Finally, Europe has a unified voice

For today’s blog post, I thought I’d have a little fun.  It’s been a good week in the stock market so some Euro-crisis levity doesn’t seem inappropriate.

 

Sometimes, irony is just…  so ironic.

While in Poland, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner spoke to the Euro-zone ministers in an attempt to convince them to act in a coordinated manner.  In fact, he asked them to “speak with a unified voice.”

And did they ever.

Here are a few quotes (courtesy of Bloomberg and Reuters) from meeting attendees:

“I found it peculiar that even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the euro zone that they tell us what we should do and when we make a suggestion … that they say no straight away, ” – Maria Fekter

“I had expected that when he tells us how he sees the world that he would listen to what we have to say.” – Maria Fekter

“We can always discuss with our American colleagues. I’d like to hear how the United States will reduce its deficits … and its debts.” – Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders

“I don’t think it would be wise for me to report from an informal meeting that we have with the treasury secretary. We are not discussing the expansion or increase of the EFSF with a non-member of the euro area” – Jean-Claude Juncker

And, from Vienna:  “Finger-pointing in the direction of Europe shouldn’t prevent others from putting their budgets in order and doing their homework before handing out advice to Europeans.”- Juergen Stark

Amazing.  After months of disagreements and political chasms in Europe, Mr. Geithner managed to bring them together in one 30 minute speech!