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I don't think it needs to be a straight yes or no necessarily.

I would definitely vote for a party stating that staying in the Euro is not going to be an at any cost objective - for instance, that is the Syriza position.

I would want my government (yes, I can dream - France is not going to do that anytime soon) to very clearly present that, if the Euro is to insist on sticking to something that arithmetically cannot work, then the decision will be to leave, and it will be taken soon enough.
But that we are quite willing to be part of a workable project if the appropriate changes are made.

It may seem unthinkable, but somehow I guess Germany would think twice before insisting on the path of doom should a country like France or Italy make a credible exit threat.

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 28th, 2014 at 09:55:28 AM EST
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It may seem unthinkable, but somehow I guess Germany would think twice before insisting on the path of doom should a country like France or Italy make a credible exit threat.

I think this is very much a mistake. Threats are always unpopular. The German government is also under substantial political pressure. The only way I can think of that Germany would agree to changing the rules for the Eurozone is if our own economy goes badly.

Otherwise I think threats will be counterproductive.

But there is an even more important problem with hinting that you will leave the Euro: Your Banks will be destabilized. In principle the only non-destructive way to leave the Euro, would to do it suddenly without telling anybody beforehand. This again, would be politically very unpopular basically everywhere.

by rz on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 10:24:05 AM EST
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Making it clear that you will not seek to stay at all cost, and highlighting your needs, should be sufficient.
Then a private conversation with Angie to make it clear that you mean it.

France leaving (and the mere suggestion by Sarkozy that he might do it, although it is highly unlikely that he would have, was enough to lead to the one time Merkel showed more flexibility) would be such a catastrophe for the German economy that even your awful political class may well find the resolve to stop lying to its population for a minute and make the case for changing the rules.

Staying as it is is an impossibility, so pointing it out should hardly weaken the banks more than they would be in the long run anyway.
Although we would not hit the long run in any case: if no party makes the case that it is not an at all costs thing, then you'll have le Pen winning an election. At this stage your choice is a military coup, or an uncontrolled exit.

I am not saying it is easy, and that is an extra reason for not stating it as an absolute yes or no. But by saying yes, whatever, you have far worse consequences than by admitting that it is not so straightforward. We are many years behind the curve and if we don't bend Germany soon, a whole generation and then some will have been sacrificed, for no eventual gain as the ultimate point will be the same: ordoarithmetics do not work.


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 28th, 2014 at 10:55:55 AM EST
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"Making it clear that you will not seek to stay at all cost, and highlighting your needs, should be sufficient.
 Then a private conversation with Angie to make it clear that you mean it."

Isn't that  - in a so somewhat different context - the Cameron strategy?

Not really working.

by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 02:04:25 PM EST
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On the contrary, Cameron is grandstanding for all he's worth.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 02:29:37 PM EST
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If we look at the UKIP results, not even that aspect is working.
by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 02:50:27 PM EST
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Indeed. And a UK departure would harm only the UK.

Whereas the breakup of the Eurozone would, first and foremost, harm Germany.

Another thing: Cameron complains about things that are actually rather trivial, no major economic consequences would ensue from their continuation. Whereas the Euro framework CANNOT continue, for the simple reason (among others) that there is no way for a sum of non-zero positive numbers to be zero.
So you can't simply reason countries into falling back in line. All you can do is blackmail them into aggravating the disaster and somewhat delaying the outcome. But status quo is not an option, it is at most an unstable transitory state.

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 28th, 2014 at 03:40:10 PM EST
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We are at a point where being popular is hardly a reasonable aim.

The German government has to see that it is not possible to go on sticking blindly to an unworkable set of institutions and policies, or there will be major disruptions in Europe, in particular of the extreme-right government kind.

As Cyrille says, getting that point across is within the scope of firm diplomatic discourse, without the need for public histrionics.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 12:13:18 PM EST
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 "getting that point across is within the scope of firm diplomatic discourse,"

that is magical thinking

by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 02:13:23 PM EST
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The only unrealistic thing about it is that we haven't got the statesmen we'd need to carry it out.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 02:34:39 PM EST
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O, "leadership". You are not an Wapo columnist?
by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 02:45:54 PM EST
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Where am I am talking about "leadership"? I am talking about heads of state who are sufficiently clear-sighted, honest, and courageous to do what the situation calls for. Needless to say, we don't have them.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 03:38:39 PM EST
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statesmen. leadership. resolve.
by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 05:47:24 PM EST
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They are all scared shitless of the markets, and to a certain extent they are right since the State has been hollowed out by 30+ years of Reagan-Thatcher and 15+ years of 3rd way.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 05:49:59 PM EST
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It is a matter of cultural hegemony.

Here in Germany, two thirds of the voters of Left (party) demand a balanced budget.

Any yes, you will the same mind set in every western country.

by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 05:54:20 PM EST
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A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 05:57:24 PM EST
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And you can find the 66% among supporters of all parties.
by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 06:10:17 PM EST
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And if we seek a bit we can find a press release of e. g. Renzi congratulating and promising Italy will achieve the same next tuesday.
by IM on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 06:12:37 PM EST
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Does this mean that a full third doesn't buy their bullshit any more? Given that the Nulldefizit is unassailable elite consensus that doesn't sound so bad.
by generic on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 07:22:26 PM EST
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Indeed.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 29th, 2014 at 05:48:51 AM EST
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We're all supposed to be elated that the Bundestag approved a budget with zero new debt issues in 2015.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 05:56:06 PM EST
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Cyrille:
somehow I guess Germany would think twice before insisting on the path of doom should a country like France or Italy make a credible exit threat.

Eggzackly! It calls their bluff, basically, and would force them to reveal why they really want the status quo to continue, as the journalistic pressure steps up.

Been believing -and saying- this for years here.

Greece had zero heft. Italy needs to do it soon, or the state of the nation will be so parlous that it will be an even bigger mess, whether in or out of the Euro.

It's either bleed to death or make one last effort before all strength to do so is gone...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 28th, 2014 at 08:15:13 PM EST
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