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Large rallies in Greece and Australia for 'No' vote against austerity and privatisation

Updates 4 Jul 15 from RT: Pro-Greece rallies STORYMAP: How the world is expressing solidarity with anti-austerity campaign, 'No more looting': Thousands rally across EU to express solidarity with Greece, From historic vote' for Greece's Syriza to #Greferendum : INTERACTIVE TIMELINE

Update July 6, 2015: The 'NO' vote has won, 62%: 38%!The 11:00PM ABC news last night reported large rallies for a 'No' vote at today's referendum in Greece. Rallies in Greece in support of a 'Yes' vote were considerably smaller. Rallies by Greek Australians also featured in the report. In spite of the fact that further austerity and privatisation that could only be ended with a 'No' vote, would be disastrous for the Greek people, the organisers of the Australian rallies chose not to advocate 'No' vote. Instead, the rallies are taking a neutral stance ostensibly in solidarity with Greece.

Reports of rallies in Australia and Greece can be found on the ABC News site. 1  Included below, in this article, are two embedded videos of rallies of Greeks in support of a 'No' vote against the IMF bailout conditions. Both were uploaded on 3 July 2015. The first, from the RT YouTube channel, is of length 3:28 minutes. (The fact that this video is only in Greek and has no English sub-titles does little to detract from its value for English audiences.) The second, from ThePressProject video channel is of length 10:30 minutes. It has been dubbed over by an English interpreter.

'OXI, OXI!': Tens of thousands chant 'No' to bailout conditions as Tsipras addresses crowd

 

Alexis Tsipras speaks to the Greek people before the Greferendum

In the speech, although Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tells the crowd that democracy will have triumphed regardless of whether the 'No' vote or the 'Yes' vote wins on Sunday, he contradicts this by also implying that a yes vote would be a surrender.

As explained by Tsipras, and as shown elsewhere, a majority 'Yes' vote, far from being a triumph of democracy, would signify a surrender to the demands of the IMF for ruinous austerity and privatisation of publicly owned assets in return for temporary relief from the interest payments on an illegitimate loan. That loan from the IMF was taken out on behalf of of the Greek people, with neither their consent nor the consent of the then opposition Syriza Party, by a previous corrupt PASOK government.

Other stories about the referendum include: Thousands attend Greek solidarity protest in Dublin as Greece prepares for polls (4/7/15) | Irish Examiner, Greece's referendum shows you can have too much democracy [?!!] (4/7/15) | Quartz. See also list of earlier stories here.

Footnote[s]

1. ↑ I was advised by 'J-D' on johnQuiggin.com, where the report of large rallies for a 'No' vote can be found, Greek debt crisis: Prime minister Alexis Tsipras demands debt write-off, 'grace period' for repayments as rival rallies fill streets, can be found on the ABC News web-site.

Comments

Richard Heinberg, senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute believes we have reached The End of Growth (2011), as does energy economist Jeff Rubin (2012), who understands that "the real engine of economic growth has always been cheap, abundant fuel and resources."

Heinberg says that "If policymakers fail to recognise this (limits to economic growth) and continue assuming that the current debt crisis is just another turning of the business cycle, then we may lose whatever opportunity still remains to avert a crash that could bring civilisation to its knees".

He also says there are limits to debt. "Beyond a certain point people are unable to make increasing payments and banks don’t want to loan them more money. We seem to have reached that point in just the last decade. Now household debt is not growing substantially but that’s being made up for with increasing levels of government debt – deficit spending and quantitative easing on the part of central banks".

Could it be that all the financial circus that we are seeing in and around Greece be just the effect of much deeper causes?

Greece has become the first developed country to default on an International Monetary Fund loan, itself a fraction of a € €323 billion national debt – equivalent to more than 175% of the country’s GDP.

If the Limits To Growth study is right and the crisis is generated by the gradually increasing costs of production of natural resources, then, collapse cannot be avoided, at best it can be mitigated by acting at the system level. Countries that rely on other nations to buy their debt run a risk of becoming beholden to their creditors and having to trade sovereignty for liquidity. Due to its inability to pay its debts and a desire to remain in the eurozone, Greece has had to accept various external conditions from the EU regarding its budget and national economic policies in exchange for forbearance and additional capital.

The expectations the Greeks have for renegotiating their debts requires them to squeeze blood from a stone. Only by increasing tax collections can Greece reverse the painful reduction in government spending, services, and employment known as austerity. the Greek economy cannot hope to generate the new wealth necessary to repay its maturing debts. Voters have effectively rejected the implausibly deep and sustained cuts in government spending and services necessary to meet principal and interest payments.

The physical limits to economic growth are chiefly resource depletion (a shrinking pie), resource competition (ashrinking slice of the pie).

A "no" vote means Greece has more leverage to negotiate a better package with the EU. That is not accurate, according to EU leaders.

The following was posted to a forum discusion The IMF: An inexcusable, incorrigible failure on JohnQuiggin.com.

J-D on July 5th, 2015 at 08:23,

Thank you for advising me of my mistake. I have corrected the article and have acknowledged your advice as a footnote to the article.

The article now includes two embedded videos of a huge recent rally in Greece for a "No" vote. The first is only 3:49 minute in length. It has no English translation, but that scarcely detracts from its value for non-Greek-speaking audiences. The second video is 10:30 minutes in length and has been dubbed over by an English translator.