Meet New Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that Yanis Varoufakis has metamorphosed from economist academic to controversial finance minister to political martyr (a transition he punctuated Monday morning by proclaiming he will henceforth “wear creditors’ loathing with pride”), the eyes of the financial universe will turn nervously to newly-appointed Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos who has led Greece’s negotiations with creditors since Varoufakis was sidelined after making a scene at an April Eurogroup meeting in Riga. 

Here’s more on Tsakalotos from The Telegraph:

An Oxford-educated economist, Mr Tsakalotos has much in common with the political elite of Westminster, having been educated at St Paul's school, before going on to read politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) as an undergraduate. He later completed his PhD in economics from Oxford in 1989.

 

The 55-year-old, who was born in Rotterdam, served as the chief economic spokesman and effective shadow finance minister for the Syriza-led government.

 

Unlike Mr Varoufakis, Mr Tsakalotos is no party outsider. He has been a member of Syriza for nearly a decade, serving as an MP in the Greek parliament since 2012.

 


 

Like many of his fellow Leftist parliamentarians, Mr Tsakalotos's background is as a jobbing Western academic rather than a career politician, having taught at the universities of Kent and Athens.

 

Described as the "brains behind Syriza's economic policy", he has authored and co-authored six books, the most recent of which seeks to debunk the causes of Greece's economic turmoil.

 

Published in 2012, Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis, argues that far from being an economic laggard, Greece underwent two decades of neo-liberal modernisation before the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. The result, he argues, was a widening in social inequality and a gaping democratic deficit.

 

In a refrain that will be familiar to many, the Marxist economist diagnoses Greece's ailments as not simply the consequence of "an economic crisis" but a "crisis of democracy" in the eurozone.

 

But far from advocating a "Grexit", as some of the more radical elements within Syriza, Mr Tsakalotos thinks Greece should maintain its membership of the euro.

And more color from Bloomberg:

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is counting on a change of style, if not necessarily substance, by turning to a longtime ally to seek a new deal with creditors to keep his nation in the euro.

 

Euclid Tsakalotos was named finance minister to replace Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned Monday after more than five months of fruitless back and forth. An Oxford-educated economist who was deputy foreign minister, Tsakalotos had already begun to take a leading role in debt talks before

Tsipras’s surprise referendum call brought them to a halt on June 27.

 

Tsipras is betting that a new, less confrontational face will help him bring German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders back to the table after Greeks voted to reject further austerity in Sunday’s vote. Varoufakis had vowed to “cut off my arm” rather than sign a bad deal.

 

“It’s an important symbolic and necessary move,” Famke Krumbmuller, an analyst at political consultancy Eurasia Group, said by e-mail. Creditors “now really need to see the trust restored by a serious and credible commitment from the Greek side to implement reforms,” she said.

Tsakalotos has been described by some as one of the more "sensible" members of Syriza which has led a few commentators to suggest negotiations will move forward quickly with Varoufakis now formally out of the picture.

Still, it's not clear that the transition will mark a turning point as should be abundantly clear from the rhetoric out of Berlin on Monday which certainly seems to suggest that regardless of who is doing the negotiating, the idea of debt writedowns is simply unacceptable and thanks to the IMF, any "deal" which does not include debt haircuts will be a non-starter for Greece. In other words: the stalemate will persist.

Good luck Mr. Tsakalotos, you're going to need it.

*  *  *

(click image for pre-referendum CNN interview with Tsakalotos)


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JustObserving's picture

A leather jacket wearing finance minister was more of a threat than a Volvo-driving, wine and cheese lover, leftist professor

knukles's picture

See, TPTB are staging a coup behind the scenes.
The tell will be whether they renegotiate the debt.
Not whether they stay in the EU or Euro.

Looney's picture

Like it or not, but Greece has run out of everybody else’s money. ;-)

Looney

Veriton's picture

Yet another London-trained economist in the middle of this drama?

THX 1178's picture

*obligatory geometry remark*

Headbanger's picture

C'mon.. Go for it

How obtuse

We all see the parallels

Whats his angle?

What's the vector Victor...  Nahhh, that's some other guy..

 

Tom Servo's picture

Not to get off on a tangent, but do you think he will sine or cosine any new agreements in the next 24 hours?

 

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

I'm not going to secant guess him.

Big Corked Boots's picture

What is his position on derivatives?

