The Up-To-The-Minute Guide For Understanding Europe

From Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box


From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "To express in different terms and especially different words: Paraphrase (2): to express in more comprehensible terms: Explain, Interpret"


“I hail, I congratulate”—little or no meaning; words spoken by every politician in Europe when someone does something, anything and has an actual value of about zero. A reference to Roman times where Caesar hailed the conquering heroes which is a species that has been extinct on the Continent for some years now. 

“I (we) will do everything to save the Euro”---we got ourselves into this mess and we will try to do something/anything to get out of it; rhetoric, hyperbole and more zero value talk. I am the head of the European Central Bank and this sentence was found in Chapter 18, paragraph three, “what to say to the Press when you have run out of things to say.” Chapter 18, paragraph four, by the way, is “divine right” and “the full support of God” so you may expect this shortly.

“End corruption, a more efficient tax system, sell government assets, debt to GDP ratio by (pick a date/any date), stop government waste, just asking for a delay, need more time, extension”---these are all Greekspeak for “Give us more money” and no other meaning should be appended to these phrases. These are all terms of the first sentence and then since any/all might be granted the second sentence will be since this or that has been granted that more money will be required to get there (about $50 billion at the present time).

“The debt to GDP ratio (pick a country/any country) will be X by the year (pick a year/any year)” has no bearing to anything in the real world and is not a mathematically based conclusion. These statements are manufactured by the IMF and created in the special secret room there built by Walt Disney & Co.

An example of practical usage:

“Christine what number should we use this time?”
“I don’t know Angela what does Mario think?”
“To which Mario are you referring Christine?”
“Do you think it really matters Angela?”
“Where is the Ouija Board anyway?”

“We are waiting for the Troika report.”---Of course we have seen the Troika report. It makes you want to throw up. We have everyone from the Finance Ministry to the janitor looking at it trying to figure out if there is anything at all that can be spun positively without invoking laughter in the Press. We have sent it to every government on the Continent and so far the best suggestion has been to use it for wallpaper in the lieu. We are using the computer at the Particle Accelerator in Cern, Switzerland in hopes that they can find something and the process time ends October 16 so we are waiting until then to make any announcements.

“We will decide after we have seen the Troika report.”---Is it cheaper to give them another $50 billion or tell them “no more money?” If we give them more money they will ask for another $50 billion in three months and we have elections coming up. We must balance the economic cost against the political cost. I like being Chancellor and don’t intend to lose the job because of the idiots in Athens.

“It is a great victory for Europe…we are not negotiating with either the IMF or the EU…the money is for the banks and not the country…we have valued the Real Estate correctly…the numbers are accurate;” all from the Prime Minister of Spain. Here we have proof positive that Spain is a major drug producing country. They are not only producing various white powders but strong hypnotics, hallucinogens and other mind altering substances. Don Quixote has been found in Valencia and he is living with Timothy O’Leary and Elvis has returned to the house.

“We will raise the tax on the rich to 75%...we will increase Real Estate taxes for anyone that has had some success...all new taxes will be retroactive…everyone making any money will have to give most of it to everyone else so they can sit in the cafes and enjoy the croissants.” The President of France once took a course in economics at the Acadamie du Comedie but flunked it which is not public information and protected by the French courts. It turned out that the professor was from Marseilles and Hollande could not understand his accent. “Let them eat cake” worked for Marie Antoinette and it might work again. Where is Robespierre when we need him? Find Madame Defarge and offer her the Finance Ministry. 

“There will be no Referendum in Britain.” I know the country is a democracy but as Prime Minister this is an inappropriate question. The people in Dover and Manchester can’t spell Referendum much less understand what it means. The British people hated taking Latin in school and it is bad politics to remind them of the experience. I won’t get invited anymore to the fancy dinners in Brussels and our laws don’t allow for Champagne on the dinner vouchers. Britain doesn’t make any decent red wines and I will be cut-off and have to suffer. I am not a “Bangers and Mash” kind of chap.

“Mark Grant is writing mischievous comments.” This was found on the official government website of Ireland eighteen days before they went bankrupt. This phrase may soon appear on the Spanish website (“Mark Grant está escribiendo comentarios maliciosos”) and after that perhaps on the Italian website (“Mark Grant scrive commenti maliziosi”). The translation of “mischievous” here is quite tricky.  It means reading the writing on the wall, utilizing the complex mathematical propositions of addition and subtraction, having a rational basis for a conclusion and stating the obvious when those in power do not wish to hear it. [Please refer to “Eurospeak for Foreign Dummies” for a further explanation.]

“I want Greece to remain part of the Eurozone…”---Merkel, Hollande, Rajoy, Cameron, Kenney, Coelho, Katainen et al. This phrase is taken from the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” and is generally attributed to Judy Garland and her famous song, “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That's where you'll find me.

"We are not asking for more money. We are asking for air to breathe as we plunge to the depths."

              -Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on August 24, 2012

Here we have the new revival, the newest rendition of the Trojan horse; the play made famous by Odysseus, the famous Greek actor. It is a time tested Athens stratagem where, having gained admission, Pandora’s Box is unleashed. You will recall Virgil's famous line "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" (I fear Greeks even those bearing gifts). So it is not all Greek to you; the correct translation of Mr. Samaras’ comment is “Knock, Knock; Please let me in.”

"I don’t envisage, not even for one second, Greece leaving the euro area. This is nonsense. This is propaganda. We have to respect Greek democracy…


"When it becomes serious, you have to lie."

                 -Jean-Claude Juncker

No translation necessary