The art of saying something and meaning something totally different.
I must confess to being a bit fed up with Greece.
In Anglo-Saxon language their attitude used to be called “taking the piss“. Today’s “funny” (or if preferred take your pick from: tragic, surreal, ludicrous, ridiculous,bizarre, insane or indeed all of these at once) is something the Greek Prime Minister said. Admittedly he said it in February and I’ve only just picked up on it.
Here’s an extract from what was said:
‘We are a country which cannot alone deal with the speculation. So this has become a European problem, because if we do have a major problem, this could create a contagion for other countries too who are not to blame.’
Brilliant and I especially love the use of the word “speculation”.
This makes it seem as if it isn’t Greece’s fault at all; it’s all down to those nasty fat people in suits and sunglasses, the evil international financial mafia seeking to destabilize his country.
Then there is the “if” word. Now normally this is associated with a condition, but anyone who even in February thought that there was any conditionality involved in Greece’s meltdown must have been looney, or perhaps the Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who said this on March 8th:
Greece will be able to deal with its own financial problems without needing a bailout, the head of the International Monetary Fund said today.
IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that Greece’s debt mountain is unlikely to spread to other eurozone countries with high levels of public debt.
And Mr Strauss-Kahn dismissed market speculation of potential default by other heavily indebted eurozone countries such as Portugal, Spain or Ireland as scare-mongering.
Yes, this is the same DSK who is paid a vast salary and expenses and could be the next President of the EU.Of course he could have been lying to try to restore “confidence”. However, lying is lying, for whatever reason. Or he could have just been humungously wrong.
That’s the trouble with our leaders and financial experts these days; you never know whether they’re lying or just stupid; it’s usually one or the other and sometimes of course both.
And Papandreou’s quote continues: ” a contagion for other countries“. Indeed, Mr P. And what do we do with a “contagion” in the body? We destroy it and get rid of it …. and finally we have “other countries too who are not to blame“.
AHA! At last! Proof that my old Mum in the UK on her measly pension is not to blame. Thanks Mr P. At last some recognition fo the truth. Let’s have a bit more of that ….
As for the merits of Greece’s plea for funds, you only have to read this devastating article to feel your flabber gasting to breaking point.
No wonder the Germans are increasingly threatening to dump Greece, and so they should. Not the German government (all governments seem currently to lack the guts to do anything really necessary or serious).
No, this time it’s an economics professor threatening to take the EU to court if they allow this blatantly EU-illegal bailout, and public opinion is increasingly on his side.
It is a horrendous mess, but the only solution is for Greece to leave the euro. Bailing them out is a black hole. Does anyone in their right mind think the Greeks can really change their traditional practices and suddenly become honest, thrifty and hard-working?
Well, the answer is probably “Yes”, but then cloud-cuckoo land is becoming seriously over-populated.
Which reminds me, I must get back to the British General Election Campaign ……
By Chris Snuggs
One thought on “Today’s Funny”
As I said, this problem has nothing to do with the euro. It is all about making Greece a part of Europe, and effort already started by Lord Elgin in 1800. See my blog for part of that perspective, in my latest essay.
In truth, and contrarily to appearances, the Europeans are addressing very seriously several problems. Average retirement age in Greece is 53 . Yes, 53. The talk is to align it to Germany’s recent… 67… Yes, 14 years more. And French workers (who used to retire at 65, following…,. Bismarck….yes, the Kanzler) are now retiring at 60, but not for long… Besides, about 30% of the Greek economy escapes taxation, in spite of 21% AVT 9which is going to go up: it’s impossible to evade!)
So Europe is in mutation, and Greece is a detonator. It will not fizzle like in Times Square. Europe knows that when she needs to change, she better, she will not wait again for the black tide to rise and goo up civilization…
The bottom line is that private banks have invested in Greece, and industrial countries sold to Greece, using the banks’ money… But those “private” banks are actually private for profit, public for losses. In other words, the usual problem.
And sure, thus, it’s more than Greece. Actually it started in the USA, remember? The situation is probably worse in California. At least, in Greece, someone is holding the whip…