12 July, 2015

Three Greek questions

1. What do you think the government of Greece should do?
2. Why do you think this would be better for Greece than other courses of action?
3. What do you think would happen if the Greek government followed your course of action?

image source (Guardian)

1 comment:

Conrad said...

So, firstly, it's become very apparent to me during the "Scottish situation" of the last few years that being an outsider and confining yourself to the mainstream media can lead to a very deep misreading of a situation that you're not "in". So this is necessarily trash.

1) I think the Greek government should go ahead and do what it's been told, while doing as much as it can to subvert the so-called "agreement" (ho ho) whenever it can safely do so.

2) There's an assumption in this question. I somewhat doubt it'll be better "for Greece" in the short term. But buckling leaves a brief window for other possibilities. Staying will help to concentrate minds on what Europe is for and how it's constituted, debates which urgently need to be had and certainly are going to be had with Brexit looming as well. Greece is running a truth commission around its debt and is looking for a legal angle from which to pursue that; better to do so from within Europe than without, particularly with people like Schäuble doing their best to make your case for you. There is a small chance that public disgust at what's been done will result in a rewriting of terms behind the scenes. If not, some commentators are saying that Grexit will happen in a year or two anyway because the current fix won't change anything. The economists argue that Greece will recover faster outwith the EU. I'm not sure what the cost in human misery will be of delaying an exit, but perhaps it might be worth the space for a European rethink outwith the pressure and posturing of the last five months, and the chance of an improvement in terms.

On Brexit: the UK is the EU's third largest economy, and at current rates touted by some to be #2 in five years and #1 in fifteen; the banksters want us in. However the Greece crisis sounds as if it may be loosing Europe the support of the left. With both the left *and* the right unsympathetic, perhaps the EU will try to do something to persuade people it's worth staying?

3) Well, as implied above, the optimist says that terms might improve, debt might be found illegitimate and partially forgiven and neither Grexit nor Brexit will happen; the pessimist says that fails, both exits take place and the "dream" of Europe, as many are saying has already happened, dies.

One final thing: Tsipras and Syriza have already been declared dead by many commentators, since they clearly can't win, or some such. Scotland heard quite a lot about how the SNP were dead after the independence referendum failed. Their leader resigned, and nine months later the SNP took 95% of the country on 50% of the vote on a 71% turnout (with the ex-leader himself re-elected to Parliament on a 14% positive swing). It will be very interesting to see if the obituaries are correct.