Friday, November 04, 2011

As a number of people have commented - including those paid to do it - it hardly makes sense to say or write anything on Greece and the EU at the moment as things are changing by the hour if not the minute.

Here's the Guardian headline as the time of writing:-

G20 talks on knife edge as summit 'could fail'.

One thing that's been established beyond doubt in the last 24 hours is that Greece leaving both the eurozone and the EU is a distinct possibility. The taboo has been broken and even the President of the Commission (the EU's 'government') has admitted as much. So, I suppose the EU and others are working on contingency plans. Given the uncertainties and imponderables, that's not an assignment I'd like to have.

In the absence of any over-arching observations and conclusions, here's a piece on Greece and Mr P's contortions. For those who can't be bothered to read the lot, here's the last few line:- European economics ignored politics for too long, and now European politics is wreaking its revenge.

The whole piece:-

Whatever happens to George Papandreou in the confidence vote – and after this week his days as Greek prime minister are surely numbered – his referendum is dead. He claimed yesterday that a Damascene conversion by the opposition leader Antonis Samaras on the rescue package allowed him to drop the plebiscite on the Euro-bailout and offer a national unity government instead. But that is like a fox faced with a pack that's about to rip him apart proclaiming that every animal has its part to play in the ecology of the countryside. Mr Papandreou's party listened in silence as he explained that the referendum episode had been a "useful shock" that had established consensus. Yes, a consensus has been reached in Greece. But it is not the one that Mr Papandreou claimed. It is that he himself should go.
He started out with the best of intentions, a Swedish-style social democrat and gifted diplomat who arrived determined to reform decades of Greek patronage, practised not least by his own party. He instantly made enemies. The man who became his deputy prime minister and finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, was one. Having not been consulted about the referendum, Mr Venizelos yesterday returned the compliment by delivering – at 4.45am – a statement that torpedoed it. He said Greece's place in the euro was a historic conquest, not a ball to be thrown in the air by an amateur juggler. Still less when the solvency of Greek banks depends on the sixth tranche of IMF funds coming through. In a subsequent speech, the deputy laid down the law to his boss: there must be no referendum, and the package must be endorsed by at least 180 votes in a parliament where Mr Papandreou's splintering bloc is down to 152. For good measure, he added that it must be done quickly, to avoid a run on the banks.
What had appeared to Mr Papandreou to be good Greek politics – playing hardball with an unruly party – turned out to be a lousy European strategy. He failed to take account of the fragility of the deal that had been hammered out in Brussels: if its components failed to hang together, each vulnerable state would hang apart. Sky-high spreads on Italian debt yesterday confirmed that it is next in line. It is the third-largest debt market in the world, an economy with the sheer heft to shake the eurozone to its foundations. This reality never entered Mr Papandreou's calculations, but for Germany and France it was bound to be decisive – and so it proved. While Silvio Berlusconi fights a desperate battle for his own survival after his failure to win agreement for urgent reforms in Rome, the minds of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy were already being distracted from the Greek farce by the question of how to salvage the solvency of an Italian state which is too big to bail out. At the G20 in Cannes, the German chancellor and French president broke the last great taboo of the crisis and referred to the possibility of Greece being cut loose from the single-currency club.
Should that happen, as it may, the consequences for Greece are wildly unpredictable, and could be dire indeed. But so too could be the consequences for Europe more widely, as the entire periphery of the continent scrambled to avoid going the same way. The doomed Papandreou plan for a referendum was always both messy and risky, but it at least had an intelligible aim – injecting some desperately needed democratic legitimacy into the resolution of Europe's crisis. The prospective parliamentary elections could prove an even messier way to do the same. For all the talk of vast, impersonal forces, financial markets must exist in a social context, and their functioning relies on a measure of acquiescence. In administering ever more austerity, Europe's ruling powers have forgotten this simple truth – and now the continent is paying the price. European economics ignored politics for too long, and now European politics is wreaking its revenge.

2 comments:

Ex Pat said...

That's fine and dandy. But feel free to tell us who the writer is and what publication it was written for.

In these days of USUK Empire fascism and unrelenting fictitious pro-USUK Empire MSM spin, with more hot air and internet shilling than a spin dryer on overload, that is not just good precaution. It is mandatory and essential.

So we may know that it is not some Reich-wing blowhard from the Torygraph, for example. Oh, and would a link be too much to ask for?

Oh, look. It was the UK pretend-left Torygraph. Aka the Grauniad, that provides a home for UK nuclear shill George Monbiot, and that did the hit piece on Chomsky that it was ignominiously forced to retract entirely. So about as trustworthy a source as my Aunt Fanny.

Grauniad 'Editorial' - Google is your friend! -

- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/03/eurozone-crisis-george-papandreou-referendum-editorial?newsfeed=true

The characterization of Papandreou as a Swedish social-democrat is interesting, if not at all believable. Not least given that Sweden is presently run by US lickspittles and toadies and Wikileaks-persecuting fascists. Swedish social-democracy is dead. Dead and buried by Swedish Neocon US-subservience. And isn't Papandreou the same name as a previous Greek prime minister? Is this just another shrub from the same bush - Greek style - and a member of the same utterly corrupt Greek elite? Just like the US, UK, French and Italian utterly corrupt elites? The US and the UK doing their Empire Fascist bit, and at least those around Sarkozy and Berlusconi?

George Papandreou - from an honest-to-God socialist dynasty. But did he take the US shilling during his US stay? (*)

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Papandreou

(*) US SUBVERSION OF THE UK, AND GREECE TOO?

Robin Ramsay of UK Lobster magazine reports that Atlantic Bridge and its ilk are false-front foundations used as US trolling bait for UK traitors, Oops, our bad, 'Up and coming UK politicians.' -

- 'Unperson - A life destroyed' - Denis Lehane - page 209, issue 59 -

"This is not Dennis Lehane the American crime writer of that name. This is Denis (one ‘n’) Lehane, the co-author with Martin Dillon of of the 1973 Penguin Special Political Murder in Northern Ireland. Lehane was a journalist and this book is his account of what befell him when he declined to be recruited by the CIA. Although mostly an account of how a life can turn to shit if the spooks start playing with it, this is of significance because of the names that Lehane names.

"Lehane was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to go and study in the USA and discovered that the Harkness scheme is a front for an intelligence recruitment operation. Bright young things (though not so young in Lehane’s case) go the States where the CIA can give them a look over and recruit the best. When Lehane declined to be recruited he became a man – worse, a journalist – who knew something he shouldn’t and the Agency and its various allies in the US and here set about discrediting him. Lehane attempted for almost 20 years to get
his version of reality taken seriously by a thick slice of great and the good in UK public life, without success. When it comes to it most people put career and reputation ahead of something as relatively trifling as the truth."

"This is an important addition to the collection of stories of innocent individuals who are trashed by the state simply to save it from embarrassment. (CF Malcolm Kennedy’s story in this issue.)" - Robin Ramsay

Blair, Brown, Mandelson (cited in another issue) and others all took the freebie trips, but did they also take the US shilling? - Issue #60, page 90 -

- http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue60.php

- Robin Ramsay - UK Lobster - lifting the rug on UK sleaze for thirty years -

- http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/index.php

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