Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dynamics (Europe): Only Greece is Greece!

In the aftermath of Monday night's Eurogroup decision on Greece (a very complicated package/deal the elements of which and their between the lines not clear to the writer, still, 24++ hrs later, but my MBA does help, to a certain extent, to begin to try to understand this complex financial deal), some in Ireland (and I am sure in Portugal too) are wondering "what does Greece have" that they do not have (implicit in that is the working assumption that the deal Greece got was, after all is said (and analysed) a good one).

Well, for one, with all due respect, Greece did not have politicians arguing that their country is NOT Greece. That is if I recall well the case for Ireland and Portugal, at least. I only call it as I remember it, vividly with we "are not Greece" political chants of sorts still in my ears from many many months ago).

Yes, Ireland does not have sunshine. I love Ireland and I wish it did. Not a fan of humidity. Greece never had or claimed to have a Tiger, either. Nor does it benefit from a corporate tax regime that via transfer pricing seems to suck corporate taxable income from other national tax systems, in the EU, Eurozone and beyond (in a very "our taxpayers" age, eg in Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, UK even USA - see other blog posts for the folly of that "out taxpayers" argument though, at least inside the EU and Eurozone).

What Ireland and Portugal do not have, either, is a huge pile of mud that has been thrown at them in the last three years, in the form of "lazy" and other epithets.

It was almost clear to most from the start that the first deal Greece got ("Memorandum 1") was meant to be punitive and, what is more, discourage Ireland, Portugal and other Euro members from ever asking for one.

It also seems clear to at least some commentators of the Eurogroup decision that Greece got a good enough deal considering the potential events re Spain, Italy, increasingly (?), France. And the German political timing/scene (elections next autumn). One that may be revised when the time (in Euro and German politics) is "right". At least that is one way to look at things. There are others.

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