GREEK DEBT CRISIS: Is this the real deal, the Big Deal, or the surrreal deal?

Asked about genuine debt relief and restructuring for Greece yesterday evening, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Dumbo elephant in the eurogroupe room, told his questionner that this was not the right time to discuss “that issue”….and then flapped his giant ears to begin the nightly ascent to Cloud Nine, where life is beautiful all the time.

He’s right of course: the time to discuss “that issue” was in late 2010. A stitch in time just might have saved us all from the asinine – or perhaps not: insane beliefs lead to inane thoughts. Whether it’s Schäuble the Wheelchair Werewolf or Jihadists destroying priceless desert artefacts, the golden rule applies – those not quite all there are never going to care.

So it was that Schäuble schüssed through the Greek proposals on Monday and declared, “There is nothing new in here”. I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that the German Finance Minister is unique in being both ventriloquist and dummy at one and the same time. Faced with a dossier proving conclusively that JR Ewing shot JF Kennedy, something in his wheelchair apparatus would pull a string in Wolfgang’s back, and a disturbingly android voice would say “There is nothing new in here” through jagged teeth, as his rictus-smiling head jerked from side to side.

This morning brought a comment from the Dieselboomers so unintentionally hilarious and knowingly hypocritical, even an old cynic like me was caught in the No Man’s Land between LOL and FFS. It seemed that, overnight, the eurogroupe Troikanauts had fallen to wondering whether the Syriza proposals might push Greece back into recession, given their emphasis on tax rises.

Despite my dysfunctional non-violent extremist tendencies, it is obviously important to give that concern due consideration in the context of the last five years. So let me supportively point out that reduced benefits, mass unemployment, lower wages, and tax rises on everything – as handed down to the Greeks by the creditors over that period – have indeed taken the gdp of Greece down by almost a third. But then, you Troikanaughties did say that this would produce eventual recovery: and all five of your forecasts were wrong to a degree surpassed only by Fifi Lagarde’s IMF.

Absent from the room following a Fifi-flounce last week, the IMF is once again open for business…if not to new ideas. La Christine has yet to pronounce on what she thinks, and it is now five days since her helpful intervention advising Athens to “pay up”. It behoves me to note that none of the optimists seem as yet to have factored in the inflexibility of Madame la Guillotine….or the fact that Angela Mirakle won’t sign anything off that lacks the public approval of the IMF’s seal.

Talking of unsere geliebte Geli, she trotted out her “some progress but much work still to do” line today, thus giving a strong hint that Syriza will have to eat yet more shit before anything gets the final sign-off.

And so the four-dimensional game of Checkmate wanders on across several Universes. German lies, Frankfurt spin, Brussels idiocy, Luxembourgeois amorality, Syriza posing and eurogroupe groping sit fidgeting alongside media agendas and endless briefing. At this point, I would argue that only two conclusions merit any examination…and even then, they are set in little more than Rowntrees jelly:

1. The deal as advanced thus far leaves Syriza with a victory of sorts, in that at last some EU directives have been stopped in their tracks – and the eurogroupe has been forced to make one or two concessions.

2. Neither the EU nor the Greeks fully comprehend what the other side is up to. If this truce gets through in some kind of recognisable form, it will be at best the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939, or at worst the Munich Agreement of 1938. The former held for under two years, the latter for five months. That’s about it in any realistic sense when it comes to the 2015 replay.

It could be that both sides are doomed. We shall see.

41 thoughts on “GREEK DEBT CRISIS: Is this the real deal, the Big Deal, or the surrreal deal?

  1. Do you think they are genuinely incompetent and delusional? Or do you think (as I have read elsewhere), that they have an evil master plan for world subjugation?


  2. no clear winner then… must be a draw of sorts. But i suppose the game is not over.. i don’t think it ever is.


  3. Alex Tspiras is between a rock and a hard place. He is the leader of a fragile left leaning coalition with only approx 36% of the electorate voting Syriza.
    He does not have a mandate to exercise the correct choices for the Greek nation. Those are to exit the Euro,revert to the Drachma and default on the Odious debts.
    I believe his long play out of this saga has been to attempt to educate and demonstrate to the electorate, the toxic and undemocratic intentions of the EU financial elite.
    The mass of the population is unaware that they are committing economic suicide by remaining within the Euro financial system, and the loss of their Sovereignty by continuing in the bureaucratic dictatorship that is the EU.


  4. Will the EU fly apart? I think it will in time and Greece is just the canary in the mine shaft. When that seismic event occurs I think you should revisit your non-violent beliefs because others will surly want to use your pool unless you stop them from doing so……..the pool…….the house ….the RV…….your bank account..


  5. Well that’s that sorted out then, a nice cheap? eggshell finish!

    Good job everyone, WELL DONE and you will be.


  6. Amidst all the bluster a deadline is approaching … my only thought is how much will Syriza sell the Greek people out for?

