Manic Monday Markup 7/6/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Greece, where voters overwhelmingly rejected the latest bailout terms presented by creditors in a referendum held yesterday. However, the result does little to illuminate what happens next in Europe, whose reaction has varied considerably. Great peril could remain for the Hellenic Republic. In a concession to creditors and European negotiators, Yanis Varoufakis, the impolitic and strident Finance Minister of the governing Syriza party, resigned. But creditors are demanding Greece put forward a new plan promptly. Markets, meanwhile, are mostly shrugging at the vote.
More Greece: The new finance minister is Euclid Tsakalotos, an Oxford-educated economist, the government’s lead negotiator in bailout talks. The Guardian’s live blog reports that most opposition parties in Greece have promised to back Syriza Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras in his negotiations with European officials. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund, which may have fueled the No campaign with a report on Greece’s debt last week, says it stands ready to help the country.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has put together a phalanx of stories around the one-year anniversary of the Operation Protective Edge. The most recent incursion by Israel into Gaza in response to Hamas’s rain of rocket fire, the conduct of both sides has been under scrutiny of late.
The Israeli cabinet rejected a measure that would have made conversions to Judaism easier, in a sign of the waxing power of the Ultra-Orthodox parties in Israel.
Negotiations with Iran appear to be reaching a crescendo. Secretary of State John Kerry says it is decision time for Iran.
Singapore has released a teenage blogger who was imprisoned after he criticized the country’s late founding father.
Puerto Rico’s deteriorating finances may become an issue on the 2016 trail, says The Washington Post. In its morning PowerPost newsletter, the Post says Republicans are divided on the idea of allowing the US territory to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 9, which would require an act of Congress. Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley supports it. Hillary Clinton has been less clear on the issue, but she may occupy an odd place anyway. Despite populist rhetoric, Clinton has been accused of being cozy with Wall Street, but the island voted her in the 2008 primary and people in her circle have ties to Puerto Rico’s cause.
Greek New Yorkers contemplate the bailout referendum result.
A burst of gun violence mars Chicago’s Fourth of July.
A Nevada GOP congressman with a history of outperforming his party is running for Senate to fill the seat Harry Reid is vacating. Joe Heck will likely face little opposition for the Republican nomination and will probably face Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, the state former AG, in what could be a titanic battle.
The State of Things:
Democrats in Massachusetts discover the governor is, in fact, a Republican (or at a minimum an equivocator).
Massachusetts budget negotiations trudge along.
The Hampden County Courthouse could be renamed for former Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.
Holyoke still has another $2.5 million to cut from its budget before the spending plan is balanced and the city is eligible to collect property taxes next year.
The impact of MGM’s delay in opening its casino remains murky, reports Mike Dobbs at The Reminder.
The City Council delivers its letter of concern to Mayor Domenic Sarno about the last minute notice it has received regarding tax incremental financing agreements.
City Council President Michael Fenton became engaged to longtime boyfriend, Jon Berthiaume, last week while on vacation in Cape Cod.
At-large City Council candidate gets some ink (or at least some keystrokes) after pointing out state of playground equipment in the South End. Today he issued another release about the condition of Richard E. Neal park (formerly Plastics Park) in Indian Orchard.
For such a little country, Greece is the center of the universe right now. The referendum put wind in Prime Minister Tsipras’s sails as he returns to the bargaining table. Greece’s economy and its public sector were and, despite painful, deep cuts, still are something of a mess. Moreover, Tsipras and Syriza’s hardline upended an apparent economic recovery. Still, shortages of food and medicine and surpluses of human misery would likely follow a prolonged bank shutdown and/or a “Grexit” form the Euro. Today we award the tweet prize to David Dayen, a writer for Salon and other publications, who specializes in financial topics and lays out, starkly what the European Central Bank’s choices in this crisis are. If it reopens credit to Greek banks, the worst of this could be avoided.
This is really in the ECB's lap now. They can act like a central bank or a loan shark.
— David Dayen (@ddayen) July 5, 2015