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How Merkel Failed Greece and Europe


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Angela Merkel relishes her reputation as queen of Europe. But she hasn't learned how to use her power, instead allowing a bad situation to heat up to the boiling point. Her inability to take unpopular stances badly exacerbated the Greek crisis.

Angela Merkel was already leaving for the weekend when she received the call that would change everything. The chancellor had just had a grueling day, spending all of it in meetings with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras -- sometimes as part of a larger group, and others with only him and French President François Hollande.

They discussed debt restructuring and billions of euros in additional investments. When it comes to issues important to him, Tsipras can be exhaustingly stubborn. In the end, though, Merkel was left with the feeling the EU summit was the milestone that could quite possibly mark a turn for the better.

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So the hunt for scapegoats is on among the Great European Community, then, I'm glad to see. Not that I have any problem with blaming Ms M for everything, by any means.

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Knowing your pro-austerity views on Greek debt, questionmark... I fail to see what you're trying to prove by posting this? The article, IMO, condemns Merkel and German policy for putting Merkels ego ahead of the interests of Germany and its Europen hegemony. She created Syriza indirectly... in fact she could have made a debt deal with Greece from the beggining of the crises with a reform minded government like the author points out. Instead she drew it out hoping to win even more finacial concessions by belittling Greece and its leaders...a country mind you that's suffering from a destroyed war-time like economy.

I'm glad that Tsipras is giving Merkel hell...she deserves it.

Edited by Harry_Dresden
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Merkel hasn't done anything wrong and the Greek hate on Germany for the imposed austerity is misplaced anger.

The country should accept that fiddling its books to enter the single currency has come around full circle to bite it on the ****. The EU isn't a federation so the only time people should sign up to a common currency is if their economy is at the same point in its economic cycle as the union.

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Merkel will write off Greece's debt in the end. She could and should have done it 5 years ago. She didn't cause she's a vindictive b**** and she'll go down in history as one too... What Germany did under her leadership has nothing to do with Europe or austerity it was purely for domestic German consumption.

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Merkel hasn't done anything wrong and the Greek hate on Germany for the imposed austerity is misplaced anger.

The country should accept that fiddling its books to enter the single currency has come around full circle to bite it on the ****. The EU isn't a federation so the only time people should sign up to a common currency is if their economy is at the same point in its economic cycle as the union.

\And the Eu should accept that doling out shiploads of money without, apparently, even checking the creditworthiness of those they're giving it to is so irresponsible as to destroy their credibility as being financially competent. Or perhaps it wasn't just incompetence and they knew that Greece couldn't possibly pay it back, but they gave them it anyway, knowing that they could then use it as blackmail to extort Greece in any way they might want to (such as, for example, over any deal with Russia they might wish to make). In which case the European Empire isn't incompetent, it's downright mafia-like. Edited by Norbert the Incredible
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Merkel hasn't done anything wrong and the Greek hate on Germany for the imposed austerity is misplaced anger.

The country should accept that fiddling its books to enter the single currency has come around full circle to bite it on the ****. The EU isn't a federation so the only time people should sign up to a common currency is if their economy is at the same point in its economic cycle as the union.

That is a different story from what the problem is here, which is not austerity (which even Britain has accepted now as necessary... small miracle) but the way austerity was handled.

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That is a different story from what the problem is here, which is not austerity (which even Britain has accepted now as necessary... small miracle) but the way austerity was handled.

You're a bit behind the times there, the only ones who still believe in "austerity" are the incompetent Cameron and the unqualified Osborne.
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You're a bit behind the times there, the only ones who still believe in "austerity" are the incompetent Cameron and the unqualified Osborne.

so the rest of you are going to follow the Greek example? Wonderful... and lots of luck 'cause you will need it.

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\And the Eu should accept that doling out shiploads of money without, apparently, even checking the creditworthiness of those they're giving it to is so irresponsible as to destroy their credibility as being financially competent. Or perhaps it wasn't just incompetence and they knew that Greece couldn't possibly pay it back, but they gave them it anyway, knowing that they could then use it as blackmail to extort Greece in any way they might want to (such as, for example, over any deal with Russia they might wish to make). In which case the European Empire isn't incompetent, it's downright mafia-like.

If we pretend the EU is one economy then it isn't going to devalue its currency unless the economy as a whole would benefit from it.

Greece is too small to cause devaluation. It would probably require Germany and France to collectively need it before it happened. We in Britain wouldn't devalue our currency just because the Isle of Man has debt problems now would we? Doing so would be economically incompetent.

