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IMF: New Greek bailout possible

09 February 2012, 19:47 CET
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(WASHINGTON) - The International Monetary Fund said Thursday a new bailout program for Greece was possible but that Athens needs to do more in terms of restructuring.

"More needs to be done, and that's what the new program is going to be all about," said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice, just hours after Greek leaders agreed to a tough new austerity program seeking to win support from the European Union.

"As in all our programs broad political support for the program is crucial, and that's why we the IMF, together with our partners in Europe, have been taking this time to discuss the measures of a possible new program with the political leaders in Greece," Rice said.

"I think we're all agreed that there needs to be this labor market reform and the adjustment of wages to align more with productivity.

"Again, I think there's broad agreement that that needs to be achieved. The 'how do we get there' is still under discussion."

Earlier Thursday Greek leaders cobbled together a last-minute deal on austerity cuts, clearing the way for the European Union to decide on a bailout package worth 130 billion euros ($171 billion) even as Greek unions called a new strike against the terms.

Rice said Greece's Prime Minister Lucas Papademos had informed IMF managing director Christine Lagarde of the deal between political leaders earlier Thursday.

But he refused to say whether the IMF, which already has a sizable exposure to Greece through the country's first joint IMF-EU bailout program, will join the new one in the works.

"What I would say on the financing is what we've been saying for some time: that the key is to restore growth, competitiveness, jobs; the key is to help Greece return back to a sustainable debt trajectory."

The IMF has set of goal of cutting Greece's debt burden, currently about $350 billion euros, from roughly 160 percent of gross domestic product now to a maximum of 120 percent in 2020.

Doing so could involve any combination of private sector restructuring of Greek debt -- which is currently under negotiation, new private financing and new financing support from the official sector, he said.

"We don't have a particular view on how that combination of the right level of resources is achieved" to get to that point, Rice said.

"Everything depends on the agreement of the program and everything depends on the implementation."

Meanwhile he rejected accusations that the IMF and EU were forcing hardship on the Greek people in trying financing support to certain performance goals.

"The IMF is not imposing austerity on Greece," he told reporters -- it is "partnering" with Greek authorities on the program.


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Greek Bailout

Posted by William H. Depperman at 10 February 2012, 04:53 CET
The Hand is Quicker Than the Eye!
EUROPE—“Save the Euro” Becomes the Fraudulent Pretext
To Wage Economic War of Impoverishment and Extermination!

“Saving the Euro” has become the rallying cry and false pretext to wage constantly escalating economic war against the European Working Class and the Poor by imposing harsh austerity cutbacks in social programs, government services and infrastructure just like in the United States. The world capitalist dictatorship believes that it can begin to reduce the world population this way in Europe as well through imposing escalating impoverishment. The formula is very easy to understand: First the world capitalist dictatorship gets all countries in the Eurozone to agree that their fiscal deficit or public debt can not exceed their GDP by more than 3%. Second is to simultaneously have the governments of these countries implement supply-side economics, which as mentioned above, is nothing but a scheme and conspiracy to reduce the tax base in order to create a Strategic Budget Deficit, a strategy of economic war against the masses. This guarantees that those countries will quickly exceed the agreed upon 3%! When this 3% is exceeded those countries are told they must impose harsh austerity programs on their general population and when the austerity is not harsh enough they are told as a penalty that their country’s interest rate for borrowing has become ASTRONOMICAL! This is precisely what has happened or about to happen in the majority of the Eurozone member countries, with the exception of Germany and France who do not permit budget deficits to occur. But then these 2 countries are then told that they must bail out banks of these other countries with their tax moneys in order to help reduce those astronomically high interest rates in the other Eurozone countries and “save the Euro!” This way all Eurozone countries are targeted with austerity programs! High unemployment is the rule in Europe because of the large number of public sector Workers who have been laid off and also because the economies of the U.S. and Europe are interlinked and it is the result of political decision by U.S.-led world capitalism to do everything possible to reduce demand, the engine of the economy in all countries, and to deliberately cause all economies to contract to reduce world population. The U.S.-dictated European oil embargo against Iran under the demonstrably false pretext of a “nuclear weapons project/déjà vu Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)” is also calculated to help raise European oil prices and impose economic hardship on the masses in line with this “greater objective.” (See above.)

