Talk about talking down the economy. There is now no end of government ministers and special advisors commenting off-the-record, together with business journalists and market analysts beating their chests over the fate of the euro, and Greece’s future within the eurozone. All this wailing and gnashing of teeth is getting totally out of hand, but I detect some method behind the madness.
Today the markets are in free fall ahead of an EU summit in Brussels, and the latest media scares hinge on a largely empty quote from former Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos…
“It cannot be excluded that preparations are being made to contain the potential consequences of a Greek euro exit.”
This is no more than stating the bleeding obvious, and contributes nothing useful to the discussion. For analysts and commentators to spin Papademos’ words as Greece “making preparations for leaving the Euro” is stretching things a bit.
Even more hyperbolic is the following cretinous comment from Germany concerning Alexis Tsipras, the man widely tipped to be the next (elected) prime minister of Greece,…
“Er ist binnen Tagen zum Messias der europäischen Linken aufgestiegen, zum Mann, der den Kapitalismus bezwingen könnte. Und zum Schreckgespenst der Eurokraten: Kann man ihn einbinden, kastrieren, korrumpieren? Oder die Wahlen von außen beeinflussen?”
[Within days he has risen to become the messiah of the European left, the man who would defeat capitalism. And this bogey of the eurocrats: can he be integrated, castrated, corrupted? Or the election influenced from outside?]
I have lost count of how many times senior EU officials and member state ministers have insisted that the future of Greece is up to the Greek people to decide, and with this latest nonsense I am unconvinced by such platitudes. Greece’s radical left party Syriza is a mystery to me, as it is to most non-Greeks, and I have no knowledge of its economic policies, if indeed the party has any policies worth speaking about.
What I do know is that following the 17 June election Syriza could form the largest block in the Greek parliament, and Tsipras (aka “Griechenlands Che Guevara”), who was recently snubbed by politicians during a solidarity raising visit to France and Germany, be the next prime minister. With the prospect of a neo-marxist occupying the Maximos Mansion in Athens, fear and dread stalk the corridors of neo-liberal power in Berlin, Paris and London, and it would seem that the knives are being sharpened there in anticipation of this bloodless Hellenic revolution.
Long live the Euro,… but longer live Greece! Its people deserve better than this. Really.