Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
yep, but the basis of solidarity has to be honesty, transparency, accountability, trust, reciprocity and mutuality.

And if the demands currently placed on Greece were about any or all of those things, nobody here would be complaining.

But they're not, so we are.

I recognise that we are talking about unequal relationships in many cases, but why should German taxpayers bail out Greek Oligarchs

What's happening right now is that the Greek taxpayers' children are bailing out the German oligarchs.

The "Greek bailout" is mostly a bailout of German banks, and the Greek taxpayers (and the Greek poor, through lack of public services) are going to pay for it (it's a loan, not a gift). A Greek default would be a bailout of the Greek (ordinary citizen and oligarch alike) at the expense of the German oligarchs.

Me, I fail to see the problem with fucking over some oligarchs - hence my acceptance of a default scenario.

(Similarly, capital controls is a way to prevent the Greek oligarchs from absconding from the country - they helped make the mess; they can damn well stick around for the cleanup.)

More generally, Greece will default unless either
(1) Germany stops depressing domestic demand in the service of a mercantilist inflation policy
(2) the EU establishes redistribution programmes that counteract the German mercantilism (which would effectively turn the German mercantilist policy into subsidy by the German taxpayer to the German export industries)
(3) Greece imposes capital controls to bring its trade into balance.

The cash flows being what they are, there is no question about that fact. The only question is how much the Greek people are going to suffer first.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 06:29:42 AM EST
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