Greece

Tumult in Greece: Tsipras to Resign, Call For Snap Elections

The Greek prime minister is skipping the confidence vote in parliament and going straight to the people.

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Alexis Tsipras
Wikipedia

The embattled prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, will not call for a confidence vote as he was widely expected to do.

Instead, he's resigning his position and calling for a snap election, to be held on September 20, in which he hopes to piece together a new governing coalition, according to The Guardian. This is necessary because about a third of the parliament members from his own party abandoned him after he agreed to a bailout deal with Greece's troika of international creditors.

Tsipras probably would not be able to get enough votes in that body to maintain his leadership role, meaning he would have had to dissolve the government regardless. So he's skipping the intermediary step, "deciding instead to go straight to the country in an attempt to silence rebels and shore up public support for the draconian three-year bailout programme, which entails a radical overhaul of the Greek economy," per the Guardian piece.

Until a new coalition can be formed, the president of Greece's supreme court, Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou, will head up a "caretaker" government and oversee the elections. She will be the first female prime minister of the Mediterranean country.

All is not necessarily lost for Tsipras despite appearances. As I wrote yesterday:

If there's a silver lining to the situation from Tsipras' perspective, it's that he remains broadly popular among voters. Twice this year already the Greek people have rallied to the polls to support him—first in January when he was initially elected and again last month after he called a surprise referendum over whether or not to agree to the troika's demands.

Of course, voters came out strongly against the terms and then Tsipras proceeded to agree to an even less favorable deal. So his future really does seem to hinge on how recalcitrant the electorate will be feeling come September.

You'll notice he's trying to get the election over with as quickly as possible—perhaps because he fears the political fallout that will come from implementing the austerity measures demanded by the international community in exchange for the new financial bailout. Both Tsipras and the Greek people have long blamed their country's economic woes on the dramatic reductions in government spending its creditors have required it to make.

Meanwhile, some economists I spoke to in July suggest the real reason unemployment in Greece is such a problem is that no one—least of all Tsipras—is willing to go through with the labor market reforms that would be needed to get the country growing again. And last month Reason TV sat down with Peter Schiff to talk about whether the U.S. is headed the same way.

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  1. Interesting. He won that referendum basically promising that he could use it as leverage to get a better deal. He failed to do so. It will be interesting to see if voters have changed their minds and want to reject the actual deal after all.

    Anyway, I say keep it up Greece! One year until my vacation in Crete. Let’s keep those prices down.

    1. He won his election basically promising no more austerity at all. He represents his people and he’s an abject failure. What does that say about them?

      Have fun in Crete and stay safe.

      1. Thanks. My main concern now is that they’ll start to levy higher taxes on the service industry since that is one of the few remaining sources of revenue. Our whole point in planning the trip is to do it on the cheap. Luckily Airbnb’s can be found at insanely cheap rates, at least for now.

        1. We absolutely soak our tourists here in NYC but they keep coming and in increasing numbers.

          1. We absolutely soak our tourists

            In urine.

            1. Well, they wouldn’t get out of my way. I warned them.

      2. He won his election basically promising no more austerity at all.

        Yep, he lied to them.

        1. I’ve spoken to enough deadbeats (of all political stripes) over the years to know that people really do think that they can avoid the pain of cutting back expenses if only the lender will just give them more money.

          1. Technically, they’d be correct. They can avoid pain if the lender perpetually gave them more money. It appears only Euro-lenders are that stupid.

  2. Beware of Greeks bearing snap elections.

    1. Beware of geeks bearing snap peas.

    2. Aren’t they supposed to hold an exile election now and throw someone out for ten years?

      1. Oh gosh!

        There are so many names to choose from!!!!

        Which one to choose? Which one to write on the ostrakon?

      2. You’ll know it’s bad when they bring back the pharmakoi.

    3. “The Greeks have been camped outside of Troy, kapowin’, zappin’ and kersplattin’ the Trojans for the best part of a decade, yeah. Then they wake up one mornin’ and the Greeks have gone. And there outside the city walls they’ve left this gift, this tribute to their valiant foes, a huge wooden horse.

      Just large enough to happily contain five hundred Greeks in full battle dress, and still have adequate room for toilet facilities! Are you telling me not one Trojan goes, ‘Hang on a minute, that’s a bit of a funny pressie. What’s wrong with a couple of hundred pairs of socks and some aftershave? No, they don’t, they just wheel it in, and all decide to go for an early night. People that stupid deserve to be kapowed, zapped and kersplatted in their beds!

