Just when I think I understand what is going on, I don’t.
There was a deal to resolve the Eurozone crisis, which meant solving the Greek crisis. Then there wasn’t because the Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, called a referendum on the deal. Politically this was right, because Greece is in turmoil over enforced austerity measures and a referendum might have got some public acceptance of the further cuts required under the Eurozone deal. Suddenly the deal was off the table and voices outside Greece, it seems, have decided the referendum question would be about remaining in the EU, rather than about austerity. The Greek cabinet started to split and the prime minister cancelled the referendum and now faces a confidence vote tomorrow while trying to build a coalition and having to go to the G8-G20 summit in Cannes to try to save the deal.
Have I left anything out?
If Mr Papandreou got the domestic politics right by calling the referendum, he got the international politics wrong. More than ever it is international politics that determine what sovereign states can do, but these don’t connect with the domestic politics of ordinary people trying to do their best for their families.
Connecting with no reality are the credit rating agencies who are unaccountable oligarchies that should have their power removed.
What I understand least, is that Greece seems to be a bit player in its own tragedy, responding to solutions hammered out by bigger countries. That would be unacceptable to any country and we in Britain still resent the IMF coming in to tell us what to do in the 1970s (and I blame the party in government at the time). Surely it is for Greece to find the solution to its problem and negotiate the help it needs from others, not the other way round. Or, is that something else I don’t understand?