|One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.|
Most men will be familiar with this playground scenario. There you were at school minding your own business when the class creep wanders over.
“Hey you, fuck face. You really fancy yourself, don’t ya? Yeah, I’m talking to you.”
Wow, Crispin’s a bit optimistic today you think. This should be fun. Then you hesitate. Something here is too good to be true. So you take another look over his shoulder. Sure enough, there they are, weedy Crispin has somehow talked the two school psychos into teaming up with him to give you a kicking. What a creep!
That’s the image that came to mind when I read how President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, seeing Greek PM Alexis Tsipras get up to leave after 14 hours of fruitless negotiations with eurozone leaders said:
“Sorry, but there is no way you are leaving this room.”
Wow, Tusk’s a bit optimistic today. Is the unelected President of the European Council really threatening the democratically elected Greek PM who has a double mandate from his people? Not only did he convincingly win the Greek general elections in January on a platform of “no more austerity” but just last week he also won a referendum confirming that policy. What a creep!
But before telling the euro weenie Tusk to go to hell, Tsipras had to take into account the psychos behind him, particularly German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble whose negotiating position could best be summed up:
“Nice country you’ve got there, Tsipras. Shame if something unpleasant happened to it!”
The unpleasant thing was as Tsipras put it himself:
“A disorderly default would not only have led to a collapse of the banking system and a disappearance of all deposits, but it would force you to print a currency which would be drastically devalued because there is no reserve to support it. A pensioner who got €800 would get 800 drachmas and it would only last him three days and not a month.”
So faced with the choice between a catastrophic bankruptcy in the next few days or the continuation of the pain of austerity the Greek PM cracked.
He would have done much better to call Tusk’s bluff. Bankruptcy could not be worse than the continuation of the slow death of Greece where:
• The economy has shrunk by a quarter since 2008.
• Youth unemployment is more than 50%
• After being “saved” from bankruptcy twice since 2010 Greek debt has actually increased from 125% of GNP to around 180% today.
He should have reminded the ex-Polish PM Tusk of the sufferings of his own country when it was entirely in the power of the Soviet Union. To ask for some fellow feeling for Greece’s terrible plight.
Perhaps he should have replied to the Pole:
"Show some fucking Solidarity or I’m outta here!"