Teater absurda v Grčiji

Genialen komentar Marka Blytha o tem, zakaj upnice od Grčije zahtevajo absurdno nemogoče pogoje, za katere vsi vedo vnaprej, da jih nihče (ne samo Grčija) ne bi mogel izpolniti, in zakaj so pripravljene v grško luknjo vreči še 86 milijard evrov in po enem letu še sto milijard. Gre za igro absurdnih ponudb in protiponudb, danih z namenom, da bi jih druga stran zavrnila. Da bi druga stran prva pomežiknila oziroma prva pritisnila na sprožilec. Vendar ga ne. Zato se vložki v tem teatru absurda vrtoglavo dvigujejo. Vsi skupaj pa propadajo.

Now, forget for a moment how utterly absurd all this is. Discount for now quite how provisions such as the deregulation of the Greek bakery sector (really, it’s in there) and a rise in regressive taxes will produce a turnaround in growth and just say ‘it’s a deal’. Prime Minister Tsipras has gotten these things the creditors want through the Greek Parliament, so now what?

The end result of this deal is that the fifth-oldest economy in the world will end up with as much debt per capita as Japan, with almost none of it held domestically. As a result, on current assumptions this demand-shocked and credit-starved economy where almost 60% of its youth are unemployed will grow at 25% above its historical average for the next forty years while running a budget surplus of 3.5%, the proceeds of which will be handed over to foreigners and not go into investment.

Now, given that the people involved in this sad story are not idiots, why are they staging such a grand production of the Theatre of the Absurd? The answer is quite simple. Indeed, given that no one can seriously expect what is demanded of Greece to ever work, it’s the only answer possible.

That is, everyone knows Greece is bankrupt but no one wants blood on their hands for chucking them out of the eurozone. If you put another 86 billion in now, you will need another 100 billion in a year’s time. Only a complete debt moratorium and an end to austerity would allow the Greek economy to produce sufficient investment to impact GDP growth such that the economy grows faster than the debt stock, and that’s never going to happen.

So what we have now is a game of what Barrie Wilkinson correctly calls “nuclear hot potatoes”, where all the offers that are made are made to be rejected. But they can’t be rejected by any side for that risks being blamed for the inevitable Grexit. So absurd offer and ever-more-absurd counter-offer are passed around hoping that the other side pulls the trigger first. Meanwhile, Greece collapses, Europe stagnates and the rest of the world looks on wondering whatever happened to Europe. Welcome to the Theatre of the Absurd. Sadly, it’s the only play in town, and it’s closing down fast.

Vir: Mark Blyth, Europe’s World

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