Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
The man’s got style, as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was flying to the chic French Riviera resort of Cannes to explain himself to European leaders furious over his surprise referendum on a bailout deal that took them over months to work out.
Way to go George, tell the EU to poke their euro and stuff their debt, what are they going to do if you do? Nothing that’s what and all the other countries that the EU is holding to ransom should say the same to go take a running jump united you’ll stand and the EU won’t be able to do anything, and all those countries should go back to having back their own currency’s the euro was doomed at the start, do the maths?
The pledge to hold a referendum has riled financial markets and threatens to derail a debt crisis plan that's not even a week old. A "no" vote in the referendum could lead to a disorderly Greek default and force Greece from the euro, toppling fragile banks and sending the global economy spinning back into recession so the EU says the global economy hasn’t been out of its recession well not if your poor or on low incomes but it’s ok for the rich.
Even scheduling the vote could scuttle two large pending pay-outs of bailout money Greece needs to avoid default. And the wait is ramping up the pressure on Italy, the Eurozone’s third-largest economy, whose debts are enormous but which is considered too big to be bailed out.
Just how did all these countries get into so much debt? “Quite simply by joining the EU and its euro, with bad management that couldn’t do their arithmetic? And the only ones to benefit from it? are those that are running it? Corrupted politicians and their corrupted bankers that’s who?
The fates of some of the G-20 leaders could well hinge on how Papandreou's gamble works out, and hence how their own economies fare. For example, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President Barack Obama both face potentially tough re-election battles within the year, and it’s all going downhill for many of the so called world’s leaders British prime minister David Cameron has his own snake in the grass Nick Clegg that would give the Kingdom away to the EU and the drop of a hat?.(Your keep your friends close but your emeries closer?)
Sarkozy had hoped that the meeting of leaders from the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations, which runs Thursday and Friday, was going to be Europe's opportunity to tell the rest of the world that a comprehensive plan to deal with the debt crisis had finally been reached after nearly two years of half-measures, indecision and procrastination and half-wits running things.
Papandreou's gambit put an end to that lofty ambition. Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel summoned Papandreou to the meeting on the Cote d'Azur and will continue to insist that the €130 billion deal thrashed out last week remains "the only possible way" to sort out Europe's Greek problem.
"Germany and the entire international community apart from England as it doesn’t have the euro, are striving to deal in solidarity and responsibly with Greece, but there is also a responsibility on Greece's part toward its European partners," German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in Berlin.
"Countries in Europe — particularly the countries in the Euro-zone — are so closely integrated that every serious decision in one capital has effects on the other countries." Papandreou meets his peers just hours after winning the support of his Cabinet in a marathon meeting. He has said his hope is that a referendum will lock a restless and disgruntled country into continuing with its reforms that are widely seen as necessary if Greece is to have a sustainable future. Some 20 months of harsh austerity have angered most Greeks, with unions staging a seemingly unending wave of strikes and protest marches many of which have degenerated into riots.
Bully boy EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned that a failure by Greeks to stick to last week's agreement would have unknown consequences. "Without the agreement of Greece top the EU/IMF program, the conditions for Greek citizens would become much more painful, in particular for the most vulnerable," Barroso said in a statement after arriving in Cannes. "The consequences would be impossible to foresee."
Papandreou will try to convince his European peers that the referendum is needed. He said it "will be a clear mandate, and a clear message within and outside of Greece, about our European course and our participation in the euro."
At one stage on Tuesday, following a rebellion among his governing Socialist MP’s, Papandreou's government looked like it was in danger. And he's not out of the woods yet: His government faces a confidence vote on Friday and his Socialists only have a two-seat majority.
Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said a quick referendum is the only way — other than early elections — to limit the damage, a sentiment which will be echoed by Sarkozy, according a French official speaking on condition of anonymity..
"If we had to go through Christmas and the New Year waiting for the Greeks to make a decision, it would make things even more chaotic," Noonan said. Greek Interior Minister Haris Kastanidis said Wednesday that the referendum could be held in December.
Already, the uncertainty surrounding the referendum is causing a delay in implementing the euro rescue plan. The head of Germany's banking association, Michael Kemmer, said the planned bond swap by which banks will take a voluntary 50 per cent cut in their Greek debt holdings will have to wait until after the referendum, if it takes place.
Kemmer says banks stand by the deal, but that the planned exchange can only happen when the Greek government makes a formal offer, and that doesn't make sense until after the referendum results are in.
The Oct. 27 bailout deal would require banks holding Greek government bonds to accept 50 per cent losses and provide Greece with about $140 billion in rescue loans from European nations and the IMF. Greece has been relying on bailout loans since May 2010 to avoid bankruptcy.
European officials appear to be biding their time on whether Greece will get its hands on the next batch of bailout funds, worth €8 billion, which had already been approved for payment sometime in November. German Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus noted that Greece has "no acute need for payments until about the middle of December."
Meanwhile, Greece's European partners are suffering the consequences of the renewed uncertainty. The yield on Italy's ten-year bonds — a gauge of market concern — rose from Tuesday's close to 6.18 per cent. Though that's still below the 6.33 per cent high hit at one point on Tuesday, it's still uncomfortably close to the levels that prompted Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek financial bailouts.
Associated Press writers Sylvie Corbet in Cannes, Nicholas Paphitis and Theodora Tongas in Athens, Angela Charlton in Paris, Geir Moulson in Berlin and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report.
England and its people can count themselves lucky that they keep to good old English pound or England would be in an even worse recession than its already in?