By Any Names, Greeks Will Live With Austerity

Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras can call it whatever he wants, but he's going to follow the Troika marching orders too.

There’s an old axiom that you can tell politicians are lying when they’re lips are moving, so Prime Minister and Looney Left SYRIZA leader Alexis “Che” Tsipras can drizzle all the honey on his BS Baklava he wants and try to sell it to Greeks as pastry but it’s still the same old product they swallowed under the PASOK Anti-Socialists and the New Democracy Capitalists.

The only difference between Tsipras and his predecessors, former PASOK leader George “The Money is There” Papandreou and New Democracy’s maybe-to-be-ousted Antonis “Mr. Bean Counter” Samaras is that the former Premiers didn’t even pretend they cared about workers, pensioners and the poor they hammered with harsh austerity measures on orders of international lenders.

Papandreou and Samaras signed memoranda with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) imposing big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings in return for 240 billion euros ($272 billion) in two rescue packages, a big chunk of which they turned over to their banker buddies who still can’t balance the books.

Tsipras, sensing a good kill in the making, opposed those terms because while he hasn’t had much of way of a real job, he can add and figured a majority of people didn’t like being brutalized while politicians, the rich and tax cheats skated, leaving the rest of Greeks on thin ice hoping they’d fall through and leave more for them.

During his relentless onslaught against austerity, Tsipras vowed, swore, promised, and pledged he would refuse to negotiate with the Troika nor recognize the sovereignty they seized from Greece; that he would walk away from a big chunk of the unsustainable debt unless the lenders promised relief; that he would restore the minimum wage, and that he would halt and reverse privatizations he characterized as the pillaging of Greece at bargain basement sales that he said was being done to benefit private profiteers.

He missed his career as a juggler because he throws promises around as fast as any of them, although apparently can’t catch a one.

Apparently none of voters who backed him, nor the SYRIZA zealots, a cuckoo mix of Communists, Anarchists, Nihilists, Maoists, Stalinists, Radicalists, Activists, and people who’d like to have all Greeks earning the same pay and driving 1957 Chevies, noticed his lips were moving when he rolled out that impossible laundry list because he’s using more euphemisms to explain why he can’t do it than the CIA trying to explain why assassination is just termination with extreme prejudice.

At least Tsipras is smart enough to have bought himself a pit bull pet, the talk-the-talk-but-not-walk-the-walk economist/blogger Yanis Varoufakis as Finance Minister. He’s in charge of using different language to disguise why SYRIZA will have to go along with at least 70 percent of what the Troika demanded from Papandreou and Samaras.

Tsipras said Greece would never accept an extension of the bailouts. Varoufakis said the government would, however, accept a “bridging agreement,” which is an extension under another name no matter how much wrapping you put on that package.

Putting more perfume on the crap they’re peddling, where Tsipras said he would never negotiate with nor recognize the Troika cross-his-heart-and-hope-to-die, it took less than two weeks for him to authorize Varoufakis to do just that, but say it was just talking, not negotiating. Yes, and vigarish isn’t interest, it’s just repayment of a promise.

Tsipras said he would restore the minimum wage but, changing his tune, said that couldn’t happen all at once, but that it would take time, the same kind of words used by Papandreou and Samaras and every other politician no matter what alleged ideology they espouse because in the end they’re all the same.

There’s a lot of SYRIZA spielmeisters, including party spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis, who bent himself into a word pretzel to explain why if Greek gets a bridging agreement (extension) after talking (negotiating) with the Troika SYRIZA doesn’t recognize that it won’t really be what it is, which takes the Marx Brothers to translate.

Greece is committed to not continuing an international bailout similar to the ones agreed with the Troika by previous governments, Sakellaridis said, hoping you wouldn’t notice that it’s implicit in that sentence that there will be a bailout extension under a different name.

And that it will come with some of the conditions candidate Tsipras repudiated before he became Prime Minister Tsipras and pulled a Samaras, an acrobatic trick named for the man who opposed austerity then accepted it, then opposed it, a perfect 10 except for the 3.8 from the East German judge named Merkel.

“(Greece) will not continue with a program which has the characteristics of the programs of previous governments,” Sakellaridis told Greek TV. Translation for people who don’t speak Realpolitik: Greece will continue with a program which has many of the characteristics previous governments signed.

Sakellaridis also said that Greece has agreed with its European partners that there needs to be a “national reform plan” to deal with decades-long issues of the economy.

We’re looking that one up on the Political Dictionary but so far it means SYRIZA, just like PASOK and New Democracy, will have to abide by some unpleasant measures and will not, as Tsipras vowed, walk the walk and act unilaterally.

Sakellaridis said that the new government would not clash with the public based on orders from outside so the Troika will have to slip Tsipras an envelope giving him his marching orders.

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