I did expect the vote to produce a "No" – based on my observations of the banners on the Greek streets and Greeks who contribute their "ideas" on this blog, all of whom have been clueless trolls (the observation of the Greek nation's inferiority has been way too obvious to me) – but now it's here and we actually have to live through the increased anxiety.
After June 30th, Greece defaulted to the International Monetary Fund. On July 3rd, the EFSF (the temporary Eurozone bailout fund) – whose Greek program ended at the moment of the default – officially declared Greece bankrupt. It reserved the right to demand the immediate repayment of some €120+ billion that Greece owes to this Eurozone fund.
At the end of June, the bank run finally began, too. Capital controls had to be imposed. An ATM machine limit of €60 per day per cardholder has been enforced ever since. The Sunday July 5th referendum which asked about a no longer relevant bailout program – but was widely interpreted as the question "do you agree with some salvation by Europe that requires you to fasten the belt" – produced the No (Oxi) result. One hour after the end of the voting, it was already clear that "No" would have gathered about 60%. It was about 61.3% at the end.
Those who voted "No" expressed a certain kind of perverse pride – pride about their and their nation's being the ultimate losers among the EU member states, pride about their most unhinged communist government. Czechs have lived under communism for more than 40 years but I assure you that our nation has never supported the communist overlords this enthusiastically.
"No" was preferred mainly by the younger generation – I would say, the generation with the huge unemployment rate around 50%. The older, experienced folks slightly favored "Yes".
Everyone in Greece must have understood that "No" has meant a very likely continued closure of the banks – which means that you won't see a big part of your savings anymore. This clearly wasn't a problem for the vote. My explanation is that there are way too many complete losers in Greece – the classic proletarians who have nothing to lose but their chains. The capital controls also brutally hurt the everyday economy. Certain people don't care about that, either.
When too many people like that appear at a territory, it is extremely dangerous. They don't feel the need to preserve their nation's banking system or the economy – because they own almost no fraction of it. It doesn't mean that they haven't ever been given money. But as typical drug addicts, they immediately waste all of it. The Greek governments have behaved in the same way.
The radicals in the Greek "government" want to abolish the basic rules of capitalism on the Greek territory. In fact, as I have warned for a very long time, their goal is much more ambitious than that. They are literally dreaming about a new communist revolution in Europe – and perhaps in the world.
As people connected with an isolated uncompetitive economy that makes 2% of the EU GDP, they would have no chance if treated properly. Well, the Greek financial system should have been disconnected from the life support (the ELA program of the European Central bank) a long time ago. Angela Merkel should have been at least as unambiguous as her finance minister. But the neverending efforts to save the unsaveable and reconcile the unreconcileable have unsurprisingly helped to turn Syriza into a Bolshevik-like force that many people in Europe are afraid of, a terrorist group that has some impact on the people's psychology and indirectly the economic events.
This shouldn't have happened. Scum like this should have no power and any significant increase of their power is a sign that someone has made some serious mistakes.
In this week, the European Central Bank will be debating whether the ELA program should be completely reversed, or frozen at the current levels – €89 billion (which allow the ATM withdrawals for one or two days) – or increase the ceiling. The ECB wisely wants to avoid decisions with major political consequences because those decisions should be made by the elected officials.
On the other hand, the – totally sane – laws constraining this central bank say that the bank has to protect the integrity of the European financial system and avoid the funding for insolvent banking institutions, protect all users of the Euro from unlimited "leaks" in the financial system. As far as the rules go, the ECB should withdraw all ELA support at this moment and build a nice grave for the Greek financial system (which is in a Schrödinger's cat state now – it's only dead once you observe it again). As far as their courage goes, they don't want to do such things.
And indeed, it should be the real, elected politicians who should inform the ECB that Greece no longer has a chance to restore solvency and order the ECB to do such things. Their courage is even lower than that. No one wants to be the person who disconnected Greece and sent it to the real world. Despite their cowardliness, they should realize that this is now officially the wish of the Greek people. They (not just Tsipras or Syriza, but the majority of the Greek nation!) don't want to make a deal with the creditors, they don't want to live within their means – which means that they want to organize their lives according to Zimbabwe's, not Europe's, template. They must be allowed to do that! If you try to send them additional financial help, you will at most be called a terrorist. You just should stop any help to that failed state.
The situation has been unsustainable for a very, very long time – Syriza's election victory has already made the possibility of a sensible "friendly" solution impossible, as far as I can say. But by trying to sustain the unsustainable, the stakes were getting higher and higher. That was wrong. It has to stop because you don't want to increase the stakes that were originally about an irrelevant failed state in between Europe and Africa to the size that is frightening for many people in Europe. The decisions that are obviously needed at some point have to be made as soon as possible.
