July 12, 2015
Here’s the amazing state of play in Europe:
1. A faction led by Wolfgang Shäuble, the German Finance minister wants to jettison Greece from the core Euro-project calculating the losses of carrying it around are more detrimental to the core-Euro countries than supporting it. They are ready to sacrifice the myth of the Eurozone being this huge umbrella that can manage countries with different rates of development with a single monetary policy and multiple political ones.
2. A faction to the left of “radical left” Greek PM Tsipras, and many serious economists, think that surrendering to German-led EZ austerity without debt relief would be worse over time than being freeing themselves now and managing with their own monetary policy as a fully sovereign nation.
In other words just as Shäuble doesn’t want to drag Greece around, these people don’t want to be dragged around. These two factions then – Shäuble and SYRIZA’s left – are two faces of the same Grexit contigent’s coin.
3. The center is now led by those Eurocrats who want to continue to “extend and pretend” by demanding more stringent measures, a “reformed leftist(!)” Greek PM and many Greeks who are happy to let Greece be enslaved by these measures and many in the media who either blame Greece or blame Germany, but are adamant that Europe must stay together.
These are the Keep/Stay-In Euro-At-All-Costs crowd.
Given that the whole EU edifice is tottering way before this present crisis, and the Greek debt is unsustainable, it is the Grexit crowd who represents Reality versus the Myth-based Euro mob.
Indeed the much maligned Shäuble should be a natural ally of the “hardliners” in SYRIZA. Shäuble is actually willing to talk about how to make Grexit as painless as possible for the Greeks.
Yet the craziness is that the Austerity-enthusiasts on the center-right (who despise Greece) and the Debt Relief-sympathizers on the center-left (who despise the EU leadership) are both uniting to now switching from blaming Varoufakis to blaming Shäuble, to ensure Greece stays in Europe which ultimately will be detrimental to all. They want to continue to cling on to the myth of the Euro as this giant stapler that will magically pull together different economies and keep them tightly bound.
They keep quoting the concept of Europe as one of solidarity, equality, democracy and pointing to various lofty documents stating that, and how it needs to be upheld. It’s like some sort of religious revival rather than a sobering look at what IS and not what should be.
The moment that Greeks cried Oxi! – the Emperor has no clothes! – wheels were set in motion. The hollowness of the Euro project and the corrupt practices behind it have been exposed. It’s too late to go back to pretending that the Emperor has clothes. The Grexit option must be pursued with increasing focus.