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Francis and Tspiras

Today we go off road, so to speak.

For those who are following the bishop of Rome’s foray into politics, surely remember his meeting with the Greek politician and avowed Marxist and atheist Alexis Tsipras. Well, a month ago, the Greek electorate elected Mr. Tsipras in an overwhelming landslide victory.

Needless to say, Mr. Tsipras ran on a very… ahem…populist platform, promising everything from raising the minimum wage to empowering the poor etc. Your regular everyday populist stuff in other words.

This past Friday, Mr. Tsipras met with his “partners” from Euroland to “negotiate” another financial bailout program for Greece, since the other populists that the Greeks have been electing…since the early 1990 have ran up such a massive debt, a debt that the Greek people will never be able to repay. And now, the Greeks need to be bailed out… again!

Anyways, back to the story, Francis had a dog in this fight. Here is a short excerpt: (see here)

Greece’s opposition leader Alexis Tsipras – a radical leftist and self-described atheist – has hailed Pope Francis as the “pontiff of the poor” after meeting him for talks at the Vatican.

The Greek firebrand, among the loudest critics of the politics of austerity, emerged from discussions with the pope saying the two men had seen eye-to-eye on such issues as banks, profits and the need for Europe’s left to deepen dialogue with the church. “We come from different ideological starting points,” said Tsipras, Europe’s first leftwing leader to be invited to the Vatican. “But we meet on [the matter] of pan-human values.”

And here is how Francis’ dog’s first fight went…

Well, I will let Bloomberg news service explain the rest. (see here) [Emphasis added]

Tsipras Tamed as Economists Declare Greece Loses Austerity Fight

(Bloomberg) — “Complete” surrender by the Greeks. “Major victory” for the eurocrats.

To those who have followed Greece’s financial crisis for five years, there wasn’t much doubt who won the latest round Friday when the region’s finance ministers struck a deal to keep the bailout on track.

Even German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said he didn’t “want to make it more difficult for them,” concluded Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have a “difficult” time selling the agreement at home. That’s because Tsipras’s populist rhetoric of ending austerity was overpowered by the united front he faced.

A “complete political surrender to the world of reality” was how Erik Nielsen, London-based global chief economist of UniCredit Bank AG, put it. Societe Generale SA and Berenberg Bank both labeled it a “u-turn” by Tsipras, who won election Jan. 25 promising an end to budget cutting.

“If the deal holds, it would be a major victory of common sense over populism,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg in London, who cut his probability of Greece leaving the euro area to 25 percent from 35 percent. “The taming of Tsipras would show that Europe’s ‘tough love’ approach is working.”

While Tsipras says skirting national insolvency meant “we won a battle, but not the war,” economists say he may not have managed even that. That’s because the basics of the existing aid deal he fought against are still intact.

Looks like the young Marxist/atheist Francis political protege just got himself a one way ticket to Palookaville!

Concluding, it is only a matter of time until we see the same text with two small changes, namely Francis as the main protagonist and theology as the main theme.

And for the sake of any cleric who prizes his retirement package, not even mentioning his salvation, please don’t let this happen to you. Remember, there is a Synod of Bishops starting in 223 days, and you will also have a voting decision to make.

Oh, and Cardinal-electors, especially you new ones, are you paying attention?