(I'm almost ashamed to type that, it's so bad.)

unicorn's picture

he s communist... (they keep repeating this on european news, as if he had syphillis or something)

asteroids's picture

In the end its all about the math, really. It doesn't matter if the MinFin drives a motorbike or a Volvo.

Headbanger's picture

We can't be sure if it would be such an orthogonal decision without a better understanding of all dimensions of this problem.

 

Damn...  I'm not drinking enough...

CrazyCooter's picture

I kind of was thinking the non-Euclidian stuff that makes people crazy HP Lovecraft kind of theme myself ...

Regards,

Cooter

EDIT: That was probablyt, ahem, a bit obtuse, so here is the Wiki citation:

Non-Euclidean geometry is sometimes connected with the influence of the 20th century horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. In his works, many unnatural things follow their own unique laws of geometry: In Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, the sunken city of R'lyeh is characterized by its non-Euclidean geometry. It is heavily implied this is achieved as a side effect of not following the natural laws of this universe rather than simply using an alternate geometric model, as the sheer innate wrongness of it is said to be capable of driving those who look upon it insane.

https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Non-Euclidean_geometry

THX 1178's picture

I wonder what ANGLE he'll take in adressing these problems...

I wander whose SIDE he'll be on....

I wonder If he likes PI...

I hope he doesnt break his RADIUS...

ParkAveFlasher's picture

All of that is tangential.  Try to stay on the same plane as the rest of us. 

Headbanger's picture

It's all circumferential to me

What goes around comes around.

TrafficNotHere's picture

Could Varoufakis's Stepping down have been preplanned. If the current greek gov wanted to play real hardball, put forward a lightning rod, a real firebrand who tells the people what they want to hear and tells the rest of the EU to drop dead and let things play out. Get the EU really scared, remove the lightning rod and then negotiate. Never let a crisis go to waste and create one when you need leverage.

Im betting a "deal" is reached by the end of the week.

Socratic Dog's picture

Maybe, but the big question is, what was the "scene" he created?  Who did he punch in the head?  Lagarde?  I wanna know.

Jumbotron's picture

With a name like Euclid, I'd expect him to be able to square this circle of hell Greece finds themselves in.

Then again.....he ain't THAT Euclid so I expect him to suck on some more Eurozone tit.....in the form of Merkel Milk.

PermaBug's picture

I think it's his last name that's pertinent, 'cause he's going 'tsakaloto' the german taxpayer in bailing them out again

Son of Loki's picture

I think I've seen him wandering around near the Pantheon sipping English Breakfast tea mumbling, 'Pip, Pip" to everyone and yelling "Cheerio!" when he leaves.

 

Yeah, that's the Bloke!

Glass Seagull's picture

 

 

Although he is known to be somewhat eccentric, Euclid will no doubt work hard to find the intersection between Syriza's and Troika's demands.

 

Unlike Yanis, Euclid isn't known to be so hyperbolic in his remarks.

 

I expect him to yield in bilateral negotiations, else the Pentagon is going to drone-strike dat azz.

 

Ayreos's picture

That was the deal. Germany gets a weak currency to dominate more competitive producers and Greece gets lavish cash injections. Like it or not, Germany is the one not keeping the pact. Somewhat familiar, is it not? History always repeats itself, after all.

Lea's picture

"Like it or not, but Greece has run out of everybody else’s money."

So the banks lend, run up debts that are transferred on to taxpayers, yet the culprits are the populations???

These Stockholm syndrome-afflicted 'Murikans are a pleasure to racket. These morons will enthusiastically order each other to dutifully pay the Mafia bosses.

Socratic Dog's picture

Yup.  That money didn't exist till it was loaned out.  They weren't spending everyone elses' money, they were spending....christ, I really can't get my head around this.  How can money just be willed into existence and loaned out?  I wish I could pull that trick.  You'd all owe me MILLIONS!

Radical Marijuana's picture

"...christ, I really can't get my head around this."

Indeed, the vast majority of people continue to presume that there is some common sense principle of the "conservation of money," because that is the way it appears inside their own lives and the lives of everyone else they know. The magical creation of the public "money" supply out of nothing as debts is too mind boggling for most people to be willing to go through the traumatic cognitive dissonance it takes to be able to consider that!