    Very much like any politician everywhere where to support them is to know a short while later you will be sold out without fail because that is what modern diplomacy means under minority control.


  7. Without any doubt……any so called settlement is doomed to failure.
    Greece was sucked into a German trap.
    The only question for me is when and how big?
    The time has come to go liquid folks.
    Gold time has come again.


  8. I can’t find the link at the moment (might be on EURefendum), but those tanks arrived in Germany last year.


  9. All this talk about ‘debt relief ‘ and restructuring’ leaves the world, on its knees, waiting for the advice of its previous saviour, from Kirkcaldy, who has been strangely silent. Does anybody have his telephone number?


  10. This ZH article by David Stockman is the best summary of what is at stake that I have seen recently. (A little surprised that you haven’t picked up on it KFC)

    Tsipras is now confronted with this kind of hard choice in an altogether different venue. If he sells out Greece one more time to the paymasters of his country’s crushing debt, it will be only a matter of time before another Greek prime minister will be forced to walk the same plank on which he now totters. By doing what’s right for Greek democracy, by contrast, he would prove to be an angel of mercy. There is no way that the euro and ECB could survive a Greexit, nor could worlwide Keynesian central banking survive the blow of their demise.


  11. the destruction of central banks “Keynesian” Central banks at that,now where would that leave the world,oh yes just private banks ,small government unable to stand up for their people,Stockman & is like is the reason were in this mess,but he’s deluded, he passes the buck,yet acclaims he’s saving the world,He’s destroyed humanity.


  12. Since 1945, pride in nationhood has been increasingly viewed as a dangerous disease by the European political class and their intercontinental employers to whom such barriers are an obstruction to corporate expansion. Alexis Tsipras, a committed socialist, is ideologically incapable of single handedly pulling the plug on the great European Experiment; only an individual who has managed to avoid being hypnotised by the prevailing narrative, and who has an instinctive belief in the value of national sovereignty (and a strong enough mandate) will be able to fulfil that role. When such a person emerges, not necessarily in Greece, the end will be relatively swift – and hopefully that person and others of a like mind will be able to use the combination of exhaustion and relief among the peoples of this continent to avoid conflict and to allow a more wholesome and sustainable framework to take root and grow. Naturally, this is a very tall order indeed but the only alternative, after all, is ever greater and directionalised political union and the obliteration of national independence and personal freedoms. We have allowed ourselves to become bewitched by a seemingly unpreventable and inescapable enchantment which, in terms of it’s debilitating effects on various populations, is in any case no more or less than a war without bullets but with suffering, nonetheless, as the all too visible result. Come on, Alexis, prove me wrong – please, please prove me wrong.


  13. Alan does that mean he’s unable to comment,we live in a sad world were if your rich but defend the poor your not principled but a hypocrite,i don’t judge people,i just post or comment if i think fit!


  14. Being the first is always the hardest the facts are many more are going to face this if they elect left wing governments,but something tells me the longer this goes on the more left wing governments will be elected


  15. Think about it KentuckyFried would you like to be in one of those armored boxes without air support? It is all show. Napoleon and Hitler learned their lessons in Russia and the US military commanders are ready to cut those guys loose and leave them to dangle in the wind when things get ugly.This whole thing is really sick..


  16. Much like Occum’s Razor, there is Hanlon’s Razor stating that one should never explain something through evil that can be equally well explained through stupidity.


  17. You may well be right Mr Casserole but, I suspect (along with a few others I might add) that there are a few Neoliberals with particular religious persuasions that believe if they (the US) strike first, they can win a nuclear war. I wish them good luck with that. I don’t think it will matter much to the rest of us.


  18. Ah, yes. As plain as the nose on your face to all and sundry..except….Tsipras. Why I wonder? Because there is much much more to this than the bollox that we think we know. I would bet money on the fact that we only know about 10-20% of the real goings on behind the scenes. Not so much a plank to walk but an assassins bullet to dodge I suspect. The security services have been happily doing the govt’s bidding since time immemorial, nothing has changed, and nothing will change. The EU is here to stay, and so is Greece’s part in it.


  19. John – I think most of what the MSM puts out is only nonsense. For those of us who live out of the UK it is only clearer. Permanent crisis, fear and ISIS videos – here in Germany yesterday there were no scary headlines like this. It would do well here for readers to check out the novel by Michael Crichton “State of Fear” and the dsicussion from that novel:

    Most of what we’ve been governed by the past decades has been ideologies – monetarism, nutritionISM (read Michael Pollan’s books), manmade global warming – all ideologies to influence our ways. Some of them hold kernels of truth, most not.

    I’ve spent the last few months interested in the Paleo Diet thanks to Robert Lustig’s “Sugar” lecture. I also got interested in the Crossfit thing – both contained elements of truth (I cut carbs and lost 5kg in weeks) but imho also ideologies.

    Here is Lustig at a Tedx:


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