Yanis Varoufakis: A Bizarre Champion for ‘Remain’

Yanis Varoufakis achieved very little during the short time he held public office. Therefore, it seems bizarre that he should come to Belfast to outline why Brexit will be bad for Northern Ireland or Ireland. Varoufakis’ attempts to negotiate more favourable terms for Greece’s monstrous debt, fell on deaf ears, in the few short months he was Greece’s Finance Minister.  He argued, and there was merit in his argument, that the Troika (the IMF, ECB and EU Commission), was heaping debt … Read more

Portugal – Redux: “I’m less heartened by the way in which individuals misinterpret other countries’ politics to prove particular political points.”

Make that individuals and political parties… Like David, Sinn Féin had another go at framing the narrative over recent events in Portugal. Unlike David, they didn’t reverse ferret totally change their perspective after reading a random blog post… The initial charge (24 Oct) from the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, was that “Events in Portugal expose anti-democratic nature of EU” …in Portugal we are witnessing the makings of a genuine coup with the unwillingness of the establishment there to … Read more

Cartoon – Lose-lose for Germany and Greece

The Republic of Ireland beat the creditor state 1-0. Northern Ireland beat the debtor state 3-1. For a short moment Germany and Greece are both losers. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

“in which case, may I be the first to say well done Gerry.”

Aided and abetted by the right-wing nationalists of the Independent Greeks, Alexis Tsipras has been returned to power in Greece at the head of a New Syriza “experiment” to implement the EU bail-out, and associated austerity measures, that the Old Syriza experiment was once elected to oppose.  Given the contortions Tsipras has put his party, and his country, through it was interesting to see the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, quick off the mark to congratulate Tsipras [on his chutzpah? – … Read more

What the Greek diktat says about the future of Europe.

Away from the political turmoil, the bewildering complexity and the human misery at the root of it all, a couple of interesting overviews.  First, the shock of final disillusionment from Fintan O’Toole.   already scarred by the experience of the Irish bailout. What’s the difference between the Mafia and the current European leadership? The Mafia makes you an offer you can’t refuse. The leaders of the European Union offer you a deal you can neither refuse nor accept without destroying yourself. … Read more

Greek deal: This Is NOT a Coup

Whether the Syriza-led government of Greece survives its own domestic democratic pressures remains to be seen following the deal struck at the Eurozone summit yesterday – in the end the 28 EU leaders didn’t have to meet…  The Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis notes one possible scenario Analysts at Eurasia Group suspect Greece could soon head towards a national unity government, if many government MPs refuse to back the bailout deal on Wednesday night. If Tsipras loses his majority and potentially even … Read more

The Greek Deal…A final act of subversion?

John O’Donovan, Radio Producer, presenter and lecturer in media says that Greece now needs an election before any deal can be agreed. After a victorious referendum result that saw the Greek people defeat an austerity deal by a clear mandate of 61%, Greece has now been bounced into what appears to be an even more swingeing bailout deal. The third bailout deal will keep Greece in the Eurozone, if it is passed in the Greek Parliament by Wednesday, but at … Read more

European Council President on Greek Crisis: “the final deadline ends this week”

Following what the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is reported to have described as a “very long, intensive”, “very clear and candid discussion” at the emergency summit of Eurozone leaders in Brussels tonight, some details are emerging of the next steps in the continuing Greek crisis.  From the Guardian’s live blog. Europe has given Athens one last chance to produce a credible economic reform plan that could underpin a new bailout.  It has also threatened that Greece will leave the Eurozone … Read more

#SluggerReport: Greece votes No (but does anyone here know what that means?)

listen to ‘Greece Votes No, but what does that mean?’ on audioBoom Today, there was only one topic worth tackling. The result of yesterday’s Greek Referendum. Key reference today is Pete’s post from early 2011: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”? The #SluggerReport goes out on Periscope live 10am with a edited podcast appearing on Slugger’s audioBoo page later. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics … Read more

Greek referendum: a lose lose for Europe

I have always tried to avoid making predictions as unlike Mr. Ashdown, I have few hats and no desire to devour any of them. It does seem, however, as though the Greek population have rejected the terms of the latest bailout. The saga of the Greek Eurozone experiment and its travails seems to have gone on rather longer than the Trojan War. How one analyses the blame depends to a large extent on one’s views on economics and the whole … Read more

“Greece today is angry and fearful, divided and conflicted, and will still be after Sunday’s vote.”

