Obama and Merkel Want Greece in the Eurozone Despite the Greek Government's Failure to Meet Austerity Conditions

Today Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met for talks on the euro-crisis. Merkel reiterated her desire to have Greece remain in the euro, while Samaras repeated his pleas for more time to meet the austerity conditions attached to future bailouts. The markets have not reacted well, with European stocks and the euro falling.

Although Merkel might want Greece to stay in the euro, the troika audit might well make Greece’s membership of the eurozone a political as well aneconomic impossibility. There is considerable domestic political pressure on Merkel to be harsher on the Greeks, who have been unable to make the promised privatizations and cuts. Indeed, patience is wearing so thin that it is reported that German Finance Ministry might approach the Greeks and ask them to consider a temporary break from eurozone membership.

An unnamed official explained:

It would be better received politically within Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and other countries like Slovakia and Estonia if the new loan were sold as the final one and tied to a Greek exit from the Eurozone, which would be regarded as punishment.

While the German Finance Ministry might be planning on nudging Greece out of the eurozone on our own side of the Atlantic Obama is keen on Greece staying in, at least until Election Day. If the troika audit reveals that the Greeks have not kept to the austerity conditions attached to future bailouts, then German and/or Finnish political activism will almost certainly ensure a Greek default. The effects of a Greek default would hit the American economy hard. Europe is America’s largest trade partner, with Europe reeling from a Greek default there would be no way for the US to isolate itself from the effects. A Greek default is by no means guarantees a Romney victory, but it would make the election more competitive.

No one could have seriously thought that the Greek government would be able to make the necessary cuts to their budget or make the required privatizations. Greek government debt as a percentage of GDP has not dropped lower than 101 percent in seven years. The political establishment in Greece is immune to fiscal sanity and is institutionally incapable of doing what must be done. It is looking so bad that German officials are thinking of paying the Greeks to leave the eurozone, something the Greeks should consider a blessing in disguise. 

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  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Put 'em in a room with a TSA agent playing "20 fucking questions about your fucking va-fucking-cation". They'll cough up a plan lickety split.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who doesn't like a consequence-free economic policy?

  • ||

    The taxpayers? And future generations of taxpayers? And your mom?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everyone wins.

  • ||

    Fucking Greek pube sec parasites. That's who.

  • R C Dean||

    Merkel continues to play the game of saying nice things, while blocking further bailouts.

    A Greek default is by no means guarantees a Romney victory, but it would make the election more competitive.

    Current polling makes this election a dead heat. hard to see how it could get more competitive.

    The trends are running in Romney's favor, for now. A black eye (no racist!) for the administration would make the election less competitive, by accelerating these trends and making Obama less competitive.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Merkel continues to play the game of saying nice things, while blocking further bailouts.

    Which only proves she's not a complete idiot. I don't suppose we could get a politician like that elected here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    She's got a PhD in some hard science (her dissertation was in quantum chemistry). Did not know that until I researched the stripper story I made up downthread.

  • $park¥||

    Too bad the good old days are gone. Those days when Greece could have just been turned into Southeast Germany. You see where our meddling in World War II got us?

  • R C Dean||

    Think of it this way: Merkel is far less interested in Greece staying in the Euro, than she is in avoiding blame for Greece exiting the Euro.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "It is looking so bad that German officials are thinking of paying the Greeks to leave the eurozone, something the Greeks should consider a blessing in disguise."

    Somehow I am hearing "I am going to make you an offer you cannot refuse", but in a German accent, rather than a Don Corlione one.

  • Tim||

    I wouldn't turn my back on them.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    The, Fredo, the!

  • ||

    She bears a striking resemblance to Rosa Klebb, so I imagine she has a blade-tipped shoe pointed at the Greek PM under the table.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    + 007

  • Ken Shultz||

    Memo

    Obama to Swing Voters:

    There is no misbehavior so bad that it doesn't merit a government bailout.

    Sincerely,

    Barack Obama
    President

  • ||

    I wonder if Obama asked Merkel is she speaks Greek.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    I wonder if Obama asked Merkel is she speaks Greek.

    It would not surprise me. It also would not surprise me to see him give her a bottle of Crémant d'Alsace as a gift.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think she speaks Russian. Ex-KGB, you know.

  • Tim||

    Don't you know the old Greek proverb that Default is a dish best served cold?

  • ||

    I thought that was a Ferengi proverb.

  • WTF||

    I thought the Ferengi were the Jews?

  • ||

    The Ferengi are Space Jews. And remember the immortal words of Jerri Blank: "Greeks are just Jews without money."

  • Drake||

    Or morals, or a work ethic, or a functioning economy...

