The New Greek Finance Minister Has Some Questions For The World's Journalists

Tyler Durden's picture

It was a confusing day for Europe, for the new Greek foreign minister, and now for Greece's new finance minister who hours ago posted a question on his blog to the world's journalists:

A question of respect (or lack thereof)… – the Greek veto over Russia that never was

On the first day in our ministries, the power of the media to distort hit me again. The world’s press was full of reports on how the SYRIZA government’s first foreign policy ‘move’ was to veto fresh sanctions on Russia. Now, I am not qualified to speak on foreign affairs but, nonetheless, I must share this with you at a personal level. Our Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, briefed us that on his first day at the job he heard in the news bulletins that the EU had approved new sanctions on Russia unanimously. The problem was that he, and the new Greek government, were never asked! So, clearly, the issue was not whether our new government agrees or not with fresh sanctions on Russia. The issue is whether our view can be taken for granted without even being told of what it is! From my perspective, even though (let me state it again) I am certainly not qualified to speak on foreign affairs, this is all about a question of respect for our national sovereignty. Could journalists the world over try to draw this important distinction between protesting our being neglected from protesting the sanctions themselves? Or is this too complicated?

All fair questions. And then at almost the same time we read the following, first from Bloomberg:


And then from Reuters:

European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt.



The run-up to the Brussels talks was dominated by Greece, whose new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, took power on Monday and complained that his government had not been consulted before tighter sanctions were threatened. But at the meeting, colleagues said new foreign minister Nikos Kotzias had swiftly dispelled suggestions that Greece would automatically torpedo any sanctions effort.


According to Italy's foreign minister, Kotzias announced to the meeting: "I am not a Russian puppet."

It appears Greece was consulted after all:

While the Greeks did call for the decision on tighter sanctions to be delayed, they were not alone: other countries such as Italy and Austria also favored a delay, diplomats said, while Britain and the Baltic states wanted a clearer commitment to imposing new sanctions quickly. "We are not against every sanction," Kotzias said later. "We are in the mainstream, we are not the bad boys."

And even Germany is now "less concerned"

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed frustration with the ambiguity of the Greek position before the talks: "It is no secret that the new stance of the Greek government has not made today's debate any easier," he said. After he met Kotzias in private, German officials said he was less concerned.

So following all this, we too have a few questions of our own: i) was or wasn't Greece consulted; ii) if yes, did Greece agree to join the unanimous European statement while declaring it is "not a Russian puppet"; and finally iii) while Greece may not be a Russian puppet, is Greece still a European puppet?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
lakecity55's picture

That tightrope over the Snake River is hard to handle, isn't it?

Publicus's picture

This is beautiful, the EU is falling apart right before our eyes.

Newsboy's picture

If I need your opinion, I'll give it to you.


Victoria Nuland et al

Publicus's picture

Since Greece did not approve of the EU sanctions on Russian, Russia should start importing Greek food immediately as a response!

JamesBond's picture

Balancing a wife and mistress is never easy.

Solon the Destroyer's picture

That sounds inflationary.



JohninMK's picture

"After he met Kotzias in private, German officials said he was less concerned."

As is the norm a present was given, a shiny new German nail gun. In turn the Creeks gave a bottle of olive oil

old naughty's picture

you would think/expect that, no?

But then it appears  not as you think/expect now...

So apply proverbial pressure, as any politican would, no? 

Bindar Dundat's picture

If you like your opinion, you can keep my opinion....

Anunnaki's picture

Did we read the same article the Greek FM was insulted that anyone would think Greece would veto sanctiions. Them amd the other big talkers Hungary could have put their foot down but they spread their cheeks for Merkel high hard one

Greeks hoping lemmingesque loyalty will win them a few Eurocrumbs

I hope Putin tells Tsirpussy to fuck right off from here on out

edotabin's picture

I wouldn't go so far as to resort to such epithets, especially since they are in power for only 5 days. That being said, I think Lakecity55's comment (first comment on this thread) spells it out beautifully and succintly. It is very possible that their mouths have written checks that their reality can't cash.

I am no fan of their weasel-like tactics to be sure, although the taking this avenue was highly predictable. Trying to play the EU against Russia by questioning the sactions and and trying to gain favor with Russia etc. is a desperate tactic and that is why they are treading so lightly. They will hint and incinuate but they know their hand is nowhere nearly as strong as they have advertised. Moreover, these tactics reinforce the fact that Greeks will do anything for anyone and to anyone in an attempt to wiggle out of the largely (although not entirely) self-created disaster. This problem is compounded by the fact that they will be rehiring workers and increasing pensions as all this double-speak goes on.

The irony of all this is that the more they do this, the more they weaken their position in the long run. Nobody, not even the Russians, will take them as seriously as they would have otherwise. Sure, you may get a spectacular headline here and there (i.e. "Russians to buy Greek olives") but down deep everyone else knows Greece is acting like a child trying to escape the blame which lies largely (although not entirely) at their doorstep. Everyone knows that lending money to Greece will result in non-payment.  The immedaite cancellation of previously signed privatization contracts does not bode well for them either. It simply reinforces what is already known, what I've been saying and how they will not hesitate to "change" other, perhaps larger, agreements. More of the same basically. Countless contracts were simply torn up in the past as the governments changed between PASOK and ND.

