Sunday, 5 July 2015

The News from Greece is OXI

Celebrating 'OXI' in Syntagma Square, Athens, 5 July 2015.
In an earlier post I said I agreed with Nanos Valaoritis that 'what has happened in Greece will eventually help ... most of the countries in Europe'.  And that was in January.  Today I am thrilled that the Greeks have had the good sense and the great courage to stand up against the bullying, the threats and above all the stupidity of the EU and to have said No.

The irresponsibility that lies behind the Greek debt belongs at least as much to the EU itself as to Greece.  Splash the money in; it does not matter.  (Most of the money is German, by the way; its economy is benefiting from a cheap euro, cheaper than the mark would be, but a euro that its overpriced from a Greek point of view.) Any financial crisis, goes EU thinking, becomes an opportunity to intervene, to drive the Union closer together, to break down further the identities of peoples and states.  No matter what the cost.

Greece famously said 'Oxi' when Mussolini
issued an ultimatum in 1940.
But however it was that Greece and the European Union got into this situation it has been obvious for a very long time now that Greece cannot possibly pay back everything it owes.  Within the last few days this has been admitted by the IMF itself.

Moreover EU policy over the last five years or so has turned a difficult situation into a calamity for Greece and its people.  By following the EU's austerity demands, Greek debt went from 120 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 180 per cent in 2015, accompanied by 25 per cent unemployment overall and a staggering 55 per cent unemployment rate among those under twenty-five years old.

Two leading Nobel winning economists, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, have reasoned against the EU's economic illiteracy and political destructiveness towards Greece.

And this at a time when Greece stands picket at the eastern corner of the Mediterranean, confronting the chaos of the Middle East, yet Greece itself is being driven into the sea by the EU led by the Germans who once again show that they have an unfortunate habit of going too far.

Angela Merkel as a Trümmerfrau,
 one of those women who cleared away the rubble
of German cities after the war. 
If the euro fails, Merkel's chancellorship fails, it says.
You do not have to be a leftwing prime minister like Alexis Tsipras to argue the plain statement of fact that Greece would be insane to sign up to further austerity measures under an ever increasing and unsustainable level of debt.  It would be national suicide.  Nor was Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis overstating the case when he accused the EU of running a campaign of terrorism against Greece during this past week in an attempt to cower the Greek people into voting yes.

The Greeks who through their language possess the oldest civilisation on earth are practiced at saying 'no' against the odds.  The Greeks have saved Europe before and their brave defiance today of EU stupdiity and brutality may help save the European Union against itself.