MacroScope

from Jeremy Gaunt:

Democracy and Chaos are both Greek

It seems as if almost everyone was surprised by Prime Minister George Papandreou's decision to hold a referendum on the euro zone's bailout package for his country. At the very least, it can probably be said that he is weary of being hammered from all sides --  his own party, the opposition, the people on the street, Germany, the tabloid press, you name it.

A lot will obviously depend on what question is asked. Do you want an end to austerity, would get a clear yes vote. Do you want to leave the euro zone -- perhaps not.

Financial markets, however, do not initially appear content to wait.  Talk of an end-of-year rally is off the table (at least for now).  It's not exactly χάος (chaos) out there, but Papandreou's  experiment  in δημοκρατία (democracy) has sent the whole euro zone project into a new, risky phase.

It was a typo, but RBS's take on the Greek referendum this morning will have had some resonance:

"We view this as a major negative for Greece and the rest of the momentary union".

Frustrated Greeks

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.