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Monday, 13 July 2015

ThisIsACoup (Vassilis Zambaras: Hope Dies Last / An Air of Acquiescence)

A pensioner wait to receive part of his pension at a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece on Monday. Euro zone leaders clinched a deal with Greece on Monday to negotiate a third bailout to keep the near-bankrupt country in the euro zone after a whole night of haggling at an emergency summit

A pensioner waits to receive part of his pension at a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece on Monday: photo by Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters, 13 July 2015

Daily life in central Athens: image via AFP Photo Department @AFPphoto, 13 June 2015

Daily life in central Athens: image via AFP Photo Department @AFPphoto, 13 June 2015

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 #Greece to extend bank holiday for two more days: image via Reuters Live @ReutersLive, 13 July 2015

Killing the European Project

A reaction to #ThisIsACoup from Belgium: image via Ismail Küpeli @ismail_kupeli, 13 July 2015

German flag over Irish government buildings. That's it lads, drop all the pretense #ThisIsACoup: image via Conor McCabe @Thouxic, 13 July 2015 Dublin City, Ireland

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Merkel's plan. Athens 2020. #ThisIsACoup #acropolis #brandenburgate #athens #oxi2015 #greece #inexarchiag: image via inExarchiagr @inExarchia, 13 July 2015

Killing the European Project: it wasn’t the Greeks who did it: Paul Krugman, New York Times, 12 July 2015

Suppose you consider Tsipras an incompetent twerp. Suppose you dearly want to see Syriza out of power. Suppose, even, that you welcome the prospect of pushing those annoying Greeks out of the euro.

Even if all of that is true, this Eurogroup list of demands is madness. The trending hashtag ThisIsACoup is exactly right. This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief. It is, presumably, meant to be an offer Greece can’t accept; but even so, it’s a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for.

whoops | by linmtheu

whoops [road accident, Greece]: photo by linmtheu, 13 March 2004

Can anything pull Europe back from the brink? Word is that Mario Draghi is trying to reintroduce some sanity, that Hollande is finally showing a bit of the pushback against German morality-play economics that he so signally failed to supply in the past. But much of the damage has already been done. Who will ever trust Germany’s good intentions after this?

In a way, the economics have almost become secondary. But still, let’s be clear: what we’ve learned these past couple of weeks is that being a member of the eurozone means that the creditors can destroy your economy if you step out of line. This has no bearing at all on the underlying economics of austerity. It’s as true as ever that imposing harsh austerity without debt relief is a doomed policy no matter how willing the country is to accept suffering. And this in turn means that even a complete Greek capitulation would be a dead end.

whoops | by linmtheu

whoops [road accident, Greece]: photo by linmtheu, 13 March 2004

Can Greece pull off a successful exit? Will Germany try to block a recovery? (Sorry, but that’s the kind of thing we must now ask.)

The European project -- a project I have always praised and supported -- has just been dealt a terrible, perhaps fatal blow. And whatever you think of Syriza, or Greece, it wasn’t the Greeks who did it.

Who said Schauble wants #grexit? #Schaublexit #Schaueble #GreeceCrisis #EuroSummit #Eurogroup: image via Classikos @classikos, 12 July 2015 Rome, Lazio

Greeks react with fury at new €86bn EU bailout deal saying #ThisIsACoup: image via Daily Mail Online @MailOnline, 13 July 2015

The #ThisIsACoup Politically correct Panzer!: image via Tiziano de Simone @tiziodesio, 13 July 2015 Rome, Lazio

Hope Dies Last

 #Greece has three days to make cuts or face #EU exit: image via The Times of London @thetimes, 12 July 2015

 #Greece crisis: Eurozone leaders talk through the night in bid to agree terms for new bailout: image via BBC News (World) @BBCWorld, 12 July 2015

Is this going to be the defining image of this deal? #Greece: image via Shawn Donnan @sdonnan, 12 July 2015

Vassilis Zambaras: Hope Dies Last
You get up
Every day hoping
It won’t be your last
And you go to bed wishing
It had been.

Vassilis Zambaras: Hope Dies Last, from Vazambam, 9 July 2015

The #ThisIsACoup meme burned bright in the BRICS as well as Euro periphery. LatAm watching Syriza's fate intently: image via Paul Mason @paulmasonnewstorinoman, 13 July 2015

Q: you've been accused of staging a coup. Juncker: we said it'd be worse after the referendum. So, yes #ThisIsACoup: image via Oscar Reyes @oscar_reyes, 12 July 2015

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I woke up like #ThisIsACoup: image via Mary Sinatsaki @mariboo, 13 July 2015

An Air of Acquiescence
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Agreement - 13.07.15 #ThisIsACoup: image via Tonousou @Tonousou, 12 July 2015

Vassilis Zambaras: An Air of Acquiescence

Their slender stalks fastened
With twine to thin reeds stuck
In a brown, earthenware pot,

The blood-red carnations nod
In accord with each blustering gust,
All the while suffusing the air

They breathe
With redolent dyes
Of thick, heady musk.

Vassilis Zambaras: An Air of Acquiescence, from Vazambam, 13 July 2015

17 Nov 2013 | by linmtheu

Carnations in the street, Polytechnic University protest, Exarchia, Athens: photo by linmtheu, 17 November 2013

Carnation | by RobW_

Carnation... on the grave of Melina Merkouri, in Athens First Cemetery: photo by Robert Wallace, 15 January 2008

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La dignidad de un pueblo frente al chantaje de una mafia. #ThisIsACoup: image via Miguel Urbán Crespo @MiguelUrban, 13 July 2015

Untitled | by linmtheu

Graffiti, Athens: photo by linmtheu, 30 March 2014


Wooden Boy said...

