The Prodigal Greek

The Greek crisis through a different prism

Archive for the ‘Politico’ Category

As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come

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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.

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Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

June 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Posted in Politico

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Drinking from the bitter cup

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Out of all the visits to my homeland during the crisis, the trip at the end of summer of 2011 was the one that gave me the sense that Greece’s social fabric was close to tearing point. In June of that summer, the protests of thousands of Greeks outside Parliament were met with extensive repression and police brutality. The scenes of clouds of tear gas remained in people’s minds and the distinctive smell lingered for those who participated in the protests. It was evident that Papandreou’s government had lost all contact with society.

In early September of that year, the disagreement over how to rectify the fact that the deficit had deviated from set targets led to the hasty departure of the troika, Greece was entering a long period of uncertainty and that summer was the most tumultuous period of the crisis in social terms.

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Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

May 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Apples, pears and oRehnges

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“People have been comparing apples with pears and coming up with oranges,” EU Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said patronisingly in the press conference after the Eurogroup meeting in Dublin last Friday, urging people not to rely on leaked documents. That was part of his response when he was asked how the Cyprus bailout went, within a matter of weeks, from a total of 17 billion euros – as was initially communicated – to 23 billion euros – as the leaked draft document of the financing aspects of the program revealed.

Catchphrases seem to be the only way that Olli Rehn can explain this discrepancy. Yesterday, he gave the same response in the session of the European Parliament where he was battered by MEPs over the handling of the crisis in Cyprus and the damage it inflicted on Cypriots.

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Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

April 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Economico, Politico

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Saturday 16 March 2013, the day they opened Pandora’s box

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Usually around 6.30 in the morning is when the little one wakes up for a feed: she is the daily alarm. The ritual is the same each day, coffee, cigarette and catch up on news on twitter. The morning of Saturday the 16th was different as the previous night an extraordinary Eurogroup was held for Cyprus, where everyone expected a final solution for a bailout would be agreed upon. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, the preferito of European leaders and institutions, unlike the difficult communist Demetris Christofias, was willing to play ball and agree a program with the troika, close the matter and move on until the next bailout.

First it was a tweet from Matina Stevis asking how much of the 5.8 billion euros from deposits would come from Russian oligarchs. I thought since it was so early in the morning, I was not catching things quite right. It was Peter Spiegel’s tweet saying Cyprus will impose a 6.75% levy on deposits below 100,000 euros and 9.99% for those above that brought it home.

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Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

March 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Economico, Politico

Cyprus, capital controls

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Here is what a cash economy looks like:

  • Restrictions in daily withdrawals
  • Ban on premature termination of time savings deposits
  • Compulsory renewal of all time savings deposits upon maturity
  • Conversion of current accounts to time deposits
  • Ban or restrictions on non cash transactions
  • Restrictions on use of debit, credit or prepaid debit cards
  • Ban or restriction on cashing in checks
  • Restrictions on domestic interbank transfers or transfers within the same bank
  • Restrictions on the interactions/transactions of the public with credit institutions
  • Restrictions on movements of capital, payments, transfers
  • Any other measure which the Finance Minister or the Governor of Cyprus Central Bank see necessary for reasons of public order and safety

The bill here in Greek:

http://www.philenews.com/afieromata/phil_banners/2013/synallages.pdf

Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

March 22, 2013 at 11:23 am

Posted in Economico, Politico

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Cyprus, current state of play

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Here is the current state of play regarding today’s vote, information from various local sources:

Session starts at 4pm local (GMT+2)

Cypriot Parliament: 56 seats

Anastasiades party ΔΗΣΥ (DISI): 20 seats

ΔΗΚΟ (DIKO) (coalition party): 8

ΑΚΕΛ (AKEL): 19

ΕΔΕΚ (EDEK): 5

Greens: 1

ΕΥΡΩΚΟ (EUROKO): 2

Independent: 1

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Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

March 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

Posted in Economico, Politico

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Fiscal multipliers, a cause worth fighting for

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It was in the IMF’s October 2012 World Economic Outlook (WEO), in Box 1.1 with the title “Are We Understanding Short-Term Fiscal Multipliers” that Olivier Blanchard and Daniel Leigh presented for the first time the findings of their study into the impact of fiscal consolidation on economic activity.

Using data from 28 different economies – G20 and EU member countries – for the years 2010 and 2011, they concluded that there is strong evidence that the fiscal multipliers used since the Great Recession that started in 2008 were systematically miscalculated by a range of 0.4 to 1.2. The implicit 0.5 multiplier used in international organizations’ models to forecast economic growth – which was based on empirical evidence from the three decades prior to 2009 – might be significantly higher, between 0.9 and 1.7, they found. In simple terms, it had previously been thought that cutting a euro from the government deficit would have an impact of 50 cents on economic output but their findings suggest that the damage on the real economy can be more than three times than initially thought, with a euro of deficit reduction coming at a cost of between 90 cents and 1.70 euros on the economy.

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Written by Yiannis Mouzakis

February 18, 2013 at 11:43 am