One for the road: Greek identity in the crisis' context

While on this N. American lecture tour, postings will be lumpy. Though I am aching to comment on the Greek PM’s transition from Jeanne D’ Arc (sacrificing himself for the country) to Hosni Mubarak (“Let me hang on to power in order to usher in the Next Regime), I must rush to the airport to fly on to Toronto. Meanwhile, here is a little wireless program, with the excellent ABC Radio National, which delved into issues related to the Greek character and identity in the light of the Crisis. (Featuring also Greek-Australian author Angelo Loukakis). Enjoy. Click here for the audio and here for the website.

10 Comments

  • Greece amidst awful and corrupted politics is becoming America’s Trojan Horse in Europe thanks to our PM. the fragile monetary policy and the single currency is the target. That’s me reading between the lines. Merkel should have caught it

  • The issue in Greece is not to stay in Europe or not. This is what Merkozy offered to vote on because Greek public opinion is 65% in favor of the Eurozone. So, Merkozy wanted a sure win for PR purposes.

    Speaking about democracy denied, what the Greek people MUST vote on are the dire consequences of bankruptcy (forced upon them by Berlin due to Merkel’s insistence on PSI).

    All Greek citizens must understand that they will be shut out of the international markets for a good two decades and that the austerity regime would be brutal. That’s what they need to understand and vote on.

    Staying in Euroland or not is a non-issue. The current treaties do not provide for an exit mechanism.

    So, what the Greeks need to do is give the 2nd aid package back to Germany with instructions to remove the PSI. It’s the PSI that bankrupts Greece. The rest can be taken care of.

    Note: PSI – Private Sector Involvement

    • Dear Dean
      I don’t think that staying in the Eurozone is a non-issue.

      Currently, with the given debt mountain, the budget still not being balanced and not much hope that within the Eurozone, Greece is able or willing to do what it takes to get competitive again, leaving the Eurozone is certainly worth considering.

      It is not to be taken for granted to be kept afloat by the Eurozone partners forever.

      European politicians have been elected by their citizens. So e.g. Angela Merkel can’t just carry on throwing money away as if that had no consequences whatsoever for the German population.

      She has done so until now, in the desperate hope that somehow, Greece would get out of this hole. But now, it looks that we can be pretty sure that it never will.

      I am not sure that it is currently possible to throw Greece out of the Eurozone. But with the situation being as it is (and a default being necessary anyway – the debt burden is just far too big), why not leave the Eurozone and have a chance instead of continuing with this desperate effort that cannot work?

      Leaving the Eurozone would take away the competitiveness issue. The Drachma could (and would) be weaker. So it would be easier for Greece to be competitive again.

      But in the end, Greece needs to know what it wants. What should not go on is the pattern of the last Years which costs everybody huge amounts of money but ultimately does not cure the problem. A proper haircut and leaving the Eurozone would be tough, but it would finally solve the problems.

    • Dear Martin , Greece is not rescued . German and french banks are .
      If you want Greece out of Eurozone , you are talking to the wrong audience . If we leave the fact that Greece can leave Eurozone at its own will aside , your financial interests are the ones that are kept in tact by letting Greece stay inside Eurozone .

      Germany can leave Eurozone if he wants ! Why don’t you try to convince germans for an election instead?

      About the haircut that you say . The only thing known is a number 50% . This is widely ambiguous . Some estimates from banks talk about 15% -20% of the total debt to GDP ratio . The reason for that is that they talk about 50% of a part of the debt . This is an argument used by cowboy salesmen for God’s sake !

      The truth is that , along with the sell out of profitable public companies and austerity measures implemented , and Greece contribution to EFSF , it will grow even higher ,not reduced .
      And as if that was not enough , Fitch and Moodys have declared that such PSI exchange would be considered as Default / Selective Default .

      What Merkel and Sarkozy are basically asking Greece , is take its debt even higher and default . And then , there is an american plan to leave Eurozone as well , go to national currency and have our debt in euro .
      How is it possible to request Greek people to consider it as an option?

      The number 120% you say , is a “prediction” of 2021 . They don’t say how ?! How is this number produced ? I am ashamed to call this number prediction , with respect to my scientific background .

  • Γιάννη – A lot has gone on since you left Greece to go on the tour… though, I realize, a great deal of it may not be surprising to you. I have followed you on most of the shows you spoke in since, and I’ve read the Modest Proposal as well as watched you live over the internet present in Austin. What I have not heard from you yet, and maybe I missed it, is your taking a position on how the government of Greece could POLITICALLY force Europe to think along the lines of the Modest Proposal. And more importantly, given that the Greek government is not likely to do that, how could the Greek people force their government to have no alternative but finally behave in the way that forces Europe to adopt Modest Proposal type thinking. That is, while the Greek people can still control their fate…. I know you are wearing an economist’s hat and not a politician’s, but if you could elaborate on the politics aspect of how the Greek people should think and operate, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Harris P.

  • Just read that German economist Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn will appear on greek talk show “Neoi Fakeloi” at 23:00. Now that’s interesting, to see if he will be spreading the same xenophobic message, he has been doing all the time in Germany.

    Please Yannis care to follow this interview and comment some of his views. The man is dominating the German media and thus the opinion of non-economists and this way also the opinion of our oppurtunistic chouncelor.

    And a suggestion more: Keep mentioning Prof.Sinn in your posts and your blog will appear higher in google searches, when people will be searching for Prof.Sinn!

  • Holy shit!

    Neo-racism has moved from skin color and other physical attributes or features to “identity” and “character”?

    WTF?