As the Greek odious debt Commission starts work, it is a delicious irony that – in boring down into the myth of total Greek debt- the Syriza government is doing no more than use the regulations so patronisingly handed down to the Member States two years ago.
Paragraph 9 of Article 7 of Regulation No 472/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 states that ‘A Member State subject to a macroeconomic adjustment programme shall carry out a comprehensive audit of its public finances in order, inter alia, to assess the reasons that led to the building up of excessive levels of debt as well as to track any possible irregularity’.
In the light of this entirely legal attempt at an audit using EU law, the ECB will of course completely illegally squeeze Greece into default before it can get very far. Mario Caponi lives, after all, by the same rules as all the 1920s Chicago mobsters: time to fit the stool-pigeon with a pair of cement overshoes. There still remains the small issue of how ‘Grexit’ can occur when Grexit as a process is a myth. Details, details.
But in the meantime, I understand that several prominent members on the Lagarde list are a little worried about what happens when the “money – how it came and where it went” starts to get the glare of public view. Also the testimony of former Elstat members will be interesting….as will the decision (or not) by George Papendreou to talk on the record about ‘bigged up’ debt and the activities of his ‘colleague’ Evangelos Venizelos towards the end of the saga.
So much for the good news. The bad news is that the official number of UK voters who ‘get’ the real story behind Greek debt is, according to polls, roughly 12%. A whopping 75% think it’s all the fault of crooked lazy Greeks etc etc. This is of course because the media they consume insist on keeping them in blissful ignorance.
I realise Britain is just an overcrowded nation of crooks and fluffies these days, but I’d be willing to bet that the figure in Germany is 95%, and in the US not far below 90%. This latest piece of cobblers from Reuters shows why:
‘Even if it survives the next three months teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Greece may have blown its best chance of a long-term debt deal by alienating its euro zone partners when it most needed their support.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist-led government has so thoroughly shattered creditors’ trust that solutions which might have been on offer a few weeks ago now seem out of reach.
With a public debt equivalent to 175 percent of economic output and an economy struggling to pull out of a six-year depression, Athens needs all the goodwill it can summon to ease the burden.’
You have to laugh, you really do. The debt only rose to 175% because of the programme terms, and the six year depression was caused by German-led austerity. They saved the euro, but Greeks have alienated their euro partners…and Syriza has shattered creditors trust. What, by being ambushed by a bunch of gangsters at the last moment? Shame on you all, filthy Greeks.
But then, Reuters employs the services of financial journalism’s emptiest head and most yellow spine, Hugo Dixon: so such is to be expected.
One final point: I’m told by Research Agency sources that around 30% of the Greece-blamers polled in the UK last week intend to vote UKip….a Party insisting that its sole purpose is to smash the evil Empire of Brussels-am-Berlin. Which says a lot about why they think Hairgel Garage is the man to do it….and what papers they read.