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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

From Greek drama to Greek tragedy

 

The Greek Coalition of the Radical Left is called Syriza which is a backronym which stands for Synaspismós Rizospastikís Aristerás.

From today it stands for having incurred a lot of the costs of leaving the euro (crushing financial crisis) while at the same time keeping the costs of staying in the euro (crushing fiscal and monetary policies). It'll go down in economic history as one of the greatest policymaking failures.

They might as well dump their slogan Ανοίγουμε δρόμο στην ελπίδα which means 'We open a way to hope' because there is no hope.

And no certainty. The only certainty is that the crisis is not over. The only certainty is that this, which started out as a financial crisis, will soon morph into an economic, social and political crisis of massive proportions.

There will be a regime change. But the next political party in Greece is likely to be even more radical than Syriza.

And all this on Bastille Day. Liberté, égalité, fraternité indeed!

P.S.

If you REALLY want to know how these bailout packages work, here it is:

It's a slow day in a little Greek Village. It is raining and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a 100 Euro note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the room upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the 100 Euro note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the 100 Euro note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the 100 Euro note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna.

The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.

The prostitute then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the 100 Euro note.

The hotel proprietor then places the 100 Euro note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the 100 Euro note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything.

No one earned anything.

However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.