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Unending Greek Nightmare Produces New Form Of Psychosis

Although it is nice to have something we can rely on.
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Trying hard to fade into the background. By EU2016 NL from The Netherlands (Informal Meeting of EU Finance Ministers) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Trying hard to fade into the background. By EU2016 NL from The Netherlands (Informal Meeting of EU Finance Ministers) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you have that somewhat timid friend who, four to 14 drinks in, suddenly develops the confidence to hit on someone way out of his league, or to pick a fight with the 260-pound M.M.A. fighter who’s got his arm around said person way out of his league? The phenomenon is known as “Dutch courage.”

Now, let’s say you have a Dutch politician brutalized by endless years of failure to achieve an objective, a veritable Groundhog Day of misery, who can’t stop beaming that the end of his long European nightmare is nigh? You might want to call that kind of thinking “Greek optimism.”

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who plays a key role in the Greek talks, expected a "deal on the full completion of the second review" at the Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg next week, his spokesman told Reuters….

In spite of the growing optimism, a meeting of euro zone representatives on Thursday did not achieve much progress, leaving key issues in the hands of finance ministers next week, two EU officials told Reuters.

Certainly, the appeal of Greek optimism is clear. It is difficult for those charged with unravelling this particular Gordian knot to keep plugging away sans sword to be honest with themselves, because when they are, they realize that the Attic hellscape will outlive them, their children and their grandchildren, as well as possibly the whole human race. It is just as likely that this next Greek bailout will work as that the problems will persist until the inevitable heat-death of the universe. But Dijsselbloem still has to go to work every day, at least until the newly-elected Dutch parliament—at which election his party was reduced to irrelevance—gets around to agreeing on a government and relieves him of his thankless duties as finance minister. Because, let’s face it: Deal or no deal next week, it’s not going to be the last.

Greece’s international creditors are working on a bailout deal that would outline options for limited debt relief but leave financing from the International Monetary Fund in limbo and potentially breach the Washington-based fund’s emergency lending guidelines….

Under the proposal, the fund will approve a bailout “in principle.” Actual IMF financing would be contingent on Athens’s European creditors giving the fund clear assurances they will implement debt relief.

EU’s Dijsselbloem expects deal on Greek bailout next week: spokesman [Reuters]
Greece’s Bailout Deal Could Leave IMF’s Role in Limbo [WSJ]


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