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Eurogroup Epic Effing Fail

by Migeru Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 02:50:34 AM EST

Statement by the Eurogroup President, Jean-Claude Juncker (20 November 2012)

The Eurogroup welcomed the staff-level agreement reached between the Troika and the Greek authorities on updated programme conditionality, including a wide range of far reaching measures in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms, privatisation and financial sector stabilisation.

The Eurogroup noted with satisfaction that all prior actions required ahead of this meeting have been met in a satisfactory manner. This reflects a wide ranging set of reforms, as well as the budget for 2013 and an ambitious medium term fiscal strategy for 2013-16. These efforts demonstrate the authorities' strong commitment to the adjustment programme.

The Eurogroup commended the considerable efforts made by the Greek authorities and citizens to reach this stage.

Against this background, the Eurogroup has had an extensive discussion and made progress in identifying a consistent package of credible initiatives aimed at making a further substantial contribution to the sustainability of Greek government debt.

The Eurogroup interrupted its meeting to allow for further technical work on some elements of this package. The Eurogroup will reconvene on Monday, 26 November.

Which is Eurospeak for "this was the worst meeting since the December 2000 Nice Summit extravaganza on European Council voting rights".


Post your expletives in the comments.

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consistent package of credible initiatives

My new favourite euphemism for "steaming heap of bullshit"

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 04:36:18 AM EST
I think it is time for my three step plan to solve the crisis:
  • Acknowledge that the most pressing issues of our time are terrorism and the safity of the gold reserves. In light of this move the European central banks and a permanent seat of the European Council to a defensible position: Central Greenland.

  • Hire every economist who agrees with the above statement.

  • Katla


Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 04:54:42 AM EST
Your last point is in Iceland. How do you convince Iceland to let the economists in?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 04:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No need. Vulcan ash knows no borders.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 05:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This appears to be entirely devoid of meaning.

Except possibly for "further technical work on some elements of this package".

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 05:14:57 AM EST
In other words, it's a masterpiece.  Even Sir Humphrey Appleby would stand in awe.
by rifek on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 07:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's done it again.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 02:34:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only thing I can make out is that they haven't found a way to blame Greece again.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 05:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Therefore, money is withdrawn to get Greece to (mis)behave.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 06:11:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"If you want a future, darlin'
Why don't you get a past?
'Cause that fateful moment's comin' at last ..."


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 08:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's really tempting just to use the macro...

Actually - why resist?

I'm SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED

I guess we'll see what happens next week...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 05:25:06 AM EST
Greek Government to Troika:

"It is your fucking banks that are being protected! Show us the money or shut the fuck up!"

If only.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 10:50:55 AM EST
That's Syriza's line.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 11:00:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As Jérôme would say...they of course haven't a clue.

Which begs the question, who does?

by redstar on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If an election were held today could Syriza form a government?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By itself, no. Not yet. Syriza was projected at a bit less than ~30%, as of 3 days before the Eurogroup summit. They would be first party but would need a coalition partner. Independent Greeks, despite being an odd mishmash of conspiracy theorists, populist right wingers, xenophobic-right wingers, ex-socialists and former ND politicans, might be such a possible partner. If they make it to around 7% they might be able to provide the missing seats, and form a government based on the fact that they too are anti-troika, pro-indpependence and not-anti-EU, and also solidly antinazi and against mass privatizations of public utilities. SO it would be a bit uncomfortable but doable...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:59:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK is the property of the party that got just 36%.

Would be cool to have a ruling party whose official colour is pink.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 04:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about magenta?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 12:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cautiously yes. Will read up on this party.

(Holly: Purple Alert! Purple Alert!
Lister: What's a Purple Alert?
Holly: Well, it's worse than a Blue Alert, but better than a Red Alert. Kind of a Mauve Alert...
-Red Dwarf, "Dimension Jump")


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 04:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici is telling everyone here in France that "it's all down to the final touches," and that a deal on Greece is "really close"! (Paraphrasing what I heard on Inter or BFM, can't remember, this AM...)

Really our elites here in France are so competent, the Grandes Ecoles turn out the best and the brightest clueless fucks. I thought the Sarko crowd was bad....

by redstar on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:14:15 PM EST
has done in the past generation, is a tops down, undemocratic disaster. And, people here wonder why, across the political spectrum, recent UK polls say "get us the hell out".

Too much elite fail, not enough proper regard for Democratic will. Don't like what the EU does? Well, let's have a referendum! Ireland, or France, or the Netherlands woters don't answer correctly? Well, then better get a new vote or find another way around the will of the voters. Maybe instead of trying to change the representatives, the representatives would like just to change the voters, it's be easier this way.

Makes US-egineered elite fail look like a walk in the park.  

by redstar on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was it Alvin Toffler who said democracy was how the ruling class spread around any responsibility or culpability they didn't want? Possibly Edward de Bono.