Greece is a cradle of the Western civilization and the currently alive Greeks seem to be very close to the ancient ones, genetic studies suggest. How did it happen that Greece turned into this kind of self-evidently inferior nation? I was trying to find out an answer that would satisfy my curiosity. A vicious circle of mismanagement and politically propagated lies has been making things ever worse for many years – and pretty much all governments have contributed to that dangerous spiral (there haven't been any truly sensible or truly right-wing governments in Greece since 1974). But there had to be some pre-existing tendency to suffer from such diseases. I think that a point is that the local communists had earned some political capital or "mainstream status".
There undoubtedly exist politicians in Europe who still prefer to surrender, open the unlimited tits for Greece again. Because the Greek economy lost about (extra) 15% in the recent weeks and Syriza plus the referendum winners don't want to reduce their spending at all, we are clearly talking about proposed subsidies and financial transfers that are vastly worse than those in recent years. Greece has shouted "No" to any sensible deal with the creditors – but it still wants to be fed of the creditors' tits. This is insane and too many people in Europe have already understood that point. Many people's eyes were opened just recently.
But you are very unlikely to get all the signatures for further "salvations" of Greece. Most "Northern" Europeans don't want to sacrifice additional resources that are rather likely to be never repaid again – not even with gratitude. And no one really wants to be saved in Greece anymore, either. Greeks have spoken clearly. Just allow them to have what they want and the complete and unequivocal collapse of their financial system is another step they are waiting for.
While the Greek attitude is extremely clear at this point – they simply want to steal as much milk (and flesh, using their rather sharp teeth) from the Europeans' tits as possible (a very ironic plan given the fact that their "No" is often interpreted as "No" to co-existence with Europe), the European politicians are split and ambiguous and Angela Merkel has symbolized that attitude for a very long time.
The people who still want some "deal" with Greece – some new salvation – should realize that there exist many more Europeans who have become at least as hostile towards further help as most of the Greeks insist of being indefinitely fed from the tits. If you are such a politician who wants to build bridges, you should realize that you want to build bridges between sides that can't be connected.
You may choose to de facto join the Greeks who demand the unlimited ransom. But you will become the enemy of a much greater number of Europeans. So if you're such a "sympathizer with Greece", you really face the following dilemma: in the confrontations that are inevitable if you want to continue to build these unbuildable bridges, do you want to fight on the side of 60 million German hard-working workers who want to enjoy justice and what they have produced; or 6 million "not working" Greeks who blackmail everyone else and who demand an unlimited ransom from others? When these Greek parasites start to fight with weapons, will you really join them? If you realize that these are the dilemmas that you want to become relevant, why don't you try to answer this dilemma now?
For example, in Germany, an overwhelming majority of the public opposes any further bailout package for Greece, let alone a package with no strings attached. Wolfgang Schäuble's approval rate increased to 70 percent, largely due to his principled attitude to the Greek hassles. If it were the question, he could probably supersede Merkel as a chancellor.
The situation is similar in many other countries – surely in Finland, Slovakia, Czechia (out of Eurozone). And probably in the ECB. While the Greeks increase the volume with which they shout nonsense about "restructuring of the debt" etc., the ECB has reminded everyone that according to the totally fundamental Eurozone treaties, such a restructuring would be illegal as "monetary financing". As long as some Greeks are alive and live on that territory, they just can't get rid of the debt. 11 million (well 4 million) idiots may "vote" in some way to express their opinion but this opinion will objectively remain pure šit.
If you're an overt or covert Syriza supporter, you should understand that you are extremely unlikely to get a "Ja" vote from the Bundestag. The representatives have similar opinions as the German public and even if they didn't, they have to do things that the voters find acceptable if they want to be reelected. The salvation attempts simply have to stop now. They should have stopped 5 years ago but at least this period should be enough for people to learn the lesson. Things have gotten worse and they are still getting worse. The efforts to prolong the existence of a permanently loss-making system are guaranteed to make things worse.
The discussions should switch to those about the humanitarian aid. But no aid is really needed now. This topic of humanitarian aid should be delayed and technical issues should only be solved once the suffering in Greece becomes widespread and its character becomes well-defined. This is in no way a description of the current situation. And the suffering simply has to come. It's badly needed for at least some Greeks to start to have a clue. And it's needed for some rebalancing of the power in Europe – so that everyone may see that the Marxist crap is a bunch of loons who have screwed really everything.
I am very sorry about the sensible and perhaps hard-working people in Greece, those who realized that the "No" decision and the thinking that led to it eliminates their nation from the modern capitalist civilization. I am sorry about the patriots who have opinions similar to mine and those who have lots of money in stocks, perhaps banking stocks, especially the Greek banking stocks.
My sorrow isn't too high, however, because I haven't met a single person of this kind. If I didn't know at least about the 40% of the "Yes" votes, all my data would be compatible with the assumption that the Greek nation is a homogeneous body of parasitic savages brainwashed by Marxism.
A vast majority of these people don't suffer. Like reverse racists, feminists, homosexualists, environmentalists, and other largely anti-capitalist groups, they are literally flourishing by sucking the blood out of our financial systems, out of our budgets.
