Greece exiting the Eurozone is not madness, it’s Sparta!

“Does Greece want to remain part of the Eurozone or not?”

This is the threatening question German Chancellor Angela Merkel poised today, following Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou‘s stunning decision on Monday to call a referendum on his country’s bailout.

“That is the question the Greek people must now answer.” Adding their muscle to the threat, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Greeks would get no more euro-zone rescue aid — “no French taxpayer money, no German taxpayer money” — until the question is answered.

Without aid, Greece would be bankrupt within weeks, the sort of threat akin to two large school yard allies backing off and declaring the weakened kid fair game for the bullies from other classes.

But who are the real bullies, here?

Madness!

The Greek leader, looking chastened after what must have been a a torrid dinner with EU decision-makers, said his country’s vote would take place around December 4th.

“It’s not the moment to give you the exact wording, but the essence is that this is not a question only of a programme, this is a question of whether we want to remain in the eurozone,” Prime Minister Papandreou said.

“I believe the Greek people are wise and capable of making the right decision for the benefit of our country”.

Controversial News | Greece Eurozone Crisis Reaches Climax

This is how Greece has declined in the past. | Source: Warner Bros.

But while Greece’s debt crisis and potential default is the big apocalypse everyone is concentrating on, Britain’s Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), reminded the world that regardless of what Greece’s fate becomes on December 4th, the next huge financial crisis would be centred on Italy: whose impact would be more devastating to Britain than the combined crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

“Italy is the most concerning. That is the most important thing for us to focus on,” he said.

The size of Italy’s economy dwarfs that of Greece. Like the Titanic struck by an Iceberg, Rome is slowly sinking in debt amounts of 118 percent of annual GDP, a public sector debt of 1.8 trillion euros ($2.5 trillion US dollars). In response, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi‘s government — already weakened by a never-ending series of scandals — has vaguely proposed an array of measures, including planned sales of state-owned assets and other austerity steps, including tax hikes and spending reductions. Thus far, it has not been enough to halt, let alone reverse, the debt clock.

Sparta!

Frankly, Britain and the entire eurozone are facing the ‘economic equivalent of war’. In a deeply pessimistic speech to the Liberal Democrats’ annual conference last month, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary of Britain, warned that people are living in ‘dangerous’ times: living standards are falling. Falling, for the first time, since the Second World War. In the worst debt stricken nations, living standards are falling certainly just as much as during the last great war. This stress, worry and pressure on people, their loss of security and livelihood, their country effectively ripping up the foundations that keep people healthy and funded, has had a very real and devastating effect. Greece has erupted in riots many times this year, riots whose violence hark back to the 2011 London Riots in August.

Controversial News | Greece At War - Riots in Greece, Eurozone Crisis 2011

Make no mistake, this is Greece at war.

The alternative?

For two years, senior officials of the cancerous eurozone have pored over technocratic details, yet avoided telling voters, person to person, what the alternative; a eurozone implosion, would entail. In the lead-up to the summit, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, finally broke a taboo and spoke of what might happen if the eurozone foundered.

They even hinted that war could return to Europe.

Now finally, we have this bailout package. But the package put forward to greece shows to the greeks quite clearly, that instead of being a gesture of generosity, this is essentially about saving the arses of the French and German banks – a move that says “we are allies because of proximity, nothing more. So say yes or get the fuck out.”

For all their economic toughness, France and Germany seem to have forgotten just who they’re dealing with. History will show that Greeks have never responded passively to bullying tactics and so this referendum is an attempt for Greeks to stand up for themselves.

When the EU was founded, its treaties were declared valid for an unlimited period. It’s founders deliberately did not create a proper procedure for member states to leave: leaving was supposed to be unthinkable.

But why would you want to continue to be part of a zone that only reduces your options and makes you liable to each other? This is what a number of EU nations are asking themselves now and it is precisely the same thinking behind independence revolutionists simmering among the countries of the UK. Now we will see Greece publicly contemplating the pros and cons of “independence in Europe” – independence from the mother-state, under the protective umbrella of EU membership.

So is Greece going to honour-suicide?

Is it economic armageddon if Greece exits the eurozone at this stage? Hardly. In fact, it could be quite beneficial for both Greece and the rest of the Eurozone if the Greeks split and go back to the Drachma. Greece simply doesn’t fit into the current eurozone requirements, and would be served much better by devaluing in order to regain some part of their competitiveness, becoming a much cheaper tourist destination from the rest of Europe and reforming their tax system. This is arguably the best way to get their economy on track.

The threat of Greece defaulting is not much of a difference to the deal on the table offered by the bailout package anyway. A “60% writedown on Greek bonds” is essentially a partial country default anyway. The only difference here is that the dirty word “bankrupt” isn’t being used to tarnish the image of the Euro.

Either way Greece goes, they lose some dignity… but they are definitely proven survivors, you’ve got to give them that.

Sources & Related articles

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Categories: Events, Multiculturalism, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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3 Comments on “Greece exiting the Eurozone is not madness, it’s Sparta!”

  1. November 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I think it’s appalling how the EU are treating Greece. They won’t acknowledge that it was their own airy-fairy sentimentality that drove them to allow Greece to join when it just didn’t meet their requirements. Now they don’t have the balls to kick Greece out so they’re going to guilt trip them about it. I’m aware that the current (soon to be gone) Greek government didn’t cause the problems they’ve been desperately trying to fix so I’m sympathetic to them too. Nonetheless, the EU do not have Greece’s best interests at heart and Greece is fast becoming a colony of the EU the same way Egypt turned into a colony of Britain: through debt. I don’t understand why economists can’t see the madness of merging unequal economies.

    • November 9, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      If this were the early 20th century, these levels of resentment would be leading to a war pretty soon.

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