– Someone Pull The Plug Or This Will End In War (The Automatic Earth, July 10, 2015):
I was going to write up on the uselessness of Angela Merkel, given that she said on this week that “giving in to Greece could ‘blow apart’ the euro”, and it’s the 180º other way around; it’s the consistent refusal to allow any leniency towards the Greeks that is blowing the currency union to smithereens.
Merkel’s been such an abject failure, the fullblown lack of leadership, the addiction to her right wing backbenchers, no opinion that seems to be remotely her own. But I don’t think the topic by itself makes much sense anymore for an article. It’s high time to take a step back and oversee the entire failing euro and EU system.
Greece is stuck in Germany’s own internal squabbles, and that more than anything illustrates how broken the system is. It was never supposed to be like that. No European leader in their right mind would ever have signed up for that.
Reading up on daily events, and perhaps on the verge of an actual Greece deal, increasingly I’m thinking this has got to stop, guys, there is no basis for this. It makes no sense and it is no use. The mold is broken. The EU as a concept, as a model, has failed and is already a thing of the past.
It’s over. And anything that’s done from here on in will only serve to make things worse. We should learn to recognize such transitions, and act on them. Instead of clinging on to what we think might have been long after it no longer is.
Whatever anyone does now, it’ll all come back again. That’s guaranteed. So just don’t do it. Or rather, do the one thing that still makes any sense: Call a halt to the whole charade.
As for Greece: Just stop playing the game. It’s the only way for you not to lose it.
There’s no reason why European countries couldn’t live together, work together, but the EU structure makes it impossible for them to do just that, to do the very thing it was supposed to be designed for.
Germany runs insane surpluses with the rest of the EU, and it sees that as a sign of how great a country it is. But in the present structure, if one country runs such surpluses, others will need to run equally insane deficits.
Cue Greece. And Italy, Spain et al. William Hague for once was right about something when he said this week that the euro could only possibly have ended up as a burning building with no exits. This is going to lead to war.
Simple as that. It may take a while, and the present ‘leadership’ may be gone by then, but it will. Unless more people wake up than just the OXI voters here in Greece.
And the only reason for it to happen is if the present flock of petty little minds in Berlin, Paris, London and Brussels try to make it last as long as they can, and call for even more integration and centralization and all that stuff. The leaders are useless, the structure is painfully faulty, and the outcome is fully predictable.
Europe has no leadership, it has a varied but eerily similar bunch of people who crave the power they’ve been given, but lack the moral sturctures to deal with that power. Sociopaths. That’s what Brussels selects for.
And Brussels is by no means the only place in Europe that does that. What about people like Schäuble and Dijsselbloem, who see the misery in Greece and loudly bang the drum for more misery? What does that say about a man? And what does it say about the structure that allows them to do it? At times I feel like the Grapes of Wrath is being replayed here.
It’s nice and all to claim you’re right about something, but if your being right produces utter misery for millions of others, you’re still wrong.
Greece is not an abstract exercise in some textbook, and it’s not a computer game either. Greece is about real people getting hurt. And if you refuse to act to alleviate that hurt, that defines you as a sociopath.
Germany now, and it took ‘only’ 5 months, says Greece needs debt relief but it also says, through Schäuble: “There cannot be a haircut because it would infringe the system of the European Union.” That’s exactly my point. That’s silly. And looking around me here in Athens for the past few weeks, it’s criminally silly. You acknowledge what needs to be done, and at the same time you acknowledge the system doesn’t allow for what needs to be done. Time to change that system then. Or blow it up.
I don’t care what people like Merkel and Schäuble think or say, once people in a union go hungry and have no healthcare, you have to change the system, not hammer it down their throats even more. If you refuse to stand together, you can be sure you’ll fall apart.
Get a life. Greece should just default on the whole thing, and let Merkel and Hollande figure out the alleged Greek debt with their own domestic banking sectors. They’re the ones who received all the money that Greece is now trying to figure out a payback schedule for.
Problem with that is of course that very banking sector. They call the shots. The vested interests have far too much power on all levels. That’s the crux. But that’s also the purpose for which a shoddy construct like the EU exists in the first place. The more centralized politics are, the easier the whole thing is to manipulate and control. The more loopholes and cracks in the system, the more power there is for vested interests.
Steve Keen just sent a link to an article at Australia’s MacroBusiness, that goes through the entire list of new proposals from the Syriza government, and ends like this:
This is basically the same proposal as that was just rejected by the Greek people in the referendum. There are some headlines floating around about proposed debt restructuring as well but I can’t find them. This makes absolutely no sense. The Tsipras Government has just:
• renegotiated itself into the same position it was in two months ago;
• set massively false expectations with the Greek public;
• destroyed the Greek banking system, and
• destroyed what was left of Greek political capital in EU.
If this deal gets through the Greek Parliament, and it could given everyone other than the ruling party and Golden Dawn are in favour of austerity, then Greece has just destroyed itself to no purpose. Markets are drawing comfort from the roll over but how Tsipras can return home without being lynched by a mob is beyond me. And that raises the prospect of any deal being held immediately hostage to violence.
Yes, it’s still entirely possible that Tsipras submitted this last set of proposals knowing full well they won’t be accepted. But he’s already gone way too far in his concessions. This is an exercise in futility.
It’s time to acknowledge this is a road to nowhere. From where I’m sitting, Yanis Varoufakis has been the sole sane voice in this whole 5 month long B-movie. I think Yanis also conceded that it was no use trying to negotiate anything with the troika, and that that’s to a large extent why he left.
Yanis will be badly, badly needed for Greece going forward. They need someone to figure out where to go from here.
Just like Europe needs someone to figure out how to deconstruct Brussels without the use of heavy explosives. Because there are just two options here: either the EU will -more or less- peacefully fall apart, or it will violently blow apart.