QUE VIVAS TEMPOS INTERESSANTES/MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES! Uma velha maldição com a mensagem subliminar que tempos interessantes implicam mudança, perigo, dúvida, angústia, risco, conflito. Eu acrescento, desafios, oportunidades e o fascínio de ver o mundo a mudar.
É este conceito dos Tempos Interessantes (curse or blessing) que marca este Blog.
06 julho, 2015
Greece on the edge…
As I had expected, the Greeks voted OXI!
NO. However, the massive victory (61%) surpassed my best expectations.
Regardless of personal beliefs, it was a
remarkable exercise in Democracy, up to Greece’s historical credentials on the
First, because the Greeks
asserted their free will in excruciatingly hard circumstances, including strict
Second, because they did so defying
the will of great powers and international financial institutions.
Third, because they resisted the
blatant and unforgivable pressure and blackmail from foreigners such as Schulz,
Juncker, Schauble, Dijsselbloem and Merkel. Besides being undignified and
illegitimate, these bullying tactics are incredibly stupid because they are
most likely to backfire.
Well, it is anybody’s guess.
Although Varoufakis’ resignation is not a good omen*, Alexis Tsipras has a stronger hand to
play. He has got renewed legitimacy – on top of the electoral legitimacy, he
has a specific mandate to make a strong stand in Brussels. Concurrently, the
Troika’s hopes of an imminent collapse of the Syriza government have vanished
for the foreseeable future.
So, much will depend on the Germany’s-Troika’s
stance. Tonight, the leaders of Germany and France are meeting in Paris to
decide what the Eurozone will do going forward. There are two fundamental
vengeful stand. Infuriated by the Greek voters’ defiance, Berlin may choose
to punish their daring by keeping the Troika’s terms unchanged. This would
probably force Athens to default and resuscitate the Drachma, but it would hurt
Germany’s image even further. It would also lead to a period of uncertainty and
instability in the Eurozone.
the referendum’s cold shower, a more constructive attitude. This would
entail addressing some of Athens’ main aspirations in a way that would give the
Greek economy a decent chance to recover and the Greek government the
possibility of fulfilling the gist of its democratic commitments to the Greek
The first reactions are mixed
but are not promising. France and Italy signalled some flexibility but they do
not count so much nowadays as they are seemingly incapable of standing up to
Germany from whom one has heard no positive messages.
I am mildly pessimistic, because
the Germany/Troika approach to this kind of negotiations has consistently been
to press and bully their targets into submission (check “Erros da Grécia” at http://tempos-interessantes.blogspot.pt/2015/05/erros-da-grecia.html).
Enabling Greece to get away with a fair and reasonable deal, could open a
breach in the wall to be explored by others.
Then, we still have to factor in the zealot followers of Germany in Portugal
and Spain, whose ruling parties are clearly more interested in their electoral
prospects than in the well-being of the Portuguese and the Spanish people.
It will still take the Greeks a
lot of courage and resilience to resist and overcome the approaching onslaught.
Never showing signs of relenting may be the key to success.
* Shedding Yanis Varoufakis because he is
not well liked by his counterparts is a gross mistake. The other countries have
to deal with whoever represents Greece. The Greeks certainly do not like the
despicable Wolfgang Schauble and that certainly will not lead Mrs. Merkel to dismiss
him. Lack of resolve is the last thing Mr. Tsipras can afford to show to his
P.S. When this post had already been written,
I learned that the ECB kept the freeze on the emergency liquidity assistance to
the Greek banks. This means that the Greek banks will run out of cash sometime
in the next few days, unless the Bank of Greece overrules the ECB’s decision.
So, the strategy seems to be to keep on
squeezing the Greeks.