Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

Not even a clairvoyant could guess what Greece wants

Giorgos Lillikas

By Loucas Charalambous

With the tragicomic dimensions it took, the confrontation between the new Greek government and the country’s lenders and partners in the EU left our own political jokers greatly moved. It was another opportunity to display their great minds.

They became passionate Hellas-lovers, put on the national costume, raised the Greek flag, ordered a national mobilisation and sounded the trumpets of war, urging us all to join the struggle against Germany declared by Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis and Panos Kammenos. This is how our political lunatic asylum operates.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, one of the very few serious members of the Anastasiades government, was made the target of our enraged political demagogues – Nicolas Papadopoulos, Giorgos Lillikas, Giorgos Perdikis, Yiannakis Omirou – not to mention the leadership of AKEL, the self-appointed agents of Tsipras in Cyprus.

Papadopoulos, over and above his party’s silly announcements on the need to “support” Greece in her “struggle” against her lenders, called on the government “to get serious and abandon the role of a standard messenger of the Troika”. House president Omirou described Greece’s treatment at the Eurogroup as like the “ultimatums of other nightmarish eras”.

The AKEL leadership spoke of “improper behaviour” by Georgiades and accused the government of being a “servant of the Troika”. Lillikas, the fiercest of all our warriors, accused the minister of “adopting the German rhetoric” because he said he had not understood what Greece wanted. He also said the government “does not believe in the justness of the Greek demand and cannot disappoint its friend Merkel.”

As I had not understood what Greece wanted either, I carefully read the whole of what is known as the ‘Varoufakis file’ – the 29 pages that contain the two speeches made by Greece’s finance minister at the Eurogroup meetings of February 11 and 16 as well as the two non-papers submitted by the Greek government which were a summary of what Varoufakis had said.

Having read the file, I can safely say that neither Georgiades nor a clairvoyant could understand what Greece wanted or actually proposed. In those 29 pages I could not find a single serious and practical proposal. The contents were a silly play on words plus vague promises about the future, lessons in democracy, national dignity, etc and a lot of boasting. There were also some malicious digs of the type, “we know that you were disappointed that we radical leftists won the elections but you will lose out if you view us as enemies,” and other nonsense.

The contents of the file can be summarised in the few lines: “Partners, we know that you lent us all those billions of euros so that we would not starve to death, and we know we signed an agreement with you to put our house in order so we can return it. This agreement though means nothing to us because we were given a popular mandate on January 25. After six months we will give you another programme so we can make a new agreement.

“But as we need an additional 17 billion euros to make our payments until the end of this year, put your hands in your pockets, give us this money and in six months we will tell you if and how we will repay you, as long as we are in a position to do so.”

If this peculiar reasoning is allowed to pass, from now on every new government of a heavily indebted state would have the right to refuse repayment of its loans and rip up the agreements with its lenders on the grounds that it has a new “popular mandate”.

This is the thinking of Tsipras and Varoufakis. The brave struggle they are waging aims at securing agreement to this nonsense by other EU member-states which, quite understandably, are outraged. This is the fight against Merkel, the supposed struggle of Greek dignity which our political jokers want Georgiades to support.

And because the man does not want to make a fool of himself in Brussels, he is being disparaged as a “messenger of the Troika” by Papadopoulos – himself the most miserable messenger of political demagoguery in this country.

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