Thursday, 17 May 2012

Who’s afraid of Et Dona Ferentes (3)

Well, yes… Despite it all… Despite a thousand denials, over ever so many months, they are going to allow it to happen. What was forever unthinkable, unconceivable, unimaginable, intolerable… What should never be spoken of, or mentioned, or even whispered, they all today concede. 

Barrosso and Schäuble, Kroes and Merkel, Weidmann and Westerwelle, Lagarde and the BCE, Der Spiegel, Finch and Moody’s… They admit that a Greek exit from the Eurozone is in the works, now that the Greek electorate will not obey and vote willingly to kick their country down the drain of decade-long penury. So they are going to let Greece exit from the Euro in the wild way, for the wrong reasons and in the wrong manner.

The rationale, or ‘valid’ excuse if you will, is that - after 2 years of adjustments and preparation - Europe and the European banks are now strong enough to withstand and survive a Greek exit. Or, in the words of sharp-eyed Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Telegraph of May 8): "Patience among the creditor countries is running out" (…). Germany's media says finance minister Wolfgang Schauble is itching to force Greece out of the euro as a salutary example, sure that Europe is strong enough to withstand the shock. This is an illusion waiting to be punctured.

As I said before: wise leaders are few and far between these days. No Marshall Plan for Greece is being contemplated for all we can tell, yet time is quickly running out, for it is the markets that set the pace now, and panic that calls the shots.

But lack of wisdom and foresight is not our leaders’ worse shortcoming. Something even more perverse is silently at work as well, not in all and at all times, I guess, but in many and more often than it should. Rather than to allow an uppity country an orderly exit from the single currency, the Brussels Elite of Eurogues prefers to plunge it into incomparable misery, ‘pour encourager les autres,’ as Voltaire wrote so shrewdly in Candide about a beheaded ship captain: as an example to the rest of them, so that nobody else gets the notion of standing up to the Powers That Be…

So what may we expect in the weeks to come? I foresee that, while they play lip service to solidarity and sound economic policy, our fine leaders will do their very best behind the scenes to make the exit as painful and catastrophic as possible, so that the contagion of Grexititis will not spread any further. For there is one thing which these Eurogues fear far more than a national catastrophe in Greece: and that is a speedy Greek recovery once they’re out of the stranglehold of the single currency. It would mean that a country can escape and… live! After initial disaster, Argentina and Iceland both pulled off precisely this trick, and Brussels knows so.

This would mean all bets are off, so it must be avoided. After all: Brussels has an obvious double agenda in this crisis. On the one hand they need to get the continent back on its feet. But that must be done in such a way that their much-increased power and freshly gained supremacy gets consolidated. And I am unsure which of the two has the higher priority when push comes to shove... They may even go so far as to kick Greece out of the European Union altogether. For these uppity Hellenes obviously do not deserve that the European blessings of Prosperity and Democracy be wasted on their black souls!

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes! spoke old Laocoön in Virgil’s Aeneid. ‘I fear the Greeks even if they come bringing gifts.’

But whose toxic boons should we Europeans be fearing now, I wonder?

Recommended further reading (and hearing)

To see Professor Paul Krugman’s dire predictions for the immediate future (and there is no reason to think why all of a sudden he would be wrong this time), click on the link to this article (but take a brandy first). You may also wish to look at his somewhat less depressing further analysis in this article called poignantly 'Apocalypse fairly soon'

Then, any honest person of common sense should watch this video of Nigel Farage, a Euro-MP who not only is somewhat outspoken (he famously called Haiku Herman van Rompuy a ‘wet rag’ and a danger to democracy), but also has the courage to go to Greece in person and tell the Greek the full truth straight in their faces (let us see President Barroso do the same thing…)

Finally, if you want a real good laugh (followed by the sort of despair that can only be solved by another stiff shot of brandy) read this article from the day before the Euro was launched, and see what tremendous Prosperity and Democracy the Europhiles claimed that the single currency would bring. But for God’s sake: who invented these idiots??

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