Greece moved to end its protracted political impasse Wednesday, swearing in a new prime minister to lead a largely pro-bailout coalition tasked with saving the country's place in the eurozone and easing a European financial crisis with global repercussions.
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.
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."
At long last, everyone is willing to wave the white flag on a Greece exit from the eurozone. Please consider German Vice Chancellor ‘Very Skeptical’ Greece Can Be Rescued.
German Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler said he’s “very skeptical” that European leaders will be able to rescue Greece and the prospect of the country’s exit from the euro had “lost its terror.”
Although there is no formal requirement for the Dutch parliament to approve the EFSF bailout deal, members of the prime minister's coalition are having second thoughts about the deal following the Greek referendum proposal.Amusingly, members of the opposition are pleased with the referendum stating a preference for tossing "the whole rescue package into the trash bin".
Yesterday it was the Egyptian military giving president Morsi a two day ultimatum before things "deteriorate", now it is the Eurozone giving Greece a three day ultimatum to "deliver on the conditions attached to its international bailout in order to receive the next tranche of aid" or else.
As reported yesterday, Greece has stormed right back to the top of the crisis charts, not only due to the previously reported news that the IMF may be withholding further payments until Greece finally gets its house in order (three years later one can forget this will happen), but because as a result of the fallout surrounding the national broadcaster ERT, the coalition government is now in tatters.
Things are going so well in Greece (just one step away from a deal for weeks on end), that Greek officials attack EU and IMF as debt talks stall
Greek officials launched a vociferous behind the scenes attack on European Union and International Monetary Fund negotiators as talks in Athens over the country's mounting debts appeared to stall.
By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson
The big news is France. With sentiment worsening across Europe, France has lost its relative safe haven status – credit default swap spreads on French government debt were up sharply today.