From:   Doug Singsen <>
Sent time:   Tuesday, November 01, 2011 11:39:05 AM
Subject:   SPAM-MED: Re: [september17discuss] Greek government on verge of collapse over austerity referendum

PASOK, the social-democratic party, is indeed pushing the opposite of what Keynes would suggest. It is not alone in this. Social democratic parties across Europe have been pushing unpopular austerity measures, just as the Democrats in the US have. All these parties claim to represent working people, but when faced with demands from the markets (i.e., from banks and the super-wealthy) to impose austerity, they all lined up behind the interests of capital.


On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:29 PM, Gabriel Johnson <> wrote:
"unpopular austerity measures"

This does not seem like "New Deal" measures to me. This seems like the opposite of that, and the opposite of what Keynes would prescribe during an economic slowdown. Is there something not in the article I'm missing?


On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:12 PM, shaista husain <> wrote:
Thanks for posting this,
The social democratic leadership PASOK party have sold out to the
Troika and Greece really is on the brink of a revolution--it is also
the weakest link in Europe. It is important that we understand why
social democracy and why this Third Party has not been able to
implement reform and structural changes for the people. Greece poses
an interesting lesson--and those of us who think similar keynesian
"New Deal" steps are a solution to our problem (*yes anything is
better than what we have now*!!!!) but these "New Deal" policies are
being rejected by the Greek workers, as these measures have not been
able solve the economic crisis. What are the people of Greece

On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM, Doug Singsen <> wrote:
> Government in Greece Nears Collapse Over Referendum
> ATHENS — The Greek government was plunged into chaos on Tuesday and faced an
> imminent collapse, as lawmakers rebelled against Prime Minister George
> Papandreou’s surprise call for a popular referendum on a new debt deal with
> Greece’s foreign lenders.
> Power company customers lined up in Athens on Monday to ask about a new tax.
> President George A. Papandreou’s surprise promise of a vote on austerity
> measures threatens a deal reached to ease the European debt crisis.
> Such a collapse would not only render the referendum plan moot, it would
> likely scuttle — or at least delay — the debt deal that was agreed on in
> Brussels last week, putting Greece on a fast track to default and possible
> exit from the monetary union of countries sharing the euro currency.
> Analysts said that Mr. Papandreou’s call for a referendum was a last resort,
> meant to gain broader political support for the unpopular austerity measures
> in the deal without forcing early elections that would only worsen the
> country’s political and economic turmoil.
> But after weeks of mounting pressure, one Socialist lawmaker quit the party
> to become an independent, reducing Mr. Papandreou’s majority to 152 seats
> out of 300 in Parliament, and another six Socialists wrote a letter calling
> on Mr. Papandreou to resign and schedule early elections for a new
> government with greater political legitimacy. Together, the developments
> made it doubtful whether his government would survive a confidence vote
> planned for Friday.
> Meanwhile, the center-right opposition New Democracy party on Tuesday
> stepped up its calls for early elections. Its leader, Antonis Samaras, has
> opposed most of the austerity measures the government accepted in exchange
> for foreign financial aid. Mr. Samaras has said that if he were in power, he
> would try to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s arrangement with its
> principal foreign lenders, known as the troika: the European Union, the
> European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
> “Mr. Papandreou, in his effort to save himself, has presented a divisive and
> extortionate dilemma,” Mr. Samaras said on Tuesday. “New Democracy is
> determined to avert, at all costs, such reckless adventurism.”
> Mr. Samaras declined to say whether he would ask his 85 members of
> Parliament to resign, a move that would lead to the dissolution of
> Parliament and a snap election. The next general election was not due until
> 2013, when the Socialists’ four-year-term expires. Mr. Samaras is expected
> to clarify his stance at a meeting of his party’s parliamentary group on
> Wednesday.
> European leaders have repeatedly dismissed Mr. Samaras’s notion of
> renegotiating Greece’s deal with its lenders, saying that trying to do so
> would be damaging and would throw away months of work on a plan to keep
> Greece from defaulting.
> Mr. Papandreou’s announcement of a referendum took Greek lawmakers by
> surprise, just a s it did political leaders and investors across Europe. On
> Tuesday, the state television channel Net reported that even the finance
> minister, Evangelos Venizelos, had not been informed in advance about the
> referendum, although he was aware of plans for a confidence vote.
> Mr. Venizelos was taken to a hospital Tuesday morning, complaining of
> stomach pain. Doctors said he had an inflamed appendix. He is the latest in
> a string of governing party officials to be rushed to hospitals in recent
> weeks. One Greek negotiator had a heart attack in Brussels last week.
> On Tuesday, European leaders said the deal reached last week to write down
> 50 percent of some Greek debt was the best available way to build a
> financial “firewall” that would keep Greece’s troubles from causing a
> damaging run on other shaky European economies like that of Italy.
> The political instability in Greece has long dismayed European officials. In
> a statement, the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso,
> and the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said that
> Europe’s plans to protect other vulnerable members were “more necessary than
> ever, without delay.”
> “We are convinced that this agreement is the best for Greece,” they added.
> “We fully trust that Greece will honor the commitments undertaken in
> relation to the euro area and the international community.”
> In Greece, Mr. Papandreou’s referendum proposal seemed to be his last, best
> hope. His political capital has dried up, and he faces intense anger from
> voters who have been squeezed to the breaking point by the austerity
> measures demanded by Greece’s foreign lenders.
> “Papandreou could not take more political punishment,” said George Kirsos, a
> political analyst and the owner of the Athens City Paper. “We have a strange
> situation: Everyone’s cursing the government, and everyone expects the
> government to do the job by itself — to reorganize the economy, to cut the
> deficit, to make a deal with the Germans — but at the same time, nobody
> helps him.”
> “All parties and all media criticize the government,” Mr. Kirstos added. “So
> Papandreou, in a sense, tried his best to do the referendum to force the
> parties, the media and the citizens to undertake their own responsibility.
> The referendum is a yes or no issue: Either you are in favor, or you decide
> that you say goodbye to the euro zone.”
> Charged by Europe with dismantling the welfare state they helped create,
> many of Mr. Papandreou’s Socialist members of Parliament feel they too have
> reached their breaking points.
> Vasso Papandreou, a prominent member of parliament and a former minister who
> is not related to the prime minister, called on Greek President Karolos
> Papoulias to order the formation of a unity government ahead of early
> general elections. “Bankruptcy is imminent,” she said. Earlier this month,
> Ms. Papandreou said she would vote for a new raft of austerity measures, but
> that it would be “the last time” she supported the government
> unconditionally.
> “The current government has none of these necessary prerequisites. Today’s
> government policy is asphyxiating. Day by day the country is experiencing
> collapse, lawlessness and absence of government,” they added.
> If Mr. Papandreou’s government falls, it would not be the first one in
> Europe to be toppled by the austerity demanded by European debt relief. In
> Ireland and Portuga,l governments that accepted bailouts from the European
> Union and the International Monetary Fund fell, and last month the Slovakian
> government fell over whether to participate in the European Union’s rescue
> package.
> Niki Kitsantonis reported from Athens and Rachel Donadio from Rome. Stephen
> Castle contributed reporting from Brussels.