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Thread: Greece's Marxist/Communist Syriza Party Wins Election

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Greece's Marxist/Communist Syriza Party Wins Election

    Yeah, I changed the title to more accurately reflect the article.

    Greece's Marxist/Communist Syriza Party Wins Election

    January 25, 2015

    The anti-bailout Syriza party won a clear victory in austerity-weary Greece's national election on Sunday, according to projections by state-run TV's exit poll.

    But it was uncertain whether the radical left-wing party, led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, had won by a big enough margin over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' incumbent conservatives to govern alone. For that, they need a minimum 151 of parliament's 300 seats.

    The Interior Ministry said that its projections, based on early returns, show Syriza gaining 150 seats. But it added that the margin of error meant that the final number could be 149 to 151, and a final result could not emerge until all votes have been counted.

    If the communist-rooted party fails to win at least 151 seats, it will have to find a coalition partner, or secure pledges of support that would allow it to form a minority government.

    Official results from 17.6 percent of polling stations counted showed Syriza with 35 percent and Samaras' New Democracy with 29.3 percent. An exit poll on state-run Nerit TV projected Syriza as winning with between 36 and 38 percent, compared to ND with 26-28 percent.

    Earlier projections had given Syriza 146-158 seats in parliament, and New Democracy 65-75 seats.

    Tsipras has promised to renegotiate the country's 240 billion-euro ($270 billion) international bailout deal, and seek forgiveness for most of Greece's massive debt load. He has pledged to reverse many of the reforms that creditors demanded - including cuts in pensions and the minimum wage, some privatizations and public sector firings - in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010.[/indent]

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    Default Re: Greece's Marxist/Communist Syriza Party Wins Election

    Greece Begins The Great Pivot Toward Russia

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2015 23:50 -0500

    Ten days ago, before the smashing success of Greece's anti-austerity party, Syriza, we noted that Russia gave Greece a modest proposal: turn your back on Europe, whom you despise so much anyway, and we will assist your farmers by lifting the food import ban.

    And, sure enough, Greece's new premier Tsipras did hint with his initial actions that Greece may indeed pivot quite aggressively away from Europe and toward Russia in general and the Eurasian Economic Union in particular (as a tangent recall "Russia's "Startling" Proposal To Europe: Dump The US, Join The Eurasian Economic Union").

    Some recent examples of this dramatic shift in perspective were the following:

    Tsipras's first meeting with a foreign ambassador since being elected Greek PM was with Russia's Andrey Maslov #Greece #ekloges2015
    — Nick Malkoutzis (@NickMalkoutzis) January 26, 2015
    First act as PM, #Tsipras visits Kaisariani rifle range where Nazis executed 200 Greeks on 1 May 1944 v/@dgatopoulos
    — Damian Mac Con Uladh (@damomac) January 26, 2015
    Today we got further evidence that Tsipras will substantially realign his country's national interest away from the west and toward... the east.

    First, as Reuters reported, today the new premier halted the "blue light special" liquidation of Greece to those highest bidders who have the closest access to various printing presses and stopped the privatization of Greece's biggest port on Tuesday, "signaling he aims to stick to election pledges despite warning shots from the euro zone and financial markets."

    One of the first decisions announced by the new government was stopping the planned sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, agreed under its international bailout deal for which China's Cosco Group and four other suitors had been shortlisted.

    "The Cosco deal will be reviewed to the benefit of the Greek people," Thodoris Dritsas, the deputy minister in charge of the shipping portfolio, told Reuters.
    Europe, for one, will be most displeased that Greece has decided to put its people first in the chain of priority over offshore bidders of Greek assets. Most displeased, especially since the liquidation sale of Greece is part of the Greek bailout agreement: an agreement which as the Troika has repeatedly stated, is not up for renegotiation.