      And do you know what the funny thing is? From this particular phase in history derived the phrase – Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. When it’d be much more logical to derive the phrase – Beware of Trojans, they’re complete SMEGHEADS! ”

      – Dave Lister

      1. IIRC, a Trojan did object to bringing it in. After which, a snake came out of the sea and killed him.

        Because the gods are fucked up like that.

        1. Was it the Ouroborous snake?

          /even more obscure Red Dwarf reference

      2. Beware Greeks bearing Trojans.

        1. Beware of Greeks baring anything.

  3. I…just….don’t’care.

    1. C’mon, Almanian…feel the schadenfruede!,/i

        1. He finally narrowed his eyes completely closed!

          1. *slaps self for forgetting to close italics tag*

  4. This economy is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late economy. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-economy

    1. “It’s just pining for the Fjord’s Savings and Loan”

    2. Well, it was coughin’ up blood five minutes ago…

  5. Panic in Detroit did it better.

  6. Just out of curiousity, does ‘draconian’ mean the same thing in British as it means in American? When alcoholics are trying to tell you you have a drinking problem, ‘draconian’ might not be the word I would use to describe the proposed detox process.

    1. “Draco (/?dre?ko?/; Greek: ??????, Drak?n; fl. c. 7th century BC) was the first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece. He replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud by a written code to be enforced only by a court. Draco’s written law became known for its harshness, with the adjective “draconian” referring to similarly unforgiving rules or laws.”

      I am reminded of the point made in “The Naked and the Dead”, where the soldier points out that under a bureaucratic rule of law, that punishment must always be disproportionate to the crime and arbitrarily enforced to maintain the necessary fear of the populace. If Law were logical and fair, it would have no authority. Hence, when the first bureaucrats took power, they learned to translate the fury of an irrational mob into the calm, dispassionate insanity of the state.

      1. If Law were logical and fair, it would have no authority.

        Wait, why?

        1. Presumably, because no one fears reasonable people. But a guy who will glass you over bumping into him, now, that’s a guy who commands attention.

        2. I know you’re not new here, Atanarjuat.

          The powerful law is the arbitrarily applied law, where the people laboring under it have no idea when or where it will be enforced.

          Laws with clear bright lines? No power in that.

        3. I understand the initial confusion.

          It makes sense when you dwell on the fact that humans aren’t rational beings, and that law is always imposed by humans, and the way it is enforced is inherently about ‘sending signals’ to Non Criminals more than it is about “dispensing justice” to people who knowingly violate said laws.

          from Mailer’s book = “There was the old myth of divine intervention. You blasphemed, and a lightning bolt struck you. That was a little steep too. If punishment is at all proportionate to the offense, then power becomes watered. The only way you generate the proper attitude of awe and obedience is through immense and disproportionate power“”

          The capriciousness of law, and its willingness to go as far *as it can* without any regard for whether it *should*, is the essence of why it is feared. Its also why lawyers have made such a lucrative career out of pretending to be lion tamers.

  7. More like an “oh snap!” election

  8. ‘There’s not an agent in the service who wants to be in Hillary’s detail,’ a current agent says. ‘If agents get the nod to go to her detail, that’s considered a form of punishment among the agents. She’s hard to work around, she’s known to snap at agents and yell at agents and dress them down to their faces, and they just have to be humble and say, ‘Yes ma’am,’ and walk away.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..z3jNEt3LM7

    1. Hmm. Who’d have guessed she’s a shrill, nasty harpie?

    2. I have always heard stories like that about her from everyone who has worked under her. Apparently she is universally despised. How the fuck she got where she is and has stayed so long is a mystery to me.

      1. Potent venom sacs in those cheeks.

    3. [Huma] Abedin – who is married to disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner

      OMG I completely forgot about that. It makes perfect sense, though.

      1. That disgraced former congressman with no private sector experience managed to become a “strategic consultant” and make a ton of money.

        Does anyone buy this?

        You will also find DC is full of “Strategic Communications Consultancies” and such.

        It appears these are all methods of laundering various bribes via sinecures, etc.

        1. DC is a great fit for those people who work in your company but you were never sure what they actually did there and their contribution was wholly un-measurable.

