English ex-pat in Greece Peter Ryley talks of his adopted country’s “Dog days”, and quotes favourably from the comments of Columbia University historian Mark Mazower. To my mind, some of the most thoughtful English comments on the Greek situation come from Newsnight‘s residually trottish economics editor Paul Mason. In Mason we have a proper journalist reporting intelligently on business matters, and not some twit talking off the top of his head.
As a result of time spent reporting from Athens and elsewhere, propping up bars with ordinary citizens, Mason is under the impression that the Greeks are determined to bring the country to its knees, and their talk of not suffering for the sake of a handful of overpaid bankers is much hot air. The economy is up the creek, and neither innumerate Greek politicians nor the people responsible for electing them have a clue as what to do next. But do something they must. Anything.
Other EU member states fear that the Aegean crisis will wreck their own economies, and every third rate pundit is being taxied in to television studios to deliver an obituary for the Euro based on little in the way of substantive argument. Even if Angela Merkel and other EU leaders are acting out of compassion in proposing to bail out Greece for a second time, in the end they will if needs be hang the Hellenes out to dry.
Now I enjoy a good riot as much as the next pseudo-anarchist. If the people of Greece wish to overthrow their political establishment, then good luck to them, but I suspect that they will be on their own. If the situation worsens any further, Greece could end up quarantined in order to safeguard the rest of Europe.
Ζήτω η Ελλάδα, Ζήτω η Ευρώπη, και μπορεί ο Κύριος να μας ελεήσει όλους!