Greeks Call For Referendum On IMF Bailout, Call Austerity "Barbaric Attack" And "Premeditated Crime Against Greek Society"

Tyler Durden's picture

Looks like the downloads of "Austerity for Bankrupt Dummies" on all those paradropped Kindles, which Amazon was forced to do after the market did not share its outlook enthusiasm, has had the desired effect: suddenly with everyone understanding what is required, the threats of an revolution (both literal and metaphoric) are hitting a crescendo. As Bloomberg reports: "ADEDY, the Athens-based federation representing the more than 500,000 Greek civil servants who have seen wages cut this year, said the move signaled a new and “barbaric attack,” and called a protest rally for April 27 [yep, another day of strikes and rioting]. Another demonstration has been set by the opposition Syriza party for today in Athens. "This is a premeditated crime against Greek society,” Alexis Tsipras, the head of Syriza said in an e-mailed statement. “The majority of the Greek people are being tossed helplessly in the tempest of insecurity, unemployment and poverty.” He called for a referendum on the decision to seek IMF support." So here we are, and neither Germany nor Greece really wants the bailout So who the hell is benefiting from all this theater? Why, the major banks, of course, and a few politicians who are, and tried and true Chris Dodd fashion, are merely their lackeys for life. We are now convinced that there will be a government overhaul, hopefully peaceful, but most likely violent, in Greece in the next 3 months if the IMF bailout in fact occurs. We wish we could say the same thing about the United States.

From Bloomie:

Papandreou, who announced today he will trigger the rescue is under fire from voters and unions for raising taxes and cutting wages to reduce a budget deficit that is more than four times bigger than European Union rules allow. Greeks fear the EU and IMF package, crafted to stem the country’s soaring borrowing costs, will mean lower pensions and benefits, more wage cuts and produce a deeper recession.

Taxes, Wages

The premier won elections in October promising to raise wages of public workers and step up stimulus spending. Within weeks of coming to power, the new administration discovered they faced a 2009 budget deficit of 12.7 percent of gross domestic product, more than twice the shortfall the defeated New Democracy government had revealed. EU officials revised the deficit further to 13.6 percent of GDP yesterday.

The shortfall derailed Papandreou’s spending plans and forced him to raise taxes and cut wages to try to make good on a pledge to cut the shortfall to 8.7 percent this year. Investors shunned Greek bonds leaving the government struggling to finance its debt. Papandreou’s popularity has declined, particularly among the public workers who suffered the pay cuts and are the traditional base of his socialist party.

And, yes, the same incompetent politicians driving the ship straight into the iceberg, are waxing poetic about the last hours above surface:

Activating the rescue mechanism and turning over economic policy to EU and IMF oversight is “a new Odyssey for Greece,” Papandreou said. “But we know the road to Ithaca and have charted the waters,” he said, referring to the return of mythological hero Ulysses to his island home after a decade.

Confidence in Papandreou’s handling of the economy dropped this month on deepening fears of new austerity measures. The share of people trusting his management of the crisis fell to 47 percent from 55 percent in February, according to a survey of 540 Greeks by Public Issue for Skai radio.

And the political infighting is reaching new highs:

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed said they expect a wave of new fiscal measures from the IMF, around the same proportion as in an April 18 poll for Eleftheros Typos newspaper. The poll showed 51 percent believe the IMF will harm the country, compared with 27 percent who said it would be of benefit.

ADEDY has held four 24-hour national walkouts so far this year. GSEE, the umbrella group representing 2 million private- sector workers will meet next week to decide “how and when” to strike, spokesman Stathis Anestis said.

“Papandreou spoke of a new Odyssey: heaven only knows how long that will be,” Antonis Samaras, the leader of the main opposition party, the center-right New Democracy which was defeated by Papandreou’s socialist Pasok party in October.

Samaras said that while he had taken responsibility for the previous government’s failures in some policies “the borrowing crisis is exclusively the achievement of Pasok.

One thing is certain, at the end of this crisis, getting funding at sub-10% yields will be the absolute least of Greece's worries.

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Hephasteus's picture

God has a plan. Plan premeditated crime. Whatever you want to call it.