          Lots of “process improvement” specialists. You can most often find them in a meeting.

    4. DSS as well as secret service. Lots of grumblings about mental imbalance as well

  9. The Greeks seem to be trying to demonstrate the futility of democracy in being able to vote-away reality

    Greek populace vote to NO DEAL

    Leader then makes deal

    Leader then thinks deal he just made is so shitty, that he should quit

    Then thinks, I’m still so popular, I should get re-elected and unmake the deal I just made

    Sounds Legit

    1. “You are hired as a consultant!”

      /Tsipras

      1. The game, as far as I can see, is already over, and the Greeks capitulated after the popular vote telling them *not to capitulate*.

        The game he’s trying to play now seems to be to pretend that the capitulation was somehow not his fault or intent.

        Its like playing soccer with people who do nothing but flop. the German team just stands and watches while all the Greek players writhe on the ground dramatically, and their fans boo the inhumanity of the Germans for failing to aid them.

        1. Is it OK if the German fans shout racist slurs? I mean, after aiding the Greek players, of course.

    2. Maybe he’s just looking for the political cover he needs to drop the Euro and tell the Germans to get bent.

      1. I thought that was his game plan when he called the referendum on the bailout this summer. But then he got the resounding backing of his voters and still capitulated to the Germans, who appeared genuinely ready to walk away from the table.

        Maybe he agreed to the ever harsher terms to buy time for a more thought-out Grexit, but otherwise it looks like he bluffed and the Germans called him on it. Not sure why he’s still so popular with the voters, given all that.

        1. *even harsher

        2. he bluffed and the Germans called him on it

          That’s it.

          And remember, “bluff” is a polite word for “lie”.

        3. Strange that a nation, being so badly jobbed by the EU, is fighting to stay in the EU.

          Quite a conundrum.

    3. Greek populace vote to NO DEAL

      Leader then makes deal

      Leader then thinks deal he just made is so shitty, that he should quit

      Then thinks, I’m still so popular, I should get re-elected and unmake the deal I just made

      Sounds Legit

      No, it sounds like democracy.

  10. a bailout deal with Greece’s troika of international creditors

    a bailout deal with the troika of Greece’s international creditors

  11. I found it odd that the AP feed in today’s newspaper referred to the “long suffering Greek people.” Yeah, the high-living grasshopper in the fable with the ant is “long suffering.”

    1. Long suffering from delusions?

      Long suffering fools gladly?

  12. “monetizing the Debt because the taxpayers can’t pay it”

    *** looks in wallet, sees $14 ***

    “And …. it’s gone!”

  13. Speaking of countries in a tailspin..

    Maduro’s polling 20-30% below the opposition in Venezuela. Election’s in three months. The oppo’s leader has been sitting in a jail cell for the past 18 months. Will Maduro’s judiciary release him if/when he wins?

    1. You think, once the polls open, the Venezuelans will actually vote against free shit?

      1. Seems plausible, considering that the “free shit” has pretty much run out. Maduro’s may still be making promises, but his ability to deliver has been proven lacking. Of course, being the Stalin to Chavez’s Lenin, I doubt the election will proceed in a “fair and free” manner.

        1. Maduro can’t even kick Chavez’s daughters out of the presidential mansion. What makes you think he has Stalin-level control of the state apparatus?

          1. I was looking at from the perspective that Maduro is more nakedly thuggish than Chavez was, but even that could be wrong.

            1. Maduro may not be as thuggish as Chavez – though that is debatable – but the party is full of thugs who will gladly play Trotsky or Yezhov to keep the party in power.

          2. How is she still worth all those billions? I would’ve expected the people to rip her apart by now.

            1. Why do you think she doesn’t live in Venezuela?

      2. They’re out of most free shit. The only free shit they get now is famine and state-sponsored violence.

      3. The point of voting for free shit is that at some point shit materializes.
        Voting for free shit and then getting no shit gets the voters angry. Although, if you have no shit, toilet paper shortage isn’t as bad.

      4. Yes. Eventually, with real socialism, the lessons are learned.

        Probably around day 17 of waiting in line for toilet paper.

        But once capitalism is back in play, 30 years later, the youth have forgotten this lesson, and it becomes attractive again.

        human psychology must really have an instinct for collectivism.

        1. No. People just want things for ‘free’ – i.e. paid for by others.

          And they are willing to indulge in any sort of mental gymnastics to justify getting their free stuff.

