Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tsipras: Blackmailed or a “Trojan Horse”?

“The Prime Minister (Alexis Tsipras) was blackmailed, that is sure,” thus spoke George Romanis, Greek Secretary General on Social Services, on a television station last week.

“It’s the first time in my life that I see a project of law written with such illiteracy, such amateurism and such ignorance.

“It is not possible to give a monthly pension of 87 Euros to a handicapped person. This is what was put in law.”

Tsipras gave his consent to European Union’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) last week. This would provide bailout of Greek banks by expropriating taxpayers of their hard-earned money.

It would allow Greek authorities to enforce foreclosures an home evictions. Thousands of home owners have defaulted on their interest and repayment installments due to present crisis. They would thus be victims of this new legislation which goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

The four biggest banks in Greece—National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank and Piraeus Bank currently have 130 billion euros of deposits. These four banks make up 90 percent of Greece’s banking operations. Although deposits under 100,000 euros are officially protected within the EU, there is no guarantee it would be adhered to. As of now, 50 percent of these banks’ loans are bad assets. These banks urgently need cash. According to sources of The Financial Times, Greek authorities could introduce a deep cut on all deposits exceeding 8,000 euros.

This has put to risk, not just average depositors of Greece, but also millions of small entrepreneurs in Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania who maintain their accounts at the regional outlets of these large Greek banks.

Increasingly, Tsipras is being seen as hands in gloves with the Troika of destructors: European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He came to power in January on his party Syriza’s promise that he would end austerity and high-handedness of the Troika.

For next five months, negotiations were held with the Troika even while all their financial demands were being fulfilled. They kept making impressive “hate Troika” speeches yet feeding the latter’s coffers.

In July, Troika became more strident. Tsipras called for a referendum in Greece. The people overwhelmingly voted “No” to the continuation of austerity politics.

Then began the great betrayal. Tsipras went to Brussels and accepted even harsher austerity measures. On his return, he removed those members from his cabinet who opposed the stunning U-turn by their prime minister. He survived in parliament with the support of those very forces whom he had considered his adversaries all along.

Tsipras is now seen as a “Trojan horse” hoisted in Greece by the Troika. They came as advocates of common people, called for referendum and then did everything other than what people had wanted.  It’s the kind of betrayal history has few examples. 

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