Monday, March 25, 2013

Eurocrash: Cyprus – now or never?


What is so terribly predictable about the "colleagues" is that they love their cliff-hanger dramas, the midnight meetings and the last minute settlement. Thus, after watching the Cyprus situation all day, with all sorts of deadlines come and gone, we're no further forward than we were yesterday, or the day before, or the day before, or …

Meanwhile, Chicken Little is screeching round the courtyard in Brussels, with frenetic talk of the island nation being the first to leave the eurozone. But that, the "colleagues" could never allow to happen, and nor can they risk bringing down the entire European banking system for a paltry €10 billion – not even a rounding error in terms of the wider European economy. 

And that is why Cypriot president, Nicos Anastasiades, has a much stronger hand to play than many commentators allow. Potentially, the "colleagues" have much more to lose than he does. 

However, before we get to the end play, and an outcome that is to an extent pre-ordained, we must go through the theatre which so characterises EU politics. Everything is for show with the posturing entirely for public consumption, while the real negotiations proceed apace, behind closed doors. 

For the moment, though, there is no resolution. They game must be played out to the bitter end, for the final compromise that will see Cyprus remain in the eurozone, with another glorious fudge in place. That is the one certainty in a sea of uncertainty. The rest, as they say, is detail. 


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And hey! Waddayaknow?  We're "back from the brink".  An "11th-hour deal" has been agreed.  This boilerplate comes from The Independent but any of the dead tree media could suffice.  It's a "tough deal" of course, but the drama's done.  The dogs bark and the caravan moves on.