Greece: Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind, And you Know That Notion Just Crossed My Mind

The Economic Times (Times of India) identifies another likely problem with the Eurozone ‘deal’ for Greece.

The latest agreement requires the Greek parliament to ratify the whole package by Wednesday and pass legislation to increase taxes, cut pensions and set aside 50 billion euros of public sector assets for sale under foreign supervision.

The problem is Greece may not have enough to sell.

A two-thirds majority in the poll [Reuters poll of 60 economists], 35 of 53 economists, said Greece does not have assets worth 50 billion euros that it could feasibly privatise.

That amount is roughly a fifth of the economy and a previous attempt to raise half that much ended poorly when Athens managed to sell just a fraction of what was forecast.

“Fifty billion is very optimistic,” said Nick Stamenkovic, economist at RIA Capital Markets.

Another asked: “What are they going to do, sell Crete?”

TIME fills in that nightmare with this report,

Of all the aspects of Monday’s bailout deal that Greeks found humiliating, nothing drilled into their sense of pride quite like their government’s promise to sell off “valuable Greek assets” to the tune of 50 billion euros. The seven-page agreement, which European leaders thrashed out over the weekend, made no mention of where Greece is supposed to find that much property to sell. But as they scrambled for options, officials in Athens saw no way around the blood-curdling prospect of auctioning off Greek islands, nature preserves or even ancient ruins.

“It’s an affront,” says Georgios Daremas, a strategist and adviser to the Greek Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Social Solidarity. “It’s basically saying sell the memory of your ancestors, sell your history just so we can get something commercial for it,” he tells TIME on Monday. “This is an idea to humiliate Greeks.”

Meanwhile, back in the jungle, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must stop a revolt in his own party, SYRIZA, to have any chance of persuading the Greek parliament to support the stinking deal. Reuters reports,

A meeting of the Syriza parliamentary group on Tuesday morning could see Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Deputy Labor Minister Dimistris Stratoulis sacked over their opposition to the bailout.

There may also be a battle over parliament speaker Zoe Constantinopoulou, an uncompromising leftwinger who also defied Tsipras over the bailout and who could create serious procedural obstacles for the package.

In addition, the Washington Post is reporting,

Greece’s defense minister, Panos Kammenos — head of Tsipras’s coalition partner, the Independent Greeks — called the deal a “coup by Germany” and its allies. It remained unclear whether his party would back the deal in Parliament .

“They blackmailed the prime minister,” he said in a television interview. “This agreement is not close to our values. We can’t agree.”

Meanwhile, 30 members of the ruling Syriza party threatened to resign Monday rather than approve the deal.

Finally, Joseph Stiglitz reminds all the Greece haters,

Almost all the money, 90 percent of the money, that allegedly went to Greece did not go to Greece. It went to German and French banks and to the creditors

Unfortunately, no one in Greece can afford the notion . . .

But there’s always sumpin the damn banks can’t have:

If Only Chicago Police Treated All Marijuana Smokers As If They Were Deadheads

Tens of thousands of fans of the Grateful Dead traveled to Chicago for the final three reunion concerts, which the band’s “core four” musicians will likely ever perform. Police knew numerous fans would smoke marijuana. However, police only made one arrest for cannabis possession in violation of the city’s ordinance against public weed consumption.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported, “Chicago Police officers made only one arrest for possession of cannabis on Friday and wrote only two possession of cannabis tickets Sunday in connection with the concerts.”

“While in most cases cannabis possession is a ticketable offense, as residents would expect CPD’s primary focus was on fighting violent crime and addressing the illegal guns that threaten our communities,” Chicago Police Department communications director Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement emailed to the Sun-Times.

This could be considered common sense policing if it were not for the fact that the Deadheads in attendance were primarily white. Tickets for the “Fare Thee Well” concerts at Soldier Field were not necessarily cheap and ranged from $59.50-$199.50. So, many of the fans were from the middle and upper class.

In March, the Sun-Times reported that blacks were “busted 16 times more than whites for small amounts of pot in 2014—including tickets and arrests. And four every white Chicagoan busted for marijuana, four Hispanics were busted, according to police statistics. Those stats come despite the fact that white Chicagoans outnumber both black and Hispanic Chicagoans by a ratio of approximately 3-to-2.”

Charlene Carruthers of Black Youth Project 100 told the Sun-Times, “It’s hyper-surveillance and harassment for what shouldn’t even be an offense. No one should be arrested for having 15 grams of marijuana or less. Even the cost of a ticket could throw someone into a very difficult situation.”

Citations can range from $250 to $500.

The Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy put out a report in May 2014 that showed all of the neighborhoods in the top 20 percent for marijuana arrests, except for one, was “majority black.”

According to the FBI, Cook County, where Chicago is located, had the “biggest racial disparity in marijuana possession arrests among the 25 most populous counties in the nation in 2010.” (more…)

Late Night FDL: Cream Puff War

Grateful Dead – Cream Puff War

The Dead are set to reunite for 5 shows entitled: Fare Thee Well…

It promises to be the ultimate flashback.

This summer, the surviving members of ’60s psychedelic-rock legends The Grateful Dead will reunite for one last run to celebrate the band’s 50th birthday — and mark the 20th anniversary since the death of founding singer-guitarist and guru Jerry Garcia, who suffered a heart attack in rehab at age 53.

Dubbed Fare Thee Well, the five shows in Santa Clara (June 27-28) and Chicago (July 3-5) will see the Dead’s ‘Core Four’ — singer-guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, and rhythm devils Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart — bolstered by Phish leader Trey Anastasio (handling Jerry’s parts) and keyboardists Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby (the latter is basically an unofficial member; he’s played more than 100 gigs with them over the decades).

Want a ticket? You’ll need a miracle; they’re already going for up to $35,000 online…

Once again you’re left to your own devices, but, I’ll be back tomorrow nite…!

What’s on your mind tonite…?