Gimme A G! Gimme An R!

As time ticks down for a deal, Athens and the lenders remain at odds over how far Greece is willing to bend to meet demands for austerity in exchange for funds desperately needed to avoid a default. The dispute is likely to come to a head by a European summit on June 25, or possibly earlier, at which either Mr. Tsipras or German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have to back down.

GREXIT

In a speech to Syriza party lawmakers, Mr. Tsipras said that Greece cannot accept deeper austerity demands from its international creditors—other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, accusing them of trying to humiliate the country and the IMF of having “criminal responsibility” for the country’s current economic woes.

Mutti Looks Mad

Some say it has something to do with Greece or something.

Mad

A small majority of Germans now want Greece out of the single currency, while an overwhelming majority believe that Europe shouldn’t offer Athens any new concessions to keep it in the bloc, according to a new poll from the German broadcaster ZDF.

Euroländer bereiten sich auf Griechenland-Pleite vor

Greece Worried Eurozone Could Collapse

And Greece is willing to help.

Tsipras

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has just pointed out to Merkel, Hollande & Co. that his country, accounting for a whopping 2% of the eurozone’s economy, is now finally ready to lend officials in Brussels all the money they will need in the turbulent times to come. Provided, of course, that they hand it all over to Greece first (along with a couple zillion euros on top for administrative fees).

Let’s get this over with, people.

„Es wäre der Anfang vom Ende der Eurozone.“ Tsipras warnte, dass die Kosten für die europäischen Steuerzahler enorm seien.

 

Bavarian Codebreaker Needed

Not everybody can speak this lingo. I assume it has something to do with the G7 demonstration festivities going on in Elmau, Germany right now but I can’t say for sure.

I am also assuming here that “Yes Mia Spuin” must be in honor of Obama’s visit and can only mean “yes, we can.” The guy with his face all up in the camera has sure got me stumped, however.

Dorf empfängt Obama mit Alphörnern und Weißwurst

Dial M For Merkel

And something tells me there was a lot of heavy breathing during this telephone conversation, too.

Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an uncexpected telephone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that nobody wants to comment about officially.

Bild newspaper reported on Monday that Tsipras had called Merkel as well as Euro group head Jeroen Dijsselbloem to try to convince them of the need for more help for Greece and for the need for an emergency meeting of EU leaders this week.

Bild said the reason for the call is that the Greek government has run out of money

“It’s on fire and there’s no water there to put out the fire. The situation is more than dramatic.”

It’s TTIP, All Right

It’s TTIP of your normal-everyday-hysterical-German-anti-American iceberg.

TTIP

“All this enters the debate, but it surprises me a bit that the resistance is so strong in a country like Germany, where the benefits will be the greatest.”

The most controversial element of TTIP is a plan to let companies have legal disputes with governments heard by supra-national tribunals, which campaigners say would undermine national sovereignty and favour big business.

The so-called investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, allows firms to sue national governments if they feel that local rulings — such as health and safety regulations — violate the trade deal and threaten their investments.

The courts are a critical issue for US negotiators, who underline that these types of panels have existed for decades and are already included in thousands of trade deals worldwide, including about 400 in Europe.

„Dabei ist es geradezu bizarr, dass die Debatte in Deutschland so aufgeheizt ist: Schließlich profitiert kein Land so stark von TTIP wie Deutschland.”

It’s Not That We’re Too Strong

The rest of you guys out there in Europe are just too weak. Like start doing more push-ups or something.

Germany

German dominance is in part a consequence of others’ retreat. That may be why complaints have been muted. “If the Italians don’t bring pasta and the French don’t bring pâté,” says a diplomat, “you can’t complain about Mrs Merkel’s cabbage soup.

PS: And speaking of getting stronger, you folks over at the FDP should learn to smile a little already. Polls indicate that you’re back over that magical 5 percent line and could get back in the saddle again – if elections were to be held today.

Germany And USA Divided Over How Best Not To Do Anything In Ukraine

Although President Obama just went out of his way to stress that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine only reinforces the unity of the US and Europe to not do anything about it, Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Washington today nevertheless made clear once again just how wide their views differ when it comes down to the how-not-to-do-anything-about-it part.

Ukraine

Washington, on the one hand, prefers talking about maybe sending weapons someday perhaps but let’s not rush into things because these are weapons we’re talking about here after all people while Merkel, for her part, categorically rejects the idea of sending weapons that are never going to be sent anyway, preferring instead more negotiations about negotiations with whoever feels like negotiating about anything at anytime anywhere, stressing here how crucial it was “that the West stand up for Ukraine,” provided, of course, that this remain a purely figurative expression devoid of anything that could even remotely be interpreted as meaning “like actually standing up for Ukraine or anything.”

“If we give up this principle of territorial integrity of countries, then we will not be able to maintain the peaceful order of Europe.”

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

Somebody said that once, not all to0 long ago, after some NSA Aufregung (excitement) about something somewhere. I forget where. But I couldn’t agree more. So, uh, where’s the outrage now?

Turkey

Now that Germany’s intelligence agency BND has revealed that NATO ally Turkey is one of five countries it is spying on, I mean.

Outrage won’t be necessary this time, I guess. It appears that Germany is finally coming clean and ready to admit to the world that Turkey has officially reached non-friend status so spying in this case is allowed.

Hey, what goes around comes around.

The news reports (of NSA spying in Germany) outraged Germans, leading to favorable attitudes about the United States falling to their lowest levels in years and creating a public and private sense of mistrust. Merkel has repeatedly called the U.S. spy program a breach of trust and noted that “friends don’t spy on friends.”

German Spy Etiquiette Initiative Fails For Now

But will most likely be introduced again at a much later date once hell freezes over.

Spy

The United States and Germany had been negotiating over mutual rules for intelligence-gathering aimed at each other, but there still appears to be “some gaps that need to be worked through.”

It seems Angie Merkel suddenly had more important things to say than talk about the NSA during her latest stay in the USA. Hey, that rhymes.

“We do not have a blanket no-spy agreement with any country.”

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