Monday, 17 May 2010

The politician's creed: lie or at least obfuscate

Whatever you do, don't say what you really think. That was the clear message from Germany's economics and technology minister Rainder Bruderle to any of her nation's bankers thinking of talking about the current crisis in Greece and its impact on the Euro.
Last week Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann in a TV interview cast doubt on Greece's ability to repay its debt. As Reuters reported it, Ackermann, one of Europe's top bankers who has helped to put together a private-sector bailout package for Greece, questioned the country's ability to turn itself around, according to excerpts of a transcript for the Maybrit Illner talkshow set to be broadcast on German television ZDF "Whether Greece over this time period is really in a position, to bring up the strength , I have my doubts," Ackermann said in the transcript, adding that this requires "unbelievable efforts". If Greece were to "fall down" this could spread to other countries and lead to "a sort of meltdown," Ackermann told ZDF.
It was probably a pretty accurate assessment and not much different to what many economic commentators have predicted., But for German Minister Bruderle such frankness should not occur. The English language version of the Greek newspaper Kathinerini reported his comments this way:

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