Saturday, November 30, 2013

"F***ing Psycho!"

Former Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero claims in a new book that French President Sarkozy became enraged with Prime Minister Papandreou at the G20 summit in Cannes in November 2011 and called Mr. Papandreou a “f***ing psycho".

If only Mr. Papandreou had taken a negotiating seminar before that summit! Had he done so, he would have known that he holds the strongest card when the other sides loses control. What a poor performance on the part of President Sarkozy!

And an even poorer performance on the part of Prime Minister Papandreou! I wrote an article prior to that summit titled "Mr. Papanadreou - A Mrs. Thatcher or 'The Son of the Father'"? Regrettably, it turned out that Mr. Papandreou was only the son of the father.


  1. Mr. Kastner,

    I will update you a bit on the events. In the book, it is also said that Sarkozy stepped onto the chair, in order to climb on the table to attack Papandreou, but others stopped him. He was also yelling "he is an asshole, a real asshole) (the word "malakas" is used in the greek article).

    Papandreou, initially, indirectly confirmed the article, releasing a statement saying that "any insults used by Sarkozy, are directed towards the people of Europe".

    Now, realizing the further ridicule he caused to his image in Greece, he puts as always a "collaborator" of his to deny.

    Classic Papandreou...

  2. This is an explanation to your article and to "Mr. Papandreou - a Mrs. Thatcher or "the son of the father"?

    Nobady knows exactly what it is said in G20 summit except from the people there. But we can conclude.
    Many economists during that period suggest that either Greece leave euro or other demand a larger haircut, around 50% and from public sector .

    Papandreou had make many mistakes, his partners had luck of "market experience", he didn't have good PR, but also he wasn't fast enough to take decisions at no time, he was protractive. I would underline one more, he didn't understand economy, some decisions always taken by one person.

    President Sarkozy from his point of view was trying to avoid a large haircut in Greek debt because French banks were heavily invested in Greece, if you asked him such think he would hit you that period! Many also EU countries were extremely opposed to even give a single cent to Greece.

    So EU IMF reach to the 110 b € proposal, which was good for Greece only for limited period. Papandreou instict was good in political field, he didn't know economy but he want to win allies the public opinion. It was extremely possible to win that bet-- for my view--- and people to "accept" what will follow, because Samaras was opposed, but he should finally have to select side.

    When in a party there are more than one central views in a major issue, then always a problem arises. And some people in Samaras party would be strongly opposed to a negative stance, or an oracular thesis. Eg we are in favor of euro, but against agreement of 110b.What the average voter would think that, as yes or no?

    However Sarkozy who wasn't at all happy for this agreement because he had a considerable political cost for him (and i think he negotiate this agreement with Merkel), feeled betrayed. Both Merkel and Sarkozy perceive Papandreou as unpredictable so maybe they foresee that option. They thought that Papandreou make this move to gain more. Sarkozy felt very angry. So he said many words to Papandreou so as to hear them to Greece. He send a message to press, elites, etc. and Papandreou then lost his confidence in his party (Venizelos was opposed)

    Again Papandreou wasn't suitable in negotiations with Troika he did not want to take appropriate measures reforming the state with real efford, -only to some extend-for fear of loosing traditional voters who afraid to loose their rights.

    But if we had a referendum during --the specific period-- he would win in political level and in economy. Even if the agreement was not good in economy he expected to renew people's trust and won time for a new agenda which presuppose -that every solution was in euro field-.

    Still we do not know how the question would be set!

    So it might be: " Gov have secured 110 b € to deal with bankruptcy. Euro countries are commited to help Greece reform the state, taking difficult decisions and correct mistakes of past. Are you in favor or against to continue this efford in euro? Yes ? /No ?
    This question is fair because everyone has to make an assessment, with a No and without 110b euros plus measures.

    All the parties which would say "No" to this agreement -( proved that it wasn't enough) -would have to find better proposals, better interest rates etc There were any?

    If he explained to Sarkozy and Merkel that connecting 110 b package with euro was a way to legalise difficult decisions-- before the agreement announced-- might his proposal approached with different view. But he surprised them, they did not know anything!

    PS : Papandreou senior ( family tradition of primeministers ala Greek) althought a genius increased debt from 30 to 80% but the worst he enforce a bad mentallity, that most foreigners perceive in Greece today.


    1. Do you remember Margaret Thatcher with her handbag screaming "I want my money back!"? I don't think the EU, at the time, had all that much to lose if they had not fulfilled her command.

      France/Germany had EVERYTHING to lose back in 2011. And I mean EVERYTHING. When you have everything to lose but could avoid that by giving Greece 10-20 BEUR private sector investments, that doesn't sound like asking too much; eh?

    2. When that happened, to tell you exactly if i was born herr Klaus? My understanding is that UK is a large country, a pillar in west, a vital part of europe and still is, but with limited role today, without explanation. However i have the sense that in 80s the world was very different with ( "frozen" war, to copy Alexis Tsipras lol lol) and how all europeans- especially German- perceive UK's role in relation to a hostile environment, the defence of europe and a very tough leadership. But also it was important the intergation of UK in europe mostly financially at least for French and German interests was important.
      Also Papandreou was noble as a person to demand "other people's money" as Thatcher do it.
      UK was a different size then, but today also they cannot play as Baroness do it. The issue is how to deal with a future referendum without taking a considerable damage.