Frustrated Greeks

March 22, 2010

The Greek debt crisis appears to be entering a new phase, in which the country is no longer just waiting to get needed help but getting concerned that others — including euro zone powerhouse Germany — may actually be making it hard for them to recover.

First, there is Prime Minister George Papandreou (right in photo). His concern is that speculators are pushing  the cost of borrowing so high that it is undermining the plans he has put in place  for deficit reduction.  Papandreou is known for being a mild-mannered sort, so any kind of irritability is worth noting.Greeks

But Theodoros Pangalos (left), the deputy prime minister and once foreign minister, has no such reputation to hold him back.   He has launched an attack on Germany, saying that a) it is allowing its banks to mess around with Greek bonds and b) that it suits Berlin in any case to let the euro fall.

Pangalos is famous for his undiplomatic outbursts. He once referred to Germany as a giant with a child’s brain. Another time he suggested that the then -French president was essentially belly-dancing in front of the Turks to get their business.

So perhaps a pinch of salt should be taken re Pangalos. But put together, the two bouts of finger-pointing do suggest that at the very least the Greeks are getting frustrated with the substance-less expressions of support they keep getting.


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Then only reason that Papandreou would have spoken out is that he’s getting the same sort of pussyfooting and mealy-mouthed assurances that investors have been hearing from Euro leaders.

This means nothing of substance has been discussed at all. Meanwhile, Bundesbank board members have alternately suggested that Greece quit the Eurozone and/or default. So, they see no problem with a European Lehman Brothers, this time a sovereign EU/Eurozone member.

One wonders whether the Germans really mean it. After all, there was similar bluster two years ago during the bank collapse. Merkel blamed the USA and said she would not add funds to the kitty for continental bank bailouts. That was the first navel-gazing German utterance to open eyes. Meanwhile, the USA sent $20+ billion to Germany, even to German state-owned banks like KfW which had given Lehman Brothers $300 million a mere hour before it collapsed.

So, I can understand that Germany hates bailouts, but it certainly doesn’t hate hypocrites.

Posted by DanAllen | Report as abusive

[…] leader, has proven that he is not averse to verbal warfare. Interestingly, according to Reuters’ MacroScope blog: Papandreou is known for being a mild-mannered sort, so any kind of irritability is worth […]

Posted by FT Alphaville » Beware Greeks bearing (un)prepared statements | Report as abusive

If Germany’s a giant with a child’s brain, the question is then – a giant what?

Two words: Marshall Plan.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

This article I came across talks more about Papandreou’s thoughts on speculators -turns-to-usa

Posted by MoneyGuy1480 | Report as abusive