Bailing out banks
Christine Lagarde with Angela Merkel
Bailout of European banks
The austerity measures have done nothing and will do nothing to solve Greece's problems; in fact, they only make things worse. That money was used to bail out banks, especially banks in Germany and in France, to prevent them from taking losses. ... The truth of the matter is that 90 percent of that money never arrived in Greece.
The anti-austerity movement in Greece involves a series of demonstrations and general strikes taking place across the country. The events, which began on 5 May 2010, were provoked by plans to cut public spending and raise taxes as austerity measures in exchange for a €110 billion bail-out, aimed at solving the Greek government-debt crisis. Three people were killed on 5 May in one of the largest demonstrations in Greece since 1973.
After months and months of discussions, we were once again sitting around the table working with patience and determination to secure the best possible agreement. This momentum was destroyed unilaterally by the announcement of a referendum and by the decision to mount a "no" campaign to reject this agreement, and above all by the failure to tell the whole truth. Playing one democracy off against 18 others is not an attitude worthy of the great Greek nation.
For example, at the height of the Greece crisis in 2015 the ECB repeatedly limited the ceiling on Emergency Liquidity Assistance for the country's banks without publicly announcing it. The ECB's discretionary powers allowed it to put pressure on Greek banks while negotiating bailout reforms with the Greek government as part of the Troika of international creditors. Similar dynamics could play out in the upcoming negotiations with Greece...
The European Central Bank raised the pressure on Greece to extend an international bailout deal on Thursday, as new leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told EU leaders austerity was killing his economy and an alternative had to be found.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker slaps Alexis Tsipras on his cheek
Alexis Tsipras has said that Greece will accept all bailout conditions proposed by the country's creditors with only a handful of minor changes.
After railing against austerity, the Greek leader has come to accept it as a necessary evil to keep Greece in the euro. The U-turn leaves Tsipras on the same path trodden by predecessors including arch-enemy Antonis Samaras, who at one time he had blasted for kowtowing to creditors' demands.
IMF's Christine Lagarde points the finger
Using some of the bluntest language of the two-and-a-half-year debt crisis, she says Greek parents have to take responsibility if their children are being affected by spending cuts. "Parents have to pay their tax," she says.
Angela Merkel points the finger
Forcing the Greek government to agree to an economically questionable, predominantly symbolic privatisation fund cannot be understood as anything other than an act of punishment against a leftwing government.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker kisses Lagarde in EU Council
IMF boss who caused international outrage when she suggested that Greeks should pay their taxes earns a tax-free salary.
In fact, her IMF salary of $467,940 plus an $83,760 additional allowance is not subject to any taxes.
The historic third bailout awarded to Athens after weeks of brinkmanship last year was supposed to have secured its future in the EU. But little has changed.
The true goal of lending money to the debtor is not to get the debt reimbursed with a profit, but the indefinite continuation of the debt which keeps the debtor in permanent dependency and subordination, although much depends on the debtor. Not only Greece but also the U.S. will not be able even theoretically to repay their debt, as it is now publicly recognized. So there are debtors who can blackmail its creditors because they cannot be allowed to fail (big banks), debtors who can control the conditions of their repayment (the U.S. government), and, finally, debtors who can be pushed around and humiliated (Greece).