          1. I have a raccoon in my backyard that has an instinct for free food.

  14. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

    1. We’ve found a new economic plan for Greece.

      1. These are the labor market reforms referenced at the end of the article.

      2. Unfortunately, no. Even this scheme requires 22 hours a week.

    2. Hmm. At $97/hour and 10 hours per week it would take almost 9 weeks to make $8500.

      At $97/hour, it would take almost 6 weeks to make $12K.

      I’m not sure this is really legit.

      1. I could be wrong, but I imagine that, when this scheme was hatched, they did not envision people with strong math skills as being their easiest marks core demographic.

        1. As Doctor Whom said above, a new economic plan for Greece. If you look past the requirement that one “work” 22 hours a week. This is Greece after all.

  15. Possible Solutions:

    * Convert Greece into a commercial joint venture with Disney.
    * Restore the Ottoman Empire.
    * Have Germany annex Greece.
    * Get other countries to join in bailing out Greece.
    * Freeze the population and thaw them out only after we’ve achieved a high-tech, post-scarcity economy.
    * Elect Trump to make the country into a giant casino.

    1. * Revert into warring city-states until the economy stabilizes.

      1. * Persian invasion v3.0. Krugman says wars are great for an economy.

        1. Well, we don’t know all the secret clauses of Iran bomb deal yet…

          1. The good news is, neither does Obama. They’re missing with the rest of Hillary’s email.

    2. Convert Greece into a commercial joint venture with Disney.
      Elect Trump to make the country into a giant casino.

      Greece’s GDP is only 240B$. These together might actually work. Germany seems to be more than willing to fund much less promising ventures in the Mediterranean. Hit them up for venture capital.

    3. After Disney France good luck getting the mouse in bed with the Greeks.

      1. Maybe they could model after Hong Kong Disneyland, instead, what with all the little islands in Greece.

        1. I haven’t been to Hong Kong Disney. Is it nice?

          1. I haven’t been either, but I hear it is profitable, which is always a good sign. No idea how many subsidies and special favors it gets, though…

            1. Hong Kong is a special favor… to mainland China.

          2. I have heard from Taiwanese that its overrun with loud-mouthed, spitting mainland Chinese. This is the real market for Hong Kong disney, not foreigners.

            Also, the climate in Hong Kong during the summer is not really that pleasant. I guess neither is Florida, though.

            1. Florida: America’s Dong Hong Kong

              /rebranded

            2. Isn’t a new park being built in Shanghai?

      2. The difference is that Disney will run the whole country.

        I left out another one–convert Greece to a free-trade zone.

    4. * Convert Greece into a commercial joint venture with Disney.

      This has been my suggestion all along. Greece become Greekland. Win-win.

    5. * Restore the Ottoman Empire.

      Like furniture is going to help this situation.

  16. Meanwhile, some economists I spoke to in July suggest the real reason unemployment in Greece is such a problem is that no one?least of all Tsipras?is willing to go through with the labor market reforms that would be needed to get the country growing again.

    Labor market reforms like “Greeks would have to actually labor to get paid”? That’s an obvious non-starter.

    And last month Reason TV sat down with Peter Schiff to talk about whether the U.S. is headed the same way.

    Yes, we are headed that way, but our per capita GDP and employment rate are so, so much better here than in Greece. We’ve got at least a generation to turn things around before we end up like that.

    1. Also, America’s economy is much much more diversified than Greece’s and America actually controls its money. There are many other major differences between the two countries’ economies. Comparing Greece to America is frankly intellectually lazy.

      1. So no need to worry about a ballooning national debt, runaway spending, or unsustainable entitlement promises. Party on Wayne! Party on Garth!

  17. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

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    1. Hey?! This is zuhozefo’s post to spam!!!!

  18. Nothing says birthplace of democracy like three national elections in less than a year…

  19. “…Meanwhile, some economists I spoke to in July suggest the real reason unemployment in Greece is such a problem is that no one?least of all Tsipras?is willing to go through with the labor market reforms that would be needed to get the country growing again….”

    And until that happens, this is ‘rinse and repeat’.

  20. Some talking head on Bloomberg earlier was delivering the shocking revelation that Tsipras ran as the anti austerity candidate, but once he got elected he began to embrace some form of austerity.
    It’s almost as if math triumphs over sloganeering, or something. Who knew?

