[Marxism] from Greece on Oxi victory: Tsipras, Varoufakis; Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 17:37:36 MDT 2015

PM Tsipras on NO Vote Win: Greece Returns to Negotiations Tomorrow
by Anastassios Adamopoulos
The Greek Reporter, July 5

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the nation following the
country’s unambiguous opposition to the international creditor’s’
proposed bailout deal, a stance which his administration has fully

Tsipras labeled the referendum as a victory for the whole of Greece,
as well as a clear sign that democracy cannot be intimidated, and
pressed for unity among Greeks.

“Regardless of what you voted today, from now on we are all one. And
it is our duty to do our best to overcome this crisis and elevate
Greece again” he said.

Tsipras reiterated that today’s vote was not a question about Greece’s
presence in the Eurozone but a question of what kind of Europe Greeks
want. The mandate Greeks have given him is to strengthen the country’s
negotiating position for a socially just deal with potential and to
end the austerity cycle.

“We all know that there are no easy solutions. There are however fair
solutions. There are are sustainable solutions. If both sides want it”
he said and thanked the European people who showed solidarity with
Greece this week.

Tsipras confirmed that Greece will return to the negotiating table
starting tomorrow with the main priority being the recovery of the
country’s banking system and financial stability, which has been
compromised this past week with the imposition of capital controls.

“I am certain that the European Central Bank understands fully not
only the general economic situation but also the humanitarian side of
the crisis in our country” the prime minister said.

The Greek government will continue negotiations to secure a plan of
credible financing and reforms which will be socially just, that will
move the burden from the weak to the financially powerful and will
ensure investment growth with the help of the European commission.

“This time there will also be the issue of the debt at the negotiating
table, especially when the International Monetary Fund report accepts
that,” he added. “A report that was absent until today from the
negotiations as it became public just two days ago and confirms Greek
positions of a necessary debt restructuring to reach sustainable
solution for Greece and Europe’s exit from the crisis”.

Tsipras informed the public that following his speech he will meet the
President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to call for
a meeting with the country’s political party leaders to discuss the
result and get their suggestions on the next move.

Varoufakis on Referendum Result: ‘Greeks Returned Ultimatum to Creditors’
by Anastasios Papapostolou
The Greek Reporter, July 5

“The ultimatum has been returned to to the creditors,” noted Yanis
Varoufakis on Sunday night from Athens after the official results of
the Greek Referendum showed that most Greeks say no to a previous
take-it-or-leave-it proposal offered to the creditors.

“Today’s no is a big yes to a democratic Europe,” said a smiling Varoufakis.

After the landslide win of the NO vote he supported, Greece’s Finance
Minister Yanis Varoufakis said that tonight Greece put an end to 5
years of bad medicine.

Varoufakis said that creditors wrongly believed that the bankruptcy of
the Greek state could be averted with new loans the poor would have to

“We said no to new loans unless we have restructured our old ones,”
however, Varoufakis said that he fully supports real reforms that kill

The end of austerity and the restructuring of Greece’s debt was always
a discussion creditors did not want to have, but now they will have to
negotiate based on the resounding win of the NO vote.

Even with the fear that was spread through the “mass media of
oligarchy” and with Greek banks closed in absence of ECB liquidity,
Varoufakis noted that the vast majority of Greeks still said a big NO
to the creditors’ previous proposal.

“We are ready to sit at the negotiations table and we are looking
forward to holding discussions with the ECB who kept a neutral
position, and the IMF that agrees with our position of debt
restructuring and the European Commission that could play a positive
role for Greece.

After strong 'no' vote, Tsipras to resume talks
I Kathimerini, Athens, July 5

Greek voters delivered a resounding “no” in a referendum on Sunday
that asked them to decide whether to accept a set of proposals by
Greece’s creditors, leaving uncertainty ahead for Greece’s fragile
economy and its fate in the eurozone.

In a televised address on Sunday night, Tsipras praised a “historic,
brave choice” by Greek voters, saying “the mandate you’ve given me
does not call for a break with Europe, but rather gives me greater
negotiating strength.”

His comments came with around 80 percent of the vote counted, showing
60 percent of the vote saying “no” to the creditors’ proposals.

Tsipras said he was ready to return to negotiations with Greece’s
creditors, indicating however that he would seek a meeting with party
leaders. Later last night he visited President Prokopis Pavlopoulos
and proposed the leaders’ summit.

As for the prospects for a deal, Tsipras appeared cautiously confident
but said any deal should include debt relief, invoking a report by the
International Monetary Fund released last week which said Greece’s
debt is unsustainable without a 30 percent reduction.

“We know that there are no easy solutions but there are fair and
viable solutions, as long as both sides have the will,” he said. “We
showed that even under the most difficult circumstances, democracy
can’t be blackmailed.”