  • tarran||

    Which is why you're it's a good idea to run when they show up offering "presents".

  • LTC(ret) John||

    A Rule of Acquisition?

  • Drake||

    With olives.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    And Rhoditis.

  • Jerry on the road||

    The press conference of Merkel and Samaras was awesome. The only thing the Greek guy could do was look down at his own pedestal while Merkel was tearing him a new one.

  • Pip||

    "while Merkel was tearing him a new one."

    He should get "Merkel" tattooed on it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hmmm. Now I'm getting Obama ads en Español served to me. Glad to know that crew is as intelligent with their funds as the are with the country's.

  • Heedless||

    I was seeing Elizabeth Warren ads here last week. And I haven't lived in Massachusetts for 5 years now.

  • califernian||

    California is watching close and taking notes. I can't wait to see the meltdown here. And the plaintive cries for a Federal bailout...

  • Pip||

    Noonan: America Meets Mr. Romney
    Anticipating the highlights of the GOP's Tampa convention.

    It is good that Joe Biden is going to the Republican National Convention to hold high the flag of his party. People make fun of his gaffes, of his embarrassing verbal forays, but he's no fool and he knows how to take it to the other guy. The speech he is working on, to be given in the heart of downtown, just across from the convention site, will be stirring and stentorian: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Tampa, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Tampon.'"

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....on_LEADTop

  • NoVAHockey||

    She makes a point that I made in the morning links: "President Obama can't stand to be made fun of. His pride won't allow it, his amour propre cannot countenance a joke at his own expense. If Mr. Romney lands a few very funny lines about the president's leadership, Mr. Obama will freak out. That would be fun, wouldn't it?"

  • Hyperion||

    If Romney were really cool, which he isn't, or even anything close to it... but if he were, when he is debating Obama, he would just pause at some convenient break between questions and say:

    "Uhhh, I been to all 57 duhhhh states, Derrrrr"

    Now what would be funny.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I might vote for him if he did that.

  • John||

    I have to give Romney credit. The " he has done his best and well bless his heart it hasn't worked out" line a few days ago was actually pretty funny. God I bet Obama had a melt down when he heard it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The metaphorical pat on the head. That's more evilly sly than I'd expected from the Romney campaign.

  • John||

    I know. It surprised me when I read it. I didn't think he had it in him.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Ohhh, a rare example of actually damning someone with faint praise! Might Mittens be a closet snarker dying to be set free?

  • John||

    Can you imagine what someone like Reagan with his sense of humor would have done to Obama in a debate. I think Obame would have ended up physically assaulting Reagan by the end of the debate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That would be awesome, to have a debate where fisticuffs ensued.

  • NoVAHockey||

    Reagan in the first round. Obama's got a glass jaw.

  • John||

    The McCain Obama and Biden Palin throw downs would have been epic.

  • Hyperion||

    Sarah could kick all their wretched arses. Would have been an embarrassing time for us men folk.

  • John||

    She is in great shape. She would have cold cocked Biden.

  • Hyperion||

    Reagan certainly would not have held back on the big government thing, and he would have been being sincere. The one thing I can fault Reagan on is the WOD. Outside of that, probably the best POTUS of my lifetime.

  • John||

    Mandatory minimums were under Reagan weren't they? That to me is the biggest black eye of his presidency. Iran Contra was a minor league scandal. But mandatory minimums were a crime.

  • Pip||

    Well Bill Maher says he fights like a black man.

  • John||

    It is a shame SNL is so sadly leftist because Obama has to be the most easily satirized President in my lifetime. SNL could have been funny again if they had been willing to treat Obama like every other President.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The cognitive dissonance it took to focus on Palin's deficiencies while ignoring those of Biden and Obama--nay, praising them for their non-existent brilliance--still amazes me.

  • Hyperion||

    There is a documentary on Netflix about that, but I have never watched it yet... can't even remember the name...

  • ||

    If I were at that convention and they introduced Joke Biden I would give him a standing ovation.

  • John||

    What brain trust thinks the way to put Obama up in the polls is more Joe Biden?

  • Loki||

    The political establishment in Greece The United States is immune to fiscal sanity and is institutionally incapable of doing what must be done.

  • kinnath||

    'Ich bin ein Tampon.'

    That's the first good laugh I have had in days.

  • carol||

    'Ich bin ein Tampon.'

    Obviously he's been here before.

  • Brandybuck||

    101%+ debt to GDP ratio? For seven years? Really? Not even Jerry Brown's Kalifornia is that crazy.

  • Hyperion||

    Just be patient, they are working on it.

  • CE||

    Isn't that about where the US is?

