Sunday, February 19, 2012

Europe May Finally Have to Deal With Democracy

Seems fitting, since democracy started in Greece. European leaders meet Monday on Greece bailout; public tiring of austerity measures - The Washington Post
An April election may bring a chaotic mix of politicians to power, as Greeks flock to groups that have vowed to fight the terms of the $178 billion bailout or take the country out of the euro zone altogether. The shift — registered in opinion polls, mass defections in parliament and in street protests — raises doubts about Greece’s ability to implement the painful cuts on which European leaders are insisting.
Sooner or later people will get a chance to vote. The Greeks don't like the terms of the bailout, and Greek politicians are now saying that the country should get out of the Euro. (And getting followers.) Eventually the Germans will vote on whether or not they want to keep funding bailouts. (Even the German politicians have seen that writing on the wall, hence the terms of the Greek bailout package.
“Some politicians ignore that Greece is a democratic country,” said Loukas Tsoukalis, president of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy think tank, who said he hoped the spring elections would give political legitimacy to the bailout measures. “Greece’s creditors, they’re saying, ‘This is the moment when we can squeeze.’ But you can overdo it with very serious consequences.”
The consequences of Greece staying in the Euro are dire, and as long as they stay, they have no control over their economy. Of course leaving may be worse. If the Drachma is viewed as worthless...

I think it was Margarete Thatcher that said, "eventually you run out of other peoples' money." That is the situation that Greece is in. They have mortgaged their future. They have lived in a socialist dream-world. But reality has come calling in a shrill, unpleasant voice. No matter what they do, it will be hard for them to put their economy back together.

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