Greece and the European Union are now in a final showdown. And if you had to place odds, the likelihood is that the stubbornness and folly of Europe’s senior leaders will create a catastrophe for both Greece and the E.U.
On Monday, at a key meeting of finance ministers in Brussels, the Greek negotiators walked away from a demand that Greece recommit to the terms of the current austerity program as the precondition for extending talks on possible easing of the terms. In return, E.U. leaders had held out the possibility of token modifications—ones that would be insufficient to change the crushing terms of the current deal that has devastated the Greek economy.
The Greeks quickly learned that the two hardest of the hard-liners, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Holland’s Jeroen Disselbloem, had vetoed a more conciliatory negotiating document reportedly prepared by their French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, and substituted an even more unrelenting one. At that, the Greeks walked out.
Source: The American Prospect/Robert Kuttner