The capitalists deny the actual dynamic which they have deliberately set in place and use all sorts of false and tangential reasons to divert attention of the Working Class away from cause and effect! The capitalist media turns “Saving the Euro” into the raison d’etre or reason for existence and tries to use each and every twist and turn to get the European Workers emotionally involved in supporting their own impoverishment! The European population is falsely led to believe that “saving the Euro” will improve their economies when just the opposite is the case. Going back to multiple currencies could easily solve this “budget deficit problem,” because a country’s central bank can in such times print more money and/or theoretically impose a more progressive tax structure, etc. But the U.S. and Eurozone countries’ capitalist dictatorships are united in agreement that they must crash their own economies in order to “reduce the population demographic” through first imposing an escalating economic war of impoverishment. The “Euro” allows the capitalist class to better think and act as a class and impose much harsher austerity on the masses, than would ever be imposed if each country had its own currency once again. The U.S./European Working Class is generally regarded by the capitalist dictatorship as “a redundant useless class enemy.” The capitalist class also falsely believes overpopulation to be the world’s biggest problem not the Runaway Greenhouse Effect! Just as in the U.S. the European capitalists control and operate their own “opposition” including the leadership of ALL labor unions, now run by political police agent provocateurs just like in the U.S., who in Europe pretend to “oppose” the economic war with phony “General Strikes,” with preset time limits, which are almost the same as one-day protest marches and which only include part of the capitalist economy! A General Strike is open-ended on time and includes ALL sectors of the economy! This is the essence of the supposed “European Crisis of the Euro.” Aren’t those capitalists CLEVER? We are all so STUPID and they are all so SMART! These are just some of the reasons why we need Socialism and why we need to build back to more than a million-strong Communist Party in the United States. The IMF head Christine Lagarde agrees: “the ‘crisis’ is…escalating.” (BBC, December 15, 2011) Meaning the capitalists INTEND to escalate economic war!

But WAIT! According to the New York Times all may NOT be coming up entirely roses for the U.S.-led capitalist dictatorship as things seem to go out of control. Some EU countries have moved very far to the right in response to the falsely based austerity measures. In both Austria and Finland, for example there are well-organized Neo-Nazi led political parties. And in Hungary the Jobbik Party, a minority, is a full fledged NAZI party, having official anti-Roma and anti-Semitic positions and possessing an SA-type paramilitary arm, while the majority Fidesz Party (also Fascist) has completely taken over with a new constitution, but was immediately threatened with sanctions by the European Commission. (New York Times, January 12, 2012) Finally, as Lenin noted: “the slogan for a United States of Europe is an erroneous one”…and “impossible” unless it is on the basis of Socialism. Otherwise “it must be based on force,” which is what the economic sanctions represent. (“On the Slogan for a United States of Europe.” V.I. Lenin Sotsial-Demokrat No. 44, August 23, 1915) Lenin Collected Works Vol. 21)

Back in the United States, the actual purpose of the $4.7 Trillion Bank Bailout was also just another CRIMINAL DIVERSION of TAX MONEY away from Social Spending, normal government services and infrastructure! It is a fact that combined New Deal and WWII spending in a program of standard CAPITALIST Keynesian Deficit spending to 37% of the Gross Domestic Product primarily on Federal Jobs Programs is what lifted the U.S. economy and then the world economy out of the Great Depression and theoretically this could easily be done again, because there is more money in the United States than in all previous history! There is easily enough money to bring back the 3-cents postage stamp and the nickel subway fare, but the capitalists have stolen all the money—OUR MONEY! (See below!) The U.S. capitalist dictatorship has thus lost all legitimacy to rule and lost all right to sovereignty in the United States OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!