Is He For Real?
He seems to live in a world of his own, cut off from reality, impervious to facts, playing everything by the book, but in a state of confusion, wandering perhaps why he gets the wrong outcome. Then again one wanders …
George Papandreou, the third in a family line of Prime Ministers of Greece, learned (his father’s games in) politics as he was growing up, but applied the lessons clumsily. He, from the start, followed his father’s populist brand of politics and with the help of his heritage he finally ascended to the “throne” and thereafter “ruled” like a monarch, his Party and the country.
He set about to destroy Greece, or so it seems and he did it all quickly. He won the election lying and although he was fully aware of the state of Greek Public Finances he did nothing to react while he could, by doing all what rational thinking and what his advisers (he had a battalion of them) must have advised him. He probably did not believe them (why did he not?) and was shocked when he attended the World Forum in Davos, a few months later, where everybody was asking him if Greece would default. That was, for him, an awakening to the facts and he then revved up his motor. He dealt with the crisis, but in a way that makes one wander.
Having not secured the borrowing needs of the country, after ascending to the Premiership, with the low rates Greece could still have back then, he set about to make Greece undesirable to International Finance by going around telling that he was heading the Government of a country which was seeped in corruption and malpractices (hiding the fact that it had all started when his father came to power and continued through the many years his party was in power with the New Democracy Government simply continuing these ways) and so the International Community began viewing Greece as a probable default candidate. Interest rates began their ascension to their present withering heights. He, thus, led the country to the IMF, suggesting that he had set out to do that from the start, but why?
He started a round of lies, to the country, to his party, to the partners of Greece in the EC and the Eurozone, falsely presenting dilemmas which could only force everybody to go along with him. He misled the country and its Eurozone partners, with the Greeks forced to the loosing end of a situation in which the lenders took control of the country, which would not have happened had he materialized the agreements he had signed. To increase the country’s pain his failure to put to practice the agreements made it necessary to have ever harsher austerity measures imposed. Greece is now controlled by its lenders and forced to undergo the painful Economic “surgery”, which could have been avoided had he simply done what he undertook to do, back in 2009 and 2010.
To cap it all he reneged, within two days from what he had agreed, in November 2011 with Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy, and tried to bluff them, in vain. He instead incurred their wrath. He ended up relinquishing the Premiership to an accomplished Technocrat and, instead of doing whatever he could to help his country, by helping his party first, he started going around to perform his “duty” as Chairman of Socialist International and to meet with foreign dignitaries (to solve the problems of the world?). One wanders about his relationship with common sense.
He was probably taken aback by the fact that two leading members of his party took it upon themselves to begin the process of his dethronement.
Greece is now in the hands of its creditors who seem to be removed from common economic sense applying all the wrong “recipes”, no matter their painful repercussions, which will only prolong the agony of the Greeks.
Greece is no longer a sovereign state. It has even been proposed by the German “powers that be” that Greece comes under the control of a resident German senior Public Executive, who will ensure the Greek compliance to the disciplined management required to move forward. Fortunately for the Greeks, Mrs. Merkel has come to understand that the German austerity, formula that sank the Greek Economy to a near 80% of what it was three years ago, is destructive and that growth should, also, be encouraged, together with discretionary austerity. Yes the Greek Public pay roll is excessive and the size of the Public sector should be diminished and yes economies can be brought about by rationalizing Public expenditures, but that should be done with consideration for the people affected and in conjunction with policies designed to stimulate the Economy which is dying. Hopefully the Troika that “governs” Greece will soon see the light, so far they have not. The Greeks are so much the worse for having elected him to power, but he does not seem to care. In his favorite way … lies, he attributes their problems to others.
As of late a legal question has been raised about his lying. The 2009 fiscal deficit was, according to claims, overstated, on instructions to the Greek Statistical Service, so that he would look good by “reducing” it the next year with austerity, which he was forced to apply, after “discovering” that he had been given the “wrong” figures by the previous Government.
One of his Ministers has come out openly criticizing the legal investigation of the matter, stating … hands off the Prime Minister. Papandreou is above the law! Another of his Ministers attempted to remove from the case the two prosecutors charged with investigating the allegations. This is the Papandreou Brand of Socialism. How does this contrast with the political ethos in other EU countries?
The EU commissioner for Economics, Mr. Oli Ren, as well as Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy have openly stated that the Greek people are not responsible for the delay in the actions voted but not implemented, the Greek Political System is and these delays are creating a problem for the EU and the Eurozone, which in turn threatens the Global Economic System. Ministerial responsibility is not for Greece. The Greek Political System is, primarily, the Papandreou party over which Papandreou does not seem to have any control. Another “service” he provided to the country.
Austerity imposed on Greece was never negotiated and was imposed with two sets of standards, heavily on the Private sector lightly on the Public sector … the pool of votes for the Socialist party. Vantage Papandreou ways.
If Papandreou hates Greece he could not have done a better job punishing it for its gullibility, which brought him to power. If he loves Greece he certainly put it on a course of painful reconstruction from its present unworkable state of being, which his party’s governance has created and which the New Democracy government did not dare undo.
Thankfully the process of his political undoing has started. His best service to the country is his absence.
May he keep the Chairmanship of Socialist International and go around the world promoting Socialism. The more time he spends away from Greece, the better, for Greece.