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Schaeuble praises ex PM Samaras and warns Greece’s next government of “Grexit” option

It is an old game since Greece sought the ‘rescue’ by its European and other international partners: Every European politician and official – especially those claiming a hegemonic role within the EU and the Eurozone – feels obliged to intermingle into Greek voters’ decision process and try to influence voters. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble makes it in a more subtle way: he warns the country’s next government, specifically a government led by left-wing SYRIZA. Odd enough, the German FinMin does not seem to believe that there is any alternative other than a Tsipras-led government, he praises former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and pretends that ND under  Vengalis Meimarakis does not even exist.

Speaking conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Schaeuble said among others in his usual essay-style, explanatory way thus making very clear that if a country wants to remain within the eurozone, it has no other options than to follow the rules made in Germany:

Each country now has to prove that it is able to cope with the adjustment process which is necessary to survive in the globalized world economy. Modernization denial does not help, nowhere.  This adjustment process is necessary and inevitable. And in a monetary union, things are even more difficult. Whether you prefer to make this adjustment process as a member of a monetary union in which the instrument of external devaluation is not available, is a question that the Greek society has to face. Samaras’ government was on the right track.

Mr Tsipras has exploited the evident and growing unrest in the Greek population because of the burden of adjustment and he promised the Greeks: We will stay in the euro – but without a program and without adaptation. That was a promise that Tsipras naturally could not keep. He needed half a year to do the opposite. This is the story of the first six months. The second part of the answer is this: As long as we do not have the willingness in Europe, the European institutions to transfer essential parts of state sovereignty, the responsibility lies with the nation-states. And we need rules that we should adhere to. Without confidence that agreements will be respected and implemented, there is no progress in Europe.” (full interview in German FAZ)

PS A very sober and very clear message by Schaeuble who insists on his “Grexit plan. Old chap Wolfie must be very hurt deep inside, that although “Samaras was on the right track,” neither the Greeks nor his own party New Democracy wanted to have anything to do with the former prime minister.

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  1. By interfering like this in the internal affairs of a foreign state, Schauble and all the German Government lost the right to be treated respectfully by any European citizen.

    • @António @KTG Which part of Schauble’s statement quoted above do you disagree with? I feel that the following are true:

      – Adjustment process is necessary and inevitable to survive in the globalized world economy

      – Modernization denial does not help

      – In a monetary union things are even more difficult (politicians and central bankers cannot use currency devaluation to improve economic competitiveness)

      – Whether to make this adjustment as a member of a monetary union is a question that the Greek society has to face (which is happening in the forthcoming elections)

      – Mr Tsipras came in power in January by exploiting the resistance of the Greek population against austerity and making promises he could not keep (particularly, that

      – It’s possible to better mitigate the economic disparities between the EU countries by centralizing more power — essentially, creating “United States of Europe”. However, there is no political will to do so (at least, at the moment).

      – Absent such will, the agreed upon rules are in effect and need to be adhered to. Particularly, the wealth redistribution is limited to the EU structural and cohesion funds.

      I might be projecting too much of my own thoughts in the last two points. Please let me know if you have different interpretation of Mr. Schauble’s statement.

      Other than that, the only statement I could question (and I really mean question rather than dispute) is whether “Samaras’ government was on the right track”.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Modernization? Nothing of the measures aim on any real reforms or modernization, it’s all made to save the Bastardokratia and to make the poor poorer and the rich richer, sell out the whole land, enslave most of its population and kill the rest they don’t need.
        Only with the money Greece owes from Europe the country could get out of the capitalist market and make itself independent from oil and multinational companies but nobody of the polit-mafia wants this because then they have to pay they own drinks and don’t get invitation from rich bastards onto their yachts

        • @Plamen: Let’s choose a single question of concern in the Greek election, the nationsl level of unemployment. Has the party of Schauble, the CDU, submited any proposition to fix this to the Geek people? Has he submited to the German people? Surelly not! It’s just not of his business. Should this issue be ignored by the Greeks? They are called to make choices for the way out of their national problems, not to the useless European Parliament and dhould be free to select solutions disregarding the preference of Foreign ministers. Freedom means free of external pressures. The one that are unable to understand this are not seeking any Union, European or else. They are seeking a Disunion, a colonial power with no respect for the will of others. I could go on with disagreement points with Schauble, the upside down relationship between Economy and Finance for instance, but os hard to cope in the narrow space of a single comment
          In any case, I appreciate your question.

      • Well, you would say that everything Dr. Strangelove says is true, otherwise you’d be out of a job, eh “Plamen” ?!!

  2. The European Council;
    The people of the European Council are powerful in their own right, but their collective powers do not make it powerful.
    The European Council is pretty much a front for the real power broker. the European Centeral Bank.
    European law is as a rule, pretty much what ever the Prime Ministers & Presidents of the European Council says it is … in other words they make it up as they go, an adhoc, self serve affair.

    To say the least, this is illegal, dangerous even … Drunk with power the European Council is out of control.
    And so you have this horrid little man Schauble banging on your door & confidently throwing threats in you faces.

    The leaders of the member countries of the European Union make up the European Council & each leader has the authority over all the European Member Countries.
    So Greece does not have one Prime Minister but all 30 odd delegates of the European Council as their Prime Minister.
    They are like a pack of wild wolves, on a high & running wild.

  3. I know that you are very busy …
    However, if you have a few moments just to watch the beginning, I think you would find it interesting.
    Uncommon Knowledge hosted by Peter Robinson
    Guest – Pat Buchanan – on the Death of Western Civilization