German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble delivered an outstanding performance of how Goldfish Memory works. It is known that a goldfish can remember something for just 9 seconds. And so does the German Finance Minister. Speaking at a high-level forum on Finances in Berlin, Schaeuble lashed out at Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the International Monetary Fund, at ECB and Macron.
Sadly, he forgot to mention that he has put his signature to all three bailout programs, he drafted the austerity program of August 2015, and he kept approving program reviews from summer 2015 until now. The 74-year-old politician also forgot that he bears responsibility for the failures of the successes of the austerity programs. What he certainly does not forget is his ability to hide behind paragraphs and articles, to put the blame on everybody else except himself. But he forgot the German companies buying for a piece of bread something like 14 regional airports.
At the WDR Europa Forum, Schaeuble accused Tsipras for putting the burden of reforms [read: austerity!] on the weakest groups of the society. “He came to power promising to tax the shipowners. Nothing has happened,” Schaeuble complained as if he were a frustrated SYRIZA voter.
“Administration and economy are still not competitive,” Schaebule criticized adding “it is better but not enough.”
“Do not blame me for the structural weaknesses of the Greek program,” he said about a program he has personally drafted.
The Greek government replied to Schaeuble commenting:
“Mr Schauble’s responsibilities for managing the Greek crisis have been historically recorded. It makes no sense to try to put the blame on others.”
Addressing the IMF demand for Greek debt relief, Schaeuble claimed “the IMF does not understand that European primary right forbids debt relief.” He was referring to Lisbon Treaty that apparently forbids that one country bails out another.
Furious Schaeuble did not stop at Greece and the IMF. He lashed out at the European Central Bank and Mario Draghi for the monetary policy.
“German trade surplus would be smaller without ECB stimulus,” Schaeuble claimed. “Our current account surplus, which is really the source of the international debate, has to do with an exchange rate which is too low for the competitiveness of the German economy,” he said
The German finance minister also criticized the proposals of French president Emmanuel Macron for stabilization of the Eurozone. “It needs new Treaties,” he said adding that Macron’s proposals are “not realistic.”
Of course he forgot also that his glorious idea of Grexit came in 2011, when the German and French banks were already saved through the Greek bailout a year earlier.
PS It must be a huge psychological burden to believe you are right and everybody else is wrong. It makes you angry and depressive. Especially when you think you will be replaced despite the fact you’re perfect.