland and Spain.
10) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703052)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
And third:

Apologies for the slice'n'dice, there are a few other things I'd like talk about today instead of squabbling over etymology. So I'm gonna be quick.

I don't usually comment much on individual European politicians...

I think it might be worth it though this time. Europe is seriously screwing itself up. One of those "once in a generation" type things. The real fun started the day the Greek Referendum was announced. And these Founding Fathers have revealed themselves to grossly pale in comparison to their US counterparts.

Other than a little bit of Per Diem nonsense...

You must not be very good at math because that "nonsense" translates into the guy giving himself a 50% pay raise, with public money no less.

It would take an average Greek almost 14 years to make that kind of "nonsense" (money).

Or better yet, what if I said "Hey, I'm a Greek public servant and have a travel allowance. But I can claim that money daily (i.e. even when not travelling) 'cause nobody cares to check and, best of all, even if I do get caught I'd STILL be able to keep my job, no problem. I get paid 200,000 but that extra 100,000 comes in handy".

Half the people in here would be screaming that Greece is a Banana Republic! And I believe that's what we call a double standard.

-If a core EU Politician commits fraud: IGNORE

Oh, by the way, you kinda answered YES to that.

Care to enlighten me on exactly what you accuse him of that qualifies him as a psychopath and/or fascist, other than, of course, being a politician?

Absolutely not. I didn't ask anybody to take my word for it. I believe I clearly asked (or clearly "dared" if you prefer) everyone their opinion of the guy. YouTube and Google are your friends. Like Sirius has said, I'm not here to convert anybody. You've mistaken me for an evangelist. I'm actually trying to put a puzzle together. If you have any new pieces for me, they would be deeply appreciated.

Plus, you are essentially asking me to go into an in depth analysis of why I think Joffrey Baratheon is psycho. I can't do that if you haven't actually watched Game of Thrones. But after you DO watch it, I'm kinda hoping you won't feel the need to ask me that question! :(
11) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703029)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
The cold hard reality is that it actually makes sense economically for the Netherlands to take this position (forgetting the added psychopathy involved for a moment and our own personal "EU dream"). And -to my surprise- Slovakia too.

Why exactly? I would think the Netherlands would benefit more on the short and long term from a Greece where the economy is growing again than from a Greece that remains the 'sick kid' of Europe.

Second, LOL!! Touché Michiel, touché!!
You and almost every level-headed economist on the planet!

But Schoebbels has been giving the EU moral lessons instead of employing any kind of economic thinking because in his psychopathic brain his moral lessons deserve to be forced on everyone in the EU. There is no lesson in economics from Schoebbels. Just a rule: If it's good for Germany, then it's good for the EU. And that's the end of the discussion as far as he is concerned.

So what I really meant to say there was:
The cold hard reality is that [under Schoebbels' financial & moral dictatorship of the EU] it actually makes sense economically for the Netherlands...
12) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1703025)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
We all united ourselves under one German flag and one German currency (and one German psychopath).

Hmmm. Maybe we will see more of things like this in the European Parlaiment.

First of all, apologies to Janne because that link was what finally put Schulz on my radar. He was out of the limelight for a couple of months before the No Vote so I missed him. But after the No Vote was announced he came out swinging with an infinite number of unconceivable remarks and opinions. So I had it in the back of my mind to check him out.
13) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1702817)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Are you guys ALL F****** KIDDING me?

(everybody except SIRIUS that is, sincere apologies if I scared you. I promise you're gonna love this little outburst)

Are you all crazy? What the hell is wrong with you people?

I've been here for almost 7 months ranting about psychopaths and none of you thought to bring up:

Martin Schulz

Martin Schulz!!?!

Seriously? Martin Schulz? ANOTHER criminal at the core of the EU (that makes 3 now) that should be perma-banned from going anywhere NEAR politics!? None of you thought it might be a good idea to bring this slimeball to my attention?

I spent all night last night watching videos and listening to this weirdo and you guys mean to tell me I can't call this guy an undemocratic fascist? A psychopath? Part of an EU mafia?

Is there really someone in here that can look me in the eyes and with a straight face tell me how anything coming out of this guy's mouth is anywhere REMOTELY related to his self-proclaimed Socialistic & Democratic "beliefs"?