Greece needs to leave, to devalue and inflate the debt away, then in two years time when its back to normal it can consider re-entering the single currency. But should only do so this time when its economy is in phase with the EU one.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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Knowing your pro-austerity views on Greek debt, questionmark... I fail to see what you're trying to prove by posting this? The article, IMO, condemns Merkel and German policy for putting Merkels ego ahead of the interests of Germany and its Europen hegemony. She created Syriza indirectly... in fact she could have made a debt deal with Greece from the beggining of the crises with a reform minded government like the author points out. Instead she drew it out hoping to win even more finacial concessions by belittling Greece and its leaders...a country mind you that's suffering from a destroyed war-time like economy.

I'm glad that Tsipras is giving Merkel hell...she deserves it.

Merkel has cornered herself and Tsipras knows it.

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If we pretend the EU is one economy then it isn't going to devalue its currency unless the economy as a whole would benefit from it.

Greece is too small to cause devaluation. It would probably require Germany and France to collectively need it before it happened. We in Britain wouldn't devalue our currency just because the Isle of Man has debt problems now would we? Doing so would be economically incompetent.

Greece needs to leave, to devalue and inflate the debt away, then in two years time when its back to normal it can consider re-entering the single currency. But should only do so this time when its economy is in phase with the EU one.

That is assuming that the Greeks owe the money in whatever currency they'll adopt next, they don't, they owe the money in Euros and as long as those don't get devalued they are in exactly the same corner. Besides it is easy to scream "devaluation" and "hyperinflation". It is also fair to remember that one parties debt is another parties asset. And by devaluing it you are expropriating the other party... who gave good money and should expect to get the same in return.

If that makes the norm don't expect to get any money for less than 25% interest anywhere.

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That is assuming that the Greeks owe the money in whatever currency they'll adopt next, they don't, they owe the money in Euros and as long as those don't get devalued they are in exactly the same corner. Besides it is easy to scream "devaluation" and "hyperinflation". It is also fair to remember that one parties debt is another parties asset. And by devaluing it you are expropriating the other party... who gave good money and should expect to get the same in return.

If that makes the norm don't expect to get any money for less than 25% interest anywhere.

Greek Central back should start printing Euros. even though Euro notes denote the Country of Origin via the letter marking on Serial number, a Greek printed Euro will be the same as the one in a Germans Pocket. Print Greece Print. bring the whole damn show to a conclusion. - exit stage left as the curtain comes down. leaving the mugs on stage to take the applause.

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Greek Central back should start printing Euros. even though Euro notes denote the Country of Origin via the letter marking on Serial number, a Greek printed Euro will be the same as the one in a Germans Pocket. Print Greece Print. bring the whole damn show to a conclusion. - exit stage left as the curtain comes down. leaving the mugs on stage to take the applause.

You just want a precedent to see what happens if Britain leaves.

Edit: and doing that will boot Greece out of the international money market... that means no matter what money they have in their hands it will be worth nothing... and being depended on imports for survival that might be a very bad idea... there is another alternative: Greeks start moving in hordes to find jobs and/or benefits somewhere else. Happened before in the '20s and '30s. One might come near you soon.

Edited by questionmark
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Both sides did things wrong. The mesures of austerities went to far and went in the wrong directions, Europe could have lend money at low interest rate and made keep a tight grip in non essential expenditures in Greece, while helping optimize resources, but no, it choose stupid measures because of extremist economists, therefor the so called terrorists.

I'm stilk wainting to see people in jail that helped Greece cook their numbers, and these people were employees of Goldman Sachs, fully aware of the crimesw.

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So basically you (QM) don't see any solution for Greece except the vindictiveness of the EU for ever more? They have no choice, and they deserve all they get for cheating the Empire?

i suppose you do realise just what a persuasive argument this is to convince everyone of the benevolence of this organisation.

Edited by Norbert the Incredible
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So basically you (QM) don't see any solution for Greece except the vindictiveness of the EU for ever more? They have no choice, and they deserve all they get for cheating the Empire?

i suppose you do realise just what a persuasive argument this is to convince everyone of the benevolence of this organisation.

I see two: Greece leaves and faces the music or Greece stays and faces the music. In either case they should not expect to get a special treatment because the EU looked the other way once.

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I see two: Greece leaves and faces the music or Greece stays and faces the music. In either case they should not expect to get a special treatment because the EU looked the other way once.

The only question remains: which path is bad, and which is worse.
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The only question remains: which path is bad, and which is worse.

My estimate is leaving about 50 years of blood sweat and tears before they get back to the stage of 2001, staying 30 years.