    Syriza had announced before the election it would halt the sale of state assets, a plank of the 240 billion-euro bailout agreement. Stakes in the port of Thessaloniki, the country's second biggest, along with railway operator Trainose and rolling stock operator ROSCO are also slated to be sold.
    And it wasn't just this open act of defiance that marked the new government's anti-European agenda:

    In a separate step, the deputy minister in charge of administrative reform, George Katrougkalos said the government would reverse some layoffs of public sector workers, rolling back another key bailout measure. "It will be one of the first pieces of legislation that I will bring in as a minister," he told Mega TV.
    The Germans were not happy: A German central banker warned of dire problems should the new government call the country's aid program into question, jeopardizing funding for the banks. "That would have fatal consequences for Greece’s financial system. Greek banks would then lose their access to central bank money," Bundesbank board member Joachim Nagel told Handelsblatt newspaper.

    Well, maybe.... Unless of course Greece finds a new, alternative source of funding, one that has nothing to do with the establishmentarian IMF, whose "bailouts" are merely a smokescreen to implement pro-western policies and to allow the rapid liquidation of any "bailed out" society.

    An alternative such as the BRIC Bank for example. Recall that the "BRICS Announce $100 Billion Reserve To Bypass Fed, Developed World Central Banks."

    And yes, the BRIC are going through their own share of pain right now as a result of plunging crude prices, but remember: crude is only low as long as the US shale sector is still vibrant. Once this marginal producer of crude with a $80 cost-breakeven is out of the picture, watch as Saudi Arabia tightens the spigots and Crude surges to $100, $150 or more. The question is whether Saudi FX reserves can outlast the Fed's ZIRP, which is the only reason - think idiots junk bond investors desperate for any ounce of yield - why the bulk of unprofitable and cash flow-bleeding US shale can still operate with WTI at $45.

    Which naturally means that now Russia (and China) are set to become critical allies for Greece, which would immediately explain the logical pivot toward Moscow.

    But wait, there's more.

    As Bloomberg further reports, "Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is due in Brussels on Thursday to discuss possible additional sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Before the cabinet even meets for the first time tomorrow, the Greek government said that it disagreed with an EU statement in which President Donald Tusk raised the prospect of “further restrictive measures” on Russia."

    The punchline:

    In recent months, Kotzias wrote on Twitter that sanctions against Russia weren’t in Greece’s interests. He said in a blog that a new foreign policy for Greece should be focused on stopping the ongoing transformation of the EU “into an idiosyncratic empire, under the rule of Germany.”
    And when it comes to the natural adversary of any German imperial ambitions in recent history, Europe has been able to produce only one answer...

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."

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    Default Re: Greece's Marxist/Communist Syriza Party Wins Election

    As vector's post stated...

    Russia Extends Olive Branch To Greeks

    January 29, 2015

    Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told CNBC that Russia would consider giving financial help to debt-ridden Greece—just days after the new Greek government questioned further European Union sanctions against Russia.

    Siluanov said Greece had not yet requested Russia for assistance, but he did not rule out an agreement between the two countries if Greece came asking.

    "Well, we can imagine any situation, so if such [a] petition is submitted to the Russian government, we will definitely consider it, but will take into account all the factors of our bilateral relationships between Russia and Greece, so that is all I can say. If it is submitted we will consider it," Siluanov told CNBC in an exclusive interview in Moscow on Thursday.

    Siluanov's comments come two days after Greece's new left-wing-led government distanced itself from calls to increase sanctions against Russia—indicating that Greece could be looking east to Russia for support.

    On Tuesday, EU leaders issued a statement calling for "further restrictive measures" to be considered against Russia with regard to its involvement in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    After the statement, a representative for Greece's newly elected Syriza party reported that the EU's statement was made "without our country's consent" and expressed "dissatisfaction with the handling of this."

    On Thursday, Siluanov said that while Western-imposed sanctions against Russia thus far had been harmful, the country has managed to adapt.

    "The sanctions that have already been imposed against Russia did have (a) negative effect on us. However, Russia companies have adjusted and the Russian balance of payments has adjusted. (The) ruble weakened and as you might see, life still goes on here and we just keep on living," he said.

    Belarus aid?

    Siluanov added that Russia was also willing to consider offering extra aid to Belarus, whose economy he described as "closely related" to that of Russia, but he wants reforms pushed through. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned on Thursday that his country might need to restructure its debt burden, and said that Belarus relied on Russia for help, according to Reuters. He later changed his comments on the debt burden to only mention refinancing, the news agency said.

