5 november 2011, greeks punch gift horse in mouth

Sometimes, a little time to reflect is better than instant reaction, and a week on, as opposed to a day, the results of last week's euro summit look pretty much as they did on the night: it is enough. Or at least, it is until it's not, when the actors showed themselves determined enough to go the next half-mile. The day after, the greek prime-minister's referendum announcement shattered the "no surprise" rule, and merkel and sarkozy responded in kind, breaking the "never talk about a break up" rule, saying that there was a choice for greece: take the medicine or leave the euro. That was the dose of salts needed, as while some 60% of greeks are against the bailout package, some 70% want to stay in the euro, and so the referendum proposal disappeared as quick as it arose. All this though destroyed the build-up to the much built-up g20 summit, and with the sherpa work not done, the result was dazed and confused, and so no contribution at all to the stability desperately needed. And all this in the week that the most powerful man in the eu is replaced by an italian, just as all the pressure moves to italy's woeful debt burden, and yet more pressure is put on the ecb to use its unique muscle to solve at a stroke the new and fundamental problem created in today's credit conditions of italy being solvent but unable to manage its liquidity, due to its (hardly new) dependence on constant refinancing. Laying some groundwork for that is the reason behind berlusconi's abrupt summoning by said m&s, obama and the head of the imf (21 may 2011), who told him that his country is now being monitored by the imf like it was argentina. It's going to be a big week for mario.