Monday, August 24, 2015

Traitor Greek Socialist PM Resigns

In politics, leaders get pulled away from their conservative or liberal supporters and take the centrist approach. Despite the most glowing promises, leaders will often cave under pressure to more corporate or forceful interests, especially if their defending the impossible, impractical, or unjustified. Socialist governments in general often overpromise  and under-deliver. Such is the case in Greece, where the Socialist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras fell into the the whirlpool of Charybdis and caved to the creditor nations for more austerity in Greece.

All the austerity in the world will not fix this country. Productivity and prosperity are the order of the day, in which men and women start working again, adopting cultural norms contrary to their current status.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Greek prime minister resigns, calls elections after bailout deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced his resignation Thursday in a nationally televised address and called for elections to take place on Sept. 20.
The president of the nation's Supreme Court, Vasiliki Thanou-Christophilou, will take over as prime minister of a caretaker government until the election, according to the country's constitution. She will be Greece’s first female prime minister.

The country needs more than a caretaker. How about an undertaker?

“The popular mandate we received has exceeded its limits and the public has to decide again,” Tsipras told the nation. “With your vote you will decide who will lead Greece, and how, on the difficult road that lies ahead.

The mandate did not exceed any limits, except the limits of Tsipras' political integrity (if there is such a thing). He ran on an anti-austerity program, then caved on it when push came to shove. A public referendum will not solve anything, since the Greek people have created this mess. They want the Euro, and yet they do not want the German and Low-County habits of mind and effort which justify good credit and high borrowing.

The snap election will be the third time debt-weary Greeks cast their ballots this year. Tsipras came to power in January after a fierce anti-austerity campaign, forming a coalition government with the Independent Greeks, a nationalist party.

This debt crisis is more than a problem of political will. This ongoing debt-spending problem which votes cannot fix. Good parents do not wait for their children to vote for consequences. Authority figures at home mete out the necessary consequences for bad behavior. So too market forces and  political realities will have to discipline the Greek people more than they will discipline themselves.

On July 5, Greeks voted in a referendum that asked if they approved of the terms of a third bailout from the Eurozone. Over 60% of voters rejected the deal, only to have Tsipras switch positions and agree last week to a $96-billion bailout with the nation's creditors that kept Greece in the Eurozone and headed off its probable default on international loans.

The LA Times practically editorializes to justify what Tsipras did. He "switched positions"? No! He betrayed his base and his country, ignored their popular vote, and caved to the Big Banks and Big Businesses. Furthermore, the LA Times has lost track of the default problems, since Greece already defaulted in failing to pay the next installment of loans.

The prime minister has been in a difficult spot since he signed off on the bailout package. The extreme left wing of his own radical-left party, Syriza, has mounted a revolt. Led by former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, the rebels have been criticizing the prime minister for breaking his campaign promises.

Of course they are angry. Their leader promised to say "Oxi!" (:No" in Greek) to any more austerity, and yet Tsipras stabbed them in the back and embraced the demands of the European Central Bankers.

Alexis Tsipras

The announcement of another round at the ballot box came hours after Greece received the first tranche -- about $14.5 billion -- of the three-year bailout package. The initial money allowed the country to make a $3.5-billion payment due Thursday to the European Central Bank. The remainder was earmarked to recapitalize Greece’s banks, which were shut down last month for three weeks.
Without the funds from the 18 other members of the Eurozone -- nations that share the euro currency -- Greece would probably have defaulted on the payment.

The Greek Parliament approved the bailout agreement last week by a vote of 222 to 64, but only with the support of the government’s opposition parties.

How telling that the current Prime Minister had to rely on opposition members of his parliament to pass the necessary austerity measures, just as current United States Speaker of the House John Boehner depends on the minority Democrats to continue deficit spending. Also very telling in this development is that despite the most robust expressions of direct democracy, a plebescite, the ruling class ignored the will of the people and chose the exact opposite of their vote.

Thirty-two members of Tsipras' ruling Syriza party voted against the measure and 11 lawmakers abstained, depriving the prime minister of a parliamentary majority and making it highly unlikely that the government would be able to implement the harsh austerity measures called for by Greece's third bailout program.

Over the past week, rumors floated in the Greek media that Tsipras was going to call for a vote of confidence. But as it became clear that he was not likely to survive such a vote, Tsipras was increasingly expected to call for an election instead.

How can lawmakers in any party offer a vote of confidence when their leaders does not lead on principle.

Let's take this analysis one step further. How can any  radical left-wing government expect to govern on its principles to begin with? The notion that the state can ignore or refute market forces has hit a brick wall in Greece, where the fantasies of the uber-socialists met a bitter, treacherous defeat in the  very leader whom they had confided in.

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