One after another, the most important players in the Eurozone and the world economy are warning and urging Greece to hurry up and reach an agreement with its lenders before it is driven into bankruptcy.
Messrs. Obama, Lagarde, Draghi, Schaeuble, Sapen, with one voice, are saying the same thing: find a compromise urgently. Implement reforms. Avoid bankruptcy. Otherwise, you will do real damage to the international economic system, but the damage you will do to your people will be much worse.
That the situation is urgent is illustrated by the fact that President Obama in his speech at the ceremony commemorating Greek Independence Day at the White House last week departed from the usual written speech and referred to the current crisis in Greece. He placed particular emphasis on reforms.
He said the same a little later during his conversation with Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis – who appeared with no tie and an unbuttoned shirt collar.
What are the Greek responses to all these statements? What is the government planning to do? This is where things get confusing, or so they seem to the outside observer.
The government is talking about “red lines,” meaning that it precludes further reductions in public sector wages and pensions, and labor market liberalization.
We will find solutions, Varoufakis said, and we will make concessions, but not included in concessions, or something to that effect. It was difficult to grasp what he was saying.
Varoufakis seems to emit an unusual calm-before-the-storm type of energy. And he exudes the certainty of a man who believes – he either knows it or believes he does – that he will ultimately find a solution, just before the big cannon starts to fire.
Maybe, but if not?
Is he not even concerned that he finds himself in complete isolation? Is he not aware of all the negative leaks in the international media? Are they all “lies?”
Will the forces that want Greece’s exit from the Eurozone in the end succeed in causing that unpredictable “accident”?
Time is running short. It is no longer counted in days, but in hours.
This applies even if you believe that Greece ’s “opponents” are deliberately creating a mini-panic to strengthen their negotiating position.
But the clock is also ticking for the government, which still acts like the opposition instead of the ones governing.
It could be that its popularity is very high at the moment – something that can change very quickly – but it is losing international credibility that it needs in order to be effective.
To the degree that there is time remaining, now is the time for decision.