Hello Greece



Enda Kenny this morning

Your PFO letter has arrived.

Thank you for your letter of yesterday concerning the negotiations on Greece’s programme of financial assistance. As I have recalled to you at our meetings, Ireland itself experienced a very difficult economic period and worked its way through a programme of assistance and has great empathy for Greece and its people.

We will continue to support the objective of a sustainable and mutually beneficial agreement, acceptable to all concerned, which will, as you say, return Greece to growth within the Eurozone.

It had very much been my hope that, in line with the approach agreed at the Euro Summit of 22 June, and confirmed at the European Council on 25/26 June, agreement would have been achieved at the Eurogroup meeting on 27 June on the basis of the negotiations between your government and the institutions.

Unfortunately, your decision to break off these negotiations meant that this was not possible at that time, as set out in the Eurogroup statement of 27 June.

I hope now that it will be possible to return to negotiations as quickly as possible. For me, and I am sure for all our colleagues, the door remains open to dialogue in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility.

I am happy to acknowledge your stated commitment to Greece’s EMU membership.

Yours sincerely

Text of a letter Taoiseach Enda Kenny sent to Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last night.

Mr Kenny sent the letter in response to a letter from Tspirias in which he requested support from Ireland for an extension of its bailout programme for one month.

Meanwhile, in today’s Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole writes:

““The Pride of Europe” is a makey-up story that is intended to take the place of the realities it displaces. It’s not a stand-alone narrative. It has an evil twin: Greece. It belongs to a particular genre of fiction: the morality tale. Ireland is the pride of Europe because it is the anti-Greece. We are good because we play along with the bigger stories of the euro zone crisis. Greece is evil because it stopped doing so.”

“One of those stories is that the crisis had nothing to do with reckless lending (by, for example, German state banks) and was created purely by reckless borrowing. The other, even more fantastical, is that so-called austerity (in reality a programme of sucking citizens dry to transfer their resources to private banks) produces economic growth.”

“These stories are as patently false as Enda’s fairy tale, but Ireland is the pride of Europe because it has gone along with them and Greece is the shame of Europe because it has not been able to sustain the suspension of disbelief.”

Kenny urges Greece to return to negotiations (RTE)

Who will dare say out loud ‘emperor has no clothes’? (Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times)

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24 thoughts on “Hello Greece

  1. Fergus the magic postman

    Dear Greece,
    If you were to succeed in getting a better deal than we did, that would make my party look worse than it already does (if that’s even possible -lol), so we’re not going to be helping you with that any time soon.
    Yours sincerely

    1. TG

      Your comments sums up the situation perfectly. Well done. As for the Irish being the “pride of Europe”: far from it, we are the obedient Yes people of Europe. Asked to jump, we say, “How high?” How did we ever become such a feelings-driven, zombie, conformist nation?

      1. Atticus

        We’re like, or more so the government is like, the lacky’s that hang around with the school bully who end up doing most of the bully just to look good themselves.

    2. Miko

      So basically Kenny should advise Greece to do the exact opposite of what Ireland did despite Ireland having the fastest growing economy in Europe and Greece literally on its feet due to the mismanagement of the Greek Government? How odd.

    3. SiJu Cat

      I would rather cut off my nose to spite your face. No one will have it easy in Greece for the next five years. I’d rather go hungry and you get nothing. The alternative is still to pay and go hungry.

  2. Owen C

    If Greece gets a cut in its debt, it will not be banks taking the loss on that, it will be government and taxpayers either in Europe or elsewhere in the world via the IMF. Taking this whole “democratic mandate” lark to its next stage, do the people of these countries (some of whom are poorer than the Greeks) vote to accept such losses, and, if so, do they demand anything (economic reforms, austerity etc) in return? Fintan never likes to answer this question. Its always either the rich Germans or the evil banks that should foot the bill.

    1. Anomanomanom

      You really have no idea how the imf “loans” are created do you. It actually cost other countries NOTHING. The loans, in effect are pulled from thin air, but the imf, ecb, world bank can make the Not real money worth something by simply saying “Yes we back this money” which gives it value. That’s a very simplified version but it’s basically what happens. The could loan the money for a fraction on the rate they charge and still make a fortune.

      1. Owen C

        The money for IMF/World Bank loans comes directly from member countries. Trust me – i know this for a fact. It is not created out of thin air. You actually havent a clue how it really works.

        – Individual countries, some poorer than Ireland or Greece, pay in contributions to the IMF (usually out of foreign reserves) and this is then used to lend money to IMF countries in need of aid.
        – The World Bank sells billions of $ of bonds on the bond markets every year to raise its funding requirements, backed by guarantees from its member countries (though WB not lending to Greece)
        – EU loans to the Greeks have come via selling European Union bonds on international markets and are these are then indirectly (different rate) lent on to the Greeks.
        – Individual countries like Germany and Finland (not Ireland) have lent money directly to the Greeks via their own cash buffers or by selling bonds
        – The EFSF sells bonds in the market and directly (same rate, plus small margin) lends them on to the Greeks

        Further, the rates on the EU portions of the loans is already close to zero, so it is not a ‘cost’ issue for the Greeks (most of their interest repayments have already been postponed until the next decade as well), it is the principal rollover on older bonds that is the problem, as the Greeks need more funding from the EU/IMF to roll these over.

    2. Lilly

      FO’T is right about plenty of things, not least of which the German banks continue to deny all responsibility for their reckless lending. They want to wash their hands of their part in the mess and shunt it on to the taxpayers of Europe. I’m glad the Greeks are refusing to participate in the fiction. As for Enda Kenny, he has a face that suggests he only learnt to tie his shoelaces last week.

    3. ahjayzis

      I haven’t heard a reason why the ECB (It’s supposed to be a central bank, after all) can’t just buy the Greek debt from the other EZ governments (using money it printed) and extend the repayment for like 5,000 years. Isn’t that basically what it did for our Prom Notes?

      It’s all imaginary, notional money, Europe is supposed to be able to control it’s Euro, let’s do what the Yanks and Brits have been doing and create as much money as we need to get over this festering crisis, while making sure the faulty currency we established has it’s flaws fixed so this doesn’t happen again.

      1. Joe the Lion

        Won’t take their medicines Greeks don’t pay tax eat feta and olives and sip ouzo all day insert here

  3. Joe the Lion

    I couldn’t give two fupps to be honest about the elites trolling us with their gombeen politics

    the best thing to do now would be to bulldoze leinster house and/or turn it into a LEED Platinum skyscraper with an open air plaza and farmers market selling olives and sundried tomatoes imported on a solar powered plane from Greece because the sun is free energy

  4. Atticus

    Austerity for the people, carry on regardless for financial institutions. Yeah, seems fair enough.

  5. Gavin

    He does have a point, the whole reckless lending on behalf of banks, Ireland shouldering the EU bank bailout, Greece being allowed in with clearly cooked books, it just all seems to have been just conveniently brushed under the carpet. I mean does anyone really believe either side is blameless in all this.

  6. Spaghetti Hoop

    O’Toole is right except for the over-dramatic good vs bad analogy…the EU is more like a class of school kids of varying abilities and wealth than a Tolkien showdown.

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