Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Honestly speaking, I am pretty much content to now let this blog go to seed, but recent events have pulled me out of blogging retirement.
Anyone living in Greece will know what an awful time we’ve been having of it lately.
Riots, rising prices, new taxes all the time and constant anxiety about what is
around the corner.
While the troika spent the summer asking for increasingly severe measures to be placed on the Greek public, we sat tearing our hair out. We heard all the time about how Greece might not get the next tranche of bailout money and then what would
happen with pensions, salaries etc?
Finally after much negotiating and begging, Greece’s debt was shaved by 50%. Hooray!
This was progress. Maybe finally things would be very shitty for a long time
instead of very very shitty for a very very long time.
And then George Papandreou pulled the rug out from under everyone by calling a
referendum on whether Greece should accept the next tranche of bailout money
and the extra cuts that will go with it.
Seriously, what was he thinking? Why now? Why after nearly two years of misery does
he decide it’s time to ask the people? As lovely and democratic an idea as it
is, you are left to hope against hope that the vote will return a Yes. Because
come on, those sweet little old grannies in the Greek countryside don’t give
two hoots about Europe and are likely to vote in their droves to exit the Euro
and the Eurozone, both of which would be the instant kiss of death for Greece. A
return to the drachma would be a total disaster, and a default would leave the
country destitute and a pariah of the global bond market, if that’s not already
So why do it? It’s a move as unexplainable as Andie MacDowell’s entire career – it makes no sense at all.
I don't get it
There are a few theories:
* Georgie genuinely cares about
democracy and wants to give the final say to the people. If he pulls off a yes
vote, it will shut everyone up for a long time (but see above, a Yes vote is
not very likely at all when the Greek public are reaching the point where they
literally can’t afford to feed their families any more and are as pissed off as
a Tasmanian devil rolling down a hill in a barrel full of porcupines) Plus he’s
a politician, they don’t care about the people or democracy as a rule.
* Georgie has all his life savings riding on a short that the country will default so he’s pushing oh so hard in that direction.
* Georgie has gone mad.
* Georgie knows something we don’t know. As in, there actually is no money for the next bailout, or it won’t matter anyway because the Mayan calendar says the world ends in 2012. Might as well stir things up between now and then, since the referendum is set for January….Those Mayans may have been on to something now that I think of it.
* Georgie wants to punish the rest of Europe and their markets by tossing everything up in the air just when the deal was sealed. Revenge is a dish best served cold and all that, and let’s be honest, the conditions under which people now have to live are becoming unbearable. The troika imposed a bunch of very severe measures on the public, which Ok they caused the problem too by tax dodging, but in the end it’s the
government that was responsible for collecting those taxes. That’s why it’s
called a GOVERNment, not a SCRATCHYOURBALLSALLDAYment.
*Georgie is an attention whore. With the immediate issue solved for the time being, no one would be talking about him as much. This way, he got invited to Cannes! And be part of the G20! Take that, other nations!
* Georgie is an evil genius.
If he pulls off a yes vote, everyone will want to know how he got past the laser field.