Obama speaks with Tsipras, Merkel about Greek crisis

Washington, July 8 (IANS) President Barack Obama analysed the Greek situation in telephone calls to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the White House said.

Obama began Tuesday with a phone conversation with Merkel, followed by another call to Tsipras, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at his daily press conference.

The president “reiterated that it is in everyone’s interest that Greece and its creditors reach a mutually-acceptable agreement” to allow Greece to remain in eurozone, although the only way to do that is for all parties to agree on a package deal that will put Greece on the road to financial “sustainability”, Earnest said.

The spokesman acknowledged that the process for achieving that aim “is complicated”, but said the US continued to encourage all parties to participate in “constructive” talks to do so, Efe news agency reported.

About the call to Merkel, the White House said the German leader and Obama discussed the need for “a durable agreement that will allow Greece to resume reforms, return to growth, and achieve debt sustainability within the eurozone”.

“The leaders noted that their economic teams are monitoring the situation in Greece and remain in close contact,” Earnest said.

Greek government officials cited by the media in Athens said Tsipras briefed Obama on the proposal that Greece would present to its creditors.

The call between Obama and Tsipras came one day after US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew telephoned the Greek leader to say that Washington wanted to see a resumption of dialogue between Athens and its creditors.

The meeting of economy and finance ministers from the eurozone nations in the Belgiium’s capital Brussels concluded on Tuesday without Greece presenting any new proposals to resume negotiations with its partners and creditors, although the parties agreed very soon to request a third bailout.

1 Comment

  1. The closet-Marxist Barry Obama is concerned Greece will leave the Euro, break out of NATO and align with Russia. If it were to happen, Russia will get strategic position in the region to stand up against the Western threats. I don’t blame the Russians/Putin because the West is obsessed with painting Russia as the enemy whereas their real enemies are elsewhere (ask R. Pai for more details). Russia has every right to protect its own interests.

    Talking about the West, it’s no longer about caring for their people (it never has been!) but now those governments are only concerned about their own survival. In reality, the situation is so dire that the Eurozone wants Greece out of the Euro (though they can’t officially admit it!) as ‘extend and pretend’ no longer works but Uncle Sam seems to be fishing in troubled waters and wants Greece to remain in the Eurozone while it is concerned diddly squat about the real economic problems of the Greeks, instead it is interested only with its own dominance in the region. Talk about desperation.

    All those in the West who are complacently reliant upon the State for their pensions, health care and other social security benefits should look no further than what’s happening in Greece today. The emperor truly has no clothes. They are running out of food, money and medicine at an alarming rate. Until 2008 the same Greeks had absolutely no idea what misery was to befall them. They bought Porsches or BMWs on the never-never thinking there is unlimited supply of credit/money. They thought it was their fundamental right to be rich. They thought their Euro masters will bail them out forever. But to their surprise it came to their stark realisation that there is nothing called as a free lunch in this world. Today the same people do not know where the money for their next meal is going to come from. They cannot even have access to their own money in the bank. Some are scouring food in the dumpsters today, the same once-proud Greeks. Now it’s a generational fight you see in that country -the older generation wants to be in the Euro so they continue to get some of their promised pensions where as their own children want out of the Euro as the crippling austerity has brought about real economic misery stifling growth so they have no real prospects of any career, a totally lost generation. Their silly degrees in journalism, arts, and media studies won’t help them now.

    People in our country are more concerned about LGBT rights, Cricket or their celebrity idols. Our ancestors had more important issues to deal with, such as putting the food on the table. That seems no longer a concern for today’s generation but they are wrong. This is what happens when you are not careful with money or have wrong priorities in life. If you take an aerial view of Greece it looks very much like a “developed” western country with good roads, nice buildings, well-attired populace etc. but the ground reality paints a totally different picture. Believe it or not this is what awaits the rest whether one likes it or not.

    By the way, it was the Wall Street bank –Goldman Sachs, which assisted Greece early in the noughties to fudge their books and join the Euro club through fraudulent means but now not even one media outlet in the Western press has the testicular-fortitude to take those Zionist bankers to task. So powerful are the bankers now that they control everything. The ordinary people high on populist opium have given them this power through their own ignorance. People still believe in their corrupt governments. So in the end you get what you deserve.

    The overall debt Greece owes to its creditors is minuscule compared to some of the bigger countries in the region. But reneging on this debt will start a domino/contagion in the financial system for it’s a house of cards – if one card at the bottom of the structure falls over, the whole house comes down with it. It has that cascading effect with contagion spreading gradually elsewhere. It triggers a series of defaults. Back in 2008 the Western governments could bring down the interest rates (to near zero) and pump billions into the system to withhold the bursting of the dams but now that option is no longer present. Now stealing savers’ money is the only option (as you can see in Greece today).

    Another side to this Greek-dilemma for the Eurozone is that if Greeks are given a bit of debt-relief so that they can stay in the Euro, not only will it impact a lot of financial institutions spreading contagion as I said above, there will be other peripheral problems to confront with. Even Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, who are neck-deep in debt, are going to ask for debt relief which under the current circumstances is impossible unless bringing down the whole system with it.

    On the other hand if Greece does leave the Euro and goes back to Drachma, that will also give confidence to the above neighbouring countries to break away from Eurozone as even they are suffering from austerity. No matter which way you look at it, there is no easy solution to the problem. So in short, they are damned if they did, and damned if they didn’t. This is the problem with too much unsustainable debt. No economist has a solution to this problem though they are the talking heads on the TV programs telling governments what they should do based on their spineless theories. Extend and pretend is the only game in town, kicking the can down the road if you like.

    There will be plenty of fireworks in the financial world starting this autumn, possibly to the scale much worse than what you saw back in 2008. People in the West are well-advised to take some of their wealth out of the system and bury it in the backyard (need not be literally). The American citizens are expected by law to be tax- compliant no matter which part of the world they live in. So those on H1B or Green Card who intend to be the American citizens should give a long and hard look to see if this is what they want. Being an American dwelling outside the country, you may escape the net today but when (not if) they pull your file (even after 10 years) they will extract every last penny (with compounded interest) from you and some more fines on top of that. Laws are arbitrarily imposed depending on the whims of the authorities just to extract more and more from you. You don’t know what a hungry beast with unlimited powers can do to you. The beast also has to feed a lot of hungry dependents (remember the same lazy dependents who voted for the beast to steal from others in the last 50 years?). The government will become more and more aggressive when there is no money to pay the promised bills.

    Rip van Winkles however may continue to sleep. Normally pigs don’t have a clue until the very last minute they get slaughtered.

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