King_of_simpletons's picture

I am begining to feel that certain cultures are genetically not capable of understanding austerity and such things as 'spend below your means'.

lizzy36's picture

The fact is that the US (world) economy would collapse if the culture "spent below their means".

Delayed gratification, from a macro to a micro level, is  merely a quaint notion at this stage of global development. Like transparency, and responsibility. 


pan-the-ist's picture

I agree.

I personally think that our country's investment in 'defence' is the 500 lb gorilla that people in other countries see that maybe some people don't.  What does that satellite that we just launched do?  How much similar unreleased technology do we have?

I am not suggesting this is 'right' in a moral sense, I am suggesting this is how it is in a practical sense and will be especially if our economy collapses.

akak's picture

And interestingly, EVERYTHING related to US military spending and action is automatically labeled "defense", in classic Orwellian fashion.

We as Americans spend almost nothing on "defense".  Let's call it what it really is: OFFENSE!

The USA does not have a "Department of Defense" --- we have a Department of OFFENSE.

Or more specifically, a Department of Military Aggression and World Hegemony.

RobD's picture

When we play "defense" we get smoking holes in Manhattan and when we play offence the smoking holes are in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Frankly I like offence better but that's just me.

akak's picture

No, the smoking holes are a DIRECT RESULT of our unjustified and imperialistic offense, which after more than six decades seems to curiously and inexplicably upset the victims of that offense.

Keep going out of your way to kick hornet's nests, and eventually some abused hornets are are going to fly out and sting you.  Do you blame the hornets, or the malicious and meddlesome kicker?

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Hornets and humans are exactly the same?

Live in a big city? Have electricity that works all the time? Got a car?

How many of the 50 million that died under communism do you call insects?

How many muslims rescued a dog from a shelter today?


trav7777's picture

Did the war cause the terrorism or did the terrorism cause the war?

If war is big business, 911 sure was a helluva windfall.  Just sayin'

Jacob Dreizin's picture

It's like a kid walking through the forest, who finds an ant nest.  Punching and kicking the nest a couple of times---it helps him feel like a big tough guy, and also has some entertainment value for his simple brain cells---and finding a few biting ants crawling on his hands and legs, he shouts, "Look! Terrorists!  I knew it!" and proceeds to spend the next twenty years methodically demolishing the nest at a cost of trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.  That's your strategy.

dabug's picture

Actually that should read; and finding himself biting on his hands and legs, he shouts, "Look! Terrorists!  I knew it!" and proceeds to spend the next twenty years methodically demolishing the nest at a cost of trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives

Absinthe Minded's picture

If we default and China loses $2T, we better spend a lot more on defense. Of course we will only be able to buy from native sources that can still use the FRN as legal tender. Just think what oil will cost then...

cougar_w's picture

The banks and manufacturers have been dragging forward future demand to make current quarterly profits and bonuses. The future demand is exhausted. Contraction cannot be avoided.

Frugality hasn't been a strategic concept since 1971. Frugality is the enemy of both the State and the economy.

taraxias's picture

Or, may be certain cultures are not yet prepared to be enslaved by the banksters.

BlackBeard's picture

Never trust a douchebag that quotes Homer in the middle of a car crash.

akak's picture

Nor one who would drag the corpses of the victims, his fellow countrymen, seven times around the walls of the IMF in spite and in tribute to his masters.

Adam Neira's picture

Greek pride is immense. What is that statement about a fall ?

Is it true that people have to pay "fakelakis" for upgraded hospital treatment in the country ?

Papendreou will have to unite the people somehow. Belt-tightening is required. Tourism will continue to the islands as long as bombings don't continue. The Defence Budget should be reduced. (Distrust of Turkey is endemic however in all age groups. This attitude seems to be entrenched as is evidenced by the Cyprus imbroglio. You can lead a Greek horse to peaceful waters but you can't make him drink.) Corruption should be cracked down on. The Black Economy should be mopped up and the shadow money directed into the legitimate tax base. Corruption is rife.