With Sunday’s controversial, and confused, Greek referendum clearing its constitutional test in the courts, the Guardian Data Blog rounds-up the polls – as of 12.34pm Friday.  The then-live-blog added An Ipsos poll just released shows the referendum on a knife-edge. It has yes on 44% and no one point behind on 43%, with 12% still undecided. The number of undecided respondents underscores the significant potential for volatility, Ipsos said, describing the referendum as “too close to call”. The poll is the fifth … Read more

Greek Referendum: “a chunk of undecided voters to fight over.”

Via the Guardian’s Greece crisis blog.   Another wrinkle for the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, and those agitating on their behalf, to contemplate ahead of the controversial, and confused, on/off/on 5 July referendum in Greece. GPO poll Yes 47.1% No 43.2% Undecided 6.3% (via @euro2day_gr) #Greferendum #Greece #politics pic.twitter.com/xJRr3K2uAC — MacroPolis (@MacroPolis_gr) July 1, 2015 Pete Baker

Ireland has missed a glorious chance on Greece

As the Greek tragedy rumbles on France has said it will keep up efforts to reach a deal. France has also maintained that the biggest critics of Greece are the other smaller countries. This brings Ireland into the spotlight. Has the government really been politically clever in how it has handled the Greek crisis? Ireland has a strong reputation in Europe. At several junctures in the history of the EU it is Ireland that has helped to bring people around … Read more

Greece: bitter pills & ill-wills

Of the grand, ambitious projects embarked-upon on the European continent over the last three decades two highly visible examples were recalled today in Brussels: football’s Champions League and the Single European Currency. Whatever they have in common there is one crucial difference in joining either of these prestigious clubs, in the Euro one can gain promotion but there is no relegation. Countries simply don’t drop-out of the Euro if they fail to finish with enough points, only to return after … Read more

“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

With European leaders, including Syriza’s erstwhile ally the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning Greek voters that they will be, effectively, deciding whether or not they want to stay in the eurozone, the BBC takes a side-ways look at the wording of the controversial 5 July referendum the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras suddenly announced at the weekend.  From the BBC article Voters go to the polls for the Greek referendum. pic.twitter.com/xpp3OWEvgX — Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) June 29, 2015 Here’s the … Read more

More Greek gamesmanship…

With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing criticism of the 2011 proposed referendum, with compliments. pic.twitter.com/TIqQ10ZAdp — Finisterre67 (@Finisterre67) June 27, 2015 With the new manoeuvre almost certainly designed to short-circuit the … Read more

Cartoon – Martin Varoufakis

Yesterday Theresa Villiers hosted the Stormont House Agreement Implementation Review meeting with the 5 Executive parties and Irish Government. Word has it Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness fired a verbal volley at Secretary of State. Very Varoufakis. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

Cartoon – “Sinn Fexit”?

Talk is of Grexit and the latest from Tsipras is, “wife will leave if I surrender to Europe.” The Greek leader isn’t the only one at the centre of an impasse exercise his spouse’s bidding. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

IMF to Tsipras: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

After more of the familiar lies and misdirection yesterday, there were some optimistic noises from Brussels last night as the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met on the side-lines of the EU-Latin America summit.  They were short-lived. Having tried to play the International Monetary Fund, and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, last week, the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government are being treated to a practical lesson in hard-ball negotiations by the IMF.  As the Guardian’s Larry Elliott … Read more

“Greece is joining a fairly exclusive club…”

Which ‘club’, exactly, remains to be seen…  If you’ve been having trouble following the twists and turns and lies and misdirection of the on-going Greek financial crisis [Join the club! – Ed] *ahem*  Perhaps some notes on Greece’s Syriza-led Government’s latest reverse-ferret decision to delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund, and bundle all four of its June payments together in one easy €1.5billion payment by 30 June might help.  30 June, according to the BBC report, is the … Read more