Greece is about to fall apart again…but this time no one cares. With Syria and the EU migrant crisis taking center stage, Greece’s return to financial disarray has garnered zero attention.
The crazy part of the entire Greek mess is that we have creditors threatening to not out pay loans to debtors…the world is truly insane and upside down.
At first it was cute: when Greece got its first “dramatic” bailout in 2010 sending the global markets and the EUR first plunging then soaring, it was a melodrama of sorts – people still cared.
Then, by the time the second and third bailouts rolled around, especially in the aftermath of the most ridiculous referendum in modern history, where a majority of Greeks voted for one thing only to get the other, it became a tragicomedy in what everyone hoped would be its final, “German colonial” season.
Moments ago, Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that just two (or is it three, this past summer is one big blur) months after Greece voted through its third bailout, one which will raise its debt/GDP to over 200% on a fleeting promise that someone, somewhere just may grant Greece a debt extension (which will do absolutely nothing about the nominal amount of debt), its creditors have already grown tired with the game and are refusing to pay the next Greek loan tranche of €2 billion.
Specifically, the payment of the first €2b tranche of €3b is now sait to be delayed because Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to implement reforms on schedule, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports, citing unidentified senior EU official.
Wait, you mean the Greeks (over)promised and never delivered? Who could have possibly seen this coming?
Not the unidentified EU official who blasts Athens as having implemented only a third of the required projects.
As a result, the tranfer probably will only take place in November, if then, since only 14 of the 48 “milestones” linked to payments have been decided on.
The report goes on to tell us what we already knew: talks between the government in Athens and the Troika + the ESM (or Quadriga, or whatever it’s called) ended last week without success.
SZ goes into the unpleasant details, noting that there are inconsistencies in how the banks deal with bad loans, estimated that 320 000 apartment owners have mortgage payments in arrears, threatened with foreclosures, evictions, and so on.
In other words, the Greek holiday from being held accountable for anything which started in July and lasted until October is over.
Yet, there is still hope: in a separate report, Germany’s Bild tabloid cites Deutsche Bank analysts as anticipating a debt reduction for Greece of €200 billion by year-end, and amount which Bild conveniently calculates corresponds to €700 per inhabitant of the Eurozone.
It adds that, as noted above, Greek debt would total €340b by year-end, or 200% of Greek GDP, some 140% higher than allowed by European treaties.
It concludes by citing Lueder Gerken, Chairman of the Centre for European Policy, as saying that a Greek “haircut is economically inevitable, as well as a fourth rescue package.”
That much is known.
What is not known is why, out of the blue, the German press decided to remind the public of the Greek disaster story. After all, thanks to the refugee crisis and Volkswagen, Germany has a whole new set of problems to worry about. Or perhaps, it is time to find a diversion from those, and what better antagonist to focus on than the recently annexed Mediterranean colony which is the European ground zero of so many refugee adventures.
That said, the endless Greek default fiasco is no longer funny, or sad, or tragic, or exciting, or anything – the Greek people eagerly voted for their own doom; they only have themselves to blame this time.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.