Alexis Tsipras may have won 1-0 against the IMF, EMU, EU and the European countries’ finance ministers yesterday. He crossed his own red lines less than they have twisted their own rules. But he may have lost 0-1 against . . . one of the four ‘onlookers’ I mention in yesterday’s posting — the crowds in Athens. We’ll have to see what happens to public opinion there.
But there was an ‘onlooker’ I didn’t mention. It now turns out that the IMF might be the spanner in the works. Although Christine Lagarde and one or two of her sernior IMF staff were in Brussels yesterday and agreed to twist the rules in order to bail-out Greece yet again, what about her legal staff back home? There are voices now saying that the IMF can’t break its own rules, even if the European Union, etc. do. Americans are far more legalistic than we are.
But the fact remains that, even if all is elastoplasted together this time it will only fall apart in a few months time when Greece runs out of its latest bail-out. Tsipras is an intelligent long-time politician, even if he appears to be simplistic in his economic ideas about socialism. He must know that Greece has no chance of any future at all unless it leaves the Eurozone and has a freely-exchanging currency. Perhaps that’s what he’s working towards? Perhaps he knows that he cannot do so immediately because his supporters would turn against him — and savagely, too. Is he a free-trader in disguise? Is he a Greek Tony Blair?