The train crash that is Greece

Eastern Orthodox monastery in Greece

As I have said repeatedly on here the financial “rescue” of Greece a year ago looks like some sort of joke and was inevitably going to end in tears. It totally ignored history and the behaviour of the Greek people and their politicians. This is a country where paying tax is optional and where living the good life paid for by other is the accepted norm. IMHO there is no way they were ever going to reform sufficiently to live within their means, never mind ever being able to pay back the immense debts they have built up with their profligacy.  Everything they do seems geared up to getting more of other people’s money to spend.

In 1981 Greece should never have been allowed into the then European Economic Community (EEC), they were a developing country and were a total mismatch to the more developed countries to the north. So we threw money at them to try and correct the difference. And the Greeks became addicted to the medicine. There was no way they met the requirements to join the Euro in 1999 so they fiddled the figures and were allowed to join in 2001. Big mistake. This opened the floodgates to an orgy of borrowing and spending cheap money with no prospect of it ever being paid back.

It seems obvious that the Greeks want their debts to somehow disappear, that a default is preferred to the almost impossible task of firstly balancing their books and then starting the immensely long slog of paying back the gigantic sums they have borrowed.

It is totally amazing that European politicians allowed Greece to get into this position. It is also amazing that they continue to throw our taxpayers money at the Greeks when it is obvious that the position is terminal. It will be interesting to see how they handle the crash, will they try and keep the cancer inside the Euro or will they try and kick it out?

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