Is Greece Turning East?
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  • thibaud

    “Russia is in no position to pay Greece’s debts or send enough aid to revive its economy — and President Putin has generally not pursued checkbook diplomacy.”

    “Russia”? Maybe not.

    Putin and the top 40 or so bandits, from their offshore personal accounts? Absolutely.

    Putin alone has squirreled away over $40 billion, much of it liquid. Those in his immediate circle have at least that much, probably 2 or 3x, stashed away. And then you have the dominant oligarchs outside the government, whose holdings total a few hundred billion.

    Greece needs to open an offshore bank in Dubai, a key transit point for much of the Russian mafiya cash.

  • Kenny

    Even if Greece leaves the euro, it is still part of the EU. And as part of the EU, Greece will get what is tantamount to welfare payments from Brussels.

    That could be jeopardized if the dead-beat Zorba gets too close to Natasha.

    Bottom line: Greece has nowhere to go but down in terms of its standard of living. It can do so in a constructive way that would make it a more productive & competitive country (unlikely) in the future.

    Or more likely given human nature, Greece can go down in a sullen huff, thinking that it has been excluded unfairly from the good European life of leisure, vacations, and cradle-to-grave security.

  • thibaud

    Again, Russia is far and away the big winner from the collapse of the eurozone.

    The biggest non-European loser will be the US, and esp. a Romney administration, which would in 2013 and forward be facing a stock market meltdown and sluggish growth for years if Europe cannot fix its mess.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Boy, if the Greeks think the Russians are going to float them, they are going to have a very paltry Christmas.

  • Eurydice

    At this point, New Democracy’s Samaras is trying to put together a pro-austerity coalition. What would be helpful would be if outsiders could table the “dead-beat Zorba” rhetoric and allow the country a couple of minutes to take a breath.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    The Greeks have been irresponsible for a very long time; they should be encouraged to seek out others to leech off. Once they have tapped out every source of money, they will be forced to face their problems honestly. They are like Obama; it’s always someone or something else’s fault, it’s Bush’s fault, it’s Germany’s fault, it’s the Japanese Tsunami’s fault, it’s NATO’s fault, it’s the Republican’s fault, it’s the IMF’s fault, they never take responsibility and work to fix things.
    I don’t see anything like the grassroots TEA Party, anywhere else in the world. I see the rise of a number of radical parties like the Pirates in Germany, or the National Front party in France but no fiscally responsible, limited government, and constitution supporting party like the TEA Party, anywhere except exceptional America.

  • Corlyss

    Greece is not a wise investment for any country or economy or private investor. Their level of intrenched corruption make them suitable only for the East, but what’s in it for the East, other than poking the West in the eye with a sharp stick?

  • Corlyss

    Robert Kaplan warned in 2000 about the possible return of the HRE/Ottoman Empire divisions. Looks like it’s happening.

  • Wanderer

    “The difficulty for pro-western Greek politicians is that, thanks to the economic crisis, loyal membership of the EU and Nato is associated to some extent in the public mind with craven submission to the European and IMF overseers who have imposed strict conditions in return for financial aid.”

    Mead gets it wrong again.

    The funds have gone overwhelmingly to bail out the French and German banks that failed to do the math on how much Greece could afford to borrow.

  • thibaud

    Great news: “Early results projected Greece’s New Democracy party to be winner of Sunday’s crucial parliamentary elections and was likely to form a coalition government expected to honor the commitments set out by international lenders.”

    Let’s hope this signals the start of a chain of events that will lift Europe, lift stock markets, and signal the beginning of a recovery.

    Romney must be cursing the Greeks now.

  • Kenny

    “Romney must be cursing the Greeks now.’

    Friend, everybody is cursing the Greeks now.

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