Some quick, spur of the moment thoughts about unfolding events in the Balkans and the Lower Danube. I’m referring to Greece, of course, which is in Europe, kind of. Although you’d never know the Greeks were Europeans from the way they’re being treated by their European Union compatriots. This ‘ever closer union’ thing is brilliant, isn’t it?
The Greek tragedy is now an epic political ‘game’ about saving the Euro and, by extension, saving the European Union. On the one hand, the bankers and all the banking vested interests are desperate not to lose (more) money in Greece and so are unwilling to chuck good (?) money after bad; on the other hand, the politicos need money to be hosed in to the black hole that is the Greek economy to sustain the unsustainable (the Euro). Everybody’s now buggered if they do and buggered if they don’t, whatever they do! The situation in Greece is truly extraordinary; predictable, but truly extraordinary nonetheless. Notwithstanding, it seems to me that the majority of my fellow citizens here in the UK and the other peoples of Europe have yet to grasp the enormity of what’s going on at the moment. The Euro/EU crisis has barely begun. This is but the thin end of a very thick wedge.
Incidentally, if the ECB stays on its current tack, there’ll be food riots in Greece during the course of this month. ‘Come join the European Union! Bastion of freedom, democracy and prosperity! Oh, and – nearly forgot – food riots!’
Further phases in this drama will involve the Spaniards, the Portuguese and the Italians (to name but 3 nationalities) wanting whatever Greece gets out of this: could be debt relief; could be infinitely more Euros; could be reversion to the national currency; could be economic recovery (outside of the Eurozone). Whatever it is – and nobody really knows at the moment – like I said, the Euro/EU crisis has barely begun. Think internecine turmoil.
It’s perversely comforting to know that between them the bankers, the bureaucrats and the politicos are now little more than headless chickens, rushing from meeting to meeting, in the face of the shifting tectonic plates of European democracies and – until recently – neutered sovereign states waking up to reality. The lion of European people power seems to be stirring, and not before time.
How appropriate that the cradle of democracy could turn out to be the European Union’s nemesis.
PS Meantime, as Athens falls, the BBC floods the airwaves with the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings. Terrible as it was, does that moment really deserve so much hand-wringing, grief-fest, let’s-interview-everybody-and-anybody-with-the-slightest-connection-to-the-event coverage? I suppose it saves having to look too hard and too long at the looming disintegration of the BBC’s beloved European Union.
This article was first published at Moraymint Chatter