So it's fine for the core of the EU to talk and act out like psychopathic undemocratic fascists, it's just that I'm not allowed to actually call them out as "psychopathic undemocratic fascists" because THAT would be considered "highly counterproductive". Am I allowed to point out just how screwed your list of priorities are or to say "talk about missing the forest for the trees" or is that considered too un-PC too?

And let me get this straight 'cause I'm having a bit of trouble understanding what's being said to me from time to time:
-If a GREEK politician commits fraud: BAD
-If a core EU Politician commits fraud: IGNORE

What the hell is wrong with you people? I thought all of you took an interest in politics! And you let this guy fly under your radar?!?

14) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1702504)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
China does contribute the most as a single country to our economy, but the others as a whole still out weight them.

Unfortunately this is the reason the world needs to scout out a few more Hamiltons and tone down its politicians who are being criminally* reckless.

A lawyer is poor substitute for a systems engineer. Personally I'd say a lawyer is a suicidal substitute for a systems engineer but I don't want to upset Kong too much since we only just got started getting to know one another;) Joking aside, I really do think "suicidal" is exactly the right word. I've chosen it wisely (to the best of my abilities obviously) and using it without an ounce of hyperbole. I digress...

The real problem is "how do you get HR** to scout out a Leonardo da Vinci"? The unfortunate answer is "you can't". They'll be looking for someone who can copy/paste the Mona Lisa for you instead of looking for an interdisciplinary polymath*** who's obviously a genius. Not to mention the sheer "impossibleness" of how hard it is to come by a human with a brain wired just so.

Personally I think globalization is a fantastic idea but the world really needs to step up its game and scout out a few smart people if we are to pull it off anywhere near "successfully". Without a few Hamiltons you may as well be throwing a bunch of wrenches in the system.

Most of you are probably asking what does all this have to do with anything? Well, the best answer I can give you is that if (by some miracle) there is an actual natural-born systems engineer reading these lines... I promise he's grabbing his screen right now, shaking it violently while screaming "THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT!!!".

So, apologies for the super-long intro but it had to be done. Here's why all of the above are relevant to Australia & China:

In a globalized economy you need an interdisciplinary economist. Because the above quote I'm replying to is essentially saying:

"I've got a shop and it looks like I'm going to lose a customer. But that's OK because I've done my homework, crunched my numbers and it looks like I'll be able to pull through 'cause I've got a bunch of other customers to help me break even". And if you had a shop, you would be correct.

But you don't. What really happened is, you had a customer that was a "goose laying golden eggs". You invested all your money and even took out a loan to provide for that customer never stopping to think what would happen if he went away. And now that he has, you also just found out that all your other customers had businesses that relied on the same "goose". To which reality you wake up far too late to do anything about unfortunately. But then things start to get REALLY nasty. NOW you just realized it wasn't the shop that's the problem, it was the factory which you built in the back yard for Mr Goose and completely forgot about. So now you have to fire all your factory workers. But the the workers saw business was booming and instead of spending their money on pints, they took out mortgages. So now the town bank is in trouble. And just when thought that this was as bad as it gets, it dawns on you that some idiot convinced you it was a good idea to take your little "shop" public and now the markets just got screwed because they not only invested in you, but all your other customers that relied on Mr Goose. So now the town bank is in double-trouble. And just as you think "Right, I'm gonna pull up my socks, tighten my belt and somehow fix this mess" you realize no-one will buy your shop-factory because it's worth nil, there isn't another Mr Goose on the planet right now to approach and won't be in the forseeable future, and you've got the bank manager on the phone calling in your loans. Not to be outdone, you've got a bullet-proof business plan for a NEW shop that you KNOW your bank manger is gonna love! But the bank isn't giving out any new loans is it? So NOW what do you do? You decide to "devalue" and try to get by on whatever customers you have left. But even though you're selling at the slimmist of possible margins there just aren't any customers walking through your door. Soon you realize it's because most of them are at home consolidating their debts, some of them completely left town never to return, and a couple of them blew their brains out and aren't with us anymore.

I'm sure you all can see how in this day an age of political one-liners (like "the ball is in Greece's court") a run-of-the-mill politian might have trouble explaining to his people all of the above. Assuming he even understands or even wants to admit what the hell just happened.

