Six days is a long time in politics, to paraphrase Harold Wilson, Alexis Tsipras’s ideological cousin.
Didn’t Tsipras go all out for the No vote in the bailout referendum on 5 July? Didn’t he get what he wanted? And didn’t the No refer to exactly the measures he’s now proposing in order to get another handout from the EU?
Then again, when an EU member holds a referendum, its results are only accepted if they suit the EU. If they don’t, the country is ordered to have another referendum – and keep doing it until she gets it right.
In this case, the EU hasn’t even bothered to do that. Its underhand dealings with Tsipras are proceeding as if no referendum had taken place. This is another useful reminder we ought to keep in mind: in the unlikely event the Brexit referendum returns the right result, it’ll be ignored.
However if the combined weight of Dave’s/EU’s Goebbels-style propaganda gets the In vote, Britain may never get another chance to regain her sovereignty.
But to get back to Greece, sitting down to write this piece I promised myself not to resort to cheap puns based on the country’s name: no suggestions that euros ought to be printed on Greece-proof paper and especially no wondering how many palms have been Greeced for Tsipras to come up with his 13-page SOS.
But it’s impossible for any halfway intelligent person to think that the unfolding saga is strictly aboveboard.
Essentially, contravening his voters’ wishes, Tsipras has agreed to pretend that, in exchange for another €53.5 billion in EU lucre, he’ll make sure that the Greeks will abandon their very ethos and, economically speaking, turn into Germans.
Specifically, they’ll raise taxes, cut social expenditure, eventually pay off their debts of hundreds of billions in whatever currency you care to name, and in general adopt the kind of approach to matters economic that they’ve never practised since Pericles, and probably not even then.
In her turn, Angela Merkel, who calls the EU tune because she pays the piper, will pretend that she believes Tsipras, against all historical, psychological and common-sensical evidence.
Just as two wrongs don’t make a right, two lies don’t add up to truth. The Greeks will gratefully take the €53.5 billion, provided Angie can twist the Bundestag’s arm to cough it up. Then this amount will sink without trace into the same hole that has already gobbled up €240 billion’s worth of two previous bailout packages.
There’s a pipeline well-hidden in the hole. Through it many of the proffered billions will be instantly pumped into discreet offshore accounts seemingly owned by numbers. Hiding behind the numbers will be the flesh-and-blood parties to the deal, mostly Greek but some EU functionaries as well.
The rest of the money will simply be frittered away by Tsipras’s or someone else’s socialist government. The situation will again come to a head soon, at which point a new pack of lies will be put together. Let the poor Greeks die so the eurozone may live.
For there’s no doubt whatsoever that the poor will, as usual, bear the brunt, which they always do in socialist economies.
Writing in The Mail, Alex Bummer, who understands economics unusually well for a journalist, shows that his understanding of socialism is less reliable. “It is a mighty poor form of socialism,” he writes, “when it has been the most vulnerable people in society who are the hardest hit.”
But that’s what socialism is all about. Mr Bummer makes a typical mistake here: he confuses the socialists’ slogans with their practices. It is, however, more productive with people in general and socialists in particular to look not at what they say but at what they do.
Such an inspection will show that all socialist economies (which is to say all modern economies) have the widest gap between the rich and the poor. And, the less developed the socialist economy, the greater the gap, the harder the poor are hit.
For example, in the 19th century, the era of dog-eat-dog capitalism, the average ratio of income earned by US corporate directors and their employees was 28:1. Yet in 2005, when socialism had made heavy inroads into the post-New-Deal US economy, this ratio stood at 158:1.
If such is the situation in America, you can imagine how socialism operates in Greece, which in her approach to the economy is typologically closer to Muslim caliphates than to Western social democracies.
We shouldn’t wonder about the cynicism of both parties to the deal, which may well go into effect tomorrow. Since the EU is founded on lies and blackmail, it can sustain itself only by lies and blackmail.
In this instance the blackmail is mutual. The EU is blackmailing Tsipras by promising to plunge Greece into an economic catastrophe, and himself into oblivion, if he refuses to proffer all the right lies. But Tsipras gets his own back, by blackmailing the EU with dark hints at accepting Vlad’s cash (and naval bases) if the EU refuses to take Greek lies at face value.
The whole thing is more reminiscent of dealings between two mafia families than of legitimate diplomacy. But hey, it’s the EU we’re talking about.