Greek PM Alex Tsipras is insisting that he will go no further with austerity.
While I agree with his sentiments, Angela Merkel and her Evil Minions™ have turned Greece into the world’s largest debtor’s prison, Tsipras has been saying this for years now, and when push comes to shove, he folds:
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras dug in against creditor demands for more pension cuts and tax increases before a meeting of euro-area finance ministers to unblock the country’s bailout review.
“There is no way we are going to legislate even one euro more than what was agreed in the bailout,” Tsipras said in an interview with Efimerida ton Syntakton, to mark the two-year anniversary since he was elected on an anti-austerity platform. “The demand to legislate more measures, and contingent ones, no less, is alien not just to the Greek Constitution but to democratic norms.”
Euro-area finance ministers will discuss Greece when they meet in Brussels on Thursday, with Greece and officials representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund locked in a stand-off over how to complete the country’s second bailout review, now a year behind schedule. The IMF, in particular, views the projections shared by Greece and the European creditors that the country can reach a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2018 as too optimistic.
The IMF will make noises about the unsustainability of the program, but will then break its own rules and go along.
The Greeks will protest, and then capitulate.
Angela Merkel will use her “toughness” as a cudgel in the next round of elections.
The Greek people will continue to suffer.
Bet on it.