The blood-red carnations nod
in accord

The poem's an image presented softly; you read and in no time you're beset by fearful allegories.

This isn't just an assault on Greece. It's an assault on democracy.

manik sharma said...


At least they have Vassilis, and maybe others like him, we cherish, and are indebted to, more than the guilt-free 'others' who claim to care for repayment. I love Vassilis. We all do. Hope dies last. But here, on Vazambam and between the handful who care to read these awful looking blogs, it never does. It shouldn't. It won't.

TC said...

For me it's the feeling of melancholy and exhaustion in all nature that makes the poem's oblique commentary on history so poignant -- this is Vassilis at his best, exacting, empathetic, honourable, and nobody's fool.

Dunc, about the democracy ... as the hours now pass, the light that shone in the cottage window of the thought of democracy as lately as a week or so ago, fades to a memory, and with it comes the realization that there was a grand delusion here. That a group of conscientious left-ish academic socialists could actually be allowed make a functional government, playing by the rules of the game as they were, in an environment in which every weakness would be exploited, and let's face it, there were many weaknesses... the attempt was always doomed.

To start with, it's now plain the floated idea of an exit was never more than a bluff. In this nightmare, there's no door.

TC said...

manik, hadn't seen those good words, as applies to our friend Vassilis, very true.

Wooden Boy said...

You're right, Tom. No door. No choice. Maybe we know the enemy a little better now. Not sure how that helps us.

TC said...

Looking back, it was impossible not to suspect they were that bad, all along, nor to subdue the terrible feeling that, once they'd been stung by the referendum, the "correction" would be extreme.

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...


Son of a conservative deputy, Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, a dedicated opponent of the Nazi regime, was accused of ‘insulting the money of Germany’ and ‘denouncing the state.’ He was arrested in December 1944 and died a month later in Dachau Concentration Camp.

So it is, that seventy years later I am proud in his name, and that of Schiller and Goethe, to make the same accusation today. Firstly, the Euro is nothing other than the money of Germany. Secondly, the present State of Germany is, de jure, non-existent.

World War II ended with an enforced Unconditional Surrender, after refusing the offered military surrender of the state. Let us recall – one half of the German State was handed over to the communist dictator of Russia. The remaining half was divided into three sectors, British, French, and American. The utterly devastated ruin that was Berlin was also divided into four sections. The four victors declared that they had “supreme authority with respect to Germany.” The 1949 documents mark the beginning of the post-nazi German society. It was the year of the first east-German, that is GDR republic’s Constitution. Strangely, its historical record is clear, linked openly to Stalin’s Russia.

On the other hand the 1949 transition to a claimed democracy in the West is shrouded in mystery. I know and can access the names of every Parliament member in England before and after the Civil War. It is impossible to lay bare either the names or processes which guided the German people from the ‘German Basic Law’ of the victorious ‘allies’ to the supposedly authored-by-Germans Constitution of 1949.

Germany had been reduced to zero, then re-assembled by four nation states in conquest. It was then divided into two. Only on 12 September 1990 did the Allies renounce all claims to Germany thus only then granting full sovereignty to the German State. On 3 October 1990 the country was officially re-united.

Some fifty years ago, travelling to the U.S. on the Q.E.2. I met a distinguished solitary traveller, former equerry to President Hindenburg in his youth, now a retired Wehrmacht General. He told me

“From my young days serving Hindenburg up until today, I can tell you no one has left the High Table of Germany.”

I could not understand why a great intellectual hub like Germany, even allowing for the folly of the mass-electorate, could put in place such a bizarre figure as it has, repeatedly, as Chancellor. A tiny crumpled, crop-haired transvestite and ex-communist functionary. Only when I read last week that she had warned a French deputy: “Pas de programme! Pas de programme!” did I finally get the point. Her task is not to ease the political process. It is to see that nothing happens. Not, that is, in the Assembly. Her orders come from the new elite – of finance.

So it is that this dubious figure, head of a state whose foundational structure was built by foreigners on the ruins of a once great historical entity which had emerged from the ruin in turn of the Roman Empire, this quite illegal in law and reason and history figure was busy steering a whole nation to bankruptcy, and that nation itself the original democracy.

Alongside the so-called, well, de facto, ruler of Germany is another woman. Another transvestite among the men, what Germaine Greer, the Australian feminist academic called ‘the female eunuch’ to define those women who posed as men not sexually but in appearance, to join them.

As head of the American designed I.M.F. she is unilaterally orchestrating the demise of a great nation, forced debt on them then called it back – with interest. Interest, that great unconfronted dinosaur in the room, once called usury in the three monotheistic religions. Oh yes, and no one, rather no electorate appointed her.

If they have manipulated the downfall of the elected government of Greece – then we all know. Not just who did it –but who hide behind the ‘actors’.

Hazen said...

As to the rules of the game, Tom, they make them up as they go along. The fact that people must suffer and die because of some “rules infractions” is of no consequence. The most important thing is that the rules must be obeyed. The game must be played. The house never loses.

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

Oops... in editing the page I posted above down to the requisite word count, I cut out the source author of this missive. It's not me, by a longshot. It's a Scottish Sufi shaykh, Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi al-Murabit (he has a website), a longtime commentator on the world financial systems, a staunch adversary of Usury in all forms (viz. Ezra Pound on these illumined pages), and advocate for the gold and silver standards. He's radical in his expression, and so often accurate in his analysis. He may not even go far enough under present circumstances...