Diaspora Greeks will not reach into their pockets to bail out their cousins. (Nana Mouskouri's effort is noble but insignificant as she is in a different situation than most. When push comes to shove people tend to worry about their own backyard.) They sympathise but would only respond financially or physically if Greece was attacked in a war situation. The Orthodox Church still holds a lot of sway in the country. If the Patriarch comes out and supports the government's moves and advises his underlings to do the same the religious base will respond. The students feel they are untouchable. The anarchists and groups like November 17 et al. are the real dangerous fire starters. The Unions and Public Service have become way too comfortable. There are many hard-working, decent, law-abiding, taxpaying private sector citizens. The police and judiciary must be respected. The military should sit things out and worry about national security. The EYP, Εθνικ? Υπηρεσ?α Πληροφορι?ν, have their hands full and are waking up to prevailing power structures. The CDS traders and foreign bankers are not the cause of the problems.

Interesting times...Astanapanix !

Δεν υπ?ρχει πρ?βλημα


Deep's picture

this whole thing has turned inta a joke. the grecce thing, the market, what a joke? 

VegasBD's picture

Na, the real irony will happen when the US-controlled/funded IMF needs to bail out the United States. hahahah

10044's picture

The question inside the referendum has been leaked:
Do you like to get fucked by Goldman Sachs?
Pls keep your answers short with a yes/no

Shameful's picture

Wait you mean a country can't live beyond it's means forever?  Shit! Think we should tell the US?

chet's picture

Thanks for the link.  That was interesting.

Commander Cody's picture

Don't forget Ben's infinite printing press.  The Eurozone is held to a higher standard.

Commander Cody's picture

Do striking workers get paid on strike days?  If not, then that is a good thing and maybe part of the austerity "plan."

knukles's picture

Get Real!

It is Infinitely Painful for many in Greece these days when they're supposed to be on Permanent Vacation(God Given EU Shit, It Is!  Recently So Declared in Brussels!) or Retirement 24/7/365 so disturbingly bothered, called to Muster in the fields, villages and city squares, Democratically Debating of their Frustrations with the Necessity of Marching into fields, villages and city squares, for it's

Fucking Work

Sudden Debt's picture

"the head of Syriza said in an e-mailed statement"


ambrosiac's picture


What is the world coming to, when yuppie biker Communists start saying things that actually make sense 

Adam Neira's picture

E-mail with gravitas !

Some budding entrepreneur should set up a instant online wedding site. With the dating sites out there, 1900 numbers, and now speed-divorcing the whole gamut of the courtship, relationship, break-up spectrum is covered. Why someone could do the lot in 24 hours. Cool ! Instant feelings...Just add water and stir. Perfect for the dazed, distracted, microwaved, abbreviated and goldfish attention-span generations.

Divided States of America's picture

Honestly, they can all go F themselves

John McCloy's picture

+1 ALL

On that side of the Atlantic and this.

Dr. No's picture

"This is a premeditated crime against Greek society".  As an american tax payer (yes, per my 2009 return, I was in the minority), who funds the US, who in turn funds the IMF, who inturn funds the greek people am starting to get a little outraged...


F* it, Im going long the DOW!

Jason T's picture

Dependancy to Bondage .. the end of the cycle of Democracy... founded by the greeks and Greece shall signal the beginning of the end of Democracy as we once knew it.  Sadly, the rise of Dictotorships is on the way.  Perhaps a new dark age if you can look out 10-30 years. 

illyia's picture

So who the hell is benefiting from all this theater? Why, the major banks, of course, and a few politicians ...

And so it goes until it doesn't...

Unbelievably stupid.

What_Me_Worry's picture

This is truly entertainment now.  Although, this form of entertainment is far from being free.

I just got the thought of a new Weekend at Bernies movie.  The EU and IMF can parade Bernie(aka Greece) around Germany this weekend pretending he isn't already dead trying to get a loan approved.  Hilarity ensues.

Adam Neira's picture

Political Commentator Alfred E. Neuman raised the following point re. the language used in this report in his latest daily Mad Missives (By subscription only)...

Would ADEDY and Alexis Tsipras, the head of Syriza, call the twin fire bombings of the shul in Hania, Crete in January 2010 “barbaric attacks” andpremeditated crimes” ?

Fascinating Alfred, non ? Can’t wait to see the Spy vs Spy section and that fold-out page on the back.

john_connor's picture

I'm not sure if I really believe in the Mayan predictions, but it appears we are all systems go for end of days.  You could not write a better script for the ludicrous crap that is happening.  The entire world is a complete and utter joke.