Here is one example, the first 30 minutes of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcGh1Dex4Yo

97% Owned - Monetary Reform documentary

There are several dozen more, that

I have collected some links to here:

Excellent Videos on Money Systems

A few decades of working on the Canadian Political Contribution Tax Credit has given me plenty of material to engage in various kinds of political experiments to test the degree to which more than 99% of ordinary taxpayers behave like incompetent political idiots. Mostly, they can not imagine, because they do not want to imagine, the degree to which the best organized gangsters are the banksters, that were able to almost completely corrupt governments, to give away the power to make the public "money" supply out of nothing as debts, while at the same time, those governments continued to enforce those frauds.

In my opinion, even the few people who do begin to understand the degree to which our whole political economy is dominated by ENFORCED FRAUDS still do not think through the deeper and deeper levels of how and why that is the actually existing situation. I have been addressing those questions and generating possible answers for several decades. Intellectual scientific revolutions are the ways forward. Paradigm shifts do not initially change what exists, but only the ways that we perceive what exists. There is a long history of scientific revolutions, such as reviewed by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. That is what we need to happen in political science, and that is what I have been developing for my whole life, ever since I was a teenager and recognized that I had been born into a system that was based on exponential growth, backed by weapons mass destruction.

We should make our accounting systems be based on a energy standard. However, in order to do that, we would have to revolutionize the ways that we think about time and space, as well as entropy. The way that we think about entropy now was inverted, and only by inverting that inversion can be we develop better understanding of human beings and civilizations as general energy systems. That would then enable human systems to become better integrated with industrial and natural energy systems.

In general, I tend to agree with the ideals about what money should be:

http://www.preservearticles.com/201104115268/4-essential-functions-of-mo...

However, I insist that almost everyone who attempts to promote those ideals have their mechanisms backwards. By and large, there is almost nothing but a core of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition, which is mostly controlled by taking for granted the ways that they think, due to the language that they use, or the philosophy of science that they presume is correct. The realistic ways to work towards the ideals of what money should be must start from what money is, namely measurement backed by murder. That then can enable understanding how private property actually manifests, as claims backed by coercions, inside of the overall context of the environment.

The history of science was full of events where progress reached some dead-end, because the fundamental frame of reference was wrong. No more puzzles inside of that frame of reference could be adequately solved, because the frame of reference itself was wrong. We have reached that point in our political situation. We cannot resolve our problems from within the established systems. We need series of intellectual scientific revolutions, in order to change our overall frame of reference, regarding how we perceive those problems.

That is being made imperative by the development of globalized electronic frauds, backed by the force of atomic bombs. Those technologies exist due to profound paradigm shifts in physical science. IF our politics is going to adapt to survive those technologies, then our political science has to go through even more profound paradigm shifts. However, in the past, such paradigm shifts usually took several generations, while now it appears we have run out of time to adapt. But nevertheless, I continue to promote what I consider to be the theoretically possible solutions ...

I have become more than 99% convinced that we are actually headed through the runaway debt insanities provoking death insanities, and it is not at all clear that a technologically based civilization can survive long enough to adapt to the development of its own technology, especially as the "money" made out of nothing was used to "pay" for strip-mining the planet's natural resources at an exponential rate, which is running into real limits of diminishing returns, which limits are showing up first and foremost through the fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system, particularly in smaller countries on the fringe, which can no longer afford to import natural resources, like Greece. Any finance minister of Greece is facing a basically impossible predicament. It will be interesting to watch Greece stay in the EU and still use the Euro, after Greece accepts that it can not pay back the "money" made out of nothing that was lent to it, which was mostly all "odious debts:"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-17/greek-debt-committee-just-declared-all-debt-illegal-illegitimate-and-odious

Greek Debt Committee Just Declared All Debt To The Troika "Illegal, Illegitimate, And Odious"

Since the Greeks had already passed into the conditions of DEBT INSANITY, it is not surprising that when their commission looked into that situation, they came to conclusions that they did. The degree to which the established financial systems are based upon ODIOUS DEBTS is the same as the degree to which privately controlled banks were legally allowed to create the public "money" supply out of nothing as debts, while that legalized counterfeiting was allowed and reinforced by governments, that deemed that form of "money" to be legal tender, that must be used to pay taxes with.

The majority of those who post comments on Zero Hedge and vote on those comments already understand that the public "money" supplies have been more and more created out of nothing as debts by privately controlled banks, while those are FRAUDS ENFORCED by governments, due to the long history of the international bankers applying the methods of organized crime to the political processes. HOWEVER, it is all too typical for those relatively few people who comprehend the ENFORCED FRAUDS of the MAD Money As Debt systems, whereby the public "money" supply is almost totally created ex nihilo, to continue to almost totally fail to agree upon any practical solutions to those problems.

