Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Reality punches Greece in the face.

Posted by Jason O on May 5, 2010 in European Union |

Greece: Mugged by reality.

Greece: Mugged by reality.

Watching a news report on the demonstrations in Greece, I was struck by the comments of one of the demonstrators, a teacher, who pledged that they will strike for years if necessary “until the IMF and the European Union are out of Greece”

This really struck me, because it made me wonder as to whether the Greek people have quite grasped their situation. Admittedly, it was only the remarks of a single Greek, but quite chilling in what it suggested. She seemed to believe that the cuts were because of some sort of EU/IMF diktat (you know, the way we lend 110 billion euro for a laugh) as opposed to the fact that her country had basically maxed out its credit card and was now furious that other people will not pay the bill.

Are we, as the EU, going to be blamed by the Greek people for making them cop on?

8 Comments

freebird
May 5, 2010 at 11:06 am

The Banksters con game created this mess.
Not the people!


 
Seamus
May 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

Myself, I had to laugh at the anarchists hanging the banners on the arcopolis asking for “peoples of Europe rise up”. Maybe we will, and we will tell ungrateful greeks to “go stuff yourselves. You are on your own!”


 
 
Daniel Sullivan
May 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

I couldn’t get over reading about the nature of pension entitlements in Greece. Retiring in your mid 50s on 80% of final salary, what the hell. How did they pay for it? Oh I get it they didn’t, their government cooked the books and now it is the fault of the EU for uncovering the raw data that showed they were lying. Fact is that the ECB should have a means for countries to leave the Euro but also to expel members who aren’t actually qualified to be members. Fact is that Greece was let in on a nod and a wink and it might have been better for all concerned if they had been barred from membership.


 
Jason O
May 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm

The bankers did not increase public spending in Greece far in excess of tax revenue. The Greek people did that.


 
david morris
May 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Is the EU going to get blamed by the Greek people for the current situation ?

Yes.

Will the same happen in Spain, Portugal, Italy & Ireland ?

Yes, Yes, Ye,s & Not at first, but Yes.

That light in the distance is the train of (financial) reality fast approaching.

Mind how you go……..


 
Jason O
May 6, 2010 at 8:53 am

Yup, this could go either way. Could bring down the Euro, or could result in the creation of what would be, effectively, a federal government for the Eurozone, with control over national borrowing.


 
david morris
May 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

The landscape of the European Union has at last taken on the long overdue & inevitable hue of full-blown crisis: Greece (or at least one small part of Athens) in flames – memo to the arnarcistos, invite some Millwall footie fans over for the summer if you really want to tangle with the police – Portugal and Spain one step behind, Ireland presently talking a good game, Italy probably less fragile than it appears but who’s betting that any of their public purse figures bear better resemble to reality than Greece, Britain completely Browned-off and now, the coup de grâce, Germany heading for political paralysis in just three days’ time.

Angie Merkel, regarded by Mediterranean/Aegean peoples as the Universal Aunt who will bail out their profligacy, is about to lose her majority in the Bundesrat, the upper house of Germany’s parliament that must approve legislation. Next Sunday’s elections in North Rhine-Westphalia are looking as good for Angela as our home-grown contest is for Gordo, iDave and Nick. The latest German opinion poll shows: Merkel’s CDU 38 per cent; her Free Democrat allies 8 per cent; SDP 32 per cent; Greens 12 per cent; and Socialists 7 per cent.

If Sunday’s vote goes that way, or anything like it, the coalition permutations are endless; but none of them adds up to an unfettered Chancellor Merkel doing her own thing any more. Although the bail-out of Greece was not quite so fiercely resented within Germany as some foreign commentators have suggested, it was not exactly a popularity-winning event either, with close to 68 per cent of the public opposed. Such tolerance as it gained was based on the realisation it would be a one-off event.

If Comrade Zapatero in Madrid entertains any illusions that he will be the next beneficiary from camions laden with euros arriving from Berlin, he has seriously miscalculated. From Sunday, it will no longer be a case of what Merkel wants to do, but of what she can deliver, which looks like being zip. She has already, iDave-style, taken the CDU to the left; lately she has been preparing to widen her coalition to include the Greens. That will not be a cabinet room but a can of worms.

“Nothing less than the future of Europe, and with that the future of Germany in Europe, is at stake,” Merkel has just admitted, while pleading for a speed-up of the Greek bail-out. Such near-desperation, from the strongest member of the EU, and the implosive situation it reflects betray that the Evil Empire is in its weakest and most debilitated state in its history. It would make one weep to think what leverage, not to say downright wrecking mischief, a firmly Eurosceptic British government could have wrought in such favourable circumstances, if only the remotest prospect of such a government existed.

From Friday the U.K. will be in the same state of political paralysis as Germany is headed for, with our unspeakable politicos fighting like stoats in a sack for the empty trappings of office as governor of an EU province. So this unique opportunity to take advantage of the EU’s disarray will be lost; our public deficit will remain unaddressed and the snake-oil salesmen from Brussels will be there to persuade our complicit politicians that tighter integration through intensified federal structures is the safe option.

If the Tories had stayed loyal to the interests of British sovereignty & the electorate in general,
(instead of eyeing up the mouth watering display of salaries, expenses & pensions dangled before them by Brussels) our history could have been so different – and so much better – from Friday onwards.

MInd how you go


 

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