This weekend saw a sequence of news stories that point to an imminent exit of Greece from the euro. Dr. North sums it all up rather neatly:
Europe is “certainly more resilient” to a Greek exit than it was two years ago, when the eurozone would have been “massively underprepared”, the EU economic and monetary commissioner, Olli Rehn, has told a conference in Estonia.
But, he says: “it would be much worse for Greece and Greek citizens, especially less well-off Greek citizens, if Greece left the euro than for Europe. Europe also would suffer, but Greece would suffer more.”
A Greek exit from the euro could be “technically” managed, but would damage confidence in the monetary union, said Patrick Honohan, an ECB governing council member. A Greek departure would be “destabilising” for the rest of the euro area, and all sides are trying to avoid it, he said. “It is not necessarily fatal, but it is not attractive”.
Elsewhere, John Ward is encouraging the Greek to chose life:
It’s a scam, chum. Maybe the first few months will be very tough. But Greece has lots of things to sell: olive oil, holidays, fruit, kebabs, Retsina, Taramasalata – all sorts of stuff that nobody does better. You can charge the German holidaymakers double as they’re doing so well; and whatever money you make from selling State assets will go to you, not the creditors.
The sky will still be there: an azure blue thing of beauty beaming down on a glistening Aegean full of fish…at the bottom of which is more oil and rare earths than China could mine in a century. And Turkey will be a threat. And so Israel will be an ally. And you know what all that means?
LOTS OF LOVELY PENTAGON AND WALL STREET MUNNNNEEEEE….only this time it won’t be loans. This time, they’ll be paying you for the rights to everything from gold to feta salad.
By the time the Fuherin in Berlin has finished bailing out Spain and France, Greece will be richer than Germany… and debt free.
In a way it is a bit pathetic to see Barosso trying to play out the standard EUnion script that is normally used to introduce regulation that nobody wants. After vehemently denying a Greek exit could even be up for discussion, he’s now saying ‘But if that were to happen it will not be a big deal’.
The pathetic bit is in his apparent conviction that (1) we didn’t see this coming from mile away, and (2) this is so utterly shocking and dismaying, he needs to lay some groundwork before coming out into the open and do the deed.
A lot of us have been saying we should have let the Greeks go two years ago. This would have spared us and the Greeks a lot of heartache. And it is neither shocking nor dismaying. In actual fact, it is something to rejoice. A blow of this magnitude to the credibility and prestige of the EUnion has been a long time in coming. And now that it is here, we (a big lot of us) hope this will take the EUnion down a peg or fifty in favour of our own government and country.
And about bloody time too.