Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Varoufakis: Europe’s Vindictive Privatization Plan for Greece

(Image Link)

Can Syriza untangle this Gordian Knot?
If not Syriza then who?

From Project Syndicate
Varoufakis:  Europe’s Vindictive Privatization Plan for Greece
(For the Project Syndicate site click here. ) Or…
"ATHENS – On July 12, the summit of eurozone leaders dictated its terms of surrender to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who, terrified by the alternatives, accepted all of them. One of those terms concerned the disposition of Greece’s remaining public assets."
"Eurozone leaders demanded that Greek public assets be transferred to a Treuhand-like fund – a fire-sale vehicle similar to the one used after the fall of the Berlin Wall to privatize quickly, at great financial loss, and with devastating effects on employment all of the vanishing East German state’s public property."
"This Greek Treuhand would be based in – wait for it – Luxembourg, and would be run by an outfit overseen by Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, the author of the scheme. It would complete the fire sales within three years. But, whereas the work of the original Treuhand was accompanied by massive West German investment in infrastructure and large-scale social transfers to the East German population, the people of Greece would receive no corresponding benefit of any sort......"  (edit)  (Yanis Varoufakis)
For more please see

Alexander and the Gordion Knot
"In the first months of 333, Alexander united his armies in Gordium. Here, a strange incident took place. Asia. The Greek author Plutarch of Chaeronea, describes it in section 17 of his Life of Alexander. The translation was made by Mr. Evelyn and belongs to the Dryden series."

"Then he subdued the Pisidians who made head against him, and conquered the Phrygians, at whose chief city, Gordium, which is said to be the seat of the ancient king Midas, he saw the famous chariot fastened with cords made of the rind of the cornel-tree, which whosoever should untie, the inhabitants had a tradition, that for him was reserved the empire of the world."

"Most authors tell the story that Alexander finding himself unable to untie the knot, the ends of which were secretly twisted round and folded up within it, cut it asunder with his sword....(edit)..."

For more please see: 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Divide and Conquer Often Works, Unfortunately

I have been watching the situation in Greece carefully for many months now.  I do not know the answer to these problems.  But I do know the the following, based on my personal experience fighting against larger than life power structures together with others: 

Q.  How does the power structure easily maintain power?

A.  "In politics and sociology, divide and rule (or divide and conquer) is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up.”

This is how the original power structure maintains absolute power, doing practically nothing at all, besides fracturing former allies.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Euro-Summit ‘Agreement’ on Greece – annotated

Digital Photograph From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series
c. 2015 Triada Samaras

The Euro-Summit ‘Agreement’ on Greece – annotated by Yanis Varoufakis

"The Euro Summit statement (or Terms of Greece’s Surrender – as it will go down in history) follows, annotated by yours truly. The original text is untouched with my notes confined to square brackets (and in red). Read and weep… [For a pdf copy click here.]"

"Euro Summit Statement Brussels, 12 July 2015

The Euro Summit stresses the crucial need to rebuild trust with the Greek authorities [i.e.the Greek government must introduce new stringent austerity directed at the weakest 
Greeks that have already suffered grossly] as a pre- requisite for a possible future agreement on a new ESM programme [i.e. for a new extend-and-pretend loan]." (edit...
(Yanis Varoufakis)  

For more please see:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"On the Euro Summit’s Statement on Greece" (Yanis Varoufakis)

Digital Photograph From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series
c. 2015 Triada Samaras

"On the Euro Summit’s Statement on Greece: First thoughts" by Yanis Varoufakis

Monday, July 13, 2015

Who can ignore this?

“The trending hashtag ThisIsACoup is exactly right,” Mr. Krugman wrote on his blog. “This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief.”

“In a way, the economics have almost become secondary,” he added. “But still, let’s be clear: what we’ve learned these past couple of weeks is that being a member of the eurozone means that the creditors can destroy your economy if you step out of line.” (Krugman)

"Twitter hashtag trending globally as activists show support for ‘democratic will of Greek people in the face of extortion by the Eurogroup" 

New Painting....

Acrylic on Canvas 19 x 24"
c.Triada Samaras 2015

Another little addition to the family...Almost done...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve?

9" x 12" Acrylic Paint
c. Triada Samaras 2015
Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – Article to appear in Die Zeit on Thursday 16th July 2015 by Yanis Varoufakis

"Pre-publication summary: Five months of intense negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup never had a chance of success. Condemned to lead to impasse, their purpose was to pave the ground for what Dr Schäuble had decided was ‘optimal’ well before our government was even elected: That Greece should be eased out of the Eurozone in order to discipline member-states resisting his very specific plan for re-structuring the Eurozone.

  • This is no theory.
  • How do I know Grexit is an important part of Dr Schäuble’s plan for Europe?
  • Because he told me so!
I wrote this article not as a Greek politician critical of the German press’ denigration of our sensible proposals, of Berlin’s refusal seriously to consider our moderate debt re-profiling plan, of the European Central Bank’s highly political decision to asphyxiate our government, of the Eurogroup’s decision to give the ECB the green light to shut down our banks.
I wrote this article as a European observing the unfolding of a particular Plan for Europe – Dr Schäuble’s Plan.
And I am asking a simple question of Die Zeit’s informed readers:

  • Is this a Plan that you approve of?
  • Do you consider this Plan good for Europe?" (YV)

At last she is completed!