Furthermore, although theirs is not a good position to be in, their tone is one of not only outright defiance but also of arrogance and hate. While the previous government may have been too passive, there is a danger that this government may try to force the pendulum a bit to far in the other direction while being nasty. You cannot act like a bull in a china shop when you are a chihuahua (albeit a rabid one).  I just hope they do not get too far ahead of themselves and let the success of the harsh comments designed for internal consumption by the masses cross over into international relations.

Most of all, I wish the Greek people well. They were destroyed (largely) by a socialist politician. I hope the present politician has better intentions and that they will follow him but with their eyes wide open. If you go into a situation with your eyes wide open and close them halfway later, it's not so bad.  If you go in with your eyes shut and open them later............... 


Solon the Destroyer's picture

I wasn't sure whether you were right or not  and then I noticed the ad sidebar... It seems to have switched from regularly displaying Fantasy Russian Brides to... Meet European Women.

If that's not a leading indicator for the pending Eurocalypse, I don't know what is.

We will know the end is nigh when that sidebar becomes Kiss Your New Swiss Miss. 

And that is a helluva lot closer than people realize. With the Swissie yield curve where it is and still dropping like a pet rock, the SNB will be doing everything it can to stave off currency collapse and I would bet there have already been some calls on the red phone to Marioworld, the Eccles Building and the Old Lady.  No way they can unwind in an orderly fashion without help.

doctor10's picture

the Drachma is the only thread of any strength through the Euroland wonderworld

Urban Redneck's picture

It must be serious, everyone is lying.

TheReplacement's picture

One of the best comments I've ever seen on ZH.

Ghordius's picture

LOL. excellent comment. though... the opposite is true. they are all saying the truth

it's the same situation as when Cameron's cabinet first showed up in Brussels. "We never agreed to..."

yes, your cabinet never agreed to. though the previous government of the UK... did

it's called legacy, and every new government has to cope with it. this new Greek government is so... fresh, that it still has to find it's way yet

if the EU is a Hydra, then it has a new, fresh 3-day-old Greek head. which has some trouble remembering what the old Greek head said, promised and approved

the confusion here is at the Greek cabinet level, those heads haven't talked enough with each other, yet

Chris88's picture

Why is ZH seemingly hell bent on glorifying a bunch of socialists?  Greece went from basket case to basket case x 1,000,000 - there's your change.

Chris88's picture

I'm referring to all the ones written over the past several days, and not just the site itself but the retards commenting in support of these clowns.

XqWretch's picture

I agree! Put the old guys back in! More bailouts! More EU! /sarc

Chris88's picture

I hate the EU and hate bailouts, I guess because I'm against stealing other peoples' money which is exactly what the idiots in Greece just voted for.  Out of the frying pan into the fire.

imbtween's picture

So which bunch of socialists do you support? The ones that work for the bankers or the ones that (appear) to work for "the people"? Seems like you prefer your socialists to be parasitical oligarchs.

Chris88's picture

I prefer real capitalism and individual sovereignty.  The Greeks could have defaulted with dignity and said "Hey, for the future let's not be a totally bankrupt welfare state that controls our citizens' lives."  My disdain for the retards Greece put in charge is in no way my support of the idiots in the EU/IMF, I'm calling a spade a spade.  

Solon the Destroyer's picture

Do you, in whichever democratic denizen you domicile, have this option among the parties on your ballots?  Greeks picked the closest thing they could. 

And, if you read Tspiras' open letter to Handelsblatt before the election, you will see there's actually some economic smarts in that party.  He said some things I've only heard us Austrians saying:

*sticktap to Mish.

HardlyZero's picture

ZH is not for everybody.

ZH is for the here and now, and not some fantasy island.

Get ready...for tomorrow.

FT or other MSM have plenty of fantastic articles.

Many on ZH have skin in the game, and you get serious opinion here.

imbtween's picture

All you're telling me is that you aren't really paying attention to what's happening there. You dropped a few liberty-lovin' buzzwords that have no place in the reality of what's happening in Europe. They need to start over with the tools they have. Ayn Rand isn't going to be of any help, I promise you.

winchester's picture
winchester (not verified) Chris88 Jan 30, 2015 4:54 AM

they are not bankrupt, dumbfuck, they are flat if you remove debt interest from the equiation... got it ? dummy ?

Crtrvlt's picture

bankruptcy is real capitalism.  credit lending is a 2 way street and the ability to w/stand losses, as laid out in the prospectus and other governing documents, is part of the deal.  a


bailouts are fascism (privatize profits socialize losses) and you my friend are a fascist

TheReplacement's picture

You are, of course, correct.  However what we had been seeing in Greece is a lot of uncomfortable truthiness.  If they do break and go their own way and still wipe themselves out by socialism we can at least respect that they made the choice for themselves instead of being slaves to the EU/banks/oligarchs.

