Those looking for a bit of humor in the European debacle can find it in statements from Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers.
Juncker says “I don’t envisage, not even for one second, Greece leaving the euro area. This is nonsense. This is propaganda. We have to respect Greek democracy.”
Bear in mind this statement comes from the same man who said “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
Also bear in mind Juncker’s support for a Troika installed puppet government in Greece, after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed putting bailout measures to a vote.
Notice that bailout measures went to a vote anyway.
Two More Days of Hopefully Futile Greek Negotiations
The Financial Times reports Greece set for further coalition talks
Greece’s president is set to resume coalition talks on Tuesday with the country’s political leaders in another attempt to avoid a fresh general election after a meeting on Monday evening ended without agreement.
President Karolos Papoulias has another 48 hours to persuade politicians to join a national unity government according to the constitution or face having to call another election.
Mr Venizelos said after the meeting he had supported the president’s proposal for a “government of personalities” with backing “from as many political parties as possible” to implement further reforms agreed in return for a second €174bn bailout.
“The situation is very difficult and I’m not optimistic, but we must try every possible solution,” Mr Venizelos said.
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, the radical leftwing coalition that rejects the terms of Greece’s international bailout, refused to participate in Monday’s talks. “We’re not going to join in selective meetings of political leaders … The circle of contacts provided for by the constitution has been completed,” he said.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister who heads the group of eurozone finance ministers, sharply criticised other EU leaders for “threatening” Greece with expulsion from the single currency, saying the will of Greek voters must be respected.
“I don’t envisage, not even for one second, Greece leaving the euro area. This is nonsense. This is propaganda,” Mr Juncker said angrily at a news conference. “We have to respect Greek democracy.”
He added he would be open to debating easing terms of the €174bn bailout, including extending dates to hit fiscal and economic reform targets by a year, something that has been anathema to several leaders in Germany, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.
Maria Fekter, the outspoken Austrian finance minister, went so far as to suggest Greece may have to leave the EU, since there is no legal provision for leaving the euro without exiting the union.
“Greece would have to reapply and then we would have membership negotiations and look very closely whether Greece would be able to become a member at all,” said Ms Fekter. “We look much more closely than when they joined the euro.”make full repayment on the bond, which was issued under UK law, to avoid future legal action by holdout investors, the official said.
Junker’s statement about willingness to negotiate changes in bailout terms is of course a blatant lie aimed at keeping Greece in the Eurozone.
Also note the lie from Maria Fekter about Greece having to leave the EU if it exits the eurozone. Given that numerous countries are in the EU without being in the Eurozone, the UK is a prime example, Fekter’s statement is complete nonsense.
That said, perhaps Greece is better of not being in the EU as well. Certainly the UK would be better off telling the EU where to go.
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
Indeed Juncker and and others have proven lies are the norm.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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