9" x 12" Acrylic Paint
c. Triada Samaras 2015

Behind Germany’s refusal to grant Greece debt relief

Drawing Detail Pencil/Ink on Paper 9" x 12"
Triada Samaras 2015

Behind Germany’s refusal to grant Greece debt relief – Op-Ed in The Guardian
(Yanis Varoufakis)

(edit)....." Greece’s financial drama has dominated the headlines for five years for one reason: the stubborn refusal of our creditors to offer essential debt relief. Why, against common sense, against the IMF’s verdict and against the everyday practices of bankers facing stressed debtors, do they resist a debt restructure? The answer cannot be found in economics because it resides deep in Europe’s labyrinthine politics.
In 2010, the Greek state became insolvent. Two options consistent with continuing membership of the eurozone presented themselves: the sensible one, that any decent banker would recommend – restructuring the debt and reforming the economy; and the toxic option – extending new loans to a bankrupt entity while pretending that it remains solvent.
Official Europe chose the second option, putting the bailing out of French and German banks exposed to Greek public debt above Greece’s socioeconomic viability. A debt restructure would have implied losses for the bankers on their Greek debt holdings.Keen to avoid confessing to parliaments that taxpayers would have to pay again for the banks by means of unsustainable new loans, EU officials presented the Greek state’s insolvency as a problem of illiquidity, and justified the “bailout” as a case of “solidarity” with the Greeks."...... (edit) (Yanis Varoufakis) 
For more of this blog post please see:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Santiago Calatrava's Bird in Flight is Awe Inspiring!

Whatever the controversy surrounding Santiago Calatrava's  "bird in flight" structure in Manhattan, I fell in love with it instantly yesterday.  Where to big bird???

"This $4 billion structure may be wildly over budget and super delayed, but at least it's going to be pretty mind-blowing when it's finished."

I could not agree more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

'Almost' there....

I am back to working on this small acrylic painting. It is not quite there yet but 'almost' (the longest word in art)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece — The One Biggest Lie You Are Being Told By The Media

Greece — The One Biggest Lie You Are Being Told By The 

Media - 

See more at: 

Yanis Varoufakis: Minister No More!

"The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.
"Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.
"Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.
"I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.
And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride..."  (edit) (Yanis Varoufakis)
For more of this statement please see:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bravo Yanis!

Bravo Yanis!  You are moving mountains in every sense of the word.

"Η θέση της Ελλάδας στο € είναι αδιαπραγμάτευτη. Η ρευστότητα θα επιστρέψει με την συμφωνία. Η Ευρώπη δεν θα αφεθεί σε παράλληλα νομίσματα" Yanis Varoufakis

"The place of Greece in the Euro is non-negotiable. Liquidity will return with the agreement. Europe will not be left with parallel currencies." Yanis Varoufakis
"Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a 
democratic, rational Europe!" 
(Yanis Varoufakis) 
(edit)..."Today’s referendum delivered a resounding call for a mutually beneficial agreement between Greece and our European partners. We shall respond to the Greek voters’ call with a positive approach to:
  • The IMF, which only recently released a helpful report confirming that Greek public debt was unsustainableThe ECB, the Governing Council of which, over the past week, refused to countenance some of the more aggressive voices withinThe European Commission, whose leadership kept throwing bridges over the chasm separating Greece from some of our partners.
Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic Europe.  
It is a NO to the dystopic vision of a Eurozone that functions like an iron cage for its peoples. 
It is a loud YES to the vision of a Eurozone offering the prospect of social justice with shared prosperity for all Europeans...." (edit)...(Y.V.)  
For more of this blog post please see: LINK 

Friday, July 3, 2015

IMF agrees with Athens on need for debt relief

Digital Photograph From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series 
c. 2015 Triada Samaras

In another twist in the on-going economic storm in Greece, the IMF now has agreed with the current Greek government, ie. debt relief should be central to any negotiations!

"IMF backs (ever so peculiarly) the SYRIZA government’s debt assessment" (YV)

"Debt relief ought to be at the centre of negotiations over a New Deal for Greece. That has been our government’s mantra from 26th of January, our first day on the job. Exactly five months later, on 26th of June, the IMF has conceded the point (as evidenced earlier today by the NYT) – on the very day Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a referendum so that the Greek people could reject an IMF-led proposal that offered no… debt relief...(edit).... (by Yanis Varoufakis)     For the rest of this blog post please see:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ΌΧΙ! NO! "Why we recommend a NO in the referendum" (Yanis Varoufakis)

"Why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points" (Y.V.)

ΌΧΙ!        NO!  

NO!       ΌΧΙ! 

  1. "Negotiations have stalled because Greece’s creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren."
  2. "The IMF, the United States’ government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured."
  3. "The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure."
  4. "Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer."
  5. "Greece will stay in the euro.  Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe.  Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece’s place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable.". (edit)... (Yanis Varoufakis)....
  6. Please find the rest of this article at:

Paul Krugman writes Greece should vote "no"

Paul Krugman wrote this recently about Greece (see below).  While I am loathe to suggest how anyone should vote, I must say I completely agree with him.

(edit) ..."Greece should vote “no,” and the Greek government should be ready, if necessary, to leave the euro.

"To understand why I say this, you need to realize that most — not all, but most — of what you’ve heard about Greek profligacy and irresponsibility is false. Yes, the Greek government was spending beyond its means in the late 2000s. But since then it has repeatedly slashed spending and raised taxes. Government employment has fallen more than 25 percent, and pensions (which were indeed much too generous) have been cut sharply. If you add up all the austerity measures, they have been more than enough to eliminate the original deficit and turn it into a large surplus.

Digital Photograph From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series
c. 2015 Triada Samaras
"So why didn’t this happen? Because the Greek economy collapsed, largely as a result of those very austerity measures, dragging revenues down with it." (Krugman)