Thursday, 11 February 2010

A Greek Tragedy?

Well we don't know yet, we'll have to wait and see, but it has been at least a tragi-comedy.

It is such if we don't have to bail them out, but if we do, public mood over here deserves to change with regards to the EU.
We can smile, or perhaps breathe a sigh of relief, as we have always staunchly rejected inclusion in the Eurozone, whereas it is in France and Germany's interests to not watch Greece go under. But apparently the Council, under Van Rompuy, has come to an agreement, although the details wont be revealed until probably Monday when the Heads of State sit down for a summit regarding economic and fiscal strategy in Europe.
So who is to blame? Well, everyone of course says Greece, who apparently covered up the true extent of their deficit in order to become a member of the Union. But look what has happened, one falls and risks dragging the rest down. At least if Greece were going solo, the problem would be contained in one country.
But what happens here will set a precedent for future behaviour. A bail-out is by all accounts "illegal" under European Law - Open Europe cover this really well. At first there was hesitation from other member states at rushing to Greece's aid, and help has only been forthcoming from those states-France and Germany- who would suffer the fall-out of a Greek fall-apart. So much for strength through solidarity. It goes to show that this Union to which we belong is more of a dead weight than an enriching co-operative, and is certainly no elixir for a good economy.

Throughout the recession Federalists would have had you believe that the only reason so many European countries haven't folded under the weight of all those red letters is because of the global bargaining power and economic strength the Union delivers. This week we've heard how Obama thinks the EU is all hot-air, and wouldn't attend the latest summit. Then the Greek affair has turned that on it's head and goes to show that, if anything, doubt has been cast over the value of the EU globally and speculation and caution have been tempered towards the other Eurozone countries because the single currency has no single treasury, no stringent development plan and no recognisable fiscal policy. We have also seen that, get it wrong, lose it all and fall to your knees and the European Union will only kick you while your down and take the opportunity to march in and turn you into an economic protectorate!

I wonder how we'd be doing right now had we not joined the European Union at all. Those countries that are flourishing and are set to grow over the coming era are historically more likely to call upon Britain than Europe, as a whole. Our Commonwealth ties should serve us very well as we progress into a new era of socio-economic development. India has one of the world's fastest growing economies and already trades with us separately from the EU. Oil fields have been found offf the coast of Ghana (not to mention the Falklands of course) - and already the Chinese,who have always shown great trading interest with Africa, are offering to provide the technoloy to drill it. Why we follow around France and Germany and fund the development of their lesser continental friends rather than standing on our own two feet and using all the trade relations and opportunities centuries of history enshrine, we'd rather sit back and lose out all for the sake of creating a better Europe.
We may not have been the most fair or ethical country in terms of our practices in trade and foreign affairs. We have a lot of apologising to do. But the UK was mighty due to attitude, industry and innovation and can be once again. As for Greece, perhaps they kept in mind the concept expressed by their very own Socrates in Plato's Republic and sought a Philosopher to take control in times of crisis...Haiku-writing van Rompuy certainly channels Karl Marx.

1 comment:

  1. Greece should leave the Euro, devalue the Drachma, and encourage tourism, so they can trade their way out of the debt they are in, instead of having to take hand outs and cut services to their people.