OK my short and possibly ill-informed, but heartfelt, idea about this mess. Bailout or no bailout for Greece?
I am a supporter of the Euro and the idea of helping weaker countries. I understand that it is also good for the stability in the eurozone to help Greece out.
Less important I can’t stand the smugness of the UK’s right-wing press and politicians who are now saying ‘see, if we were in the eurozone we’d be paying too’, without seeing the massive problems the UK has with its budget – and if the UK lands in more trouble, there will be no help from the eurozone. Eh.
I wonder what is wrong, apart from it being rather cruel, with just ditching the whole country out of the euro and let them sort out their mess. But OK, I’ll be humane. Ish.
They’ve had more than ten years to do something about their debt and expenses since joining the euro – clearly they didn’t do much. Since they already had these problems before 2000 it is my guess that they didn’t do much in several decades before 2000 either, so the chance of them now suddenly changing their ways seem slim at best. Therefore handing over a small sum, only a couple hundred billion euro, on the ‘promise’ that they will tighten their budget seems naive to the nth degree.
I can so understand the German sentiments along the lines of having been living restrained while the Greeks were partying – and now the Germans will not pick the fruits of this labour but instead get to pay the Greeks for their partying. Reminds me of the fable of the ant and the cricket.
It’s probably legally impossible, but my solution would be to do bail out Greece, but at the same time to turn them into a de facto ‘colony’ or mandate of the EU – all control of their finances should be handed over to the european central bank (or a likewise institution), which will run their budget, overhaul their expenses and generally whip them into shape until all Greece’s indexes are back to where they should be.
This is very childish but apparently Greece needs this.