A VERY Brief Rant — on Greece…
First off, I should admit that I’m not an economist. However, I’ve been sleeping with an economist for over 26 years, and I’m sure that at least some of her wisdom has rubbed off on me by now.
Besides, I rarely let a lack of in-depth knowledge keep me from airing my opinion.
Greece is in deep financial shit. And there’s no denying that their irresponsible spending is partly to blame. Setting that aside for the moment, since recovery, rather than blame, should be everyone’s primary concern, their austerity program has rocked them back on their heels, rather than helping them to regain their footing.
Now the EU wants to bully them into an even harsher austerity program — one that I think is almost sure to keep them from ever being able to recover.
Why would the EU be willing to do that? Well, mostly, think, because they can’t afford to set a precedent of forgiveness. If they lend a helping hand to Greece, there might soon be a line of other countries expecting the same opportunity. So the EU is playing hardball.
Greece, however, is also playing hardball… mostly because they’re in a corner. They undoubtedly realize that more austerity is not the solution… in fact, at this point, it’s a big part of the problem. They know that more austerity will just dig the hole deeper. Their only hope of recovery is to reverse their path and generate some economic activity. So they have little to lose and maybe, something to gain by gently suggesting that the EU stick it where the sun don’t shine.
If I were Tsipras, i think I’d be advocating for a complete withdrawal from the EU… they are NOT Greece’s friend. They apparently WANT Greece to fail.
So let’s look at a couple of the myths being bandied about…
If Greece thumbs its nose at the EU and stops making any effort whatsoever to service the debt, the financial fallout will be felt worldwide.
Even in the EU, the impact will be very slight. Germany will probably feel it the worst, but they’re healthy enough that they could absorb the loss without breaking stride. As for beyond the EU…
Prime Minister Tsipras… you obviously know where your responsibilities lie… for what little it’s worth, you have my moral support. Do what you have to do.