Anusocracy's picture

Perhaps they have correctly concluded that fascists present a greater danger than socialists in the 21st century.

malek's picture

There is a difference between those two, factually?

Anusocracy's picture

They emphasize morality differently. Conservatives have more moral "hooks" for controlling.

Againstthelie's picture

You are living in a matrix.

The internationalists know that the national idea is the biggest problem to their international agenda, the NWO, world government.

International Socialist Mao alone killed in peacetimes as many Chinese as people died during world war 2.

International Socialist Lenin killed millions.

The Holodomor from the red internationalists alone killed more Ukrainians than even the Holohoax numbers claim.

The golden internationalists in Washington have been killing more than 100 million people in their 150 wars since 1945 for the international agenda.

It's not about fascism, socialism, or national socialism. Political movments are built up by TPTB as they are needed (all political movments need funding...). And if they are not corrupt, then even better, then a war will deliver even more profits. It's about plundering the nations and forcing them under a world government and the red and the golden internationalists are the two sides of the same coin.



When i came to power, i took over a nation which was a democracy. Indeed, as long as Germany was a democracy we saw that everyone in the world came to their help and aid. Yes, the German people used to live in a democracy, and had been plundered and squeezed dry. No, what does democracy or authoritarian state mean for those INTERNATIONAL HYENAS? They're not interested in either!

They are only interested in one thing: Is anyone willing to let themselfes be plundered, yes or no? Is anyone stupid enough to keep quiet in the process, yes or no? And when a democracy is stupid enough to keep quiet, then it is good! And when a authoritarian government declares: "You do not plunder our people any longer neither from the inside or outside, " then that is bad.


If we, as a so called "authoritarian state", which differs from the democracies by having the people behind them -  (applause) If we as an authoritarian state had also complied with all the sacrifices that the INTERNATIONAL PLUTOCRATS burdened us with; if I had said in 1933, "Esteemed Sirs in Geneva what would you have me to do?" "Aha! We will immediately write on the slate: 6 billions for 1933, 1934, 1935, excellent, we will deliver! Is there anything else you would like? Yes, ofcourse, Sir, we will also deliver that!" Then they would have said: "At last a sensible regime in Germany."

Millivanilli's picture

I think zerohedgers are happy that the criminal banking cartels are finally being told ,Fuck off!

Chris88's picture

Happy that Greeks that actually work get a gun stuck in their face for 75% of their income?  Jackass.

SpanishInquisition's picture

Actually that was done with Cromnibus where pensioners who worked for decades get their pensions obliterated to pay for the corporate socialism of Wall Street gambling losses.

Chris88's picture

Please elaborate on how Wall Street made the Greek government run up astronomical debt to buy votes by running a gigantic welfare state.

TheReplacement's picture

C'mon now.  You have to pay better attention than that. 

Chris88's picture

I'm eagerly awaiting the response of the cashier at Carl Jrs.

HardlyZero's picture


Greece has defaulted many times.

In this modern case GS was there before and after Greece joined the EU.

GS completely re-did the Greek balance sheet to make Greece 'respectable' for EU consumption.

Its all there and here.

Anusocracy's picture

Government is a wealth transfer mechanism. Its purpose is to enrich those who control it.

And who might that be?

Keyser's picture

Sorry Chris, but we can't fix stupid... Go research what this actually means and then get back to us...

gcjohns1971's picture

By financing the gigantic welfare state and paying massively outrageous bribes to politicians to encourage them to do it... not that the Greek politicians ever needed really massive bribes for that... But, hey, "Sovereign Privilege" and all that...

Next to Arch Stanton's picture

Who cares what they stand for - they are making everyone uncomfortable, defying status quo, dragging messy issues into the open, etc.

There's a long way to go before worrying what they stand for.  This is a good start to bringing down a corrupt and disfunctional politcal and economic system.



Chris88's picture

Stealing peoples' money at gunpoint is defying the status quo?  How big is a real life unicorn? I've never seen one.

spellbound's picture

You dim witted simpleton. Stop believing the labels and try to think critically. Even a socialist govt is capable of making common sense decisions. Just not ours!!!!!!!!!!!!

Element's picture

Why is ZH seemingly hell bent on glorifying a bunch of socialists?

The same reason a few million thoroughly insane Arabs and fellow-traveller arseholes on social media, now 'sympathise' with the plight of a failed female suicide bomber held in a Jordan prison; someone who (curiously) was not executed anywhere near quickly enough given the nature of what she would have otherwise done if she could have.

But why complicate by referrring to realities, implications and proportionality? That only grates on the wilfully fucked-in-the-head and makes them immediately mash the red icon.

MisterMousePotato's picture

"Why is ZH seemingly hell bent on glorifying a bunch of socialists?"

The enemy of your enemy [and all that].

Je suis Middle Eastern now. All of us.