UK BUDGET MEETS GREEK DEFIANCE: One legislative vote in Athens makes a mockery of Osborne’s “long term plan”.

Pretty much the entire UK pre-election Budget presented by George Osborne today is predicated upon an optimistic growth rate going forward at 2.5%. But 1,984.2 miles away in Athens, the passage into Law of a defiant anti-poverty Bill has ensured that Britain’s biggest trading partner is likely to be in a zero-import chaos for the rest of this year.

The Greek parliament overwhelmingly adopted several EC-vetoed clauses in Syriza’s Anti-poverty bill this afternoon. The Bill is about tackling Greece’s humanitarian crisis by helping its poorest people – those whose lives have been unimaginably destituted by a yet to be properly rationalised, German-led EU ‘austerity’ policy.

This first package of social measures put forward by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ radical left-wing government drew support across the board in parliament – including from the Conservative Nia Demokratia Opposition. Thus are those who prostituted themselves forced to fall in and help the destitutes who resulted from their spineless collaboration.

An immediate sign that Brussels-am-Berlin aka Troika2 had been stunned by Finger Day was the immediate attempt by French foreign minister Pierre Muscovici to suggest that the EC hadn’t vetoed anything. But this is a tough case to make: yesterday evening CET, EC Commissioner with specific responsibility for monitoring Greek debt, Declan Costello, told the Syriza-led Coalition government in Athens to postpone its vote on what he called “unilateral” measures. The actual quoted (and agreed) words were:

‘Commissioner Declan Costello orders the Greek government to stop the Bill from being enacted in the Greek parliament’

When is a diktat not a diktat? When a dictator is trying to save face.

With Muscovici offering a cigarette to the truculent Greek legislature, his predecessor and IMF (air)Head Christine Lagarde weighed in with a cosh late yesterday: in what was described by those listening in as ‘a short and bad-tempered conference call’, the IMF top brass called Greece “the most unhelpful country the organisation has dealt with in its 70-year history”. Stand by for a brimstone-laden shower of blamestorming over the next few days.

Meanwhile, over at the two-fingered ECB building in Frankfurt, word reaches me that old curly-teeth Draghula is quietly briefing favoured MSM chums to predict a 90% loss for EU taxpayers on Greek bonds, and the now “near certainty” of Grexit….the formula-cum-process for which has yet to be discovered by the Alchemists in Brussels-am-Berlin. The usual round of lies and myths apply.

Something tells me that the Russians have broken through, and a strange atmosphere is pervading the Reichsbunker. And many other somethings are telling me that Yanis Varoufakis has proved to be something of a diappointment to Alexis Tsipras. Google a translation of his Parliamentary speech today, and you may well see what I mean.

Earlier at The Slog: How can a “Labour Party” face itself in the mirror AND support the EU?