En los anyos ochenta me gustaba el baloncesto, asi que seguia con mucho interes los partidos de la Seleccion nacional. Nada me aterraba mas que cuando a Espanya le jugaba tocar contra Grecia. Los griegos, Gallis, Giannakis, Christodoulu, Tsigalas, eran un equipo correoso, pero sobre todo eran expertos en malas artes y pirulas. En una palabra, MARRULLEROS.
Es exactamente lo mismo con los politicos. Estan mareando la perdiz contra Europa como si fuera un partido de baloncesto, e intentan ganar con un triple en el ultimo segundo.
The New York Times
May 13, 2012
For Many in Greece, Austerity Is a False Choice
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and ELENI VARVITSIOTI
For the better part of six months now, mainstream politicians in Greece and their financial backers in northern Europe have threatened the country’s austerity-whipped citizens with a do-or-die proposition: suffer the short-term pain of government cutbacks or accept the longer-term distress, not to mention ignominy, of life outside the euro.
But now, as Greece faces yet another year of its economy shrinking by 6 percent and with the February unemployment rate hitting 21.7 percent, a growing number of Greeks have rejected this as a false choice.
Instead, they argue that they can have it both ways by staying in the euro and rejecting the harsh budget-balancing measures Europe has demanded in return for the money Greece needs to remain solvent.
That, at least, was the message of the markets-rattling election result on May 6 in which the two dominant parties that had signed off on the terms of Greece’s 130 billion euro bailout deal took a drubbing.
Rising to the fore as the country’s second-most popular party was Syriza, a coalition of left-leaning parties that promised to keep Greece in the euro and, among other things, increase wages, halt public sector layoffs and repudiate Greece’s debt.
For the guardians of the monetary union in Europe — not to mention Greece’s political establishment — it is the most dangerous of notions.
The fear is not so much that Syriza’s platform becomes policy. As expected, its leader, Alexis Tsipras, failed in his attempt to form a government last week, as did the Socialist Party leader Evangelos Venizelos on Friday. Those efforts continued through the weekend, to no avail, and Greece seemed set to go to the polls once again next month.
The fear is more the view that Greeks are beginning to feel that they need not buckle to Europe’s terms. For if the Greeks come to accept that there may be an easier route to recovery, perhaps the Irish, Portuguese and the Spanish and Italians may also reach a similar conclusion.
Which is why Germany’s foreign minister said on Friday that Greece must proceed with the agreed-upon cuts — a quite drastic 5 percent of its gross domestic product — or not receive any more bailout money. Analysts estimated that Greece has about 2 billion euros in cash left, which should allow the government to ******** until late July or August. Without the next bailout tranche of about 31 billion euros, the country would quickly default and eventually be forced out of the currency union.
But what is conventional wisdom in Brussels, Berlin and government offices in Athens may not be so for Greece’s increasingly fed-up voters.
“They are bluffing — do you know how much it would cost Europe if we exited the euro?” said Giorgos Liatsos, fairly spitting out his words in anger as he chain-smoked cigarettes inside the small cafe he owns in the center of Athens. Mr. Liatsos voted for Syriza and believes that the way forward for Greece is to stay in the euro and reject Europe’s terms.
“At the end of the day Europe is a Greek word,” he said.
Like most Greeks who supported Syriza, Mr. Liatsos is voting his wallet, which he said has taken a beating. Two years ago he made 600 euros, or about $775, a day; now his daily take has been reduced to 80 to 100 euros if he is lucky.
Greeks of all political stripes are pointing to the struggles of people like Mr. Liatsos in demanding that the strict terms of the bailout package be eased.
For the time being, Europe and the International Monetary Fund must wait until a government forms before they can send a team to Greece to decide on the next tranche of bailout funds. No team is expected to come until July at the earliest, assuming new elections in mid-June.
According to the memorandum that Greece signed with its creditors, the new government must approve 11 billion euros in extra spending cuts that will include broad layoffs and reduced pension payments and wage cuts before it receives its next payout.
But as the Greek economy continues its free fall and the country’s unpaid obligations mount — analysts say Greece owes 6 billion euros to exporters via tax refunds and other domestic suppliers — government officials have been lobbying the so-called troika of foreign leaders from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to ease the cuts for this year.
According to Gikas Hardouvelis, a senior economic adviser to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and a participant in the talks over the most recent bailout, the I.M.F. supports a more relaxed view about the cuts in light of Greece’s economic hardship.
But it is Europe, fearful of encouraging more policy slippage by Greece, that has been pushing the austerity line. And the danger of such an approach is growing by the day, he said.
“For whatever reason, the hard-liners in Europe are saying that we deserve it,” Mr. Hardouvelis said. “They have destroyed the political center here, and the possibility of creating another Hugo Chavez is not zero.”
For the moment, it seems unlikely that Greece will get the chance to see if Mr. Tsipras — with his talk of repudiating the country’s debt and opposing privatization — will become as radicalized as Mr. Chavez, the Venezuelan leader.
But his message that Greece can stay in the euro and reject Europe’s budget-cutting terms has struck a chord, however contradictory that may seem.
New polls show that his support has increased from the 16.7 percent that he garnered at the last election to 27 percent — a figure that, if borne out in an election, would make him the country’s top vote-getter.
“From a bankrupt country, how will Europe get its money back? They will have to loosen their demands,” argued Vasilis Nikolopoulos, a 56-year-old taxi driver whose business has collapsed by 60 percent over the last two years.
Mr. Nikolopoulos was a longtime supporter of the right-leaning New Democracy party but decided to vote for Mr. Tsipras this time, blaming the center parties for being too compliant in their approach to Europe.
“We have to change the status quo and give an opportunity to the young man,” he said, referring to Mr. Tsipras, 37.
But therein lies the danger, Mr. Hardouvelis said.
For, outside of some slight slack on spending cuts, there is no getting around the fact that Greece must enforce steep budget reductions in the future.
“Someone has to explain to the Greek people that you cannot have your cake and eat it, too,” he said.
And, he added, if Greeks continued to ignore this fact they might find themselves on the outside looking in.
“The threat that Greece might leave the euro is real,” he insisted. “If they really want to kick us out they can — they just need 16 countries to sign up to it.”
Landon Thomas Jr. reported from London and Eleni Varvitsioti from Athens.
Landon Thomas Jr. reported from London and Eleni Varvitsioti from Athens.
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SIN EUROPEOS NO HAY EUROPA MARXISMO = VENENO = MUERTE