Or if you are REALLY unlucky and your politician is from Europe, he'll just tell the whole world that you, your factory workers, and the whole damn town blew all your money on hookers and coke. Therefore the town must be punished. So it gets liquidated as punishment and as a warning to other towns. So now you can't even rebuild your town on the off-chance you might be able reuild your shop one day....

*not on purpose of course. Well except for Schoebbels OBVIOUSLY who is openly and unashamedly taken on the role of Europe's judge, jury, and sadistic executioner ;)

**human resources

***would you trust HR to actually have the ability to recognize a person who (according to Wiki): was a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, astronomer, cartographer, botanist, historian and writer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived in the Western world.
15) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1702485)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
You should add Mark Harbers from the Netherlands to that list.

Happy to! :) No idea who he is but I'll look into it, thanx.

The cold hard reality is that it actually makes sense economically for the Netherlands to take this position (forgetting the added psychopathy involved for a moment and our own personal "EU dream"). And -to my surprise- Slovakia too. What drives me crazy is it makes absolutely NO sense for Finland. Their politicians have stuck a gun to the country's head and pulled the trigger :( And I LOVE Finland!

But unfortunately I've never come across an article that has done all that research which means I'll have to do it myself. And gathering even the most basic of economic stats of each of the 19 EZ countries and turning it into a post is going to take a while, sorry.
16) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1702335)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
In terms of government spending and debt Spain was actually one of the few countries who complied to the Euro standards of 60% of the GDP being debt and 3% budget deficit before the crisis. They did not have a debt problem like Greece had.

Just to add to that, I'm pretty sure Spain actually had better numbers than even Germany for most of the years between 2001-2008.

Ireland is also an outlier in all this mess and shouldn't even be in that group anymore. Ireland is one of the few EZ countries that has all of the prerequisites for a bright future under the New Deutschemark.

(I'll explain that a bit better in a mega-post one of these days, promise)
17) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1702327)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I am sorry, but calling Germany (and maybe others) a bunch of mafia or fascists is highly counterproductive.

Whoa there! I called Schoebbels a fascist (and a psychopath, and a madman) not the whole damn country :)

And I'm going to continue to call him a fascist because its the first time in my life (and hopefully the last) that I've seen someone from a western country act like he owns another western country. And plunder it. All while telling the world he's "reforming" it. And then, psychopath that he is, turn around every chance he gets all puppy-dog-eyed and ask: "why haven't those Greeks reformed"? Oh and (since we are on the same page on the "counterproductivity") start a racial war with Greece! Openly. And everybody seems to forget he is a confessed crook. So really, it's him you should be giving flak and not me :)

Anyway, I'm pretty sure no matter what my reasons are for calling him a fascist... you find it unacceptable. I can understand that. However, INTJ that I am, I'm going to keep calling him a fascist and enjoy it because I'm pretty sure it's the first time in my life I've used the word on someone and really, really meant it!

Or if it helps, try to think of a scenario where Spock would use a "nasty ad hominem".


As to the bulk of your post... 18 members of the Eurozone have united under the currency and orders of one country. I think that's much higher on our list of priorities right now. We can talk about Greece to your heart's content whenever Schoebbels releases the country from his clutches. 'Till then all customer service complaints have been officially diverted to his secretary;)

Oh, and careful how you use the word "bailout". It implies being "brought back on its feet". Greece was never allowed anywhere near any kind of level of independency. Nor the markets. Nor able to pass it's own legislation (essentially). Greece has been run like a colony for the past five years. I'm not sure if you are clear on this point.

And be honest now, the REAL reason your pissed at me is because I said Alexander Hamilton was my favorite founding father!! :D
(I'm kidding, I'm kidding)
18) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1702133)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I've got to agree. Greece's cultural practices has produced this situation and no excuses will get you (as a country) off the hook.

Yous cooked the books to get yourselves into the EU to start with and that was your biggest mistake to start with.

Yous should've fixed those bad cultural ways of life before you even considered joining the EU.

Now either staying with the EU or going your own way will be very hard which ever way you all go.

