– Syriza MP Asks $330bn Question: “How Will 4-Month Extension Improve Our Negotiating Position?” (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):
While the tone may not be as vociferous as historic Syriza MEP Manolis Glezos’ recent statements over the Greek ‘new deal’, the rhetoric of Costas Lapavitsas (newly-elected Syriza MP) blog post is clearly questioning the decision-making of his party’s leadership. With regards “our commitment to the Greek people, we have deep concerns,” he begins, detailing five major questions that must be answered, perhaps most importantly, “What exactly will change in the next four months of ‘extension’, so that the new negotiation with our partners to become of better places? What will prevent the deterioration of the political, economic and social situation of the country?”
The agreement of the Eurogroup is not completed, partly because we do not know yet what ‘reforms’ will be proposed by the Greek government today (Monday, February 23) and which of them will be accepted. But those who have been elected on the basis of SYRIZA program and believe the promises of Thessaloniki as our commitment to the Greek people, we have deep concerns. It is our obligation to record.
The general outline of the agreement is as follows:
1.The Greece asks for extension of the current credit support agreement, which is based on a series of commitments.
2.The aim of opening is to enable the completion of the evaluation of the current agreement and to give time for a possible new agreement.
3.The Greece will immediately submit a list of ‘reforms’ which will be assessed by ‘institutions’ and finally agreed in April. If the evaluation is positive, will be released the money not given even the current agreement plus reimbursements from the ECB profits.
4.The existing funds of the Financial Stability Fund will be used exclusively for the needs of banks and will be out of Greek control.
5.The Greece is committed to fully and timely meet all its financial obligations to its partners.
6.The Greece is committed to ensuring ‘appropriate’ primary surpluses to guarantee the sustainability of the debt on the basis of the Eurogroup decision of November 2012. The surplus for 2015 will take into account the economic conditions of 2015.
7.The Greece will not revoke measures, or make unilateral changes that can have a negative impact on the budgetary targets, the economic recovery, or financial stability, as will be appreciated by those institutions’.
On this basis, the Eurogroup will start national processes for a four-month extension of the current agreement and urges the Greek authorities to immediately start the process for the successful completion of its evaluation.
It is difficult to see that through this agreement will be implemented announcements ‘Thessaloniki’ involving the deletion of most of the debt and the immediate replacement of memoranda with the National Reconstruction Plan. Those who were elected by the Syriza pledged to move forward in the implementation of the National Plan regardless of the negotiations on the debt, because we need to restart the economy and relieve society. It is necessary therefore to now explain how these will be implemented and how will the new government to change the tragic situation he inherited.
To be more specific, the National Plan included four pillars at a cost for the first year as follows:
I) Addressing the humanitarian crisis (1.9 billion).
II) Restart the economy with tax cuts, setting “red loans” establishment Development Bank, reset the minimum wage to 751 euros (total 6.5 billion).
III) Public Employment Programme for 300000 jobs (3 billion in the first year and another 2 billion in the second).
IV) Transformation of the political system with interventions in local government and in parliament.
The sources of funding again for the first time planned as follows:
I) Settlement of debts to the tax office (3 billion)
II) Combating fraud and smuggling (3 billion)
III) Financial Stability Fund (3 billion)
IV) NSRF and other European programs (3 billion)
Given therefore the release of Eurogroup, I ask:
1. National Reconstruction Plan
How to fund the National Reconstruction Plan, where 3 billion of the Financial Stability Fund is now outside Greek control? The removal of these funds makes even more pressing the collection of large amounts of tax avoidance and settlement of debts in a very short time. How feasible is this prospect?
How will the debt cancellation, when Greece is committed to fully and timely fulfill all financial obligations to their partners?
3. Austerity Waiver
How to be a waiver of austerity, when Greece is bound to succeed ‘appropriate’ primary surpluses to make the existing huge debt ‘sustainable’? The ‘sustainability’ debt – as estimated by the Troika – was exactly the reason for the irrational primary surpluses hunting. As the debt is not reduced significantly, it will cease to exist primary surpluses that are catastrophic for the Greek economy and the essence of austerity?
4. Supervision and financial cost
How to proceed any progressive change in the country, when the institutions’ will exert strict supervision and prohibit unilateral actions? They will allow the ‘institutions’ implementation of pillars ‘Thessaloniki’ as a direct or indirect financial costs?
5. The future negotiation
What exactly will change in the next four months of ‘extension’, so that the new negotiation with our partners to become of better places? What will prevent the deterioration of the political, economic and social situation of the country?
The moments are absolutely critical to society, the nation and of course the Left. The democratic legitimacy of the government rests in Syriza program. The minimum requirement is to have an open discussion on party members and the Parliamentary Group. Key responses should immediately give these questions to keep the great support and momentum gives us the Greek people. The answers will be given the next period will determine the future of country and society.