13 Jul 2015

EU hopes what Alexis agreed, Athens will enact

Welcome to Brussels, the new joint capital of Greece, along with Berlin.

The deal announced this morning with not exactly much fanfare essentially takes control of much of the Greek “economy” into the hands of suits in Brussels and Germany. That is the price for Yet Another Bailout.

Juncker and Merkel saying early today they are confident Athens will do as it is told and as its own leader has negotiated.

So what about that referendum Alexis?

As one wag put it today;

“Tsipras has gone from Castro to Clegg in about the time it takes to boil an egg.”

Clegg infamously u-turned on the comparatively domestic minor issue of student fees.

Tsipras has taken a resounding mandate against EU austerity and negotiated far more austerity than even Merkel demanded so very recently.

It all amounts to a Thatcherite hi-speed privatisation revolution in the space of three days.

Overhaul your pension system (less money and later in life); destroy many of your trade union powers; privatise swathes of your economy from electricity pylons across the islands to the banks – and do it all by close-of-play Wednesday and we will give you Bailout Three.

Can the Greek parliament stomach it? Can Tsipras try somehow to save what little face he has left to salvage?

Equally how will the Germans respond who keep on forking out billions to be met by shameful, racist Greek insults about Nazis.

As ever the battle ground is the dense detail about the €50-odd billion contingency fund raised by forced privatisation offset against debt repayment.

Read more: What was the point of the Tsipras referendum?

Also the detail of the real part played by the IMF in all this which Tsipras wants to get off Greece’s back in no uncertain terms.

Tsipras is spinning for all he’s worth (not much to be frank) and fighting for political survival.

So too, Merkel and Hollande, trying to talk about a degree of trust being re-established in the Eurozone this morning though to be honest neither appeared much convinced by their own words

But implementation is all and already Tsipras is saying this will be “difficult”.

The circus now moves south to Athens, the former Greek capital.

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6 reader comments

  1. humourme says:

    Syriza never understood that threatening the Euro wasnt the winning card that Yanis Varoufakis thought it was. Instead, by parading their defiance, the Greeks made a tough deal more likely. This deal is there to serve as a warning to Podemos and Sinn Fein what happens if you break the rules. Also they fundamentally misunderstood the pressures on Merkel. Her only goal in life is to remain in power. Her next aim is to be successful, which means holding the Euro together.

    By threatening her legacy, they thought they could get her to buckle, instead, what they were doing was threatening her power. She gave in – to having a third deal – but on the toughest terms possible so that she is insulated from the threat of future Greek reneging.

    Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras should hang their heads in shame at the disaster they have wrought on the Greek people. They lied about the deal they could get. The European institutions are to blame for being so weak that they helped to build the puffed up sense of belief in the Greek negotiating position. Juncker should hang his head in shame for this debacle. And the Germans, well, they have agreed to extend this farce with another 85 billion euros.

    1. Terry McGinn says:

      Of course it was worth 85 billion euros to keep the show on the road because without all the poor countries in the Euro the Germans would be priced out of the market.The Euro always was a con. Nicholas Ridley ended up spending more time with his family for opining that the whole thing was “a German racket.” Wait till the TTIP kicks in with ISDS the politician’s role will simply be to keep the system on the rails.

    2. Andrew Dundas says:

      It’s also a warning to Scottish voters. That being in a currency union (could be the Euro or Sterling) with a much bigger country means there’s no autonomy.

  2. Philip Edwards says:


    Varoufakis did the moral thing in resigning when he saw which way this was going to go.

    My bet is that in a few years we’ll get the same kind of lying garbage we got about “economic miracles” in Argentina and Chile before both countries turned into post-fascist basket cases.

    If the Greek parliament fails its people now it will suffer the same fate. Which is why they will be better of outside a capitalist EU. At least they could rebuild in their own way and their own time. With present proposed ripoffs they’ll just become a feudal state kept impoverished. And, as usual, the rich who caused it all in the first place will get away with even more theft.

    But don’t laugh at Greece. Britain is headed down the same path too. It’s just a matter of time.

  3. Carolina says:

    What was the name of the guest economist today? The Italian American one that mad brilliant remarks on the Greek debt

  4. Philip says:

    This is just kicking the can along the road for a few more years. With the austerity required of Greece, the economy will remain in recession and unable to make a budget surplus…unless the EU is prepared to watch people starving in the streets. In practice, all sides need to be making preparations for a managed write-off of much of the Greeks’ debts – the pain to be taken by the bankers who continued their risky lending, rather than EU taxpayers – and probably an acceptance that the Greeks – and possibly some similar countries have to be given a managed choice, whether to reform their economies on the lines of the northern European social market model or whether to leave the Euro. The Euro isn’t sustainable without an economic & monetary union, which isn’t going to happen with such disparities between even some of the major players, like Germany & Italy, Netherlands & Spain. So there’s a choice – either a recognition that the Eurozone has to be much smaller and tighter or larger and looser. The Greeks may be sufficiently small &an outlier in many respects (and Tsipras never had any aces to play in this game of liar’s poker), but if this starts to look awkward for Italy (with very low growth rates & a falling working population + a massive migration problem), the same bullying won’t work.

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