Western hypocrisy

“European leaders and the West in general are criticising Greece for their failure to collect taxes. One of the points of our commission [Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation] is that the West has created a framework for global tax avoidance, but the US is opposing the creation of a UN framework and [even] discussions among all the countries to do something about it. Here you have advanced countries trying to undermine a global effort to stop tax avoidance. Can you have a better image of hypocrisy?”

Joseph Stiglitz, 13 July, 2015, Addis Ababa

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Greece isnt Greece’s biggest problem

Syriza. To some it is a group of extremists which can pose a threat to the establishment. To others it is an anti-austerity social movement which fights for justice, human dignity and democracy. To Brussels and Europroject masters it is a nightmare and as an unexpected storm in the middle of the night. To investors it is a big seed of uncertainty making the euro to free-fall. But to all those, who have jumped on the ‘mass panic wave’ seeing Greece as a source of Europe-wide destabilization, I have picked 3 quotes by 3 internationally recognized economists who have perfectly described the new situation in Greece: Greece isnt Greece’s biggest problem and Syriza is anything bur radical.

Joseph Stiglitz in his interview with the CNBC told: “Greece made a few mistakes … but Europe made even bigger mistakes.” The medicine they gave was poisonous. It led the debt to grow up and the economy to go down.” He said “the real problem is Germany, which has benefited greatly under the euro. “Most economists are saying the best solution for Europe, if it’s going to break up, is for Germany to leave. The mark would raise, the German economy would be dampened.” He also thinks that if Greece decides to leave euro, it will be better and yes, Spain and Portuglar may follow, because they will see that there IS an alternative.

Jeffrey Sachs in the Guardian has written that: “Anybody who does the Greek debt arithmetic (and it sometimes seems that in Berlin nobody actually does) knows that it cannot repay its external debts, now around 170% of GDP, without a level of pain that is simply beyond the tolerance of democratic societies. The leftwing party Syriza is no anomaly; it is telling the financial and political truth in the runup to Sunday’s elections, however unpleasant that may be to politicians in Berlin and Brussels. Some Germans today insist that a debt is a debt, and that Greece must repay in full. They should recall the relief that Germany was granted through the Marshall plan, and the 1953 London agreement on German debts. Did Germany “deserve” the relief in 1953? That was not the right question. Germany’s new democracy needed the relief, and Germany needed a fresh start. It played a major role in the economic recovery and construction of Germany’s democratic institutions.”

Paul Krugman in his post in the New York Times said: “The troika [IMF, ECB, EC], while pretending to be hardheaded and realistic, was peddling an economic fantasy. And the Greek people have been paying the price for those elite delusions. [..]

So now that Mr. Tsipras has won, and won big, European officials would be well advised to skip the lectures calling on him to act responsibly and to go along with their program. The fact is they have no credibility; the program they imposed on Greece never made sense. It had no chance of working.

If anything, the problem with Syriza’s plans may be that they’re not radical enough. Debt relief and an easing of austerity would reduce the economic pain, but it’s doubtful whether they are sufficient to produce a strong recovery. On the other hand, it’s not clear what more any Greek government can do unless it’s prepared to abandon the euro, and the Greek public isn’t ready for that.

Still, in calling for a major change, Mr. Tsipras is being far more realistic than officials who want the beatings to continue until morale improves. The rest of Europe should give him a chance to end his country’s nightmare.”