Panic hit the phone lines between Brussels and Berlin this morning following ECB top man Joerg Asmussen’s brief outburst of honesty while talking on German public broadcaster ZDF. Just before censors cut him off, Asmussen declared that the Greeks will need more international financial assistance beyond the agreed bailout programs after 2014.
“I don’t know what came over me,” he told nursing staff at the Berlin Institute for Troubled Robots, “one minute I was waxing confident about Greece returning to the markets very quickly, and the next I was saying Athens is a dead duck and we should all run away to somewhere else very safe and sing Zorba the Greek to cheer ourselves up.”
His remarks caused a rush on 56pt headlines in the German tabloids, including Bild’s classic ‘GREECE CAUSES TIME WARP BACK TO 1923, HITLER SIGHTED CARYING REVOLVER IN MUNICH’.
Yesterday – even as the unfortunate Central Banker was heard screaming “There’s a f**king great €30bn shortfall in the budget, we’re doomed, Gotterdammerung, Blitzkrieg, aarrrrg” while being carried on a stretcher to the waiting ambulance – Angela Merkel, Wolfgang Schäuble, Francois Hollande, Mario Monti, Mario Draghi, Mariano Rajoy, Christine Lagarde, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lionel Messi and Sir Alex Ferguson were scrambling to make a meeting now scheduled for tomorrow. Brussels announced that the meeting would ‘decide how to plug that hole’.
“We’re leaking goals fachrissakes,” yelled Sir Alex, “and our central backs are no equipped ti deal wi’it. Either we switch to 4-2-4 or its all over.”
But Mario Draghi was more confident of success.
“Of course, we always anticipated the potential for a hole-plugging requirement,” he purred, “and so some time ago we ordered a large shipment of bollocks to be flown in from Great Britain, where they already have a massive bollocks surplus. We will plug the hole with bollocks rebranded as 007 Bonds backed by tomato futures, and I am confident that on that basis the Greek economy will be showing signs of growth within my lifetime.”
Beaming as he announced the sale of 40 billion streams of bollocks to Frankfurt, UK Chancellor George Osborne told a press conference in London, “I think this is yet more evidence that our economy is storming back to health thanks to the privatisation of the former NHS run bollocks factory, and its transplant onto the larynx of Mr Jeremy Frunt-Bottomley, the Secretary of State for Shareholders. This bonus will enable us to chuck even more money at Stephen Hester, and jump off the Eutanic just before it hits something largely hidden but in the meantime I should like to take this opportunity of once again denying all the rumours concerning my recreational interest in white powder and black prostitutes.”
“Mr Asmussen was merely a little over-tired,” the German Finance Ministry announced later, “he has had a stressful week commuting between Frankfurt and the Sin Buggeryswyth children’s home in Wrexham”.