A tight vote for the euro

FEAR of being forced out of the euro was slightly stronger than anger over continuing austerity at Sunday’s Greek election. It propelled the centre-right New Democracy party into first place, just ahead of Syriza, the radical-left coalition. With 97% of the vote counted the conservatives won 29.7% compared with 26.9% for the leftists. The PanHellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) came a distant third with 12.3% after a large chunk of its voters (public sector workers, trade unionists and pensioners) had defected to Syriza, lured with promises that the state would not be shrunk if the left came to power.

Antonis Samaras, the 61-year-old centre-right leader, was set to receive a mandate to form a government at midday today from Karolos Papoulias, Greece’s president. After two general elections in six weeks (coalition talks failed after an inconclusive vote on May 6th) a sense of urgency is evident. Global leaders who are gathering in Mexico for a meeting of the G20 group of rich and emerging countries will be watching Greek developments closely. Some see a stable coalition government in Athens as critical for European efforts to prevent the eurozone from falling apart.

Mr Samaras’s refusal to support Greece’s first bailout in 2010 means he will have to work hard at convincing eurozone leaders he is serious about completing fiscal and structural reforms required by the second €130 billion bailout, which the previous coalition government was too timid to undertake. On Sunday night, Mr Samaras sounded statesman-like. Instead of claiming victory in the election, he said: “There will be no new adventures, Greece’s position in the eurozone will not be put in doubt.”

New Democracy will receive 29.53% of the vote, equivalent to 128 seats.
Syriza will receive 27.12% – 72 seats.
Pasok will receive 12.2% – 23 seats.
Independent Greeks will receive 7.56% – 20 seats.
Golden Dawn will receive 6.95% – 18 seats.
Democratic Left will receive 6.23% – 17 seats.
Greek Communist Party will receive 4.47% – 12 seats.


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No Demo Crato está a decorrer uma sondagem sobre as eleições na Grécia. As opções apresentadas são escassas mas eu digo desde já que votaria no Syriza como, por cá se a moção de censura do PCP fosse aprovada e existissem eleições, apelaria ao voto no próprio PCP ou no Bloco.

Estou a ser sincero. Nenhuma encenação.

pago, seja o que for, para ver as alternativas a governar. Excluo, naturalmente, a alternativa dos marimba boys, herdeiros do engenheiro.

Upset in the Greek political system

Two years after Greece entered the tunnel of indefinite austerity of EU-IMF oversight, the Greek electorate appears to have dealt a resounding blow to the two once biggest parties, Pasok and ND, which are blamed for bringing the country to the point of bankruptcy.
The complete upset of the political system appeared to be confirmed by exit polls that placed left wing Syriza second, with 14-18 percent. For days, the party was expected to multiply its 4.6 percent result from 2009, when it placed fifth. Party leader Alexis Tsipras has campaigned on a platform of forming a wider, leftwing coalition that would include both the Greek Communist Party (which has adamantly refused to form a coalition government) and Fotis Kouvelis’ Democratic Left Party, which is getting 4.5-6.5 percent in the exit polls.
If Syriza remains the second party when the final results are in, that will severely complicate efforts to hammer out a coalition.
ND leader Antonis Samaras looks to have been handed a Pyrrhic victory. Though his party places first – 17-20 percent (Public Issue/Skai) or 20.5-24.5 percent (Alco Net) in exit polls could be up to 16 percent lower than it received in 2009 (33.48 percent). That may be enough to produce a backlash from the more centrist, liberal wing of his party, which has not looked kindly on the party leader’s shift to the right wing.

Grécia garante perdão da dívida e evita bancarrota em Março

O Governo grego anunciou nesta sexta-feira de manhã que concluiu o processo de troca de títulos da dívida, garantido a participação de 85,8% dos credores privados detentores de obrigações de direito grego.

(só em Março?)

Grèce : l’Europe finalise un plan à plus de 350 milliards

Les Européens saluent un «très bon accord» sur la Grèce

Grèce : qui va payer quoi?

Greek austerity: It’s about ideology, not economy

Why can’t the Greeks accept reason? Do they know something we don’t? Yes, they do.

They know what’s really at stake and they are not taking it. They see through the arguments from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the IMF, the World Bank. Most of all, they see through the ideological tear-gas smokescreen their banker government is spreading to obfuscate their real intentions.

But hey, Greece IS broke, right? The state has completely overspent, mismanaged, spoiled. It has no income anymore. Austerity is the only possible answer!

Is it? We have been bombarded over the last three years with factoids about the lazy Greek worker, the corrupt civil service, the massive tax dodging by all Greeks. Surely, that needs to end.

Well, point taken. Like in any other country, the Greek authorities need to spend taxpayers’ money efficiently at the service of its people. If that state can not organize sufficient income, austerity is the only solution. Greece is already doing just that. With some 36 per cent of GNP spent on salaries, it is one of the lowest of the EU. Some 11 per cent of the workforce is in civil service, again one of the lowest in the EU. Also one of the lowest paid.

So the Greek state is poor, the Greek are poor, but Greece is not … In fact Greece is filthy rich. Some facts.

Greek shipping companies own some 4,100 ships, 16 per cent of the world’s merchant fleet. In 2010 their annual income rose to 15.4 billion euro. On this, they pay next-to-no taxes. The Greek fiscal authorities cannot check their accounts. They are in Switzerland or London anyway.

The Greek Orthodox Church owns stock in the National Bank, hotels, parking lots, convenience stores, businesses, forests, mountains. It is the biggest landowner of the country. Most of this income is tax free.

Some 560 billion euro are stashed away in foreign banks. That is double the Greek GNP.

