When it comes to Greece and the Eurozone, it is difficult sometimes to tell just who is playing whom. The latest example of the delicate dance within the Eurozone was on display today following the release of a carefully-worded communiquÃƒÂ© issued by a Greek government spokesperson. In this memo, the government announced that should Greece not receive the latest bailout pledge as negotiated late last year, it may have no other choice but to exit the Eurozone.
Obviously, this message had more than a hint of a threat about it. However, the intended audience for the message was not the Eurozone lawmakers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it was meant for the people of Greece themselves.
As part of the emergency funding agreement, Greece is required to implement massive spending cuts and new taxes to close the deficit gap in exchange for emergency funding. As can be imagined, these measures are not being welcomed with open arms by a population accustomed to easily-accessed public pensions and other government-funded largesse.
Germany too is dealing with its own PR nightmare. As the de facto Ã¢â‚¬Å“leaderÃ¢â‚¬Â of the Eurozone thanks to its leading economy, Germany is also a principal contributor to the massive bail-out packages. Naturally, there is a growing resentment amongst German taxpayers who feel they are being forced to pay the bills of sovereign countries that financed their lifestyle thanks to the generosity of others.
Reinforcing the thought that German politicians are ready to play Ã¢â‚¬Å“hard ballÃ¢â‚¬Â with Greece sends a subtle message to the German taxpayer cum voter, that their interests are being protected.
Meanwhile, the Greek government continues to face a rebellious population locked in what it feels to be a life and death struggle to maintain spending on social programs. Today, it was the turn of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doctors and pharmacists to go on strike and demonstrate against planned spending cuts.
In light of this opposition, the government maintains that failing to meet the conditions attached to the rescue plan is, in reality, a vote to secede from the Eurozone. This is clearly an attempt to convince the public to accept the conditions and vote in favor of the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s planned spending cuts.
While there is certainly a battle going on to save the Eurozone, the real fight is the one to influence public perception.
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