Wednesday 9 May 2012

A Memorandum renegotiation meeting

Meeting Participants:
Frau Merkel: Chancellor of Deutschland,
Herr Tsipras: PM of the free Greeks and leader of the grand left coalition
Herr Hollande: President of the French Republic
Herr Rajoy: PM of the Spain
Minutes of the meeting:
Mr Tsipras: Hello Frau Merkel. My people have instructed me to enter into negotiations with our esteemed European partners with a view to ease the burden of the anti-social, despicable and barbarous Memorandum of Understanding that our previous corrupt capitalist government has signed.
Frau Merkel: Hello Herr Tsipras. Europe is based on the principles of solidarity, equality, justice and freedom of expression and thought. I noticed that Greece’s relationship with the rest of Europe is going through a rough time. As a trained chemist I wish to remedy the chemistry between our peoples and move Europe forward.

Herr Hollande: I too think that this is an excellent idea. Perhaps we should discuss this over the next 12-course meal, courtesy of the unelected EU commission.
Herr Rajoy: As a trained lawyer I couldn’t agree more. The principles of justice and solidarity should be upheld. Spain too wishes to enter into talks with a view to amend our EU obligations.
Herr Tsipras: I, as a civil engineer, want to re-build the bridges between our peoples that were damaged by the immoral action of my predecessors. As the burden of our debt is too great we wish to be given a breathing space of few years.
Frau Merkel: That is totally correct. The burden should be lightened so as to allow the Greeks time to engage into reforms with a view to make their economy and people more productive. But, Herr Tsipras, forgive me if I am rude but we already did that. Greece would start repaying its debt in 10Y time.
Herr Tsipras: Ah yes forgot about that. We also wish to pay less in interest as the capitalist monopolies and the bankers are drinking our blood.
Herr Rajoy: Indeed Herr Tsipras, but Spain is borrowing money at 5% or more per annum so as to lend to Greece at 2%. The Spanish people are subsidizing in the name of solidarity the Greek debt by more than 3% a year. That is for every 1billion that we give to Greece we lose 30million. I cannot ask the Spanish people for even greater sacrifices as unemployment is at more than 20%. I am sorry. In fact this is a point I wish to discuss with all the European partners.
Herr Tsipras: I understand your constraints which is why we are asking for a moratorium on all debt payments in order for Greece to rejoin the path of growth.
Herr Hollande: This is a truly socialist and revolutionary solution. I and France, Frau Merkel , support the suspension of payments by the Greek republic. The French people are ready to stand by our socialist friends in Greece.
Frau Merkel: It is a truly innovative idea. Why didn’t my advisers think of this before? But Herr Tsipras can you please explain me where are you going to find the money to pay your other commitments? Herr Hollande you may wish to consult the Banque de France on the amounts French banks need to raise and the rating agencies before we move with this truly remarkable idea. And Herr Rajoy can you please provide us with the true numbers of your economy and the money needed to save your Spanish zombie banks.
Herr Tsipras: What other commitments?
Herr Rajoy: I believe Frau Merkel refers to the salaries and pensions that your government is still obliged to pay to keep the Greek people from starving. Last time, Jose, my trusted economist checked the Greek government was short around 5billion of cash even without any debt and interest rate payments.
Herr Tsipras: Is that so! Well in this case I will have to tax the Greeks to pay for this. We are proposing a 75% tax on all incomes above 50k and we would also impose a wealth tax for the rich capitalists in our country.   
Herr Holand: Wasn’t this exactly what was done by your predecessor? Instead of making reforms to increase the competitiveness of the Greek economy he taxed horizontally everyone.
Herr Tsipras: Indeed, which is why we are advocating a socially just and equitable sharing of the tax load. We would nationalize the Banks and write off any loans that the people cannot pay.
Herr Hollande: Herr Tsipras, we too want an equitable and just tax system for Greece. But even if you nationalize the banks you still need to have money. Where are you going to find the money? Also according to European principle any nationalization or appropriation of property must be done with compensation. How are you going to pay for this? Also, if people don’t pay their debts doesn’t this encourage them to get more debt?
Herr Tsipras: We would invoke the law of public interest like the previous government did to pass the PSI. We will use productively the people’s deposits to boost the economy and generate growth. We would guarantee that all deposits go to the productive  use of the state.
Herr Rajoy: But in doing so, many may pull their money out of the banks? How are you going to stop this? The EU forbids capital controls.
Herr Tsipras: Again under the Public Interest law we would place capital controls and limits to withdrawals. Always, though guaranteeing the deposits of the people. Furthermore, in our program we explicitly state that anyone hiding assets, like houses, swimming pools etc would be punished severely. The undeclared assets would be immediately confiscated. Given that a great many of Greeks cheat and hide assets, we would very soon have the money to pay for salaries, pensions and social cohesion actions.
Herr Hollande: Dear Frau Merkel, I consulted BdF and also heard what my comrade Mr Tsipras said and wish to propose a grand printing plan in Frankfurt. We would instruct our ECB to print a quintillion of Euro’s to help Spain, Italy, France and Portugal get over the crisis.
Frau Merkel: Yes, I think the time is right for such a move. I would call the ECB to help with the spare change.
Herr Tsipras: I noticed Herr Hollande that you did not refer to Greece in your speech. Was this an accidental omission?
Herr Hollande with Frau Merkel and Herr Rajoy: It is crystal clear that you have already the answers to all the financial problems that have hit Greece. In the spirit of solidarity and democratic accountability we would respect your views and help you with your revolutionary financial ideas. We would immediately implement a 20Y grace period on any money plus interest that is due from the Greek state and would allow the nationalization of Banks. Furthermore, as this cannot be done within the framework of the Euro, we would send our best experts to provide you with assistance as to how you will develop a separate and independent monetary system.
Herr Tsipras: Thank you. I promise that I and my party will not fail in our mission to bring prosperity, democracy and social justice to the whole Greek people.
Herr Hollande with Frau Merkel and Herr Rajoy: Au revoir comrade Tsipras. See you in 20 years.