Friday, 20 February 2015

Greek Fire

The Greeks are doing well: they have split the Troika with the ECB handing out emergency loans, the IMF being reined-in by the US president, and the EU generally wanting to abandon the hard-line German position; and within Germany itself there is now a Greek wedge between the parties to the Grand Coalition.  The SDP is calling for further negotiation and support for Greece while in the meantime  the Right (itself a coalition) is  split between the German Finance minister's demands for fiscal discipline conditioned by his 'historically (mis)informed view' and the German Chancellor's 21st century understanding of geo-political as well as economic requirements that need to be met.

This realisation  of a threat to Merkel's ruling party and its hegemony over both German and European policies is a very high price to pay for mistaking Greece's need to renegotiate the terms of its economic submission for 'can't pay won't pay' irresponsibility.


Caronte said...

"Can't pay, won't pay" is not irresponsibility, it is a fact of life.

So now at last we know who won the gamble, even though the strings attached are still to be defined next Monday.

hatfield girl said...

The Greek government letter to the EU (today's FT) makes the proper distinction, C, between those who can't pay and are being ruined by the pursuit of impossible debt, and those who won't and have not been targeted efficiently in previous governments' bail-out agreements; ἐπένθεσις rather than elision, so to speak.

Caronte said...

Sure, beside the "can't pay, won't pay" there is the "could pay but I won't pay considering the small risk of being caught". I was referring to the first category as a fact of life. The second is also a fact of life but a case of government irresponsibility, not of individual irresponsibility. But hat tip to you for saying it so beautifully.