Today’s news in the Financial Times that Syriza are poised to (more or less) agree to the bailout leads me to a fifth and final reflection on the Greek crisis,
5/ We are not in possession of many facts
Politicians are notorious for caving in to the realities of power once they are in Government, but if there is one movement that struck me as particularly unlikely to do this it is Syriza. The fact that this very radical and angry movement have done this suggests to me that some highly pertinent facts are either i) not being made nearly enough of in public discourse or ii) remain undisclosed. The latter suspicion of course leads some crazies to the conclusion that the world is run by a secret cabal of Jewish freemason financiers/reptiles/Knights Templars, but, seriously, I think that there may be forces in the world of high finance/international diplomacy that are exercising an extremely negative influence on the (democratically-elected) Syriza.
One candidate are bond markets. In Wolfgang Streeck’s last book I was shocked at the extent of financial market influence upon the framing of public policy (e.g. extremely tight links between finance ministries and bond markets, detailed interviews between financial institutions and policy makers), and it may be that Greece’s creditors/bond markets have a greater influence than we are aware. I would also not rule out the German Government/troika having something over the Greeks that people are generally in the dark about. Remember that the ECB, in the summer of 2011, sent secret, unconstitutional memos to the Italian and Spanish Governments making financial aid contingent on deep cuts and liberalization. It is only thanks to the Italian newspapers that we are aware of that episode…