Samstag, 21. März 2015

Ein Essigfass auf Yanis Varoufakis' zuckersüßen Honiglöffel


Die Italiener haben ein hübsches Sprichwort:
Si prendono più mosche con un cucchiaio di miele che con un barile d'aceto.
(Man fängt mehr Fliegen mit einem Löffel voll Honig, als mit einem ganz Fass voll Essig.)

Ob es dazu auch eine griechische Entsprechung gibt, weiß ich nicht. Sicher ist freilich, dass der griechische Finanzminister Yanis Varoufakis den Honiglöffel herausgeholt hat, nachdem sein einstiger Stinkefinger-Auftritt (Video) wohl nicht nur in Deutschland einige Irritationen ausgelöst hat.

 
(Die Vorgänge in dem Fernsehauftritt bei Günther Jauch schildert dieser ZEIT-Artikel v. 16.5.2015. Eine Art zusammenfassenden Rückblick auf den "Fingergate"-Vorfalls enthält der SPON-Bericht "Und noch mal: Varoufakis äußert sich zum Stinkefinger-Streit" vom 20.03.2015).
Hier geht es jedoch nicht um diesen Vorgang. Der interessiert mich denkbar wenig. (Bedenklicher ist, dass Varoufakis offenbar bedenkenlos lügt, indem er den Sachverhalt bestreitet. Allerdings hat die Redaktion der Günther-Jauch Talkshow anscheinend einen falschen Eindruck über den Hintergrund des Vorfalles erweckt.)


Jedenfalls sah sich Yanis Varoufakis veranlasst, gut Wetter zu machen. Zu diesem Zweck veröffentlichte er am 20.03.2015 in seinem Blog einen Text unter der Überschrift "Of Greeks and Germans: Re-imagining our shared future". [Hier auch auf Deutsch zu lesen.]
Sinngemäß (freundlich) übersetzt: "Griechen und Deutsche, lasst uns unsere gemeinsame Zukunft neu denken". [Das ominöse "of" lasse ich hier mal beiseite.]
So ein Appell hört sich besonders für deutsche Ohren toll an: "Zukunft", "gemeinsam" (mit diesem Speck lockt man die deutschen Mäuse allemal - bei den griechischen Steuerhinterziehern verfängt er leider nicht) und Völkerfreundschaft ("Griechen und Deutsche"). Wenn das nicht gut klingt, dann weiß ich's auch nicht.
 
Logisch, dass ihm die Intelligenzbürger in den deutschen Medien "druffgehüppt" sind [wie man in Frankfurt/M. sagen würde; anderen Orts heißt das: auf den Leim gegangen sind]:
In der Tat ist Yanis Varoufakis ein durchaus kultivierter Fliegenfänger. Was aber nicht das Geringste an seinen Absichten ändert, die griechischen Staatsausgaben auch zukünftig teilweise mit anderer Völker Steuergeldern (und/oder mittels EZB-Gelddruckerei) zu finanzieren und in seinem eigenen Land die klientelistischen Großbiotope einer von den Beschäftigten als Pfründe verstandenen Staatsverwaltung und Staatswirtschaft zu erhalten und zu pflegen. 
Denn bei allem Sozialklimbim der SYRIZA darf man sicherlich davon ausgehen, dass die national-sozialistische Koalitionsregierung in Griechenland vor allem für die Interessen DIESER Schmarotzerklasse angetreten ist. (Zugleich verschont sie aber, wie dort unten üblich, auch die Reichen vor ungeliebten Steuerpflicht. Eine Regierung halt, die rührend für das ganze Volk sorgt.)

Weil man nicht wissen kann, welches Schicksal die eigenen Kommentare in fremden Blogs ereilt, halte ich hier vorsorglich meine (bislang) 3 (+ 2) abgegebenen Äußerungen fest:

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1) Burkhardt Brinkmann on March 20, 2015 at 12:08 said:

“reform Greece rapidly” or “share prosperity”?

I have no problem with the “Stinkefinger” whatsoever.
Just wish, Greece would show it NOW to us fellow-inmates in the Euro-Gulag.

