Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Of course there is no good faith, and Varoufakis has a principled opposition to piling more debt on an insolvent country. If Tsipras has appointed him finance minister and he has agreed, it's not to take the €7bn of the last tranche of the last program, or to agree to a "third program" worth €30bn to €50bn.

In addition, the Eurozone core is convinced, especially Germany, that the financial risks are finally ringfenced and Grexit is manageable.

Finally, Syriza is from the radical left, so it is ideologically opposed to the EPP and ALDE, and a direct competitor to the PES. What this means is that there isn't a government in the Eurozone, or an EU Commissioner, that is friendly to Greece's government. At most the Social Democrats or Labour politicians will be condescendingly sympathetic, and that if they're from Latin countries (up to and including Belgium - compare the attitudes of Van Brempt MEP and Dijsselbloem, both Socialists/Labour).

So Greek default is probably a given, and thus Varoufakis' job is to on the one hand help create the conditions for Greece to survive it, and on the other hand to contaminate European public opinion with as much good macroeconomic sense as he can. Hence the disarming honesty, the refusal to give ballpark figures he's not confident he can deliver on, the "I'm the finance minister of a bankrupt country", and the "If we are snuffed out by the vested interests, it will be our honour to have fallen in fighting the good fight".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2015 at 05:06:40 AM EST
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