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A Political Sacrificial Lamb
Political jockeying ahead of a likely February election has Greece’s new Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, being held out on a stick like a souvlaki cooking over the fires of Greek rioters, the IMF and Greece’s European brothers. Papandreou’s referendum concession was either a show of pure stupidity, unequivocal ethical heart or political genius. From the political perspective, Papandreou’s calling on the Greek people to decide whether to go forth with the European plan, and thus accept austerity and also ongoing euro zone membership, forced Greeks to take a second look at the situation and also at the PASOK Party. His stepping back has placed PASOK into a position that allows for potential reconciliation come election time.
New Democracy, not missing a beat and with its eye on February, has been publicly promoting an idea to ditch the digging austerity plan and to instead take a sort of American Republican approach to promote economic growth and trust in trickle-down economics; though the Greek version might look more like Chios mastic’s slow and painful ooze down a dry bark. The other, more radical parties are of course offering more radical solutions.
Needless to say, the political commotion has the troika terrified that tranches of capital dished out to Greece between now and February might end up wasted, sort of like how Zorbas spent his boss’ supply money on drink and women. So the IMF is refusing to dole out any more funds before a pledge is signed by the major political parties, if not all of them, to keep on the path outlined. That path, for Greeks, has been relayed as including the implementation of all already passed austerity measures, but the introduction of no new burden upon them.
So, it would seem Papademos is cooking like a souvlaki on a stick, and it would appear Greeks will have their kabob well done by February. The current popular support of him is thus near certain to turn to a lynching party, with the technocrat set to burn at the stake. Both New Democracy and PASOK are more than willing to step away now to allow the Greeks to pepper up Papademos, get their fill of him, and offer sweet dessert to them in February. But the sugar for that dessert must be acquired now from German and French patisseries.
The lesson long forgotten but to be learned anew is for governments across the globe. The lost wisdom is that the mismanagement of the people’s money results in uprising. The people will turn everything upside down and start all over again before they will bear the pain for the mistakes of faulty leadership.
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