In Greece, NO is the answer
I guess I have to speak out – not as and advise to the Greek but because it’s too easy to easy and comfortable to stay silent.
NO is the answer.
In the end, it is a question of trust. And I do not trust you, mister Dijsselbloem:
A) Proposing a quadrupling of VAT rates in (large parts of) the main economic and export sector of a country (tourism) in a deeply depressed country is the dumbest micro and macro economic idea of the year. Even taxing deposits is a better idea.
B) Willfully letting a deal explode over a little bit of money which is used to top up income of the poorest pensioners (who increasingly need this money as their health is deteriorating) is the dumbest social idea of the year and shows the explicit cruel intent of the Institutions (hey, mister Dijsselbloem, didn’t mister Drees, your proverbial prudent and teetotaler social democratic predecessor, in 1953 sign the debt relief program for Germany while he also introduced state pensions, especially for the poorest in Dutch society, in 1956, albeit with the caveat that the pension age might have to be raised in the future?). A higher profit tax or a land tax on privatized harbours or whatever are much better ideas.
C) Wasting the once in a generation chance to, together with Syriza, crush corruption and instead sucking up to Schauble will be on your record for ever. Nothing was a better idea.
NO won’t solve the Greek economic and social problems. I’m not aware of any plan B, the banks will stay closed, emergency money will have to be issued and the economy is already nosediving. To me, it’s all incomprehensible, even after reading interfluidity about the stupidity of this all and this zerohedge post about the super seniority of IMF debts (will the ECB have to tolerate a haircut on Greek debts when Greece defaults on IMF debts…?) about it and taking account of the fact that Malta, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Portugal of course love to see much higher VAT rates in the competitive Greek tourist industry. Greece already had the worst economic crisis of any rich world economy post 1945 – and it is becoming much worse. Because we make it so. Whatever the answer. A YES will reopen the banks – but Schauble will not like that and he will continue to burn Greece – you can trust that guy!