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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Expect the Greek negotiations to fail, then succeed | Brookings Institution

Douglas J. Elliott
Expect the Greek negotiations to fail, then succeed | Brookings Institution

the Greek Prime Minister has chosen a policy of brinksmanship, on the assumption that Europe is so scared of a potential Greek exit from the Euro (“Grexit”) that it will eventually cave during the negotiations, as would almost certainly have been true a few years ago. This is a miscalculation, as key European leaders are much more confident now of their ability to withstand Grexit and are much more worried about fueling radical parties elsewhere in the periphery if they make too many concessions to Greece. They do not want a collapse of negotiations, but there is a real limit to the price they will pay for an agreement.
[SS. Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

brinkmanship /ˈbrɪŋkmənˌʃɪp/n
  1. the art or practice of pressing a dangerous situation, esp in international affairs, to the limit of safety and peace in order to win an advantage from a threatening or tenacious foe]
In the end, I believe that both sides will be scared back to the negotiating table and will reach a sensible agreement that will work for at least a number of months before needing renegotiation. However, there are certainly risks that Europe will walk to the edge of the cliff and accidentally fall over this time, rather than stepping back as it has successfully done a number of times during the Euro Crisis.

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