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I think it is important to establish who is the bad guy and who is the really bad guy in the negotiation with Greece.

I found this comment by dsquared in a thread at  Crooked Timber very interesting:

I don't agree with much of this, as you'd expect, but I'm on a mobile device at the moment so everyone is spared my grumbling and moidering. Just one point though ; the IMF and ECB have both put out statements saying that the Greek proposal doesn't go far enough in terms of reforms. So the compromising was definitely done within the allegedly recalcitrant Eurogroup, rather than under pressure from other troika members. The "€group bad austerians / IMF good Keynsians" framing never convinced me but now it's provably wrong. Either Schaeuble gave ground under pressure from the rest of the €group, or he's never been as inflexible as he's been painted.

Also, the people saying that Greece has a lot of freedom within the fiscal targets are wrong, or at least taking a very optimistic reading. The actual agreement (this wasn't emphasised at the press conference) was that they wouldn't take any unilateral measures which jeopardised 1) the fiscal targets 2) the economic recovery or 3) financial stability. To me, that gives the troika a heck of a lot of leeway to reject Greek policies.

But in general I don't think it's productive to do the "who blinked" bit. It was a sensible compromise. Both sides gave up some real red lines.

by rz on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 02:49:15 PM EST

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