A long overdue lagniappe = a long lagniappe. Continued apologies for gated links, but they are good, so I include them! Commence! & Happy 4th!
The Greek referendum vote is on Sunday and it’s apparently legal. A lot has happened in the last month. Tsipras announced the plea to the Greek citizenry last weekend in a surprise move, building yet more tensions with the creditors. The European Central Bank decided not to increase the amount of liquidity it was providing to Greek banks experiencing deposit flight. Capital controls were imposed, by necessity, in the face of that decision. The drama built from there, as Greece missed its payment due to the IMF, becoming the first “developed” country to default to the institution. The creditors in general, and Germany in particular, refused to really consider last-minute proposals and pleas for extension from Syriza.
Now the referendum approaches, with the supposed interpretation being “yes” or “no” to more austerity-imposing terms and the more realistic, pragmatic interpretation being “yes” or “no” to the Euro and exit. Both the prime minister and the finance minister have effectively said they would resign in the face of a “yes” vote, raising the stakes significantly. Greece is much closer to exit than ever before while the costs of exit are also arguably lower than they’ve ever been, mainly because the banking system is back on its knees.
Here’s Anders Aslund’s take on Syriza’s job:
Link blast: Pretty comprehensive, live-blog of the situation from The Guardian. Here is a multi-page primer on the Greek situation for those starting from square one. Lefty economist darlings are viewing exit favorably at this point: Stiglitz & Krugman. 246 Greek economists argue against leaving the Euro. Also see Sachs and Rogoff‘s takes. Beckworth on Grexit through a monetary policy lens. And who could forget, Bitcoin tends to be helpful in times of capital controls.
The age factor in the referendum vote & betting markets continue to think the “yes” vote will prevail:
Leading on Politico: These Disunited States
An Atlantic long read on American culture
How Americans interpret the Confederate flag.
Why do some Europeans and foreigners fly the Confederate flag?
“To secede from a town is a long process.” – Caribou, ME keeps churning ahead.
The standard urban-rural legislative tension, as applied to Oregon
Here’s a strange title for you: Putin’s Plot to Get Texas to Secede
Flashback: Staten Island to secede from NYC? (1989)
New Orleans neighborhood trying to go its own way
The SNP dominated U.K. parliamentary elections back in May
SNP clamoring for full Scottish fiscal autonomy
Southern Italy is lagging way behind the north.
Russian village prints its own currency.
Moscow not a fan of Ukrainian decentralization
300,000 Dominican Haitians may be forced into statelessness
Hong Kong officials veto China’s electoral reform package
Kurdistan is trying to sell its own bonds
Secession top priority in Iraqi Kurdistan post-ISIS
Welcome to Basrastan: Iraq frays further.
Are there a few key prerequisites for minority groups achieving statehood? The Economist weighs in with an interesting piece:
The most important factor, says Eugene Rogan, a historian at the University of Oxford, is “critical mass”—whereby, despite being a minority in a larger polity, a group forms a majority in a particular, separable bit of it. That is the case for the Kurds in northern Iraq; it is nowhere true of the Assyrians, whose greatest concentration, in north-east Syria, has been dispersed by the civil war. Nor is it true, for example, of the Crimean Tatars, resident for centuries in the Crimean peninsula until their entire population was banished in one of Stalin’s monstrous relocations (see article).
It is useful if the minority have a long-standing, fairly legitimate claim to the territory they inhabit. Physical geography can play a role: some Iraqi Kurds speculate that their mountainous domain helped them both to resist invaders and to safeguard their culture. How such places were first subsumed by a bigger power matters, too.
& the conclusion:
Critical mass; plausible borders; sympathy abroad; a story; a diaspora; fragile overlords: where might these conditions next be met? Russia, itself an internal empire, could yet disintegrate. So, under the strain of democratisation, might China, perhaps opening a path to statehood for Tibet and the Uighurs, persecuted Muslims. Another realignment of the Middle East seems inevitable. If Syria falls apart, speculates Mr Ishak, the Assyrian, some of his scattered brethren might come back. In the very long term, there is always hope.
Another micronations round-up.
A summary of the Voice & Exit conference
Google launches Sidewalk Labs, an incubator for urban technologies