Beyond Greek Tales
You might have gotten tired of the “Greeks” who have dominated the news for the past six months. Since you were, without wanting to know it, closely involved in the consequences, you seem to be wrong. In case you overlooked the matter, you have missed something of significance. That is so even if the interpretations of the “official” media might have — not accidentally — misstated not only the issue but also its consequences.
The foregoing raises the issue of ignored and suppressed significance. Part of the confusion is due to juicy “sensations” that took place on the surface. Cronyism cultivated by the Right and the Left united to misrule Greece and drove the cart into the ditch. The checkmate came from the consequence of needing to do favors to their party clients. The weed-like growth of the government machinery — “friends and friends of friends” — had to be fed, and has brought the country slowly but consistently, ever closer to ruin.
Attribute this to the inclination of the Greek voters to engage in, and to tolerate, venality. However, besides the directly tempted and shortsighted voter, conditioned by a political tradition that reflects five hundred years of Ottoman Turkish rule, there were other contributors who helped to bore holes in the boat that kept taking water. These contributors have fewer excuses than the locals whose tradition made them see crookedness as a demonstration of cleverness required to “feed the family.”
Unpleasant as this sounds, the accessory to the crime through neglect has been the European Union — thus a major player on the world scene. The EU, its Brussels bureaucratic center that seeks power is, on several levels, an inexcusable contributor to the calamity. What follows reveals that suspecting that, in its present shape and its contemporary self-extended mandate, the outfit is to be trusted with reservations.
Having written this prior to a few days off, the return to the front on Monday has brought some not unanticipated news. The case is solved. For the moment. The crisis brought about by the vote-buying overspending of a party-dominated bureaucracy that cannot be made accountable, is now in the deep freeze. Unfortunately, the devil is built into the package. The hoofed gentleman’s pipeline to hell assures us of one thing. Since the reserve calories of hell are extensive, while the EU-freezer is of limited volume and value, the ice will soon melt. Next act: “The return of the zombie.”
What is the deal? Greece’s managers like to milk cows they do not feed — at best, like “dependent classes” worldwide, they may graze in the neighbor’s garden. Those being committed to politically correct behavior claim, like Germany’s Merkel, not to notice. Even so, grass is a finite good. That much you cannot pretend that about the appetite of the “cow.”
Now then, the astute farmers are getting real money. A ten million country that already owes 225 billion receives another 85 billion. (More debt to cope with the debt, better booze to cure the alcoholic.) That is real money. In exchange, the European Union gets a cookie-jar of promises. All these are designed to support claims of the ultimate repayment of the debt and to achieve economic sanity right away.
The record allows us to connect the missing dots in the picture of the terms of the exchange. While the dough is real, the promises are fiction. They represent the concessions of a party whose comportment prior to the crisis, and then during the negotiations to overcome it, speak a clear language. The message: we will not keep our part of the hard bargain you drove. Once principled non-compliance becomes so obvious that even “Europe” cannot ignore it, it will be difficult to act. More bundles of money having been placed in the sinking boat, the instinct of the architects of the final “final rescue” will be to devise ways to stuff the leak by shoving more money into it. They will not really want to save Greece. Their concern will be the rescue their reputation.
Does Eurocracy not know the obvious? Yes, it is to be assumed that it does. However, the economic failure of the, now left-extremist managed entity, would be a pie in the face of those that allowed matters to deteriorate to this point. Brussels is acting with Athens’ connivance as though the matter could be settled by nudging the empty can to roll further down the road. By the time, when the absolute bottom will be reached, the culprits now running Brussels and Athens will be gone off the scene. Perhaps so will their project and also the Euro. Oh, what a joyous awakening that will be!