Wednesday, May 16, 2012

discovering the "end" in "extend and pretend"

automaticearth | There was a rumor over the weekend that the Troika may be willing to relax the terms of the dreaded memorandum for the Greek government if it formed a "pro-European" coalition government and avoided new elections. This rumor is ridiculous on both fronts - 1) the Troika and Germany would NEVER make such a concession for fear that every single penny pledged to peripheral nations would become contingent on the outcome of national elections and, essentially, a gift with no conditions attached (something that would pit the German people against their crony, bankster-run government once and for all), and 2) the left-wing Syriza party in Greece would NEVER commit itself to the Euro while it continues to gain popularity each day before the new elections.

Last year or the year before, such extend & pretend tactics may have actually worked. The Eurozone was still officially out of recession, the people were relatively docile and unaware of how bad their economic situation could get and everyone still had a modicum of faith in the conventional wisdom that bailouts and austerity measures, drawn out over time, could work. Back then, the "fringe" anti-establishment political parties in Europe still had a steep hill to climb before they could credibly threaten those holding the reigns of power. Now, not so much. The tide of popular resistance seems to have turned much too fast for even the most powerful among us.

These elections in Europe are no joke. The Eurocrats will bring everything they can muster to co-opt the platforms of those who have emerged with support and/or maneuver around the snowballing anti-austerity momentum, but it should be painfully clear by now that some things are simply outside of their control. The party leaders of Syriza continue to defy any and all attempts to be seduced into a "Unity Government", knowing full well that, as soon as they accept, the entire party will be rendered irrelevant. Maria Petrakis, Natalie Weeks and Marcus Bensasson report for Bloomberg: