Euro zone countries tried in vain to stop the IMF publishing a gloomy analysis of Greece’s debt burden which the leftist government says vindicates its call to voters to reject bailout terms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday. As Reuters reports, publication of the draft Debt Sustainability Analysis laid bare a dispute between Brussels and the Washington-based global lender that has been simmering behind closed doors for months.
At a meeting on the International Monetary Fund’s board on Wednesday, European members questioned the timing of the report which IMF management proposed at short notice releasing three days before Sunday’s crucial referendum that may determine the country’s future in the euro zone, the sources said.
There was no vote but the Europeans were heavily outnumbered and the United States, the strongest voice in the IMF, was in favor of publication, the sources said.
The Europeans were also concerned that the report could distract attention from a view they share with the IMF that the Tsipras government, in the five months since it was elected, has wrecked a fragile economy that was just starting to recover.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” an IMF source involved in the debate over publication said. “We are not living in an ivory tower here. But the EU has to understand that not everything can be decided based on their own imperatives.”
The board had considered all arguments, including the risk that the document would be politicized, but the prevailing view was that all the evidence and figures should be laid out transparently before the referendum.
“Facts are stubborn. You can’t hide the facts because they may be exploited,” the IMF source said.
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Quite simply this should be horrifying to not just The Greeks (who just discovered their supposed ‘allies’ tried to hide the truth from them and in fact negotiated in bad faith) but to all Europeans who by now must realize the union is not for them, it is for the few ruling elite and their corporate and banking overlords.
Isn’t it time to Just Say No, if not to anything else than to being controlled by an unelected cabal of oligarchs whose only interest is making sure the wealthy get wealthier?
Of course, taking a step back from the table, it is clear that a forced decision by Washington against the interests of its European allies – that is likely to engender more chaos and strengthen Greece’s ability to destabilize Europe – must have been done for ‘another reason’. Perhaps after all is said and done, the powers that be need chaos, need instability, need panic in order to ensure the public gratefully accept the all-in QE-fest that they want.
PS We have a wise saying in Greek: “when buffaloes clash with each other, the frogs pay the price.”