If you’re weary of hearing the same old song and dance out of Lausanne (negotiations continue, not to be guided by arbitrary dates, etc., etc.) every time a supposed deadline occurs, turn your eyes to Greece, where you can see—yeah, the same talking points and empty promises held out every time a supposed deadline approaches. Open Europe summarizes:
Eurozone officials will hold a teleconference today to discuss progress in the negotiations with Greece over its reform list. Kathimerini reports that, while Greek officials said “good progress” has been made, European officials struck a different tone saying many of the figures on revenue raising “are based on wishful thinking, not data.” European Council President Donald Tusk said yesterday that he does not expect a deal this week, but believes one can be struck before the end of April.
As with the Iranian negotiations, each time one of these deadlines is passed, the chorus of skeptics gets a few more members:
Kathimerini reports that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has frozen its programme of funding for small and medium sized businesses in Greece. Investor Warren Buffet has said that Greece leaving the euro “may not be a bad thing for the euro… if everybody learns that the rules mean something.”
Buffett seems to be in good company: increasingly, majorities of the German people and greater numbers of their representatives are making noises suggesting they, too, could probably live with a Grexit. Meanwhile, Greece continues to hint it will turn toward Russia for help. Luckily for us, though unfortunately for Athens, Putin is still low on cash himself.
Marx quipped that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. But in Greece right now, things are starting to resemble the ancient Athenian Dionysia: many tragedies and farces, all on traditional themes but varying by author. This is the farce of Tsirpas and Varoufakis; so far it does not seem to be getting good marks from the judges.