WASHINGTON, June 17, 2015 –ZeroHedge has just issued an alarming online post purportedly revealing a just-released Greek government report establishing a rationale for refusing to pay its substantial outstanding international debt. The document, breathtaking in its arrogance, is the clearest indication yet that the current Greek government never has negotiated seriously with its creditors and has no intention of reforming its systems.
Even worse, the Greek government, at least verbally, claims it wants to remain within the European monetary union. Yet doing so on its own outrageous terms would effectively shatter the euro for good, leading other poorly managed countries to quickly try the same game.
It’s as if all the past months of fruitless negotiations between the Greek government and the Eurozone have been a virtual Trojan horse, concealing the hitherto unstated Greek intention to avoid paying their huge debts while they stalled for time with vague and hollow promises.
Typical of Communist governments around the world, the current Syriza-led government of Greece is proving its mastery of word games in this latest joust. This time, it has invented a nonexistent legal term to paper over their refusal to cover their nation’s international debts.
The new term (at least for us) that they’ve decided to deploy, effectively rules out repayment. Why? The amount owed will now be deemed “Odious Debt,” rendering the need to repay it null and void.
Our first reaction upon reading this term was to chuckle. Right. What manner of debt isn’t odious if I happen to owe it?
But in reality, the newly invented meaning of this term isn’t quite so funny. It’s that Trojan horse again, out of which comes a stunningly revisionist and perverse take on economics. Read on, as ZeroHedge provides some background.
It was in April when we got a stark reminder of a post we first penned in April of 2011, describing Odious Debt, and why we thought sooner or later this legal term would become applicable for Greece, because two months ago Greek Zoi Konstantopoulou, speaker of the Greek parliament and a SYRIZA member, said she had established a new “Truth Committee on Public Debt” whose purpose was to “investigate how much of the debt is illegal with a view to writing it off.”
Note two key terms introduced here. The first, “odious debt,” means one thing to the average reader, i.e., distasteful, disgusting, hateful debt. But under this Gramscian* transformation of economic terminology as deployed by Syriza’s crack Greek Communist wordsmiths, “odious debt” magically becomes “illegal debt,” which means whatever the Greek Communists say it means. It follows that “odious debt” becomes a de facto legal term meaning “illegal debt,” which is now hereby re-defined as any debt the Greeks don’t feel like paying.
The slick wordsmithing gambit reminds us of the way “global warming” quickly morphed into “climate change” when the criminal miscreants at the University of East Anglia were ensnared by their elaborately constructed global warming hoax after their emails describing their methodology were hacked, intercepted and then released to the public. The climatistas quickly pivoted and re-established their hoax under a new and arguably better name, jettisoning the “global warming” baggage in the process even as they continue to insist on it.
The second key word that tips us off as to the Greek government’s true intent in the ZeroHedge passage above is that the Greek debt has been defined as “odious” by a “new” parliamentary “Truth Committee on Public Debt.”
“Truth Committee.” You have to love this one, particularly if you’ve observed the left’s long march through this country’s key institutions. The average reader may not be aware that for a true Communist there is no such thing as objective, fact-based, provable truth. “Truth” is, instead, completely malleable. It’s whatever the national or international Communist Party defines it to be at any given moment.
Building on that foundational dogma, Greece’s Communists, the Syriza Party, formed a parliamentary “truth” committee to define a new party “truth”; namely, that any debt Greece owes to any EU, international or related entity is automatically “odious,” therefore “illegal” and therefore dismissed out of hand as merely the outright, unjustified, oppressive greed of the proletariat’s rapacious capitalist opponents.
Party apparatchiks have likely been working on this newly released document since the day they took office. It’s brilliant in its way, typical of the Marxist dialectic, but entirely bogus.
ZeroHedge picks up this afternoon’s narrative:
Moments ago, this [Truth] committee released its preliminary findings, and here is the conclusion from the full report presented below:
All the evidence we present in this report shows that Greece not only does not have the ability to pay this debt, but also should not pay this debt first and foremost because the debt emerging from the Troika’s arrangements is a direct infringement on the fundamental human rights of the residents of Greece. Hence, we came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious.
As we predicted over four years ago, Greece has effectively just declared that it will no longer have to default on its IMF (or any other debt – note that the dreaded “Troika” word finally makes an appearance after it was officially banned) simply because that debt was not legal to begin with, i.e. it was “odious.”
(Bold lettering via ZeroHedge. Italicizations by this writer.)
Words matter. Once again, a Communist government has very cleverly wordsmithed its way out of trouble, creating a fake legalism that covers their real message to the ECU, which is, quite clearly, “eff u.” This is now the only news that the average Greek citizen will be permitted to hear, offering yet another lesson in the way that pure propaganda becomes the perceived truth over time when promoted by leftist politicos and compliant left-wing media hacks.
This typically cavalier Communist dismissal of Greece’s financial obligations is the sort of thing we expected all along in our CDN columns. Being a real Communist is very cool. You simply reject anything you don’t want to do out of hand and declare your opponent a criminal in the process. You then demonize this newly defined criminal in the echo chamber of the state controlled media. Then, you use that redefinition to justify your actions, which rarely if ever have any justification at all.
Allowing Greece to get away with this brazen and damaging lie could cause serious ripple effects so substantial that they might make America’s own Lehman Brothers collapse look like a Sunday school picnic.
If [the debt] is truly “odious,” this has just thrown a very [sic] unique wrench in the spokes of not only the Greek debt negotiations, but all other peripheral European nations’ Greek negotiations, who will promptly demand that their debt be, likewise, declared odious, and made null and void, thus washing their hands of servicing it again.
Power-hungry Communists in Spain, Portugal and Italy are probably sharpening their knives to take power and then follow suit if the EU permits Syriza to get away with this transparent ploy.
And another question: when Greece says the debt was illegal and it no longer has to make the June 30 payment, what will be the Troika’s response: confiscate Greek assets a la Argentina, declare involuntary default, sue it in the Hague?
Look for all this to roil markets further as the current week winds its painful way to options expiration on Friday. It’s going to be a miserable summer for the average investor.
*Antonio Gramsci. A mid-20th century Italian Communist whose major contribution to Communist philosophy and methodology was the idea of “cultural hegemony,” by which is meant the generally accepted moral standards, philosophy and mythology upon which a national character is built and maintained. Gramsci reasoned that by gradually and stealthily infiltrating an enemy country’s educational, judicial, governmental, journalistic and artistic communities, these communities could be turned to Marxism and then deployed as propagandists to effectively rewrite a given national narrative in the image and likeness of Marxism. That philosophy is what drives the current Washington Administration as well as the current Greek government, Venezuela, Cuba and other unfortunate countries, and it is dangerously effective.