The same unsolved problems in Greece rattle on, as does the murmurings in our cabinet. The weak has gone worldwide!
The ‘weak’ in Politics as seen by Nicholas Harrington
The best way I can sum up this week in Europe is to say that while the new problems may be the ones that excite us, the old ones never really went away.
All the major stories of 2014 and 2015 rumble on, with little or no meaningful forward movement.
This is the great tragedy of our current political reality: an issue or crisis emerges, the media generates attention and interest, stakeholders voice their opinions and then nothing constructive takes place, it’s just more of the same turgid mess of incompetence, vacillation and bureaucracy.
Because that’s all Europe is anymore: a great big administrative district, with a bland menu of council chieftains, all of whom taste vaguely the same and have a similar appetite for grand (hollow) bargains, (droning) meetings, and kicking the can further and further down the road. Is it any wonder the UK is having their referendum?
Case in point: Greece. You remember Greece?
It was the story of 2015: The country that was going to sink the Eurozone.
The much maligned, corrupt debtor nation that was overrun by socialist radicals (including our very own adopted Marxist economist Varoufakis) holding European creditors ransom as it demanded outrages such as banks that issue money, a public sector that can pay its employees, and a pension fund that doesn’t leave the elderly to die on the street.
Well, I’m please to say Greece is still Greece. Almost nothing has changed.
There is no meaningful improvement (in fact it’s probably worse). The only real difference is that virtually no one cares anymore. Except the Greeks of course, but that’s beside the point. Oh wait, no! the creditors are getting a lot more of their money back.
Oh wait, no! the creditors are getting a lot more of their money back.
The IMF provided *new* loans to repay the financial vultures who wanted to get repaid for their *old* loans, of course, the government passed austerity measures in exchange: cutting public expenditure on all those pesky sick, old and lazy people who should have been tightening their belts from the beginning.
Thank God that got sorted!
The latest news on Greece is that Wikileaks released a transcript that purportedly details conversations among the Troika (European
Central Bank, European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund) where they indicate, a crisis might be a good way to stimulate the Greeks to sign the new austerity + reforms = loans package deal.
Is anyone really surprised to find out that the 2015 media circus, the threats made by various heads of state, the fear engendered by the prospect of complete economic collapse were all part of a coordinated negotiation plan to get the Greeks to sign the deal?
You’ll be pleased to know the Ukraine is still a mess, Syrian refuges are still suffering, the UK is still divided about whether to stay in the EU, and Germany still struggles with its refugee program.
The ‘weak’ in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh
Heard in the Immigration Department
“How’s Peter Dutton progressing with the arrangements to bring in Syrian refugees?”
“I understand he’s currently taking bookings for 2085”
Heard in the Labor caucus
“Malcolm’s latest tax initiative seems to have bombed”
“It was so bad it didn’t even survive long enough to give the Senate the pleasure of rejecting it”
Heard down the Canberra corridors of power
“Why was the terror threat level raised last Friday?”
“It’s just a precaution because you never know what’s going to happen in COAG meetings”
Heard in the Coalition caucus
“If there’s no double dissolution Jacqui will be around for another four years”
“That could be a quadruple disillusion”
Heard at the ACTU
“Why do you believe there’s no-one else in the parliamentary Labor party like Bill Shorten?”
“Because with his approval rating he’d have been stabbed ages ago”
Heard at Liberal HQ
“Why do you believe Tony never slept with Peta?”
“Her name’s Credlin not Bedlinen”