Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is Greece Bluffing? Ready to Play the Russian Card?

This Marketwatch article says that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has moved up his visit to Russia by one month. The article goes on to suggest that this could mean Greece is ready to "play the Russian Card." Would Greece really abandon the EU and look to Russia for financial support? Below a few quotes from the article.

"Greece is ready to play the Russian card, bringing a new geostrategic dimension to the euro crisis.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras moved up his planned visit to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to early next month instead of in May.
Faced with intransigence by the European Union and its other creditors in rolling back austerity and alleviating its debt burden, the Greek government is quietly dangling the prospect of turning to Russia for aid."
. . . . 
"Syriza leaders are not shy about reminding people that Tsipras and other members of his Coalition of the Radical Left have their political roots in Marxism and the Greek Communist Party. Moreover, there are strong ties and sympathy between Russia and Greece because of their bond through the Orthodox Church.
Those who like to think that Putin is on the ropes and that Russia has enough problems of its own to spare any thought for poor little Greece are underestimating the un-blinkered strategic vision of the Russian leader."

. . . . 

"Berlin has tried to cow the Greeks by playing as if it holds all the aces. It turns out, however, that Tsipras has an ace in the hole and may be ready to use it."
My added comment:

This Marketwatch article clearly promotes the idea that Greece might seriously turn to Russia for help. But most observers assume this is a bluff. We'll see how it turns out.

Added note: Not surprisingly, the Russian based Sputnik News thinks Greece leaving the EU would probably be a better plan for Greece. They note that most of the money Greece owes is due to the IMF, the ECB, and individual EU governments so they see no big deal if Greece defaults to them. I'm pretty sure the IMF and ECB disagree.

Also, Soros gives a Grexit a 50-50 chance.

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