Yesterday the “troika” – the IMF, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank – decided to keep giving Greece more money against promises that the Greek government will finally implement the program for fiscal discipline and stabilization it promised to implement a year and a half ago.
The goals for 2011 are “no longer within reach,” which is another way of saying that the Greek government hasn’t done anything, given the fact that those goals have been revised down several times over the last year. But, of course, “Greece continues to make important progress, notably with regard to fiscal consolidation.” Which means that the Greek government spends the same amounts of money, only the column headings in the expense part of the budget have different names than before. For example, “Bonuses for government employees” has become “stimulus for structural reforms.” Or something like that.
The troika actually sent a message yesterday: It will not let Greece default, and it will keep paying Greece for its expenses, until the whole Western world goes down the drain. IMF, of course, has a good backing: The money of the American taxpayers who are the most productive taxpayers in the world, and they will probably keep producing enough to save Greece. Europe can rely on Germans and Dutch to supply the money. And the European Central Bank can just print more money and drown all of Europe in a sea of inflation.
We are all going to be forced to buy more drugs for Greece, in other words, for the promise that Greece will quit using drugs.
And Greece is not alone. There are other addicts in Europe that need more drugs and will promise anything for it. Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy. And we have our own addicts this side of the Pond: California and New York State being the prime examples. And our Federal government too.