"What's point of having a king [...] if you have to rule yourself?"
-Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:31:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's well past 15 years...

The Santer Commission started in 1995 and it was the start of explicit neoliberal brain rot.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
has done in the past generation, is a tops down, undemocratic disaster. And, people here wonder why, across the political spectrum, recent UK polls say "get us the hell out".

plenty of those brits would like to join the EU too, and perhaps if england had properly joined at the beginning things would have gone differently, maybe worse...

point being the idea of the EU is a success, and may even be part of why we have had such a long period of peace, after centuries of conflicts. the fact that it has been betrayed, sidelined into neolib finance games, hijacked by hidden-agenda conmen, sold to high bidders, mismanaged, misdesigned in many ways all take nothing from the concept, they are impediments... first you have to do things badly until you understand how to do them well.

it is disgusting how the new bosses are just like the old bosses, how the so-called leaders are delirious for power, and how little average people count any more, the social fabric is always torn when the randians arrive in all their guises, dozens of countries have felt the sting of the IMF and now the ratings agencies are stripping away the pixie dust in our eyes too.

this seems a crucial point in the EU's history, a babe half born -with complications. a split in the road, where we peel right or left. depending on how we handle the financial sector over the next period.

these meetings the PTB keep having to try and square the circle remind me of dusty old wizards muttering  arcane spells that, no matter how much they mutter them just don't work any more, juggling debt amortisations ain't going to cut it, and the people outside aren't buying.

the most ardent capitalist of a generation ago would be hard pressed to believe how the game has changed, with high-speed trading and shadow banking's ability to confound/co-opt regulation, thrive in the 'invisible' markets and park itself in invisible globally dispersed hideyholes till needed to buy honest businesses gone bust through often no fault of the entrepreneur.

we can do so much better than this... peoples' patience wearing to the nub awaiting better governance, governance that will realise the folly of trying to bring back an era whose time is past, when growth was thick gravy rather than thinning gruel.

we can grow in europe, but we have to shrink some of our expectations, and grow some new, realistic ones, instead of nihilistic ones like competing with the chinese for how cheap we can make our labour worth.


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 03:57:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary?

Or list of Do/Don't for a future EU?

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 04:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when a majority of UK electors were in favour of remaining in the EU?

It's an honest question. I think probably not.

Given systematic obstructionism from the UK, it seems perfectly clear that the EU would be a much sounder entity now if the UK had cleared out, say, 20 years ago.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 07:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought the good general was right.

But now I too begin to think the EU is a customs union which has outlived its purpose, a lot like the UK, as its champions, our elite, have signally failed to make it relevant in a positive way for its citizens.

And I'm not British. Nor am I alone, at least in this country, on both left ( the lyrical part of course) and also on the right (the populist sort).

by redstar on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 11:01:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You claim to deplore British dog-in-the-mangerism, yet you now claim, it seems, that since they have succeeded in limiting the EU to a mere customs union, it's time to dissolve it (the customs union?)

I disagree about the EU not being relevant in a positive way for its citizens. I suppose everyone has their self-selecting sample of citizens to refer to, but I'm frankly surprised if yours thinks that way. (Or perhaps I'm not.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 11:12:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Miguel's post here is the patent failure of the core of EU policy: the Euro.

It's a failure. Full stop. An elite failure. You'll excuse me if I've drawb the necessary conclusions.

by redstar on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 11:40:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That the Euro is the core of EU policy is an interpretation, and a dubious one at that.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 12:05:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
disagree.

That it isn't, today, at the core of the EU purpose is, however, not in my opinion a dubious proposition, nor is the proposition that if the Euro collapsed, it will be a deathknell for further European integration for at least a generation to come.

by redstar on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 12:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is unlikely the roll-back of European integration will stop at the Euro.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 22nd, 2012 at 12:40:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I find it hard to make fun of it. I am bitter about it all.
I grew up feeling sorry for my fellow Europeans of the East (I went to Romania at 4 and remembered it). It seemed to me the most natural thing in the world to sacrifice a little to help them bridge the gap -and the same feelings went towards Spain, Portugal, Ireland, even much of the UK...

It seemed to me that we shared much values and history Which country you were born in should never have had much of an impact on your opportunities.
20 years ago, I wanted to think of the Germans as my compatriots.

Those ideas could only be consistent with a Europe that was either federal, or at least gave itself means similar to a federation. This means, at least, 20% of GDP in the common budget.
And now we are witnessing the demand, including by the current strongest country no less (and right after all the other countries had to pay for its unilaterally decided reunification), that we cut it much below one twentieth of that.

I feel betrayed beyond words.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 10:02:49 AM EST
Well, I find it hard to make fun of it. I am bitter about it all.

Sometimes one laughs so as not to cry.

I feel betrayed beyond words.

Personally, I'm beyond angry. Now I'm despondent.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 10:08:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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