When the second-in-command of top-ranking eurocrats threatens Greece with expulsion unless results are produced, it's long past the time to consider the Troika is not only ready to pull the plug, but hoping to do so.
The top-ranking eurocrat is of course "lie when it's serious" Jean-Claude Juncker. The second-ranking eurocrat is Jos� Manuel Barroso, European Commission president.
Today the Financial Times reports Barroso pushes Greece to show results
Jos� Manuel Barroso has urged Greece to accelerate reforms after two years of foot-dragging if it wants to stay in the eurozone, saying Athens needed to show ?results, results, results?.Lie When It's Serious
The European Commission president, making his first visit to Greece since it sought assistance from the EU and International Monetary Fund in 2010 to avert a sovereign default, stressed that delays in implementing agreed measures had undermined the country?s credibility with its partners, adding: ?Actions are more significant than words.?
Mr Barroso?s strongly-worded message, delivered after a two-hour meeting with premier Antonis Samaras, came after leaders of the three-party coalition government endorsed in principle a ?11.5bn package of spending cuts for 2013-14 that were agreed with creditors six months ago but kept on hold during two successive election campaigns.
The troika is not due to return until September to decide whether enough progress has been achieved to disburse a ?31.2bn loan tranche from the country?s second bailout, already overdue since June.
By then it may be clear whether Greece has a chance of making the bailout work, without seeking an extension of the 2014 deadline and extra financing from European partners, or faces a second debt restructuring and a looming threat of being forced out of the eurozone.
The new package targets pensions rather than wages, with staggered reductions in pensions above ?1,000 a month and an overall monthly cap of ?2,000-?2,200 aimed at securing annual savings of ?2bn or one percentage point of national output.
Thousands of higher-paid workers in local government and state-controlled corporations would also face salary caps, losing seniority pay and special allowances allocated by senior politicians in past years without consulting the finance ministry.
?Pensioners are not in a position to lead violent street protests against the cuts ? while setting ceilings gives meaning to the coalition?s pledge to enact social justice,? said an Athens-based economist.
Flashback May 14, 2012: Mr. "Lie When It's Serious" Juncker Tells Another Whopper: "I Don?t Envisage, Not Even for One Second, Greece Leaving the Euro Area"
Those looking for a bit of humor in the European debacle can find it in statements from Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers.Anyone who could not envision Greece leaving the eurzone is a liar or an idiot. Jean-Claude Juncker is both and the same applies to his lap-dog Barroso.
Juncker says "I don?t envisage, not even for one second, Greece leaving the euro area. This is nonsense. This is propaganda. We have to respect Greek democracy."
Bear in mind this statement comes from the same man who said "When it becomes serious, you have to lie."
Also bear in mind Juncker's support for a Troika installed puppet government in Greece, after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed putting bailout measures to a vote.
Juncker and others have proven lies are the norm.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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