In theory, the philosophy of science should be the most important thing to a technological civilization. However, our existing politics continues to almost totally dominated by old-fashioned religions and ideologies, which tend to be adamant about not wanting to adapt, by changing their metaphysics in ways which are consistent with the changes in physics. Metaphorically speaking, whether the Earth is flat or round should not be resolved by compromising that it is a big cube. Rather, one must go through the paradigm shift to accept it is round, before then being able to modify that, such as to qualify that it is not a sphere, but an oblate spheroid, etc. ... Similarly with my political views. It is not possible to not change the paradigms. It is not possible to accept any compromises to only partially change the paradigms. We should radically change the paradigms through which we perceive our political problems, and then, on that basis, we could have progress in political science. However, that progress continues to be extremely problematic because its central features are necessarily the death controls systems, with the human murder systems being the most extreme of those.

Of course, that is how and why our current political problems appear to have become terminally screwed up, because there must be death controls, and there are, however, the existing combined money/murder systems have developed to become based on the maximum possible enforcement of frauds. First, enough of us would have to perceive that for what it is, to then maybe be able to change that in more realistic ways, and second, such changes would have to continue to be realistic, in the sense that money would still have to basically be measurement backed by murder ... Meanwhile the existing globalized systems of electronic frauds backed by the force of atomic bombs continue to automatically become more and more criminally insane MADNESS!

Most of the mainstream people continue to be deliberately ignorant regarding the public "money" supply being actually based on governments enforcing frauds by privately controlled banks. However, the few that do understand that only do so superficially, and therefore, promote superficial "solutions." The ways that we were taught to perceive the world, and to think about that, are way more absurdly backwards, on way deeper levels, where the lies are different at every level. Tragically, as most of the other articles and comments published on Zero Hedge indicate, those relatively few people who DO recognize that the political economy is being controlled by national governments backing up the international bankers frauds STILL also continue to come nowhere close to sufficiently changing their paradigms ...

The degree to which the biggest bullies' bullshit world view dominates everything is the degree to which our civilization has become psychotically out of touch with its own realities, as situated inside of the overall environment. We continue to have more and more progress in physical science, without any progress in political science, with the deeper reasons being due to the paradoxical ways that social success became based on being the best at backing up deceits with destruction, and enforcing frauds. There are deeper and deeper levels we would have to change our perceptual paradigms upon, regarding how and why the human death controls actually worked, and how and why those worked in those ways.

Overall, I see no other choices but to have to continue to muddle through the MADNESS of the increasingly unbalanced dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies. So far, it has become extremely problematic, and perhaps fatal, for human beings to have developed globalized electronic monkey money frauds, backed by the threat of force from apes with atomic bombs. THOSE ARE EXTREME CONTRADICTIONS, WHICH PRESENT INTENSELY PARADOXICAL POLITICAL PROBLEMS!

Socratic Dog's picture

Sorry, RM, I have never been able to make it through one of your theses.  My point was, as I 've said before here, if someone of some intelligence is unable to get their mind around something, then that is probably the intent.  Obviously pulling money out of thin air is bullshit.  That makes the whole economic system bullshit, because that's its basis.

I think I get points for brevity.

Radical Marijuana's picture

ENFORCED FRAUDS.

Not simply FRAUDS!

The point is not that it is simply bullshit, but that it is the bullies' bullshit. I give no points to those who merely skim the surface, because then that leads to proposing similarly superficial "solutions." Only a much deeper analysis can deal more directly with the deeper reasons for how and why we have ended up with systems based upon ENFORCED FRAUDS.

Those who focus only on the superficial truths that that monetary system is fraudulent tend to then propose solutions based upon their verions of what should be sound and honest money. That does NOT deal with the facts that those frauds are ENFORCED, and does not deal with the deeper reasons WHY money is necessarily measurement backed by murder.

 

Soul Glow's picture

Dude YV loved him some wine and cheese.

knukles's picture

Fast bikes and good looking chicks, too!

snowlywhite's picture

I seriously doubt it. The leather jacket guy was pro European to the point of being naive.

