Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
You would expect people like finance ministers to be very, very good at negotiation

I wouldn't. Most countries are like the UK - ministers get jobs as rewards for party loyalty, not because of any obvious competence.

In the British system, you're expected to become an instant expert on transport, or health, or the entire economy, or even on being Prime Minister, even though you have no experience and no relevant qualifications - except knowing how to shout a bit, score cheap points in a debate, and perhaps collect cash as a 'consultant.'

So, farce it is.

The socially-aware post-war consensus was a brief exception to the usual endemic and virulent greed that has run Europe's politics since the Middle Ages, and US politics since before the War of Independence.

It's not actually a surprise that most policy makes no sense, and appears to be chosen for the immediate personal gain of the policy authors - because that's exactly what's happening.

The terrifying thing about Varoufakis and Tsipras is that they don't seem to be like this. This must absolutely enrage the IMF, etc, because they're having to deal with people who not only have professor-level insight and experience, but also come equipped with moral principles that aren't bounded by simple reptilian greed.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 07:30:04 PM EST
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