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I suppose you feel such a strong attachment to the EU and such a desire to defend it at all costs that you seem to be quite happy to throw any country that doesn't do what the leaders of the Eu insist it should to the dogs, or the wolves. Presumably you'd feel that the survival of the EU is the only thing that's important and that any kind of ruthlessness that is necessary is ok to ensure that survival? Do you see it as an essentially benevolent institution, despite the evidence that surely is plain for all to see? I mean surely at the very least, if it really did not check Greece's creditworthiness very carefully and investigate its financial stability before inviting it to join the Eur, and then giving it billions of trillions of Euros in bailouts, that seriously calls into question its competence? And if it did, and it still went ahead knowing that there was no way bringing it into a Common Currency would possibly work, surely you'd have to call its ethics and morality into question?

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I suppose you feel such a strong attachment to the EU and such a desire to defend it at all costs that you seem to be quite happy to throw any country that doesn't do what the leaders of the Eu insist it should to the dogs, or the wolves. Presumably you'd feel that the survival of the EU is the only thing that's important and that any kind of ruthlessness that is necessary is ok to ensure that survival? Do you see it as an essentially benevolent institution, despite the evidence that surely is plain for all to see? I mean surely at the very least, if it really did not check Greece's creditworthiness very carefully and investigate its financial stability before inviting it to join the Eur, and then giving it billions of trillions of Euros in bailouts, that seriously calls into question its competence? And if it did, and it still went ahead knowing that there was no way bringing it into a Common Currency would possibly work, surely you'd have to call its ethics and morality into question?

And this goes back to a point i made about the EU ideology, the EU comes before everything and anything.

But the bloody cheek of Germany going on about Greece paying debt, Is this the same Germany that had most of its World War 2 debt written off, So it could recover economically after the war. just as the German economy was Blitzed, So as the Greek one. But elections are coming up in Germany, Frau Merkel cannot entertain writing off the debt. so Greece will suffer.

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The Germans seem to have learned from the first haircut: it takes about 16 month until they are at the same level of debt. Of you fool me once....

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And this goes back to a point i made about the EU ideology, the EU comes before everything and anything.

But the bloody cheek of Germany going on about Greece paying debt, Is this the same Germany that had most of its World War 2 debt written off, So it could recover economically after the war. just as the German economy was Blitzed, So as the Greek one. But elections are coming up in Germany, Frau Merkel cannot entertain writing off the debt. so Greece will suffer.

Exactly, we all know what happened to germany after the victorious nations of WWI took such a hardline vindictive attitude towards it, and surely the German politicians haven't forgotten, and now they're wanting to do exactly the same thing to greece (whose guilt is on a rather smaller scale to Germany's after the war).
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You just want a precedent to see what happens if Britain leaves.

Edit: and doing that will boot Greece out of the international money market... that means no matter what money they have in their hands it will be worth nothing... and being depended on imports for survival that might be a very bad idea... there is another alternative: Greeks start moving in hordes to find jobs and/or benefits somewhere else. Happened before in the '20s and '30s. One might come near you soon.

I don't want or need a precedent, because i fear nothing of the UK leaving the EU, We have nothing to lose from a system that is outdated. a ideology from a time long expired. long gone is the custom unions, and high trade tariffs. the EU has failed to notice the world has changed. globalisation has happened. History shows that open economies grow faster, that is why the world is growing at rates Europe can only dream of is it any wonder why Europe is in the mire, economic troubles all over club Med, currency in crisis, countries in recessions and to top it off a War on the Eastern border with a Global power. Welcome to the European Union.

regardless of what the EU does the good ship Britannia will sail on.

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I don't want or need a precedent, because i fear nothing of the UK leaving the EU, We have nothing to lose from a system that is outdated. a ideology from a time long expired. long gone is the custom unions, and high trade tariffs. the EU has failed to notice the world has changed. globalisation has happened. History shows that open economies grow faster, that is why the world is growing at rates Europe can only dream of is it any wonder why Europe is in the mire, economic troubles all over club Med, currency in crisis, countries in recessions and to top it off a War on the Eastern border with a Global power. Welcome to the European Union.

regardless of what the EU does the good ship Britannia will sail on.

I think that's true; trading blocs based on geography are surely old hat now. Even for tangible goods (as opposed to information technology and so on), it's pretty much irrelevant where any particular country that one trades with is, isn't it. I suspect that's probably why the leaders of the EU have become so undemocratic and their power has become so authoritarian, because they realise that their organisation is losing its main reason for existence in the first place.
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