Photo: Julian Frost on Flickr
Greece really just can’t get a break, can it?The struggling country passed a string of harsh new austerity measures aimed at meeting the EU/ECB/IMF troika’s demands for implementation of the second Greek bailout, causing riots to erupt in Athens.
Now EU leaders have cancelled a meeting of finance ministers scheduled for tomorrow because it says those measures have not gone far enough towards addressing Greece’s debt problem.
This comes just a few weeks after Germans angered Greeks by leaking a proposal that would snatch sovereignty away from the country in return for more bailout funds. Unsurprisingly, that plan didn’t go through.
Just how far, may we ask, is far enough? Because honestly, Greece is already teetering on the brink of social catastrophe, it’s realistically going to suffer incredible poverty and readjustment for the next decade or more, and there really isn’t the time to make things better.
Greece has already agreed to make another €325 million ($428 million) euros in cuts to its budget, lower private sector wages by 20%, slash pensions, cut minimum wage, sell its assets, etc. EU leaders have extracted similar promises before, to little avail.
And if it hasn’t been reliable in actually meeting them then in some respect, it’s EU leaders’ fault for ever trusting Greek politicians in the first place and carrying on this bailout charade.
Unless EU leaders actually think a Greek hard default is inevitable and/or desirable. And that may just be the truth—we’ve been writing for weeks that the private sector debt swap plan is unlikely to work, so perhaps making it impossible for Greece to earn the bailout funds is the nice way of saying, ‘Sorry, but we’ve had enough.”