Thursday, July 19, 2012

Does history repeat itself?

On July 21, 2011, EU-elites announced that they had agreed on a "comprehensive package for Greece". Put differently, all Greek problems would be solved through that package. That is now almost exactly a year ago.

My initial reaction then was that it was a very good deal for banks, a more-of-the-same deal for tax payers and a deal of uncertain outcome for Greece. That outcome would depend on what Greece was going to do in the coming months.

And what happened?

Well, miraculously, virtually nothing happened. And yet everything quieted down as far as Greece was concerned. Either because summer vacation was in progress or because Italy started hitting the front pages or because the players involved thought that things would take care of themselves. That prompted me to write a post asking the question whether the Greek crisis was perhaps forgotten. To summarize my feelings then, I opened the post with the following sentence:

"Anyone who has spent a great deal of time over the last months making comments and/or offering possible solutions about/for the "Greek problem" could feel unemployed at the moment".

It seems to me that we are seeing something similar now. Ever since the new government was formed, things have been sort of quiet. Off the bat, the Prime Minister and another minister went to the hospital, creating a bit the impression that it wasn't so important whether they were there or not. Then the new government made its first announcements, most of them sounding really promising and some of them sounding like seeking an immediate fight with SYRIZA. But SYRIZA didn't take the bait. A few critical words from Alexis Tsipras and that was it. Is he perhaps also on vacation?

In short, one has to be a bit puzzled. There are two possible scenarios: either the government is so professional that it recognizes that, for now, it is best to work behind the scenes and get one's action plans worked out in detail before one goes public with them. That would be wonderful! Or the government is sort of doing, well, not much, if anything. Here is another quote from a year ago:

"As a result, more than ever Greece now has a chance to assume a lead role; to implement measures which inspire confidence that financial Armaggeddon can be avoided. On the other hand, if Greece ... leans back and thinks that somehow her problems will go away by themselves, then Greece will accelerate the chances of a financial Armaggeddon".

Well, we will know in due time whether this time around time is being used wisely. Last year it was not. Let's hope it is this time!

1 comment:

  1. I assumed the hiatus was something to do with the afterglow of Euro 2012 and the shock of Germany not winning it.

    As Mark Twain said "“History doesn't repeat itself - at best it sometimes rhymes”