Anyone for Baden-Baden?

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20 February 2012


This is a German quotation translated into Latin. It is attributed to the current German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. It means “you can’t trust the Greeks whatever they say”.

Schäuble is scheduled to meet with the other eurozone finance ministers today Monday 20 February 2012 to decide whether to bail out the heavily indebted Greek economy for the second time in only 18 months. They got €110bn last time. Now they need another €130 billion – at least. Schäuble has just got a written pledge from the two main Greek political parties promising that they will do whatever he tells them to do by way of spending cuts. But Mr Schäuble is not a happy bunny. He does not appear to be 100% convinced that the Greeks will come good on their pledges. He has made it clear that he is unwilling to pour money into “a bottomless pit”. German money, at any rate. His deputy Steffen Kampeter is quoted as saying: “We expect the Greeks to rise to their responsibilities. This Monday we will see whether Greece delivers or whether we will be forced to decide on another course of action, one that is not desired.” Now what would that be? Sounds a bit like a threat to us. Maybe a threat to kick Greece out of the eurozone? Who knows? This is what is known as “solidarity” among the Europeans. Think snakepit. That’s probably what they mean by “ever closer union”. Moreover, as you can imagine, the Greeks are not happy bunnies either. And that goes right up to the top. Greek President Karolos Papoulias has reportedly said: “Who is Mr Schäuble to ridicule Greece? I don’t accept insults to my country by Mr Schäuble.” Ouch! Today’s meeting should be fun! With any luck, it could well end in fisticuffs! In any case, most financial analysts appear to agree that, whatever the outcome today, the savage deflation imposed on the Greeks as a condition for getting the bail-out mean that the Greek economy will not grow enough to enable the country to pay off its debts anyway. It’s a catch-22 situation. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.  I’d say that lot are up the creek without a paddle! Many Germans take their summer holidays in Greece.  We can’t imagine they will be very popular there this year. Particularly Mr Schäuble. Best give Naxos a wide berth this time. Anyone for Baden-Baden?


This entry was posted in Economics, Europe, Germany, Greece, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Anyone for Baden-Baden?

  1. well I can tell you that here in Greece, a lot of us (including myself) just want to default and it get over with, since it’s obviously going to happen at some point. why put it off? it’s just a waste of european money.

    • says:

      You are right. That is what we have been advocating for the past couple of years for countries such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece. Argentina defaulted against the wishes of the IMF at around the turn of the century – and it has never looked back. Its economy has thrived ever since. A nation has to decide: does it want to live under the jackboot of a foreign power (the European Union) or has it the guts to face off the outsiders, pull itself up by its bootstraps, and go for it. It’s a no-brainer in the case of Greece. Greece is where Europe originated. The Greeks can do it. They have 2,500 years of history to prove it. They chucked out the Ottomans. They can do the same to the Prussians. In order to to this, however, they must rid themselves of the treacherous sycophantic elite which has sold them out to the foreigner. Think 212 BC. The Greek city of Syracuse was betrayed to the Roman consul Marcellus by a treacherous Syracusan prefect Moeriscus – Archimedes died as a result. You have elections coming up in Greece. Greece is where it all began. At Antigone1984 we back Manolis Glezos. We hope he can get a United Front together in time for the April elections. But democracy is democracy. Vote for whoever you think best. Vive la Grèce!

  2. Thanks, Heidi. Rather a cryptic remark, or else I am thick, which is probably the case! Who’s side are you on? Are you German by any chance (by posing that question, I do not assume that I know where your sympathies lie)? At least you feel strongly enough to get involved. Which is great. Would that others would do so too. You might like to check out sometime, when you have time, our other posts in the Category “Greece” in the sidebar to the posts. This would make our stance clearer, perhaps. All the best.

    • oh sorry for the crypticism, wasn’t intended! I’m American married to a Greek living in Greece, and I’m on the side of the kids going hungry in my husband’s classes. (I hope that wasn’t cryptic!) I will check out your other posts… my blog is a little silly at times, mostly recipes and the like, but I have some political commentary in there as well.

  3. Nothing wrong with recipes. We have all got to eat – if we can. And there is nothing wrong, in my book, with eating well. Incidentally, we encountered an American woman in Paros last summer who is married to a guy from Thessaloniki and they run a restaurant in Paros (she front of house, he in the kitchen). The food, ambiance and service was triple A with bells on!

  4. says:

    With a view to the upcoming elections in Greece in 2015 , I want to say how ridiculous were my comments on 21 February 2012. There were undoubtedly reasons for this. Almost certainly non political. I am not surprised by your reaction. I am now looking forward, fingers crossed, to the parliamentary elections on 25 January 2015. I am planning to be in Athens from 21 to 29 January 2015 to observe and comment – necessarily adequately – on the situation. I don’t know if you are still in Greece. But let’s hope for a victory of the forces of progress!

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