Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Time For Greece To Put On Its Big Boy Pants

Britain determined to leave Greece to save itself

Even as Greek protesters continue to throw temper tantrums in the streets, objecting to the austerity program that could rescue the country from the fiscal abyss, British officials are treading very carefully in regards to any bail out to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debts and keep it within the Euro.

Britain, however, has no plans to be part of such a bail out.

Certainly, the British economy has some interest in Greece's public debt -- perhaps as much as $13 billion. But with the EU poised to extend a massive bail out package to the Greeks, the emerging consensus in Britain is to stay out of it.

It isn't merely the European economy that's under siege in Greece's fiscal troubles: it's also the Euro itself.

Frequently-outspoken London Mayor Boris Johnson has declared that its time for Greece to either learn to stand on its own fiscal feet, or be allowed to fall. The Euro be damned.

"For years, European governments have been saying that it would be insane and inconceivable for a country to leave the Euro," Johnson remarked. "But this second option is now all but inevitable, and the sooner it happens the better."

In a strange turn of events, the Labour Party's former Foreign Affairs Minister, Jack Straw has voiced criticisms of the Cameron government's response that call on the government to move even further away from the EU.

"What the Government should do, instead of sheltering behind the complacent language, weasel words 'it's not appropriate, we shouldn't speculate', recognise that this eurozone cannot last and it's the responsibility of this British Government to be open with the British people now about the alternative prospects," Straw declared. "If this euro in its current form is going to collapse, is it better not that it happens quickly rather than a slow death?"

Johnson clearly agrees with Straw. He blames the Euro for cultivating complacency among Europe's profilgate states.

"The Euro has exacerbated the financial crisis by encouraging some countries to behave as recklessly as the banks themselves," Johnson said. "As long as there is the fear of default, as long as the uncertainty continues, confidence will not return across the whole of Europe."

It would be ironic if economic confidence were revived by the fiscal collapse of the birthplace of democracy. The protesters raging in the streets of Athens don't yet seem to understand that, no matter what, their party is over.

It's time for Greece to put on its big boy pants before the European will to bail them out goes the way of the British will to bail them out.

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