Today is a big day for Greece – and it’s willingness to repay the $240 billion it owes to the EU.
The recently appointed Greek government were voted in to power on the basis they would tell the rest of Europe where it can stick its debts. I really don’t see them backing down on their campaign pledges.
Whilst all the talk today is about whether Greece will or will not repay its debts to the EU I think the media have missed the point altogether. I believe the Geeks will NOT repay their loan – instead they will simply find someone else to lend them money.
Who would lend Greece more money and why?
Well, here’s a clue.
The Greek defence minister, Panos Kammenos, said earlier this week,
“We want a deal. But if there is no deal, and if we see that Germany remains rigid and wants to blow Europe apart, then we will have to go to Plan B”.
“We have other ways of finding money. It could be the United States at best, it could be Russia, it could be China or other countries.”
Mr Kammenos said Greece would prefer to leave the euro if membership means submitting to what he calls a “Europe under German domination”.
That seems pretty clear to me.
The Greeks will borrow from anyone who will lend them money.
I have become very familiar with Greek attitude to debt over the last ten years. I have no doubt that they will NOT honour their debts.
They also like the Russians – a lot. Greek banks have held a great deal of Russian money over the years.
OK, so Europe has ponied up the money over the last ten years without asking too many questions but now the Germans are getting restless about repayments. I believe the Greeks will simply find someone else to bail them out.
The Russians and the Chinese will both be keen to get a political hold on a country inside the European Union. They will not hesitate to take an opportunity like this if it comes their way.
Okay, the Russians may have a few money problems of their own right now but the Chinese are awash with cash.
Knowing the Greek mentality I very much suspect that they may well go for both Chinese and Russian help – why not? It’s a lot cheaper than paying back $240 billion plus interest and keeps all their options open.
Nikos Chountis, Greece’s deputy foreign minister, announced yesterday:
“There have been proposals, offers I would say, from Russia, recently after the election, for economic support as well as from China, regarding help, investment possibilities.”
Doesn’t get much clearer than that does it?
Which currency will Greece and Cyprus be using this time next year?
However, whilst I speculate on which currency Greece will be using in 12 month’s time, my computer screen tells me that the Euro is surging in value on the back of a payback deal done between EU and Greek officials.
The deal was reported by Reuters late on Wednesday.
Far from me to question either Reuters or indeed the markets themselves, but I don’t buy it. My “down bet” on the markets has just been put in place – if this one tanks I want to make some money on the deal.
There’s a lot at stake here, both economically and politically. Most of the players involved in this one are financially bruised after the last ten years. Desperate time s call for desperate measures and it will be interesting to see what currency I will need next time I visit Greece.
We will all know soon enough.