Greece bailout or not, the Iron Lady of Germany has killed the European Union in the estimation of The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Far from stemming contagion, the deal leaves Club Med exposed. Underlying default risk has risen for Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain, as well as for Ireland, Slovakia and Malta even if credit markets keep missing the point. The world’s top holder of EU debt does understand. Greece is the “tip of the iceberg”, said the deputy-governor of China’s central bank. “The main concern today, obviously, is Spain and Italy.”
The ‘rescue’ resolves nothing for Greece, either short-term or long-term. The EU statement said “no decision has been taken to activate the mechanism.” Precisely. The joint EU-IMF facility can be activated only ultima ratio – as a last resort – once Greece is shut out of debt markets and not until eurozone stability is threatened.
“So they want Greece to reach the point of bankruptcy before they help us?” asked Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras
Greece is worse off than before. It cannot decide when to invoke the mechanism. It has given up its right as an IMF member to go to the fund when it wants, leaving it prisoner to Europe’s deflation dictates. “The IMF would be a lot softer than Europe,” said Ken Rogoff, the fund’s former chief economist.
Of course you can’t really blame Merkel for a system that’s so vulnerable to a Merkel-like character.