And therein lies the problem. Schoebbels is also acting like a racist old grandfather (and actually has the power to act on it). People that were never wise (or cultured) do not suddenly become wise with old age. But they certainly act like they do :(

Unfortunately that whole "Greece lied to get in" is a lie itself and you'd know that if you'd actually read any of the posts in this thread. But you haven't and now you are parroting vitriol which you'd be forgiven for saying back in 2010 but which is certainly not anywhere near true (or even relevant if it was) in 2015.

Unfortunately, that you appear to have fallen for the racist propaganda of a madman is not really a problem. The REAL problem is you (and a lot of other people on the net) seem to be enjoying the "sentencing".

No matter how crap anyone thinks Greece is or has acted it appears you are perfectly ok with Schoebbels' solution of a hostile 5 year takeover (with no end in sight) of the country and its involuntary liquidation. All while telling the world that these were "reforms". I'm sure as hell hoping the majority of the rest of the planet doesn't think like you do :(

Oh, and since you don't sound like the kind of guy that has been paying attention... Australia has put all its eggs in an inflatable Chinese basket. If the China bubble bursts suddenly (though I pray it slowly deflates instead) then your country is going to hell in a handbasket within a matter of months. And at that point I'll be feeling sorry for your grandchildren Wiggo, instead of saying things like:

"Well they had it coming, that's what you get when you don't diversify your portfolio. Lazy Aussies anyway, who cares? They've still got their barbies and plenty of ocean for fishing."
19) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1701955)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
That's just one more thing (the IMF you guys were talking about earlier) we all glossed over isn't it? Actually it's TWO things :(

1) Actions speak louder than words. While the IMF may have come out NOW with that report, I'm pretty sure it had made up its mind about this mess since at least last year (summer 2014). Why? Well because it "owes" Greece something like 7 billion. Money it had agreed to give Greece but did not (and still has not), on the grounds that Greece's debt is "unserviceable". Anybody else confused? Good.

2) Before this mess got started, the IMF had the worst possible reputation (and still does). Ruthless and that scary kind of neoconservative. Merkel brought in the IMF so it could take over the crisis, crunch the numbers, and make all the nasty decisions. Schoebbels wanted to do it himself. And that's exactly what he's done so far of course. Greece's punishment had to be far worse than anything the IMF could dream up.


So Schoebbels has essentially thrown out the IMF, taken over the "independent" ECB and used it as a weapon (Greeks are STILL queuing up at ATMs for their 60 euros a day) and used the European Commission as a venue to bark orders for others to obey immediately (with Juncker smiling in the background). I think you all know where I'm going with this. Yeap, that means the TROIKA is essentially:

Schoebbels, Schoebbels & Schoebbels

And what does this genius decide to do with all this power? Resurrect the aborted and malicious Morgenthau Plan and ram a version of it down Greece's throat for almost 5 years while calling it "reform".

Meanwhile we're all naively squabbling over whether austerity works or not and other "trivia" oblivious to the Machiavellianism unfolding :(

Now I'm no politician and I certainly ain't no lawyer but I'm damn well hoping that such an act is illegal during a time of peace, no matter WHO signed WHAT on whatever dotted line! If it isn't, then I need to find myself another planet to live on. If it is, then for the Europe we HAVE to become the Europe we thought we had would take some insanely drastic measures... Like a watered-down Marshall Plan where say Germany is forced to stay in the Euro but stripped of all voting rights and representation for a decade or two, relocate the ECB etc.

I'm sure pigs will have learned to fly by then though.
20) Message boards : Politics : Je suis Varoufakis :) (Message 1701698)
Posted 14 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Taxpayers from outside the Eurozone - including Sweden - would end up providing some of the funding to Greece!

Schoebbels wish is your command! That's what we all signed up for, no? I thought this was clear by now... Yes Sweden, your orders have come from Germany and you must obey them.

I see both here and on the internet that most people have not understood exactly what Greece just blew out of the water. I guess we're still all in denial that it happened on our watch, right under our noses.

Let me ponder this a bit and see if I can't get you guys a nice clean summary of what just happened.

Scratch that, I can do it in a sentence:
We all united ourselves under one German flag and one German currency (and one German psychopath).

Of course I'm gonna have to explain that to you a bit better, but the bad news is that in a few weeks, months or however long it takes that sentence is gonna be a lot more fact than the fiction it sounds like now :(

Brace yourselves.

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