Those of us who consider capitalism – and the modern civilization – dear simply have to become more assertive and finally deal with these insanely enthusiastic folks as with enemies because that's exactly what they are and what they have been for a very, very long time. They're not as "visceral" enemies at the Islamic State but they are simply not our friends and you can't possibly want them to be stronger. If we don't make sure that their living standards drop proportionally to the number of lethal mistakes and hostile acts they have done, we may be ready for some deterioration that may transgress the borders of Greece – a degenerative process comparable to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia of 1917.
I, for one, would prefer a carpet bombing of Greece.
There can't be any real major "financial contagion" from the collapse of the Greek banks and companies. But there can be the contagion of Marxism and parasitism, Syriza's defining ideologies. There are countries where the counterparts of Syriza continue to be dirty, stinky, and irrelevant fringe groups. But if the responsible people allow the fans of Syriza in Greece to gain self-confidence, they are increasing the risk that these tumors will start to spread to other countries as well. While Greece could easily be subsidized so that no Greek has to work again, it's not the case if and when other, larger countries start to expect a similar treatment. This mustn't happen. Every sign of weakness towards the left-wing pandemics is existentially dangerous for Europe and the modern capitalist civilization in general.
In recent weeks – and months – I was nicely surprised by the attitude of numerous politicians in Europe and many of those were social democrats. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and the boss of the Eurogroup, is a member of a Labor Party and he's behaved professionally. The Slovak government is composed of social democrats as well but they're sensible, too. Prime minister Fico stressed that Grexit won't mean anything for the functionality of the Eurozone. Fico has also denounced the suggestions that Slovakia is already losing lots of cash once Greece defaults or exits. But Slovakia hasn't lent any cash to Greece; it only has guaranteed some of the debt and Slovakia will keep on demanding every penny that is guaranteed in this way.
The Slovak finance minister Peter Kažimír said and wrote lots of things about the desirability of Grexit etc., too. I am naturally interested in the statements by the Slovak politicians. Slovakia is our i.e. Czechoslovak representative in the Eurozone. They are more affected by those events than we are but it's obvious that Slovaks' reactions to the events are very similar to the reaction of Czechs.
I guess that the Slovak top politicians and other moderate left-wingers in Europe were shown a mirror. They saw how Syriza – and the Greek nation – behaves and they were shocked by that. But they must realize that to some extent, this is how they often look from the perspective of genuine conservatives. The continued negotiations and similar mistakes have increased the self-confidence of the left-wing radicals in Greece and outside Greece. But we shouldn't overlook the changes with the opposite sign, either – especially because those take place in countries that are (and especially will be) more important than Greece.
These social democrats have joined the ranks of the people who intuitively appreciate how important it is for a system to be protected against such abuses, a bunch of criminals who threaten by chaos and suck huge resources from others while emitting despicable left-wing propaganda. These social democrats joined the people who will be more cautious whenever they hear some left-wing propaganda from others, including fellow members of their parties. And that could be a nice implication of this "crisis".
Czech prime minister Sobotka (also social democrat) said that it's almost impossible to keep the Greeks in the Eurozone against their will. Virtually all Czech politicians agree it would be insane for Greece to be kept in the Eurozone.
I think it's nice that Czechia has stayed outside the Eurozone – it reduces the amount of money we lose as a country, among other things, but this amount is in no way zero. But so far, the behavior of the ECB and the Eurozone finance ministers has more or less impressed me. It's basically how things should behave – so far – and this experience from the "rainy weather" has undoubtedly decreased my opposition towards our entry to the Eurozone.
In my opinion, there is nothing "existential" about a nation's using its own currency. A good currency should be dictated by external factors for the sake of "neutrality" and the domestic players must and may adapt to it. As long as they are able to change prices and wages in both directions – and a healthy economy and every healthy company in it simply has to consider both of these changes to be a part of business-as-usual because they're needed not only during "crises" – there can't be any serious problem about the events that happen to that currency.
What I find most unacceptable about the proposed "ever closer union" is the suggestion that the EU or the common currency should imply some fiscal union or mandatory redistribution of huge resources among the nations, the obligation of one nation to help others even if these others have screwed their life or want to rob everyone else or (which is the case of Greece) both. But as long as people appreciate that the monetary union doesn't involve any fiscal union or forced solidarity, I think that it is a good idea and I want Czechia to join at some point (with the main extra condition that the crown will be significantly stronger than now at the moment of the entry).
When I wrote the previous paragraph, it turned out that finance minister Varoufakis has resigned, a concession to the creditors, as they put it. It may be cosmetically intriguing for many people but the Greek problem is much larger than a problem with one narcissist Marxist would-be politician. A cosmetic change like that shouldn't lead to non-cosmetic changes of the creditors' attitude. The referendum has shown that those who believe that the Greek problem was just a problem with a couple of Marxist lunatics are completely wrong. It is a problem with a Marxist nation.