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Monday, February 13, 2012

Athens Burns Whilst Berlin Fiddles

Amid scenes of chaos, disorder, petrol bombs and destruction in the streets of Athens, the Greek parliament by a vote of 199-74 passed the austerity bill that, in theory, will give Greece access to the long awaited second bailout.

However, the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble added fuel to the flames by telling the Welt am Sonntag newspaper: 
"The promises from Greece aren't enough for us any more.

Greece needs to do its own homework to become competitive whether that happens in conjunction with a new rescue programme or by another route that we actually don't want to take."

The German Economy Minister, Philipp Roesler, expressed a degree of scepticism about whether the vote was enough and said

"It is good that the laws were passed and with a large majority but what counts now is the implementation of structural reforms.
We have gone a step in the right direction, but we are still a long way from the goal.
We have to see the troika report. They will assess whether the measures are sufficient to assure Greece's debt sustainability.
We want to see what comes after the legislative process because the legislative process is one thing, implementation is another."

Bailout or not, most now consider that it is only a matter of time before Greece exits the Eurozone; contingency plans for a return to the Drachma have already been made (its is indeed quite possible that the printing presses are already running).

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