Blend mainstream Western media mendacity with ECB leaks about Greece, and what do you get? Answer: the opposite of the truth.
Flying around the world and going viral on the internet this morning is the flash that Draghi is “putting pressure on Athens by tightening the rules on liquidity” and that “patience is wearing thin with Greece in the (EC) Governing Council”.
As for the first part, it isn’t at all what the ECB is doing. In reality, the ECB is (for once quite rightly) increasing the regulatory control over some of the more blatantly fraudulent things that Banks like Piraeus get up to on a daily basis. In doing this, the EU’s cental bank hopes to clear the decks for increasing the amount of emergency liquidity it can give to Athens in order to tide it over….without any of it going into the wrong pocket as the say in the snooker world.
As for the second part, that’s not what I’m hearing. My feedback from Brussels is that, following yesterday’s eurogroupe session with the Greek negotiators, “substantial” progress has been made between the two sides.
That may of course fall under the IABATO Rule*, but even if it does – perhaps especially because it does – the real news offers a totally different perspective on who has the face cards at the minute in this, the world’s most boring game of poker. This is my reasoning:
Despite what the Troikanauts say, the spiralling rise in eurozone bond yields (and increasing weakness of the euro itself) suggest that the last thing Frankfurt needs within the next few weeks is a Greek default. Sending more ELA money under a smokescreen to the Greek banking system is a clear confirmation of this; and equally, leaking about ‘substantial progress’ between the two kaleidoscopic sides is an obvious attempt to inject some optimism into the bond markets.
Meanwhile, I’m once again indebted to the assist from Porosity in offering prompt analysis of the latest polls in Greece. The Sun headline is half the population fear Grexit has very real outcome potential, and the gap between those approving or disapproving of Syriza negotiation strategy has fallen further.
For me, the success of propaganda spin in convincing over 50% of Greeks that the impossible can be imposed upon them is truly terrifying; but the approval numbers on negotiation are based on empirical observation of what Varoufakis has or hasn’t achieved. The goodwill window is of limited size.
Also dwindling, of course, is the risibly short amount of time Troika2 gave Greece to sort itself out last February 24th. To be precise, in three days time Syriza will reach the halfway point.
* IABATO – it’s all bollocks and that’s official