This is a brilliant, MUST READ, blog by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, published in the Telegraph. Check it out!
Rarely, do I agree with every argument in an article but Ambrose Evens-Pritchard has dissected this complex subject with surgical precision.
For me, this sums up the sorry mess of the troika of the IMF, EC and the ECB in their bungling of individual country rescue plans to protect special interests; special interests came first and countries like Greece received excessive austerity crippling the economic life of her citizens. The article correctly targets the first Greek bailout was more about protecting French and German banks from the consequences of bad loans to Greece; it was not about helping Greece. Again and again, we see self-interest for big, bullying countries like Germany and France come first, rather than what is best for the wider EU or a member country that is economically stricken and looking for help.
To be far to Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, she called in the IMF because she was wary of the consistency of economic policies likely to be deployed by the EC. Personally, I have, historically, not been impressed with the record of the IMF; for decades it was excessively strict about the neoliberal medicine that it prescribed, causing unnecessary hardship, in my view, to millions of people in beleaguered countries. These days, the IMF is more balanced, also prescribing Keynesian medicine, which I respect. Most importantly, the IMF was right to come clean and share publicly the failures of the first Greek bailout.
I too think that it is right to call for Olli Rehn, at the EC, to resign. Sadly, Olli Rehn is just the tip of the iceberg which shows that the modern EU is torn between national politics and bureaucracy. In this jungle, Germany and France are the bullies and other smaller countries are at the mercy of the resultant policies prescribed by the EC. We have recently seen how France has been able to push-back on EU budgetary policy and was granted a reprieve from EC rules on national budgets.
The World’s media has been hard on German politicians for putting German voters interests first, ahead of the wider EU and other members’ national interests. So far, there has been limited concentration on the behind the scenes lobbying by France; it seems that France does not need to play by the same set of rules. For me, the excessively arrogant French political classes are just as much an anachronism as the corrupt Greek political classes.
Once again, what a mess!