His government’s immediate priority, he said, was to reopen Greece’s
banks. It remained unclear, however, what the outlook was for Greece’s
cash-strapped lenders with the European Central Bank expected to
decide on Monday on whether to increase emergency liquidity to the

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is to hold a
conference call on Monday with ECB President Mario Draghi, Eurogroup
president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and European Council President Donald

On Tuesday afternoon, Tusk said, a eurozone leaders’ summit will be
held to discuss the “situation after the referendum in Greece.” Ahead
of the summit, French President Francois Hollande and German
Chancellor Angela Merkel are to have a working dinner to discuss
Greece, Hollande said.

The EC issued a brief statement on Sunday, saying it “respects” the
result of the referendum.

Other reactions were less diplomatic. “With the rejection of the rules
of the eurozone... negotiations about a program worth billions are
barely conceivable,” said German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
“Tsipras and his government are leading the Greek people on a path of
bitter abandonment and hopelessness,” Gabriel said, adding Tsipras had
“torn down the last bridges on which Greece and Europe could have
moved toward a compromise.”

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Tuesday's eurozone
summit should discuss a “humanitarian aid program for Greece” after
Greeks rejected creditors’ proposals. He added that Greece must make
“meaningful and constructive proposals” in the coming hours. “If not
we are entering a very difficult and even dramatic time,” he said.

Earlier Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis made a strong-worded
statement with some conciliatory rhetoric. He said Greece’s creditors
had planned to humiliate Greeks and to close the country’s banks.
“Today’s ‘no’ is a big ‘yes’ to democratic Europe,” he said. “The
ultimatum has been returned to those who sent it,” Varoufakis said,
adding that Greece was prepared to call creditors – “one by one” – for
a new round of talks. “Unfortunately over the last five months,
creditors refused all substantial negotiations,” he said. “From
tomorrow, with the brave ‘no’ that the Greek people gave us, we will
offer a helping hand to our creditors, we will call on them one by
one.” “From tomorrow, Europe, whose heart tonight beats in Greece,
starts healing its wounds, our wounds,” he added.

Monday night also brought some unexpected political developments. The
failure of the “yes” campaign led New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras
to announce his resignation. “I understand that our great party needs
a new start,” Samaras said. He urged Greeks to set aside their
differences and urged the government to reach a swift deal with

The leader of centrist Potami, Stavros Theodorakis, who also
campaigned strongly with the “yes” camp, called on Tsipras to reassure
Greeks of his government’s commitment to Greece’s place in the euro
and that people’s savings would not be “looted.” He noted that 60
percent of Greeks who voted “no” are not anti-Europe.

In a speech at Zappeio Hall, Tsipras’s coalition partner Panos
Kammenos hailed “a very important day for Greece and Europe.” “It
marks the end of the post-dictatorship era,” he said, pointing to the
failure of the two main parties that dominated the political scene
over the past 40 years, ND and PASOK. “We are not anti-European,” he

The head of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), Dimitris Koutsoumbas,
hailed the Greeks who, instead of voting “yes” or “no,” cast the
illegal ballot that was drawn up by his party. “From the very
beginning, we said that the referendum is a false dilemma,”
Koutsoumbas said. “We were vindicated,” he said. He added that Greeks
did not have “real alternatives that are beneficial for the people.”

Defiant Greeks reject EU demands as Syriza readies IOU currency
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in Athens
The Telegraph, London, July 5

Greek voters have rejected the austerity demands of Europe's creditor
powers by a stunning margin, sweeping aside warnings that this could
lead to the collapse of the banking system and a return to the

Early returns in the historic referendum showed the No side -Oxi in
Greek =- running at 61pc versus 39pc for the Yes side as the Greek
people turned out en masse to vent their anger over six years of
economic depression and national humiliation. A volcanic revolt
appeared to have swept through Greek islands.

The shock result effectively calls the bluff of eurozone leaders and
the heads of the European Commission and Parliament, forcing them
either to back down or carry out drastic threats to eject Greece from
monetary union.

The European Central Bank faces an immediate decision over whether to
continue freezing emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) for Greek banks
at €89bn, a stance that would amount to liquidity suffocation.

"If they do that, the situation would be very serious. That would be
pretty close to trying to bring down the government," said Euclid
Tsakalotos, the country's chief debt negotiator.

The Bank of Greece (BoG) said on Sunday evening that it will make a
formal request to the ECB for fresh support.

The EU's leadership was in utter confusion as it became clear during
the day that support was swinging back to the "No" camp, despite
blanket coverage from the private TV stations warning that a "No"
meant Armageddon.

