OK, there is no Troika, there is no Memorandum. Negotiations between Greece and its European partners started first of all with some compromise on pure linguistic level. “Did you hear Juncker mentioning the Memorandum?, ” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told journalists during his press conference last night in Brussels after the EU Leaders Summit.
A little earlier, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker had replaced the Memorandum of Understanding with “program”.
“As you have heard, the Greek government has said they can agree to seventy percent of the existing programme.”
Tsipras went on saying:
“Forget the Memorandum as we knew it with cuts as preconditions. There is no Memorandum, there is no Troika.”
While the Greek journalists – who had invented the term Troika – were trying to figure out how they should call now the representatives of the country’s lenders International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank, Tsipras explained further:
“We will communicate only with our institutional partners. Agreement and communication will be primarily with the European Commission, of course we will be in contact with the IMF and the ECB in order to find commonly accepted solutions. The Troika is over.”
Also German Chancellor Angela Merkel seemed to line up to the queue of EU-partners who wanted to display a gesture of good will towards Greece. During her press briefing, she first said “Troika” but then referred to it as “the three institutions”.
The Troika as symbol of strict austerity and economic oppression is over! Hurrah!
So now what?
How shall we call the Troika in terms of language economy?
It will certainly break TV- and radio journalists’ tongue to have to refer too the ex-Troika as “IMF, EU and ECB” (ΔουΝουΤου, ΕΕ και ΕΚαΤε) while reporting on the former Troika, that is the representatives of the three institutions, that is over as such but still present and still Greece’s communication partners.
Well… the national and international community of officials and journalists brainstorm on how to call the Three in terms of abbreviation and language economy, institutionally conform without negative, disdained or even sexual connotations. And most important, the new name must be easy to use in Greek!
Rename the Troika proposals
- “Trinstitutions”? “Threesome”? That’s impossible to say in Greek
- “OFKAT”? (Officials Formally Known As Troika) ΟΦΚΑΤ
- “TIFKATT”? (The Institutions Formally Known As The Troika) ΤΙΦΚΑΤ
- “The Trio”? (Τρίο)
- “Technical Teams”? (Τεχνικά Κλιμάκια)- term is misleading as it referred to low-ranking Troika teams.
- “Ιnstitutional Partners”? (θεσμικοί εταίροι)
- “IMF, EU, ECB experts”? hm….
- “Creditors’ representatives”? (Εκπρόσωποι Δανειστών)
- “Ex Troika”? (Πρώην Τρόικα)
- “Tripartite”? (Τριμερής)
- “The Three”? (Οι τρεις)
Things will be much easier, if Tsipras manage to push forward his concept of communicating separately with the Three lenders’ Institutions, who will then have to visit Athens one by one and not all together – so that we will not have to refer to them again as Troika.
Much simpler is the replacement of the No-No words “Memoranudm” and “Bailout”. Now we call it “program” and in the language of Greek government: “Bridge-Program” (Σχέδιο Γέφυρα)
PS I think an international competition to find new name for the Troika that is also possible in Greek is due…