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Franglais Communiques

Greece; Should We Rub It In?

Greece; Should We Rub It In?

Friday 4 September, 2015
Hugo Morthanigo, Friday Mash’s indomitable EU correspondent, catches up with Prokopis Pavolopoulos, the Greek President, to discuss whether there’s any chance of his country starting to take their economy seriously.
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Franglais by Hugo Morethanigo on Friday Mash

Hugo Morthanigo, Friday Mash’s indomitable EU correspondent, catches up with Prokopis Pavolopoulos, the Greek President, to discuss whether there’s any chance of his country starting to take their economy seriously.

“Tell me Proko’ said Hugo “what is the significance of Tsipras’ resignation as prime minister?”

“It’s really quite simple” replied Proko “during the last election campaign he promised to lead the country out of austerity but he forgot to mention that the only way of doing that was to lead them into abject poverty”

“Would it be fair to say that was perceived as a broken promise?” asked Hugo

“No rather as a brave try” replied Proko “Alexis thought he could restore prosperity to Greece by twisting the EU’s arm to write-off our debts and trust his government to implement sound economic management”

“A trifle optimistic perhaps” suggested Hugo

“Quite” responded Proko “Angela was very terse. She opined that if the EU wrote of our debts then Italy and Spain would get very toey and trusting the Greek government to run a sound economy was like trusting the Ayatollah to write an encyclical on behalf of the Pope”

“So what happens now?” asked Hugo

“The opposition parties are fiddling around trying to form an alternative government” replied Proko

“Any chance they’ll succeed” asked Hugo“It’s like trying to make a silk purse out of plastic bags from the supermarket”

replied Proko “Greece’s world leadership in the development of democracy has reached the stage where everyone has their own political party. At the last count there were at least two million parties in the country”

“So there’s obviously going to be another election” remarked Hugo “Will Tsipras be standing again as a candidate for prime minister?”

“Of course” replied Proko “any Greek prime minister who doesn’t stuff the country completely deserves a second chance”

“It will be interesting to see what his main platform will be“ said Hugo “I guess this time he could promise to lead the country from abject poverty back into austerity”

“I rather think” said Proko “he’ll promise to bring forward the fourth bailout so that it kicks in before the third one runs out and allow Greece to enjoy a few months of irresponsible uninhibited spending just like old times”

“Do you see any long-term solution to Greece’s economic problems?” asked Hugo

“Yes” replied Proko “but it’s going to take time to arrange for Greece to be listed as a World Heritage Country and for the EU to agree to fund it as a museum”

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About this Series
Hugo is the doyen of EU political commentators who took Berlusconi to his first bunga bunga party and advised Francois Hollande that with his taste in women he should never get married. His special understanding of EU financial policies is the blessing bestowed by going bankrupt a few times.

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