I keep showing the Hindenburg Explosion Led Zep Art in conjunction with the poor, miserable Greek Economy. I figure right about now, we can also offer up a little bit of night music. Not quite Mozart, but “In My Time of Dying” from “Physical Graffiti” would about describe the current state of play down yonder by the Mediterranean.
This is not only apropos to the failure of the Greeks and IMF, but also to the behavior of the government in the face of this disaster. As the people of Athens stand in line by the ATMs attempting to withdraw money that rapidly dwindled, the government prepared to manfully pass the Euro. Specifically, PM Tsipras has reviewed the final offer from his myriad creditors and deemed in overly harsh. Not having the leather balls necessary to play rugby over the issue, and formally reject the offer, he has scheduled a national referendum for 5 July on the aid package. If “Yes” wins, Greece takes the aid. If “No” wins; we assume the fireworks go off in Athens one day after the grace the skies over the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Tsipras has been maestro at handling this entire Big, Fat Greek disaster. Not on behalf of the nation or its people, but he sure as handled it like a political pro on behalf of the constituency that really matters. Alexis Tsipras has managed to abdicate his professional responsibility while retaining all the powers and perquisites of his office. The son of a misbegotten mother has out-Clintoned Hillary.
He has blamed literally everything else for Greece’s predicament. The list includes, I kid you not, WWII. He has attempted to declare everything Greece owes to other people a portfolio of odious debts. Tsipras has always banked* on the prospects of Angela Merkel not particularly wanting to negotiate with Tsipras’ “loyal opposition” over in The Golden Dawn Party**.
Well, the Greek debts may or may not be odious and Tsipras’ political opposition may or may not be serious when they offer to control immigration through the judicious application of landmines. However, Tsipras’ multitude of angry creditors could seemingly care less than does the evening breeze. Thus, the Greek Stock Exchange is closed and its banks are on “holiday” for six days as all liquid assets of the Greek people are frozen for potential confiscation against these debts. Or, as the government euphemistically phrased it, “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice.”***
So Tsipras faces this crisis by holding a cynical referendum designed to put the Greek People rather than Red Alex on the hook for all the future carnage that comes from having to decide. With any luck at all, the Greek People will ignore this slight against decency, refrain from voting in the referendum in massive numbers and then decide that they still need a PM despite the worthless performance of the one they have in office right now. The scary conclusion of this could be that they decide there is an alternative to having a PM. Stupidity on this epic a scale could become a mechanism by which democracies start to die off.
*-Dammit, RMJ, knock off the puns!
**-It’s not everyone who can point at their political opponent, argue ad Hitlerum and look like a rational actor.
***-What a verbose and eloquent manner of saying “@#$%-You.”