If you’ve been paying attention at all, you know that there were two sets of huge negotiations over the weekend:
- First, Greece and the Eurozone reached an agreement on a new bailout.
- Second, Iran, the United States and the rest of the “six party” talks — now, who were those other five parties again? — have almost finished up, several weekends after they were to be concluded.
First to the Greece and Eurozone agreement: it seems that Greece has agreed to essentially just about the same austerity measures that they rejected in a referendum. Just last weekend, if I recall.
What was the point of that whole charade?
Maybe Greece thought that the Eurozone would blink. Remarkably, it did not. It turns out that the members of the Eurozone were really angry — as demonstrated by ex Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt in the video seen around the world — and that they were not prepared to hand over more money without Greece really doing something.
Of course, many of the details still have to be worked out, just like with Iran and the Six Party Talks. As we know, those details can take quite a while to work out.
Greece still has a steep uphill climb. Robert Reich and others have argued that austerity measures won’t work, in any case. Even Tim Worstall at Forbes Magazine has his doubts.
Will austerity work in Greece? I have no idea. I have my doubts as well, but I’m not an international economist. In any case, the Greek parliament has it’s work cut out for it, and has to enact many of the proposals that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to over the weekend.
In the meantime, Iran and the “P5+1” — the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom — are finishing up the details on their mammoth negotiations. The expectations are that there will be rejoicing in Iran, and that in the United States President Obama will get slapped around for a while by the United States Senate. Reception in Russia, China, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom is yet to be determined, but forecasts are more favorable.