    1. Damn unicorns just didn’t shit enough gold!

    2. Maths, brooks.

      We’re enlightened people here. and enlightened people say, “Maths”

      also, we slash our 7s, and prefer Zed to Zee

      1. we slash our 7s

        Well how else are you supposed to tell them from 1s in shorthand?

      2. I slash my 7s and spike my zeros because I have atrocious handwriting.

      3. I find it pretentious when my orphans slash their sevens and zeros.

        A sound thrashing usually improves their handwriting.

        1. (Gasp)

          You let your orphans read and write!? That seems reckless.

  21. Something tells me there are plenty of Greeks who have already embraced a lot of ad hoc labor market reforms, in the form of off-the-books provision of goods and services.

    1. Surprisingly, estimates aren’t easy to find.
      In 2013, VISA estimated it at ~1/4 of the total economy, and I doubt it’s fallen since:
      http://bbj.hu/economy/greek-bl…..says_65899

  22. And that lightweight silvery nonferrous metal has a name with five syllables?

    1. Mendeleevium??????

  23. Six, sometimes.
    * ally-yoo-minnie-umm

  24. This is what happens when he take all of a people’s gods away. Next thing you know they’re all wanting to be Socrates and lay around in bathtubs in the public square.

    1. I think that was Euripides in the bathtub.

      You know what they say, Euripides, Eumenides.

  25. Meh. China is the big show. Then the EU. Then Japan. Then all the EM. Then the US.

    Get your popcorn and a comfy chair because we just reached the end of the beginning. Now we’re starting the beginning of the end.

    1. Now we’re starting the beginning of the end.

      Not the giant grasshoppers!

    2. It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from here?

  26. How long before we are having this conversation again?

    The Germans are idiots for giving money to winos.

    1. But the French swear they’ll pay it back next week…

      Oh, you meant the Greeks.

    2. Sooner or later they’ll stop being guilt-tripped.

  27. My proposal for next round of Greek bailout: crates of Bastiat and Hayek books translated into Greek, and tons of subtitled DVDs of Margaret Thatcher’s speeches.

    1. books and DVDs? the dock workers will crush you with tariffs just getting that stuff into the country.

      spend your money on marketing those ideas and the people will find the digitized versions.

      1. Look, it’s a government bailout! Of course it has to come in a form that’s 20 years old or more!

        I probably should have suggested CDs or Tapes instead of DVDs though.

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  30. Oh, and thank you, Reason staff, for some economics posts today. I wish they got more responses than Trump or Jared, but it’s much appreciated!

  31. One of the best features of a parliamentary system is that elections can happen any time with little notice.

    1. Oooh, shall Rufus, Cytotoxic and I continue our education of you in intricacies and issues of the current, in-progress Canadian election? Because there’s an awesome story about how old man yelled at cloud press!

      1. Exactly, this needs to happen more. The Americans get to bitch about their republic going to shit all the time, during the election we need venting time about the idiocy in our Parliamentary constitutional monarchy founded by drunks.

      2. Yeah, sure, why not?

  32. In solidarity I have taken off my tie.

  33. Oh, and thank you, Reason staff, for some economics posts today. I wish they got more responses than Trump or Jared, but it’s much appreciated!
    .
    Seconded.

  34. Another opportunity for the Greek polity to have a “hissy fit”.
    Why don’t they just declare war on Germany and get it over with?
    They might win.

  35. Dude is not making a lot of sense.

    http://www.Total-Privacy.tk

  36. Naturally, those who worship the Almighty State will never support reforms that limit its power, no matter how much good it will do. Of course, they probably will tell themselves that no such reform can actually work.

  37. When you borrow, you have a responsibility to return what was borrowed. Each individual who is owed by Greece should have a voice in any debt forgiveness, requiring 100% agreement by those owed, and not simply by a majority or a government decision.
    Greece is asking for charity by asking to have their debt reduced, and those who wish by their own free choice should give as they see fit, reducing the debt owed by Greece directly, and cease any further lending to Greece until their current debt is paid in full. In the present, any additional needs by Greece should be acquired from those who are willing to give without expecting any return.
    Get your house in order Greece, and perhaps all developed world Nations should do the same. We can not afford to subsidize living, perpetually increasing the debt and cost on future generations.

  38. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

    http://www.homejobs90.com

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