Why not declrare Greek bankruptcy NOW? Where is the problem? Where is the difference between now and back in 2010?
If you feel bankruptcy to be the ideal road for Greece, by God go ahead!
Let’s put an end to mutual blames – and to transfers of other peoples taxmoney (or moneyprinting by the ECB) for foreign countries!
And after that, we’ll all be best buddies again!
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2) Burkhardt Brinkmann on March 20, 2015 at 20:38 said:

In my modest opinion a mite of extra precision might not hurt when talking about loans from fellow Europeans to Greece.

“… more than 90% of the €240 billion borrowed by Greece went to financial institutions, not to the Greek state or its citizens?”

As you most certainly know, Mr. Varoufakis, money going to “financial institutions” does NOT logically exclude that this money did benefit Greek CITZENS.
And in fact a considerable part (or so I think, but certainly you have the data at hand) of the loans of other countries’ taxpayers has been used to redeem bonds being held by GREEK banks and by GREEK pension funds. Obviously, these payments DID actually benefit GREEK citizens.

Whereas your 10%, I assume, only comprise the coverage of the primary deficit that Greece has been running ever since the start of the programm. (Even in 2014, when the alledged one-off help for Greek banks and the non-payment of bills by the Greek government are included.)
(Of course, even these 10% or 24 billio € don’t fit all too well with the story of nasty Mr. Schäuble – acting on behalf of the German taxpayer – has been imposing a total austerity on Greece.)

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Momentan noch nicht freigegeben ("Your comment is awaiting moderation. ") ist mein folgender Kommentar:

3) "Burkhardt Brinkmann on March 21, 2015 at 22:28 said:

“the new loans [from the other Eurozone-members] represented not a bailout for Greece but a cynical transfer of losses from the books of the private banks to the weak shoulders of the weakest of Greek citizens.”

Come to think of it, that’s a rather strange way of putting things.
What are the facts, and what is the reasoning behind this statement?

Greece (i. e. the democratically elected Greek Government) had incurred unsustainable amounts of debts. The benefits from this “income” went to the Greek citizens, rich and poor, government employees and dead pensioners alike.
Legally, Greece was (and is) obliged to service its state debt. Obviously, the money for the redemption payments can only come from the citizens which democratically elected the government which (irresponsably – but no citzen protested back then) contracted the debts back then.

Since Greece was bankrupt by spring 2010, the following arragements were made (in several steps):

– The fellow-Eurozone inmates lent money (over the years, some 230 or 240 bn €) to Greece, because the country could not borrow on the open market any longer. (Considering the fact that Germany has more than 7 times the number of inhabitants of Greece, this amout corresponds to some 1.7 TRILLION € in German terms, which is not far from 6 times the annual federal budget – some 300 bn € – in Germany.)

– With these credits, Greece a) redeemed most of its debt with private banks etc. Some of bonds were held by GREEK banks, GREEK pension funds, and maybe also by Greek citizens. Obviously, this part (of whatever size) of the credits has gone to Greek citizens. (Nikos Tsafos, a Washington-based blogger - Greek Default Watch - of Greek nationality once estimated - don't find that blogpost right now - that 30 – 40% of the help went to the Greek state and citizens. But more detailed data are always welcome.) b) paid for the government primary deficit which in reality has continued to exist all this time,even in 2014 (in brute figures, irrespective of Troika-definitions.)
[Korr. 15.06.2015]

The combination of ac continuing primary deficit and (nevertheless) reduced public expenses demonstrates, that deficit spending of the Greek Government must have been much higher in the years before the crisis. Which is the same as saying that Greece for a large part has been living (quite well in comparison to some much poorer countries in the Euro-prison-camp) off other people’s money.
Naturally, as long as there is no other source to tap, spending has to be reduced. Bankruptcy, declared or “only” factual, is not a nice status. Life is a lot easier, when you can find someone to share his money with you. But lo and behold: Those damn Krauts simply refused to cough up all the dough that Greece wanted, or deemed necessary.
Instead, there was this nasty group of experts (known by the name of “Troika”) trying to curb government spending and at the same time boost productivity.

