Greece did not submit a new reform proposals at the Eurogroup meeting today and it was a wise decision.
Eurozone finance ministers should not decide on something that is no longer a financial/economic matter. There was just an inspired politician among Finance Ministers, but he did not speak the same language of the others and he is no longer there. Finance Ministers have been speaking out too much when they should have probably kept silent and let politicians and prime ministers take the lead and the responsibility that comes with it.
Praise to Minister Padoan who, among few others, remained conciliatory.
The Eurogroup is not the place to decide on the future of Europe. Threats to integration, increasing divergence and the problems of the Euro is not stuff to be discussed at a technical meeting with budgetary concerns in mind solely. It is not even stuff to be discussed or agreed on in a hurry or with a shot-term vision. We need time, i.e. a temporary/mid-term programme for Greece.
Unfortunately, if I look at the 5 Presidents’ Report on the EMU, I don’t see the vision and courage that are needed in this turbulent contingency; not even the politicians who care about the European project are able to call for integration, as a solution to our political, economic and social despair.
So that there is not much hope that the European Council can strike a decent deal either. Maybe we should run a European referendum. Europe started as a top-down project with an intellectual elite that set the basis for economic and political integration. Maybe it’s up to European people now to re-establish that full European integration is a desired outcome.
So, let’s play this game. Conscious of the selection bias, I would still like to ask to the readers of Europe is Talking a couple of questions. 1) Do you want Greece to remain in the Eurozone? 2) Would you be favourable to a third rescue package for Greece? 3) What is you most preferred level of integration? Please answer to these three questions: here!
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the position of the institutions he works for.