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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

There finally seems to be a political basis for a decent rescue plan for Greece. But that is not the achievement of the European politicians and other ‘pundidiots’ that are mostly making the headlines these days.

Finally the idea starts to sink in that something needs to be done about Greece. That, in spite of the July 21st rescue plan that wasn't a rescue plan after all, the situation remained desperate for Greece.

Finally people are talking about a controlled default:
·    Where the Greek debt gets a haircut of 50% or more to bring it back to sustainable levels
·    Where Greece can stay in the Euro, instead of (painfully) readopting a currency that soon will not be worth the paper it is printed on.
·    Where Greece is not put into the chaos of an uncontrolled default.
·    Where Greece is placed under legal restraint of the European Union in order to reshape their internal revenue services, cut their government budgets and downsize their civil services
·    Where Greece gets a helping hand from the Euro-zone, instead of a foot that is pushing them further into the quicksand of excess debt.

and finally decision makers in Europe are thinking seriously about increasing the European emergency funds to levels that actually make a difference, instead of leaving it at the ´pathetic´ €500 bln, that it currently contains.

… and that is really good news.

But this did not happen thanks to the Dutch cabinet members. They could not keep their mouths shut, but instead decided to talk to the press about their ´secret meetings where all the possible secret scenarios on Greece were discussed, but of which the contents of course could not be disclosed to the press´ and other verbal waste. 

Or thanks to the Dutch populist politicians that wanted the cabinet ´to kick Greece out of the Euro, instead of paying one more cent for it´.

That did not happen thanks to the German Finance Minister of Economic Affairs Philipp Rösler that was openly speculating on Greece defaulting three days ago and not thanks to Angela Merkel that waited a full day with correcting her finance minister.

That did not happen thanks to ´pundidiots´ like Professor X, Y and Z of University A, B and C, that were getting the old plan for the Neuro (Northern Euro’ and the Seuro (Southern Euro) from the garbage can and giving it a fresh polish. Or that wanted to kick Greece out of the Euro-zone, just as if you toss away an old pair of socks.

That also did not happen thanks to politicians that speculated that China would come to the rescue like ´Supelman´ and save the day for Europe by buying all sovereign bonds from all European countries in distress.

You can say of Nicholas Sarkozy a lot of bad things and much of it will be true. But in my opinion, he is one of the most constructively operating politicians concerning the financial situation in Greece

And of course, France is the biggest stakeholder of a rescue plan, with Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Société Générale on the hook in case of a Greek default. 

But at least Sarkozy tries to save the day. And that is more than a lot of politicians in Germany and The Netherlands can say these days.

The quote of the day came from Neelie Kroes, the current EU commissioner for ICT and Telecom affairs (roughly translated): ‘politicians in especially The Netherlands and Europe in common, should learn to shut up and take decisive action, instead of doing needless talking to the media’.

I couldn’t agree more.

Update September 15, 2011

I guess someone slipped something in my coffee, minutes before I started to write this overly optimistic and therefore inaccurate piece. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…

In Europe it seems to be business as usual:
·    Angela Merkel is shipwrecking all possible optimism on finding a solution for Greece, when she is vetoing the Euro-bonds.
·    Other European politicians are now denying the possibility of a controlled default, before it is too late and maintain the stance that all debt must be paid back.
·    Jan-Kees de Jager, the Dutch Finance Minister, is stating blatant lies, when he says that the Greek will pay back all debt to (a.o.) The Netherlands. This won’t happen and he knows this, but is he too yellow to admit this.
·    And all the northern Euro-zone countries are blaming the Greek for everything that is wrong with Euro, without looking in the mirror for even one moment.

So Greece will resume its way to the gutter… and the other Euro-zone countries will stand by and look at it happening. It’s European politics at its worst.  

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