For all I’ve read, Greek governments did cut expenses, but were rather reluctant to implement those reforms which were supposed to enhance the productive basis in Greece.
Even you yourself seem to be strangely disinterested in boosting the Greek expoert economy. Instead, what Greece is craving for are transfer payments from poor Lithuanian and Slowak (and not quite as poor German) taxpayers. At least this is the impression I glean from your remark in an interview with the German web magazine “Nachdenkseiten” (http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2014/01/15/4951/):
“Probably [it is not possible for Greece to run balanced current accounts] … , until and unless some fundamental change occurs in Greece’s productive matrixs. So what? Is the North of England ever going to have a balanced current account vis-a-vis the rest of England? Well, it never has in the last 50 years and never will in the future.

So why not be honest about it and, instead of accusing Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble of imposing this ugly austerity upon Greece, simply describe the facts: That the Krauts (and the other Europeans) simply were unwilling to come up with the cash that Greece had been used to receive as “credits” in previous years?

Obviously, there are only two ways for any government to cope with a reduced cashflow:
– Cut expenses and/or
– Increase income.
One way to increase government income might be to crack down on tax evation, which seems to be even more widespread in Greece than in Germany. Previous governments have been reluctant to do so – even though the Troika has admonished them over and again to do so. (Please correct me, if my newsmedia-information is wrong.) Maybe (or maybe not: I simply don’t know) your government has been more aggressive in this field. But now your party has promised the Greek people lower taxes, and they have decided they just go ahead and folks have decided to cash in on that promise on their own, by just not paying taxes. I’m sure you have been working hard on this problem, but without much success (from what an outside observer can tell).
Of course it is much more convenient for any government to spend other peoples’ (tax-)money.

Contrasted with your utterance in the Nachdenkseiten-Interview, your contention in your MP (https://varoufakis.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/a-modest-proposal-for-resolving-the-eurozone-crisis-version-4-0-final1.pdf) sounds mighty strange:
“Our Modest Proposal therefore now has four elements. They deploy existing institutions and require none of the moves that many Europeans oppose, such as national guarantees or fiscal transfers.”
Current account deficit without (voluntary or fiscal) transfers? And that, of course, means “fiscal transfers” in the case of Greece, where voluntary (credit-)transfers are rather unlikely.
I’m not an economist, and of course I’m always willing to learn.
Just need someone to explain to me the workings of economic witchery.

Until that happens it should be clear that not all foreign taxpayers are happy to be conscripted to step in for Greek tax evaders."

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Außerdem habe ich zwei Antworten zu Leserkommentaren gepostet:
1a) Burkhardt Brinkmann on March 21, 2015 at 18:48  said   [zu: Maju on March 21, 2015 at 01:37 said:]:
"I assume, Maju, that your phrase “not being cooperative” translates in real terms into:“They didn’t cough up all the dough that Greece would have liked to have”.Yeah, them damn Krauts cling to their tax money like it was their own.(Which actually it is.)"
 

2a) Burkhardt Brinkmann on March 20, 2015 at 13:54 said   [zu: spidersn on March 20, 2015 at 13:22 said]:
“We could leave Eurozone and leave you alone, but most Greeks do not want to. Moreover Greece leaving Eurozone would have unpredictable consequence to Eurozone countries, the psychology of a Eurozone dissolved would have a chain reaction to global economy, including the most vulnerable countries in Eurozone.”

If that holds true today (which I doubt), it did even more so in the international economic situation of 2010. And if that is true, it was not a good idea for Mr. Varoufakis to say Greece should have declared bankruptcy back then.

However, while I do realize that a dissolution of the €-GULAG will not be all fun and games, I certainly prefer a terrible end to the unending terror of eternal slavery of North European taxpayers for countries more eager to “share prosperity” than to engage in “rapid reforms”.

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Links zu einigen externen Reaktionen auf den Varoufakis-Blott:

Nachtrag 25.03.2015
Wech isser: Der vorgebliche Versöhnungs-Blott von Yanis Varoufakis!
(Dem Armen wird doch mein Spott nicht derart zu Herzen gegangen sein?)
Aber die Übersetzung (ob autorisiert?) im deutschen Blog "Denkraum" (s. o.) ist derzeit immerhin noch online.


 

ceterum censeo 
Der Wundbrand zerfrisst das alte Europa, weil es zu feige ist ein krankes Glied zu amputieren!
Textstand vom 15.06.2015

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