Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
It’s never a good idea to look back and conduct “what if” tests but does anyone honestly believe that Greece should have ever become a part of the EU or that Europe is better off with having Greece as a member?
It’s a terribly run country with a populace that believes working for a living is a fate worse than loan defaults. Its government continues to stoke these ridiculous ideas because telling people that free money is their right and anyone who says otherwise is their enemy is the best way to garner votes.
Now, let’s be completely honest. In general, the European work ethic does leave something to be desired – especially when compared to the American life style. However, the Greek system makes a mockery out of the European system.
For example, facing bankruptcy and no steady revenue stream, on February 8, 2015, Prime Minister Tsipras said that his government would “comply with the rules of fiscal balance and a balanced budget but at the same time deal with social destruction, putting an end to austerity and a humanitarian crisis” by reinstating all public sector workers, introducing collective wage bargaining, implementing “rules to protect workers from mass lay-offs, not continue the ‘crime’ of selling off state property, [and provide] free energy, housing and health care to ‘victims of the cruelty of the bailout’.”
Listening to the cheers of the relatively ignorant masses, the finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, rode in to tell the creditors that it was either his way or the highway. When the creditors did not budge, the government held a referendum in which the country’s citizens voted to not accept the creditors demands, even though there were no demands on the table and no one knew what those demands would be in the future.
As the country slipped further downhill, Varoufakis resigned and the new minister, Euclid Tsakalotos (I love these names), showed up to an emergency funding meeting with EU leaders without any proposal(s).
If Greece were a horse, it would be on a dinner table by now. This country has literally no idea what credibility means and dismissal from the EU would be akin to a person cutting off their rotting arm.
Plus, its dismissal would do no major harm to the EU. Firstly, the financial markets have already accounted for a Greek-free eurozone. Secondly, Greece’s departure will send a signal to other on-the-verge nations (Italy, Spain) that they better get their houses in shape. Finally, it will show the world the EU-leaders aren’t a bunch of pansies.
Obviously, there are risks: refugees streaming from Greece into other nations, economic contagion, etc. However, given how badly the Greeks have handled their economy and their absolute lack of belief in doing anything to improve their situation, the downside is worth the risk.