If you remember, I was worried about October 17. Well, that came and went without so much as a flutter, basically because the EU stepped in and paid the shortfall on Greece’s payments due on that day. It was a relief, but it only put off the problem until January.
Well, there’s a meeting of EU members to try and fix the problem, and the voice that everyone was listening for was Germany’s – specifically, Germany’s agreement to play it’s part in the Greek bailout.
And, Germany DID agree, mostly.
Basically, Germany agreed to pay its share of the €440bn fund, and no more. However, I question whether this amount is going to be enough to solve the problem – especially since there have been so many lies tossed around that you cannot really know what the truth is.
As the saying goes:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Greece and the EU have already fooled us more than once. I do not recommend that we allow ourselves to be shamed even further.
Here’s a bit of the FT article that talks about what’s going on:
Europe split ahead of crunch summit
By FT reporters
European leaders prepared to meet for a crunch summit in Brussels on Wednesday with scant indication that they will overcome their differences to craft measures to stem the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis.
The European Union’s 27 member governments were seeking common ground on the final shape of a second bail-out for Greece, the bloc’s weakest economy; how to beef up the eurozone’s €440bn financial rescue fund; and measures on how to strengthen the capital of the regions’ banks.
In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy where resistance to assisting weaker eurozone members has been mounting, Angela Merkel secured a big majority of legislators who backed her mandate in Brussels but insisted on “strict conditionality” on any German assistance to its neighbours.
Describing what she called “Europe’s deepest crisis since the end of World War II”, the chancellor told the Bundestag: “It is … clear that things cannot go well for Germany in the long term if they are not going well for Europe. That means no more and no less than the European Union becoming a real stability union.”
Ms Merkel said Germany would not exceed the financial guarantee of €211bn to the bailout fund. She also insisted that any leveraging of the fund would not include support from the European Central Bank.
We have a bit of a breathing space. Let’s hope that we’ll have something more than that.