    In response, Siluanov told CNBC, "In the case of an emergency, we are ready to consider their request for help."

    "Together with our Belarus(ian) colleagues, we are currently looking into the situation. We are analyzing all the factors that affect the current economic situation in both countries, namely the sanctions and the oil prices fall. We are in negotiations right now," he added.

    ‘Major influence’ oil not sanctions

    Severe volatility in oil markets had played a substantial role in weakening the Russian economy, Siluanov said. He estimated that the combined impact of sanctions and oil price weakness on Russia's economy amounted to around $200 billion or "maybe a little more."

    "The major influence(s) were the oil price falls. Our estimate of sanctions is roughly $40-$50 billion of shortage of capital, but again the main driver of this slowdown is the oil price," Siluanov said.

    On Monday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Russia's credit rating to BB+, or "junk" grade, for the first time in a decade.

    "Russia's monetary-policy flexibility has become more limited and its economic growth prospects have weakened," S&P said in a statement.

    Hope interest rates will be cut

    Last year, Russia's central bank hiked its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent in its single-biggest increase since 1998. This was in a bid to stabilize the ruble and defuse the currency crisis that was threatening the economy.

    Siluanov said the decision to hike rates so dramatically was "right," but that he hoped they would be lowered again at some point.

    "We hope that the interest rates will be lowered but this is a competence of the central bank—it's totally independent and we cannot influence its decisions," he said.

    "The central bank is looking into the current situation. It's analyzing it and I think it'll take the decision on whether to lower the interest rate. We see that inflation is about 12 percent year on year—and the current interest rates do not go along with the macro-fundamentals of the Russia economy."

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    Default Re: Greece's Marxist/Communist Syriza Party Wins Election

    Greece Threatens EU Veto Over Russian Sanctions

    January 29, 2015

    The new Greek government is expected to veto further sanctions against Russia today, amid fears the radical left-wing party could be moving closer to the Kremlin.

    Syriza’s dynamic young leader Alexis Tsipras, who stormed to victory in Greek elections on Sunday, appears to be threatening to veto when EU foreign ministers gather in Brussels for an emergency meeting over Russia’s alleged actions in Ukraine.

    The session has been prompted by a bloody surge in vicious fighting around the eastern Ukrainian seaport of Mariupol, where a rocket attack killed 30 people.

    It is the latest escalation of a bloody conflict that has seen an estimated 5,000 murdered as separatists and Ukrainian nationalists contest territory. The Ukrainian government has consistently alleged Russian backing of the separatist movement – a charge strongly denied by the Kremlin.

    Greece has historic links with Russia, but the speed that the new government has made clear its ties to the Kremlin has worried some leaders in Brussels.

    The Russian ambassador was the first official meeting taken by the newly elected Prime Minister on Monday, before Mr Tsipras criticised an EU statement warning Russia over its alleged role in Mariupol on Wednesday.

    EU ministers are gathering today to attempt to agree on stricter sanctions, but the vote must be unanimous – meaning that the Greeks hold the power of veto.

    Last year Mr Tsipras claimed that Europe was “shooting itself in the foot,” over Russian sanctions.

    Other pro-Russian states, such as Cyprus, Hungary and Sloviak, have moderated their opposition after pressure from London, Berlin and Paris – but the new Greek coalition government, in partnership with the Independent Greek party, has consistently made clear their opposition to Berlin.

    Foreign Minister Nikos Kotizias has previously said that the EU is turning into “an idiosyncratic empire under the rule of Germany”.

    However, the spat may have more to do with the handling of events than the situation itself.

    Athens claimed to Ekathimerini, a Greek news outlet, that the EU “breached” the proscribed rules in attempting to present the new government with the document “before we had even been sworn in,” Mr Kotzias claimed.

    The development comes as Radio Free Europe claimed a trove of emails had been released allegedly showing close cooperation between Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev and Syriza over the past months.

    Defence minister and leader of Independent Greeks party, Panos Kammenos, released a statement “publicly support[ing]” Russia’s annexation of Crimea shortly after the event in March last year.

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