12 Jul 2015

Greece crisis: eurozone demands action, not words

If you think someone is dodgy and you don’t trust them up front then you want action not sweet words.

However they wrap it – that’s what it’s all about in Brussels today. And frankly they are not even bothering to wrap it up very much at all.

The likely movement of events will be to force Athens to pass austerity measures through parliament this week, before any serious talk about Bailout Three begins at all.

“The most important currency has been lost,” remarked a rueful Angela Merkel on her way into the Eurozone talks today, “and that is trust.”

No wonder – she is under real pressure back in Germany from voters loathe to bail Athens yet again.

In sum? The Eurozone will likely tell the Greeks tonight or tomorrow: pass laws reducing pensions; increasing privatisation; cutting trade union powers and imposing VAT at 23 per cent right now, this week and we may, may, may then talk about bailing you out.

Apart from all else, Brussels is exasperated by a Greek leader who called a referendum for a resounding ‘No’ to austerity, then came trotting up to Brussels proposing even more austerity than even the EU talked of just days ago.

Tsipras is doing the exact opposite of his mandate on the face of it. Funny kind of democracy, but there it is.

But in Brussels they are simply fed up with trying to penetrate the thinking of a man perceived here as setting demands and limits only to bust them at will.

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