If Russia does not seize the opportunity to bail out Greece, we can conclude that the Russian economy is in much worse shape than anticipated. There is also an interesting observation to be made behind the gunpowder smoke in Ukraine, Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program and several other geopolitical issues.
It's clear that we should not base our hopes on futile and dangerous solutions, such as returning to the drachma. Let us draw up a long-term plan for the next day, that will turn Greece into a modern, well-governed European country with a strong economy and liberated from the chronic pathologies that pester it.
The Greek government has squandered all its goodwill within half a year through a combination of arrogance, belligerence, naivety and utter incompetence. It set out to restore the "dignity" of the Greek people by "liberating" them from the alleged stranglehold of the Troika, while in the process "transforming" Europe into a more equal and just continent. It has achieved neither.
PARIS -- Europe's demands -- ostensibly aimed at ensuring that Greece can service its foreign debt -- are petulant, naive and fundamentally self-destructive. In rejecting them, the Greeks are not playing games; they are trying to stay alive. The Greek government is right to have drawn the line. It has a responsibility to its citizens. The real choice, after all, lies not with Greece, but with Europe.
ATHENS -- The IMF and Greece's other creditors have assumed that massive fiscal contraction has only a temporary effect on economic activity, employment and taxes, and that slashing wages, pensions and public jobs has a magical effect on growth. This has proved false. Indeed, Greece's post-2010 adjustment led to economic disaster -- and the IMF's worst predictive failure ever.