Archive for June 2013
When you read that foot-dragging might leave Greece short of 2 billion euros, you probably instantly think that those pesky Greeks are up to no good, again. Well, not this time. The shortfall lies with Greece’s eurozone creditors as national central banks (NCBs) did not roll over their Greek debt, the so-called ANFA holdings.
This special relationship between Greece and the central banks across the eurozone started early in 2012, prior to the conclusion of the PSI. Then, a law passed through Greek Parliament converted the ECB and NCBs Greek debt holdings into new paper with identical coupons and maturities, which was subsequently excluded from the PSI. A clause was inserted stipulating that the bonds eligible for the debt exchange were those issued before the end of 2011. It was that simple.
Extracts from The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler by Laurence Rees. Given recent political developments in Greece, food for thought:
Even though Nazi membership stood at around 100,000 in 1928, there seemed little objective chance of a breakthrough for the party. The lowest point was the election of May 1928 when the Nazis polled just 2.6 per cent of the vote. More than 97 per cent of the German electorate still rejected Adolf Hitler and his policies.
It was Tuesday the 28th of June 2011. The Greek Parliament was starting a two days session for the debate and vote of the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy – Mesoprothesmo in Greek – and the demonstrators were gathering by the thousands at Syntagma square to protest against yet another austerity package demanded by the troika. The entire world was looking at Greece. The balconies of the hotels around the square were filled with camera crews and numerous journalists in the crowd were interviewing protesters.
Around midday, I was standing at the spot in the picture when a journalist followed by a cameraman approached two teenage girls standing next to me. Politely he introduced himself, he was from a Danish channel and asked them if they thought that Greek MPs should reject the proposed austerity package, a question to which the girls without much thought responded to saying yes. He then went ahead reminding them of the blatant blackmail from the troika that failing to pass the new measures Greece would not receive the program tranche and will be led to a messy default.
It was at that point that I found myself spontaneously stepping in and asked him why he thought that this ultimatum was the only option. Why he thought this type of blackmail was acceptable between partners, who was really benefiting from this ‘bailout’ program and why given Greece’s mounting debt problems a debt restructuring that would lift large portion of Greece’s fiscal efforts was not considered as a realistic option.