This guy... this guy looks like one who "has convictions". He'll eat your cheese, thank you and won't change anything in his tune. Maybe I'm wrong; but he smells convictions from 100 miles away.

r101958's picture

Really? What is with the financial crisis fixer names? Sack a lottos? Come on! That is almost as bad as Cash-Carry. /sarc

Ivanovich's picture

Meet the new boss, same as the old.

Soul Glow's picture

Yeah but the new boss rides on the back of the old boss' motorcycle.

skipjack's picture

Yah - we call that the "bitch seat". So who's bitch is he ? Bwahaha !

Christophe2's picture

Meet the new Playa', same as the last Playa'.

These Varoufakis photo-ops are so ridiculous, I don't even know where to start.  Who fucking cares that he is a posing metrosexual with leather jacket and crappy motorcycle?  Are we supposed to identify him with Tom Cruise?

What is he like when the camera isn't on him?

LOL.  Both Cruise and 'Fakis are undoubtebly miserable faggots who bend themselves over for base reasons (corrupt wealth and artificial fame), while doing their utmost to screw people over with their complex con-jobs.

(FWIW I have no problem with homosexuality, at all, but I do have a problem with lame bisexual motherfuckers who sell themselves out to the devil's gang to such a degree that they even learn to love prostituting themselves to harmful evil).

And LOL at these pictures that show them being all triumphant and proud - PROUD OF WHAT?

Stumpy4516's picture

Yep.  It's a mix of Paris HIlton, red carpet at the music awards, giving each other accolades with an undercurrent of debotchery while serving their hidden evil masters.

Soul Glow's picture

I talked a lot of shit about YV, and I still think he and Syriza should have called this referendum from day 1, but at least the finally got it done.

Now hopefully this new guy can also tell the IMF to fuck off.

mojojojo's picture

Tell them to fuck off after they took the money though, right?

roadhazard's picture

The People did not take the money. The People saw very little  of any money.

mojojojo's picture

That is the price for being a docile little sheep.

It's always someone else's fault, right. The poor little ignorant sheeple were too busy with their pension money to realize they were fucking their country up the asshole.

If you allow a privilged class of rent-seeking parasites to dominate politics and legislation, then you are a dumb little sheep fuck.

 

mojojojo's picture

Vote me down, lol, but until people educate themselves, they will be at the mercy of corrupt, self serving fucks, and wishing it wasn't so isn't going to change anything. Time to take responsibility, or not. Can just reatreat into the ouzo bottle, or television, whatever the hell it is that people do to avoid getting involved in fighting off the wretched control freaks et al.

mojojojo's picture

Do you want self determinism, or Rockefeller's et al, they are gods we are bacteria plan?

goldsaver's picture

Why are you still stuck on this false paradigm? There is no spoon! The debt has been transferred to the ECB and IMF. It no longer exists! (ECB can write it off). Greece received currency initially in order to allow German manufacturers to sell their wares to Greece. As in, ECB created credit vouchers from thin air and assigned them to German banks who "loaned" these credits to the Greek government. Greek government paid salaries and benefits to Greeks who purchased German products. German manufacturers than used the revenue to pay back their own debt to German banks. THERE WAS NO MONEY! Only currency credits were exchanged.

The problem arises from:

1) The creation of credit from thin air. Since the intial credit vouchers were created out of thin air they did not represent actual productive value but an illusion designed to enrich the bankesters.

2) The moral hazard. Banks were encouraged to loan money to Greek government at unreasonably low time cost. Banks got the credit for nothing, Greek finances were faked in order to make it appear that they could pay back the loans and banksters were, and still are, guaranteed no actual loses. Greek borrowed based on fake finances and expectations of exponential growth in a clearly finite economy. BOTH ARE GUILTY.

 

In a money based economy (vs. currency based economy) a nation's (or person's) imports must equal the value of their exports. If I (or a nation) purchase (import) more than the value of my production (exports) I am commiting financial suicide. It leaves me with two otions, either increase the value of my production (value of my exports) to more than my purchases (imports) and the outstanding debt+time cost (principal + interest) or declare bankruptcy.

In a credit based economy all this is thrown out the door since the critical factor is the interst payments on the pseudo debt. That is why corporations and nations talk about "servicing the debt" and not paying off outstanding debt.

 

saints51's picture

you are hoping a marxist does the right thing. Think about that for a second.

Soul Glow's picture

Dude give me a minute to digest this shit sandwhich!

I'm sure I'll puke silver all over this bullshit.

saints51's picture

Let me quote the younger generation," I ain't hating".

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Best comment yet from this guy.