There’s more. France, one of the EU countries so eager to penalize Greece for its “bad behavior” sold 3 billion euro of navy ships and helicopters to the country in 2009. That’s right, in the middle of the crisis. In fact, defense is the only state department that does not have to cut down. The European Commission seems to have a blind spot there.

Here in Brussels, there’s an excellent new book out on this by Peter Mertens. It’s called “Hoe durven ze?” (How dare they?). Ignored by the mass media in Brussels, it’s a top-seller anyway. It has a whole chapter on Greece. In a decent world, this book would be translated to English (and Greek!). Well, not quite, in a decent world books like this one would not have to be written.

This is a social experiment. The bankers are trying out how much they can get away with. Their plan is to make future elections irrelevant, to make democracy redundant, empty, meaningless … penniless. More for us, nothing for you.

We can only hope for the resilience of the Greek people to keep up the fight for social justice and for massive international solidarity. The first thing is already happening, the latter not (yet). What the Greek now practice on the streets has a name: democracy (that is a Greek word, folks!)

It’s up to us to help them. We owe it to the Greeks. They are fighting for our future.

Scènes de guérilla urbaine à Athènes

E por cá? Até onde estão dispostos a ir os lutadores? Ainda há partidos revolucionários, defensores do levantamento popular ou apenas se circunscrevem à chamada luta política?

Assim sendo, quais são as modalidades aceitáveis de luta? Apenas as de rua. ,as com horário marcado? As parlamentares? As negociais?

Mas todas pacíficas e ordeiras, certo?

Assim sendo, por favor, não sejam, garganeiros e fanfarrões.

La Banque centrale européenne (BCE), par la voix de son président, Mario Draghi, a confirmé aujourd’hui qu’un accord gouvernemental sur le plan de rigeur avait été trouvé entre les partis politques grecs.
Un accord “final sur le paquet de mesures” de rigueur réclamées par les créanciers de la Grèce, UE et FMI, a été conclu au sein du gouvernement grec de coalition, avait préalablement indiqué une source gouvernementale.

Ou não…

Aucun accord défintif sur le second plan de renflouement de la Grèce ne sera conclu ce soir lors de la réunion de l’Eurogroupe, a déclaré le ministre néerlandais des Finances Jan Kees De Jager.
“Il n’y aura pas d’accord final, mais le plus important est de voir d’abord ce que la troïka a à dire: un oui ou un non; la Grèce remplit les conditions posées pour le déboursement du second programme”, a-t-il déclaré à son arrivée à Bruxelles.
Les partis politiques formant le gouvernement de coalition ont bouclé les négociations portant sur les mesures supplémentaires de rigueur exigées par l’Union européenne et le Fonds monétaire


Samaras resists EU/IMF pressure on pledge

Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy, one of three parties in a new national unity coalition struggling to avert a disastrous default, says there is no need to provide a written guarantee because his word can be trusted.

But international lenders, weary of Greece’s failure to deliver on fiscal targets during two years of financial crisis, insist on the written statement, fearing its politicians may otherwise try to wriggle out of their commitments, especially with an election likely in February.

Greek Bailout Deal Referendum Scrapped

Greece’s Prime Minister has scrapped plans for a referendum on the eurozone bailout plan – telling Sky News he never wanted it to happen.

The surprise climbdown, confirmed by the country’s finance minister, came after emergency talks in which the opposition party called for early elections and immediate approval of the rescue plan.

There are now unconfirmed reports that leader George Papandreou he has struck a deal to step down and hand power to a new coalition government if they help him win a confidence vote on Friday.

Mr Papandreou earlier told the Greek parliament that rejecting the bailout deal would signal the start of his country’s exit from the eurozone.

A Greek drama

GREECE is not only the cradle of democracy, but of drama.  The latter in particular was in rich supply after George Papandreou, the country’s prime minister, hastily announced a plan for a referendum on the new bail-out package that had been approved at last week’s European Union (EU) summit. First Mr Papandreou had to confront a hostile cabinet (although it has since endorsed the idea of a referendum). Then he faced the threat of a rebellion by his Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok). And on November 2nd he will miss the opening session of a three-day confidence debate in parliament: Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, and Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, have summoned Mr Papandreou to emergency talks in Cannes. They will try to dissuade him from what one western European observer called “political suicide and financial ruin for Greece”.

Referendum Will Confirm Greece in Euro: Papandreou

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said a referendum on Europe’s rescue package will confirm the nation’s membership of the euro as he stuck to plans to hold the vote amid signs his government may collapse.

“The referendum will be a clear mandate and strong message within and outside Greece on our European course and our participation in the euro,” Papandreou told his ministers in Athens early today, according to an e-mailed transcript. It will “ensure this course in the most decisive way.” The Cabinet voted unanimously to endorse the plan.

Papandreou Is Right to Let the Greeks Decide

Europe is stunned. The Greek prime minister wants to allow the people to vote on the euro rescue plan for their country. Georgios Papandreou is putting all his eggs in one basket — but he has made the right decision.

Greek government teeters on brink of collapse in wake of referendum plan

France and Germany battle to save the single currency as Europe is plunged back into turmoil days after rescue deal.

Greece crisis deepens: Military chiefs sacked after shock call for referendum on austerity cuts sends markets tumbling

Ao segundo dia, os manifestantes gregos atacam-se uns aos outros

A violência entre facções eclodiu na manifestação que decorre em Atenas contra um novo pacote de austeridade. Segundo as agências noticiosas, grupos de esquerda digladiam-se uns contra os outros munidos de bastões e de bombas incendiárias.

Man killed in Greek austerity protests – live

• 53-year-old construction worker dies in Athens


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