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Nobody wants to take the blame for a Grexit
Statement on the ever more vociferous Tsipras-Eurogroup stand-off, drafted and published on July 9, 2015
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On July 6, Josef Joffe, the co-editor of German weekly “Die Zeit” appeared on CNN’s Amanpour to discuss the
Tsipras-Eurgroup standoff. His main thesis there was that Alexis Tsipras,the Greek prime minister, is playing
“a
very clever game of chicken” which he has already won against Euroland leaders. Mr. Joffe is right. And here is
why:

The real political reasons why a Grexit isn't in the cards

  • Germany understands that due to its difficult historical baggage, it cannot take the additional blame of
    having been the main “culprit” in Greece’s exit from the Euro. Obviously, nobody in the Berlin government
    is saying that out loud. Instead they are hiding behind murky arguments of Greece’s geo-strategic
    importance to the EU and the hard to calculate credibility loss for the Euro in case of a Grexit.

  • France, Italy, Spain, Portugal are opposed to a Grexit due to a cultural need for protection against too
    much “rigidité”, market “brutalité”, austerity and other hard-knuckle capitalism

  • Finland, Slovakia and the Baltic countries understand the need for a Grexit but they themselves feel too
    small to shoulder the blame for having pulled the trigger. All countries mentioned in this category have an
    overriding national interest in maintaining a firm, yet inconspicuous alliance with the West in order to find
    protection against Putin’s Russia.  Taking center-stage position in a Grexit would put their countries into
    the eye of an international relations firestorm which they would have a hard time to stomach.

  • The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg equally understand in varying degrees the need for a Grexit.
    Their overriding reason to enter the Euro though is their national security goal to balance their exposure
    to hegemonic ambitions both from France and from Germany. For historical reasons the Benelux
    countries feel hence uncomfortable if having to take sides in a battle that opposes their two big
    neighbors. The Benelux countries are hence paralyzed and won’t be able to do what is needed in this
    case.

  • Ireland too understands the need for a Grexit. It is somewhat disinterested in the Greece issue though
    since it is more concerned at this time with the consequences which a Brexit might have on its own
    economy. In other words, Ireland does not want to see a Grexit fearing that the latter would give
    additional mileage to those in Britain who do want to see a Brexit.

  • Britain and the US, obviously, have no immediate role in the Grexit debacle. Nevertheless they generally
    tend to advise against pulling the Grexit trigger. Their economist audience favors instead a loosening of
    the austerity prescriptions administered in Euroland. In other words, they would like to see Euroland
    evolve into union of transferred national funds. That position is quite ironic since Britain itself is at this
    point vying to reduce the amount of money it is paying into EU transfer funds. It is hence fair to say that
    there are aspects of quite selfish convenience that taint the clarity of the Anglo-Saxon argument in the
    Grexit case. Needless to say that this selfish convenience on the part of the Anglo-Saxon economist
    community fuels Greece’s resistance against any attempt to proscribe even a watered down version
    austerity policy.

  • And finally, Greece has no interest to leave the Euro on its own account for two reasons: a ) it doesn't
    was to be relegated into a Balkan, second-league mess; and b) it doesn't want to lose access to the EU
    structural funds. People tend to forget that Greece is one of the biggest recipients of the Eu regional
    assistance programs which are outside and different from Euro bail-out facilities. Losing that standard EU
    money is simply unfathomable to the Greek  economy and the Greek leadership.

So, dear readers, do not let yourself be fooled by the cacophony of voices at this time surrounding the Greek
debt issue. There will be no Grexit any time soon, - at least until a denial of Greece's Euro inadequacy isn't an
option anymore...
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Keywords:

Political reasons why a Grexit won't happen, why nobody can pull the trigger on
Greece, countries try to avoid taking the blame for a Grexit, why nobody can
take the blame for a Grexit, Why Tsirpas wins the chicken game, Greece's
geo-strategic game