Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The ongoing euro crisis: "officials were silent, deceptive or just plain lied"

"Taking the lead on the deception"
"The drive for a single European currency was the ultimate top-down project, an elite vision imposed on highly reluctant voters"
Paul Krugman

The center-left German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung is scathing in its criticism of the way European politicians are handling the euro crisis:

It emerged Sunday, however, that finance ministers from Europe's largest economies, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, have already attended secret meetings several times in order to be able to discretely discuss the euro crisis, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Monday.
The fact that politicians initially denied there was any secret meeting on Friday and then later trying to play down what had been discussed, has led to speculation on the editorial pages of major newspapers in Germany that a second bailout for Greece is likely to come soon.
"Seldom have we seen politicians acting as irresponsibly as they did on Friday evening. In Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Rome and Luxembourg, officials were silent, deceptive or just plain lied. And all of that just to keep secret a meeting of a few finance ministers at which -- as would later be said -- only a few opinions were exchanged over Greece ... and where no decisions were made."
"Within a matter of hours, the governments of the euro countries managed to fritter away the last remaining trust the people of Europe still have in the bailout action. Who in the future is supposed to believe that Greece isn't interested in leaving the euro zone if Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the Euro Group, is taking the lead on the deception? First he denies in writing that the finance ministers have even met in Luxembourg. Then he publicly swears his loyalty to Greece. Then it emerges that he personally invited his colleagues to the meeting."

"Any reasonably interested European will now be asking, in astonishment or anger, just how dramatic the situation really is in Greece. Is the country on the verge of bankruptcy despite all the aid and statements to the contrary? That would also mean that another promise would come undone, namely that the Greeks will pay back all the loans to their partners with interest and compound interest. If they don't pay, then taxpayers will definitively get stuck with the bill."
"One thing is certain: Trust can only be regained if there are consequences as a result of Friday's deliberate deception."

Read the entire article here

(image by EU photo service)

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