  • ||

    ummm the US is at 100% debt to GDP ratio.

  • ||

    oh wait that was at the beginning of the year. We have since spent a trillion dollars.

    We are at about 107% debt to GDP now

  • CE||

    Can't we just give Obama a video tribute, and bring in someone new?

  • Pro Libertate||

    A friend of mine swears that Merkel used to be a stripper in Berlin while working on her PhD in quantum chemistry. I don't believe him, because I just made up the whole thing, but I like to believe it's true, anyway.

  • Hyperion||

    She was kinda hot when she was younger, in my humble opinion.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They say that about Pelosi, too, but it's hard to conceive.

  • Hyperion||

    Piglosi was never hot, ever, even to think it is beyond blasphemy

  • Hyperion||

    Err, at least she had some nice cleavage, not sure I noticed anything beyond that... guys, da wimins folk is only a sum of their parts...

  • ||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Probably some sort of wild woman, drinking beer by the liter, flashing her bosom for beads, you know, typical dissertation behavior.

  • Hyperion||

    Typical German Brawd you are sayin.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes.

  • Hyperion||

    My gooderness, JC, that is some mighty temptin morsels she has on display there. I could certainly be forgiving of the rest of the package if not on par, at least after a couple beers for sure.

  • John||

    In fairness, if you had to hit an over 55 grandmother, that is probably about as good as it is doing to get.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, at my age, I will be doin that soon. And I see plenty of women that age that still look good enough. Maybe it's just because I am getting older, but I could swear that they didn't make 50 something year old women back when I was a kid, like they do today.

  • John||

    Like that old joke. The only thing worse than being grandma is being the guy sleeping with her.

  • ||

    She looks like my buddies wife...but older.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Was your buddy's wife a stripper, too?

  • Hyperion||

    you know, Merkel coulda been, ya never know, those Germans are some kinky rascals. Just being a stripper is kind of tame for your average German folk.

  • John||

    Carnival time.

  • John||

    She would have been a stripper in East Berlin. Not many westerners made it to East Berlin in the 70s. How does your friend claim to know this?

  • Pro Libertate||

    She's from West Germany and was allowed to freely travel between the countries. Also, I made up the whole story, including the friend telling it to me.

  • John||

    Her father was a pastor in East Germany and she went to school in the East.

    And God damn it, that story should be true even if it is not.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Could be true. Can't prove it isn't. I say it is true.

  • John||

    It is always funny to think about famous women like Merkel and then realize there is some randy old German guy out there who knew her in college who can tell his drinking buddies, "yeah I used to hit that".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sure. I'm pretty sure Warty banged her when he was an exchange student at Technische Universität Berlin.

  • John||

    Poor woman.

  • Pro Libertate||

    She couldn't see him because of that massive chest of hers, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Or so Warty says.

  • NoVAHockey||

    you did? well, i sent it to a bunch of people. let's see how long it takes to circle back.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Good. Next week, we'll start a rumor about her and Queen Elizabeth turning tricks.

  • ||

    A Greek default is by no means guarantees a Romney victory, but it would make the election more competitive.

    A Romney victory is guaranteed with or without Greece.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Obama could nuke Montana, and people would be talking about him edging out Romney in the polls. How fucked up does our economy have to get before everyone admits that Obama is total toast?

  • John||

    The August jobs numbers come out the Friday after he accepts the nomination. Assuming those are "unexpectedly" bad, which is a pretty good bet, they will totally wipe out whatever momentum he builds from the free abortion and contraception fest in Charlotte. I suspect a week or so after that conventional wisdom will begin to change.

  • ||

    The August jobs numbers come out the Friday after he accepts the nomination.

    You are assuming poeple look at unemployment numbers and then vote.

    I do not think it works that way.

    The economy sucks which means more people are hurting financially and they naturally blame the people in power.

    The unemployment numbers are simply a proxy indicator of that wide spread financial hurt going on.

    This can easily be seen in states that voted for Obama in 2008 yet have relatively good employment. Polls show those people are not switching their vote.

  • Hyperion||

    Only he isn't toast, yet. His poll numbers are declining, but he would still eek out a win over Romney today, IMHO.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't buy that for a second. My official prediction, barring some insanity from Romney, is that Obama loses by a substantial margin. Not as substantial if Romney were a solid candidate, but substantial enough.

  • ||

    They are about tied in polls with like 8 to 10% undecided Romney has the momentum the economy has no momentum and people who are undecided vote against the incumbent.

    Romney is a lock.

  • YangFooo||

    lol wow that makes a lot of sene dude.

    www.Anon-PCs.tk

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