The big banks in Germany and other countries lent money to the Greek government that they had good reason to believe would never be repaid, with the understanding that they would be bailed out either by squeezing the people of Greece or at the expense of European taxpayers in general.
Their confidence was not misplaced. As the chart shows, they have already been able to offload most of the Greek government debt.
The Greek leaders have spoken to the Russian government about a possible rescue. The Russian government’s reply is that it won’t help as long as Greece is in the Euro currency zone—which, as Ian Welsh pointed out, is as good as saying it will help if Greece leaves.
Independent journalist John Helmer recalled that Victor Yanukovich, the president of Ukraine, accepted a similar bailout offer from Russia and was quickly removed from…
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