A Greek Tragedy… or is it a Comedy?
Clearly, it is a little of both. As the new Greek government fails to form a coalition, the entire “progress” of the Troika’s (IMF/ECB/EC – and Germany) negotiations reverts back to uncertainty and talk of a Greek exit from the Euro. It is comical that Greece can hold the entire Eurozone hostage time and time again. Even though the government agreed to strict austerity measures in order to receive a lifeline of IMF funding, riots and rabbles have forced a new regime that basically reneged on the previous agreement. Greece’s end-game is much like North Korea’s but without the threat of a nuclear arsenal. In fact, the financial bomb and Greek trigger finger is in many ways much more dangerous.
North Korea has China as its one ally. That in and of itself is quite important. It is in the best interest of the US to keep its relations with China intact. If that means sending metric tons of rice to an impoverished nation so it plays nice for a few months, then so be it. However, with Greece, they are quickly running out of friends. Germany never really liked Greece to begin with but understood the need to keep the Euro countries unified. Fiscal irresponsibility goes against the fabric of German culture but this can be overlooked if some discipline can be instilled to unruly children.
Unfortunately, Greece knows it has some leverage because: 1. the writers of the Euro treaty did not envision the need for voluntary or involuntary exit of a Euro nation; and 2. no one really cares about Greece anyway – it is Spain and Italy that worries the rest of the world. Greece, for how little it contributes to the EU GDP, is the small cork plugging the leak in a very large dam. If it goes, the flood could be devastating.
The most likely near-term fix is that the Troika will appease the rabble and amend the terms once again for Greece. But the longer this continues, the more time the rest of Europe and the world have to prepare for the eventual Greek exit stage left.
And the Greek chorus ends with song, “Save Spain. Save Italy. Greece, you are no more.”