"The Greek people have proven that they cannot be blackmailed,
terrorized, and threatened," said Panos Kammenos, the defence minister
and head of the coalition's ANEL party.

French president Francois Hollande said he would bend over backwards
to keep Greece in the euro despite voting no. He is to meet German
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris on Monday to draw up a joint
response to what has turned into the biggest EU fiasco since the
rejection of the European constitution by France and Holland in 2005.

Martin Schulz, head of the European Parliament, was still insisting on
Sunday that a "No" vote must mean expulsion from the euro, but his
view is becoming untenable.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission's chief, is equally trapped by his
own rhetoric after warning last week that a No vote would be a
rejection of Europe itself, leading to calamitous consequences.

Top Syriza officials say they are considering drastic steps to boost
liquidity and shore up the banking system, should the ECB refuse to
give the country enough breathing room for a fresh talks.

"If necessary, we will issue parallel liquidity and California-style
IOU's, in an electronic form. We should have done it a week ago," said
Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister.

California issued temporary coupons to pay bills to contractors when
liquidity seized up after the Lehman crisis in 2008. Mr Varoufakis
insists that this is not be a prelude to Grexit but a legal action
within the inviolable sanctity of monetary union.

Mr Varoufakis and ministers will hold an emergency meeting tonight
with the private banks and the governor of the Greek central bank,
Yannis Stournaras, to decide what to do before the cash reserves of
the four big lenders dry up tomorrow.

Louka Katseli, head of the Hellenic bank Association, said ATM
machines will run out of money within hours of the vote. One official
say that Eurobank was "flat out of money" late on Sunday, even though
Greek depositors have been limited to €60 a day since capital controls
were imposed a week ago.

There are mounting signs that the creditors are stepping back from the
brink, conceding that they may have to renew talks with Syriza after
all, though it is far from clear what this means. Senior German
officials were briefing last week that Greece will not get another
cent as long premier Alexis Tsipras and Mr Varoufakis remain in power.

There is now a clear rift between Germany and France, perhaps serious
enough to cause long-term damage to the coherence of monetary union.

Sigmar Gabriel, deputy German chancellor, said a No vote means "the
last bridges between Europe and Greece to move towards a compromise
will have been torn away."

"With the rejection of the rules of the euro zone, negotiations about
a programme worth billions are barely conceivable," he said. His
hardline position was echoed by Slovak finance minister, Peter
Kazimir, who tweeted: "The nightmare of the "euro-architects" that a
country could leave the club seems like a realistic scenario after
Greece voted No today."

Such an approach appears irreconcilable with the views of the French
economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, who said the EMU creditors are
equally to blame for the crisis and must resist the temptation to
"crush" the Greek people. "It is our responsibility to avoid a
Versailles Treaty within the eurozone," he said.

Italy's Matteo Renzi said the sight of pensioners weeping in front of
banks was a black mark on the conscience of Europe. "We must start to
speak to each other again, and nobody knows this than better than
Angela Merkel," he said.

Yet matters will be decided by handful of people in Berlin, Frankfurt,
and Brussels over coming days, with the ECB in the unwelcome position
of having to decide by its actions whether or not to bring the crisis
to a head.

Syriza sources say the Greek ministry of finance is examining options
to take direct control of the banking system if need be rather than
accept a draconian seizure of depositor savings - reportedly a
'bail-in' above a threshhold of €8,000 - and to prevent any banks
being shut down on the orders of the ECB.

Government officials recognize that this would lead to an
unprecedented rift with the EU authorities. But Syriza's attitude at
this stage is that their only defence against a hegemonic power is to
fight guerrilla warfare.

Hardliners within the party - though not Mr Varoufakis - are demanding
the head of governor Stournaras, a holdover appointee from the past
conservative government.

They want a new team installed, one that is willing to draw on the
central bank's secret reserves, and to take the provocative step in
extremis of creating euros.

"The first thing we must do is take away the keys to his office. We
have to restore stability to the system, with or without the help of
the ECB. We have the capacity to print €20 notes," said one.

Such action would require invoking national emergency powers - by
decree - and "requisitioning" the Bank of Greece for several months.
Officials say these steps would have to be accompanied by an appeal to
the European Court: both to assert legality under crisis provisions of
the Lisbon Treaty, and to sue the ECB for alleged "dereliction" of its
treaty duty to maintain financial stability.

Mr Tsakalotos told the Telegraph that the creditors will find
themselves be in a morally indefensible position if they refuse to
listen to the voice of the Greek people, especially since the
International Monetary Fund last week validated Syriza's core claim
that Greece's debt cannot be repaid.

"It would be a pretty extreme position for Europe to say that the vote
didn't matter. That is not what they did when Ireland voted 'No' to
the Lisbon treaty," he said.
 . . .

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