NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Understandably, everybody in the eurozone is a bit upset right now. They all blame each other. But nobody seems to want to discuss this issue: the Greek debt crisis is an opportunity, not a tragedy. It's an opportunity for the politicians and the people in the eurozone and in the European Union to clearly decide what they want to do.
It all boils down to politics, really. Back in 2010, Greece was saved for political reasons, with a bailout package worth 110 billion euros ($122 billion). It was saved again in 2012, getting another 130 billion euros. At the time, private creditors were forced to take a haircut of more than 50% on their holdings of Greek debt, along with extended maturities and lower interest rates. The past six months have shown that the kind of politics that had made those bailouts possible has disappeared.
The Greeks blame the creditors, saying they themselves did all they could to save the negotiations, although Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stood up and walked out the door last Friday, promising to submit the European proposals to a referendum back home.
Just imagine a Greek shepherd, in between milking his ewes and goats and preparing that delicious feta cheese, taking a look at the list of prior actions that the country's creditors had asked Greece to do, in order to make up his mind on how to vote in the referendum.
The Greek shepherd would have to be at ease with notions such as "medium-term fiscal strategy" or "decompressing the wage distribution across the wage spectrum," and ponder carefully whether it is a good idea to adopt "a holistic NPL resolution strategy, prepared with the help of a strategic consultant."
What sort of politician, having been elected by his people to deal with bailout negotiations, throws responsibility for a complex, technical deal back to the people in the 11th hour of talks that are so important for the country's economy that breaking them off leads to imposing capital controls?
In any case, it looks like the Greeks will vote to remain in the eurozone and agree with the package -- even if not many will understand all its details -- so it seems that Tsipras' move has made the situation worse, rather than better, as it is not in agreement with what his compatriots want.
Source: RBS research.
Then there's the simple fact that the current bailout expires tomorrow and it is unclear whether the offer by the Troika that the Greeks supposedly have to approve next Sunday will still be on the table.