Dr. No's picture

common John, how are you going to motivate the resitance with talk like that?!

john_connor's picture

No doubt.  It's Friday after a long week.  The resistance is alive and well however. 

Adam Neira's picture

Jesus of Nazareth will reappear descending from the clouds with his donkey at the gates of Jerusalem via YouTube in December 2012. (Just to shut those silly mayan pagan worshippers up and those smart-arse film directors aswell.) Happy to trade with you re. "Second Coming 2020 Futures Contract".

rrbluefin's picture

Forget Yucca Mountain, lets use Greece as our nuclear waste site.  At least then that chunk of real estate would have some value.

trav7777's picture


They cannot understand that the cartel that controls "money" has the right to issue this shit and have it have value whereas they do not get to do that.  It's seigniorage!  And you ain't the king. 

No, shit, national production is inadequate to FUND the consumption of the Greek People, consequently they have to go to the seignur and get paper that people respect.  And there's a price for that, Barbarian.

The price is that those who control moneyness will eventually TAKE your fuckin land and cattle and daughters and wells and mines and EVERYTHING because they have the power to bestow moneyness and you DO NOT.

And they only have it because of idiotic consensus opinion.  Or they have some pictures of a vault full of gold.

BrianOFlanagan's picture

bankers meet the pitchforks.  Can't wait to see it in high def. 

Mitchman's picture

Why can't they just print counterfit euro's?  They're as good as the counterfit dollars we're getting.

Hephasteus's picture

Because we are playing global relativistic economics with stupidity as it's anchor and the cia as it's trolling motor.

ZackAttack's picture

Oh, a referendum will never happen. If it does, it'll be like Iceland's kabuki vote.

Silly proles, rights are only for bankers.

DR's picture has a good complementary piece.
Gotta think the Greek crisis is a precursor for the US-force wage deflation in order to pay the international creditors.
Washington Consenus coming our way.
Marx warned us about this.

Invisible Hand's picture

Hate to repeat myself but "Greece must be dest...."

Oh, I give up.  We will learn nothing from what happens in Greece.  Even the Greeks can't seem to learn anything from what is happening in Greece.  Where do the idiots rioting over pay cuts think the money is going to come from to pay them anything next month, next year, etc.?

Just give up.  The markets are crazy, the govt is crazy, most people are crazy.  Right now the inmates are running the asylum and anyone who is sane has to wonder if being nuts wouldn't be the better thing.  Watch an old movie named "King of Hearts" on this subject.

I am thinking of ditching my clothes and moving into the asylum.

Buck Johnson's picture

I couldn't agree with you more, It's not just a Greek thing most Americans have emotional and mental problems.  You see these people saying and commenting on these Austerity programs and such are bad for the people, guess what you idiots it was YOUR GOVT. THAT SPENT LIKE NO TOMORROW AND YOU WHERE THE BENEFICIARY OF MUCH OF THAT SPENDING.  Everything is good when it's going good, but it's bad when it's going bad.  I also believe that the inmates are running the asylum/countries of the world (the biggest is the US).  Many of our political and religious leaders have dumbed down their populace so much that they can't use simple logic to figure out why they aren't getting ahead and who they should blame for their problems.  It's easy to control the ignorant and the disturbed, as long as you give them what they want/need and say the right things, the will agree to almost anything.


I have never heard of the movie the King of Hearts (original title: Le Roi de Cœur), but it does fit in alot of ways.  Most of our issues have insane people (acting sane) trying to run things but shouldn't, and the sane people are finally figuring out that they are surrounded by insane people.  They used all the excuses and now there is only one left, and that is our system has made alot of people mentally and emotionally unstable, and instead of fixing this problem our leaders (who are finally being elected from the same pool of people) are thinking their logic is real when it's not.  A german doctor made a observation that if you put a sane person in an asylum, eventually they will take on the characteristics of the people in the asylum (in essence go insane themselves in order to adapt).  We have allowed the crazies to get to such a point that they are in charge and the sane people are running around trying to educate them why this is wrong or that, but as every year goes by less and less sane people are around anymore.