After the Greek referendum I wrote the “Apocolypse now” article that summarised the situation.
Within days Alexis Tsipras of Syriza was back at the EU, presenting a deal even stricter than the one rejected by the Greek people. This is amazing, as with SNP in Scotland the democratic will of the people is being ignored. And the EU would not accept this new deal.
One problem is that the EU is not acting as a united organisation any more. Some countries are very happy to continue throwing taxpayers money at Greece forever regardless of how many hundreds of billions are thrown away and how many defaults and bailouts there are. Other countries have had enough and their taxpayers have had enough too, limiting the room for manoeuvre. France and Germany are the furthest apart that they have been for decades.
The main problem now is that Greek governments are seen to be liars and thieves. The figures and statistics coming out of Athens are seen to be pure fiction, made up to meet political requirements. And Greek laws are seen to be a joke, never actually enforced and never intended to be enforced. Greek governments have a long and consistent record of promising to do things and then not doing them.
In Greece the evils of corruption, corporatism, clientism and cronyism are rampant and all pervading. The rich elite openly steal from the economy with total impunity. Tax is seen as a minor inconvenience, to be avoided at all costs. Government handouts are seen to be free money to be gained by telling lies. This is what socialism does to a country.
Greece is in a really terrible situation, there is genuine and widespread hardship. It looks like the bank holiday will be extended to two months, which prevents a wide range of economic activity. This makes things a lot worse, so the whole economy is in a death spiral. With Syriza making things a lot more dire with their capricious incompetence. The Greek people really do not deserve this, they have been badly served by both their ruling class and the EU.
Of course a lot of this is the EU’s fault. They have done nothing when Greece has lied. They have done nothing when Greece has failed to honour agreements. They have done nothing when Greece has just taken the money and run, with no intention of ever paying it back.
Greece has an immense debt, but on a per capita basis other countries do as well. The difference with Greece is that they cannot afford it, they do not have the economic activity to service their debt. And the way that the EUs strictures were implemented reduced Greece’s economic activity even further. So now the debt just cannot be managed, defaults are inevitable. Yet still the Greeks want to borrow more. Borrowing that can never be repaid.
But now Germany has had enough. They realise that the Greek government is utterly incapable of running Greece. Syriza really are a joke, like a gang of willful 8 year olds, with no idea what they are doing. So the new conditions are aimed at bringing some discipline to how Greece is actually governed. Here they are:
As you can see they are principally aimed at making Greece governable again because nobody trust them any more or believes a word that they say. At long last the EU are facing the reality that is Greece and are doing something about it. Greece has 3 days to agree to this. Of course they will, then they get the money. And then they will try to totally ignore what they have committed to.
So the big problem is making the reforms actually happen. Of the EU disciplining Greece and acting as an enforcer. It will be interesting how this works out. Syriza are a communist/socialist rabble who want to spend other people’s money. They have no idea how to make an economy work and even if they did it is against their dogma to do so. They are utterly incapable of doing any good for Greece, only harm can come from their ideas and policies. This is not a good place for the EU or Greece to be.