Tuesday, November 01, 2011

George Papandreou Doing The Sensible Thing

On one side, the EU is jamming more austerity measures down Greece's throat and on the other side, there are riots going on in Athens to protest the budget cuts they are already experiencing. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has done what any sane national leader would do in his case. He threw in the towel and asked his citizens to make the choice. Washing his hands of the whole affair, he's letting the people of Greece figure out how to get out of the mess that they themselves voted to get into over the last several decades.
LONDON—Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's call for a referendum on a freshly minted bailout package rattled European officials and global markets, sparking warnings that the move could force the collapse of the Greek government and push the country into a destabilizing default on its sovereign debt.

The decision opened a rift within the ruling Socialist party, with one lawmaker resigning from the party in disagreement with the referendum and another one calling for early elections.
There's a rift? Like Papandreou cares. Right now he's probably more concerned with his offices being burned down when the police finally get tired of holding back the rioters who are protesting paying back the money they all knowingly borrowed.
Fears that the euro-zone plan could unravel if the bailout program is rejected at a Greek referendum or force new elections rattled global financial markets with stocks and the euro plunging, and 10-year Italian bond yields rising perilously close to their highest levels since the euro's inception.
Well, shucks, the rest of the Eurozone is in a bad way. I'm not sure that's keeping the Greek PM up at night. If they didn't want to be in trouble, they should have stayed solvent. Instead, they've all followed Greece down this particular rathole to one extent or another. It's not the Greeks' fault that the Italians have borrowed themselves into insolvency.

Good on ya, Mr. Papandreou.


B-Daddy said...

Totally agree with you KT. I posted on the same topic and linked back to you. The Greeks would be better off just leaving the euro. Then they could start taking responsibility for themselves and stop blaming Germans.

Dean said...

Wait. Did I miss something? Didn't Merkel and the rest of the gang save the day just last week?

This is just going to keep going on and on until, of course, it doesn't and that's when the real fun starts.

Secular Apostate said...

Well, let's make it a hat trick. I also agree that ol' G Pappydoo done the right thing. Greece, by any rational measure, has already defaulted, so the best thing to do is leave the EuroZone and go back to the more-or-less worthless drachma.

The EU-niks seem hell-bent on keeping Greece within the Zone, but it seems to me that they are motivated by a desire to defend the intellectual creds of the Treaty of Maastricht, not by any desire to "save" Greece.

It's emotionally disquieting to watch the gyrations of the equity markets that result from the Euro-uncertainty, but it can't last. As Dean observes, and quoting Herbert Stein, "Trends that can't continue, won't."

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the link, B-Daddy.

K T Cat said...

Secular, you're saying just what Ambrose Evans-Pritchard said in the column I link to today. The Greeks are being sacrificed to help the EU, not to help Greece.