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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Playing Politics With People's Lives

Unsurprisingly Eurozone finance ministers have cancelled plans for a face-to-face meeting to discuss and approve Greece's bailout today, instead they will hold a conference call.

The meeting has been cancelled because Greece has failed to say how it would fill the Euro325M black hole in its austerity programme, and because Antonis Samaras (a Greek conservative party leader) has still failed to sign the commitment to implement austerity measures after an election in April.

Samaras, continuing to play politics for the benefit of the domestic audience, will (if his spokesman is to be believed) sign and send the commitment within 24 hours.

Playing politics may be all very well sometimes, unfortunately in this particular case he and others are playing politics with people's lives.

As German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble noted today:

"When you look at the internal political discussions in Greece and the opinion polls, then you have to ask who will really guarantee after the elections – and I find that very alarming – that Greece continues to stand by what we are now agreeing with Greece. 

I am also not yet sure that all political parties in Greece are aware of their responsibility for the difficult situation their country is in."

It is clear that Greece will default and exit the Euro, the only question is when.

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