Have we just crossed the historic Rubicon when a photoshopped classical statue is about to lead to a collapse in a monetary and customs union, and possibly something a tad more serious? Also, is the KFW bailout rumor too little too late? It appears the Greeks are two minutes away from saying "take you bailout and shove it." The reason: The Focus cover which shows a status of Venus de Milo flipping off the Greeks, who were characterized as the "cheats of the eurozone." After recent Greek media outbursts have recalled the Nazi wartime occupation of the country, as well as demands for WWII reparations, today's action by the Federation of Greek Consumers, calling for a boycott of products made by "banana-eating" Germans, is a direct response to the airbrushed statue of Venus expressing the communal German sentiment. Oh, and that whole KfW rumor? Don't buy it: "[KfW bond purchasing] considerations have been presented because it's seen as the only way of avoiding accusations of...direct aid," the lawmaker said. But he stressed that no decisions have yet been taken. I.e., More posturing.
From Dow Jones:
In a statement Friday, Greece's umbrella Federation of Greek Consumers, Inka, referred to Germany's war record and also the magazine article in calling for Greeks to boycott all German products and shops.
"In a sign of protest Inka...calls on all citizens of the country to boycott all German products and shops even if they say they are sorry," the statement said.
"The distortion of a Greek historical statue of beauty and civilization, at a time when [the Germans] were eating bananas in the trees, is unacceptable and inexcusable from later civilized peoples," the statement added.
Earlier Friday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said in parliament that the issue of Germany's wartime reparations to Greece remained unsettled, but also said Greece would not exploit the current crisis to pressure Germany on the issue.
Papandreou is due to visit Berlin March 5 to shoot the shit with Angela Merkel. We can't wait to see what rumors that meeting creates.
In the meantime, we suggest the Brits start preparing (after all, they can't be too far down the road). To make their lives easier, here is some guidance from Basil Fawlty.