Not so unthinkable then

Breaking news from Reuters: Euro zone to prepare for Greek exit scenario

Each euro zone country will have to prepare a contingency plan for the eventuality of Greece leaving the single currency, euro zone sources said on Wednesday.

Officials reached the consensus on Monday afternoon during an hour-long teleconference of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG).

As well as confirmation from three euro zone officials, Reuters has seen a memo drawn up by one member state detailing some of the elements that euro zone countries should consider.

The Greek Finance ministry is vehemently denying the statement that there was agreement to prepare contingency plans. But Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere told reporters:”All the contingency plans (for Greece) come back to the same thing: to be responsible as a government is to foresee even what you hope to avoid.”

And so it seems like a Greek exit from the euro is all but a done deal. You may wonder why it took so long to get to this point. But this is merely EUnion standard procedure.

It goes something like this: We start with the first step, aimed at setting the general population at ease as to the intention of our leaders:

1) Of course we cannot do X. And we will not.

After some time, when things do not change of the better, somebody somewhere will produce a report, which will elicit the reaction of our leaders that:

2) In the most extreme of situations we might consider X, but only reluctantly

After even more time, another report is produced telling us the situation is getting dire (IPCC anyone?). Our leaders are then galvanized into action stating that:

3) Strong measures such as X may be called for. But we will not act rashly.

And one convenient crisis later this is transformed into:

4) Introducing effective measures, including X is an absolute necessity. And anyone opposing such measures is nothing less then a criminal.

Yes, it is circuitous and long and boring. But hasn’t this been the way of the European Project from its inception? It was designed that way.

And thus the EUnion marches on. What was ‘unthinkable’ and unmentionable as little as a few weeks ago, is now all of a sudden openly discussed. But the fact that the EUnion is now unabashedly contemplating this, may indicate the ‘colleagues’ think they have the dynamics and utility of this crisis all sussed. Expect a Greek exit to be accompanied with more centralization of power into Brussels paws. I mean, why let a good crisis go to waste?

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3 Responses to Not so unthinkable then

  1. DP111 says:

    Mere fluff.

    Every country has contingency plans for virtually everything, including invasion of aliens from outer space.

  2. Andrew Duffin says:

    It’s a little bit like the well-known process for introducing EU laws in the UK, which goes like this:

    Stage 1: “There are no such plans”
    Stage 2: “There are such plans, but we will veto them”
    Stage 3: “We didn’t veto the plans – that would make us bad Europeans – but we’ve got a really great deal on cabbage quotas [or some such nonsense] in exchange”
    Stage 4: The law, or regulation, or whatever, is introduced exactly as and when planned, with no changes.
    Stage 5: “It’s a done deal, it was all in the treaties, stop moaning and move on”
    Stage 6: The great deal on cabbages turns out to be meaningless; or, more usually, the French just ignore it.

    Repeat ad nauseam.

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