Waar is Thatcheropoulos?

Griekenland heeft zo iemand nodig: ‘Krachtig, geloofwaardig, vóór schuldonderhandelingen, pro-kapitalisme, anti-corruptie, pro belastingrechtvaardigheid, pro buitenlandse investeringen.’ Helaas wordt Griekenland nu geregeerd door Niet Erg Serieuze Mensen. Voor de verandering hier eens de volledige – korte – tekst van Tyler Cowen’s blog (beetje rommelige layout maar dat is zijn stijl):

On Thursday, Russia announced that it would consider extending financial aid to Greece if the latter asked.

There is more here, of interest throughout, though not fundamentally surprising.  Greece is seeking to auction its EU veto between the EU and Russia.  And over the weekend Chris Calomiris told us that Tsipras is a longstanding admirer of Fidel Castro, and furthermore he named his youngest son “Ernesto” after [Ernesto] Che Guevara.  He also has voiced his opposition to Nato in the past.

As I’ve said, these are the Not Very Serious People, enough to make you want to have the Very Serious People back.  As Garett Jones has noted, Greece needs its Thatcheropoulous — strong, credible, pro-debt renegotiation, pro-capitalism, anti-corruption, pro-tax fairness, and pro-foreign investment.  People, that is not what we are getting.

The best chance scenario is that this is all an elaborate bluff for a pivot toward sensible reform.  The bluff I can see, the sensible reform sorry no.  Is a Thatcheropoulous possible when one can read headlines such as “Death threats forced me to quit my job, says Greece’s top tax man“?  How many of the cultural preconditions of successful reform are present in Greece right now?

Here is the FT on the evolving game of chicken:

Eurozone officials are increasingly worried that Greece’s €172bn bailout will expire at the end of the month and potentially plunge it into chaos, after a series of meetings with the new Greek government convinced them Athens is unaware of how perilous its financial situation has become.

Fortunately, 70% of the Greek public believes that Tsipras will succeed as Prime Minister.