An uneasy stalemate

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 19/12/2016 0 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

A tumultuous week of maneuvering and posturing and recriminations in Greek internal affairs (over a one-off aid 600+ million euros package to pensioners out of 2016 primary surplus), but also in Eurozone upper echelons (with German Finance Minister W. Schaeuble blocking the just-agreed Greek debt reprofiling, while the E.U. Commission and many Eurosocialist leaders rose up in arms to defend Greece), ended in an uneasy stalemate. Greek P. M. Tsipras met with German Chancellor A. Merkel in a visible effort to bury the war hatchet but the current Greek Programme review looks stalled.

 

Had the Greek Government explained more forcefully that debt restructuring is a matter of investor confidence and not of political expediency, it would have rallied international opinion behind it. And had it made pre-emptive moves to explain e.g. its decision to distribute part of the primary surplus to those most hurt by the 7+ years of unending misery not so much in terms of internal political strife but (a) as a short-term effort to reboot the economy just before a new round of pension cuts, (b) as a way of making Greek society actually feel that implementing fiscal measures may pay, then its moves might go down in a better way internationally.

 

The absurdity of IMF's approach - explaining that the fledging Greek economy could not bear unrealistically high primary surpluses "till kingdom come" and then insisting that additional fiscal measures be legislated pre-emplively in Greece so as to accomodate German electroral concerns - was not explained by Greece sufficiently to global and (yes!) to German media. In flamboyant, outspoken but hopelessly self-centred narcissistic Yanis Varoufakis' time, Greece had found a way to explain its positions and make heard the plight of its economy and its people at the hands of a "machtbesessene"/power-obsessed German mentality . As of lately, Greece has been failing in making its point to a global audience.

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