Celebrating the Occasional Posts of Mr. Cook!

Month: July, 2015

Listen to this Speech to Tsipras by MEP Guy Verhofstadt

This speech by Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt is an absolute standout, and I encourage everyone interested in what is happening in Greece to listen to it.


Greece’s Ongoing Crisis

Short Observation:

I find it amusing that back in June I was of the opinion that Grexit was going to happen and most felt it would not. Now that the majority of political and economic leaders asked by the media are quick to opine that Grexit is likely to happen, I am more inclined to believe it will not. In any event, the story of the Greek financial crisis has been one of mismanagement and interesting shifts in political opinions and calculations. Thus, nothing should be ruled out. If the Greek government of Alexander Tsipras decides to play hardball and stick to its guns, so to speak, it will find itself with little to show for all the drama the world has seen these past weeks. However, if the proposal expected tomorrow is focused on economic growth and not simply a rejection of austerity and reform, I expect an agreement. My only fear against an agreement at this point is that stupidity could once again rear its head, as it so often does. While I still feel Greece would be better off in the long run with its own currency, I cannot recommend the pain of adjustment that such a move would entail. Especially when other countries are willing to lend one money to reform – assuming a growth-oriented proposal comes out tomorrow. Fingers crossed, eh.

Forget What I Just Said

Greeks have rejected the bailout terms in Sunday’s vote. With the Eurogroup members making clear they are open to continued negotiation, Alex Tsipras may be about to prove wrong those who doubted his approach. It depends on how much the Eurozone and IMF are willing to compromise. The latest proposal from the Greek government agreed to all but three points of the last creditor proposal. The points are trifling things in wider context, so an agreement should be well within reach on Monday. Not to dismiss the possibility of intangibility on both sides, but the probability is for an agreement soon.

Grexit Cancelled

Short Post:

I believe the past week of bank closure and warnings from Eurozone leaders have done the work of convincing the Greek people to vote yes and accept the bailout conditions on the table. Prime Minister Tsipras and his government also seem to be chastened if the latest proposal from them accepting all but a few conditions is any indicator. They clearly see the way the winds are blowing and if the populist alliance loses power, they are unlikely to get it back. However, Germany and other Eurogroup members have made it clear there will be no negotiations until the vote, which is a useful lesson in not making an enemy of your negotiation partner when you still need their help. If Tsipras keeps his word, the Syriza government will resign after the probable yes vote on Sunday, and a new Greek government will accept the bailout conditions. Overall, good drama, bad governing.