Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Some thoughts about Greece

The sky-is-falling crowd pretty much sees a Greek default as being the end of the world as we know it.


I'm with the American Nobel laureates Krugman and Stiglitz; go ahead and pull the plug. Borrowing more from the EU just gets you in deeper.

Don Pittis and Laura Wright at CBC have postulated that Greece borrowed too much money and spent it stupidly. There is some truth to that.

Greece is one of only four NATO nations that spends two percent of GDP on defence, a charter requirement for members of the NATO gang.

If and when Russia or China offers a bailout package the NATO romance will be over anyway.

For far too long it has been a point of pride among the ruling class in Greece, the oligarchs if you will, to brazenly boast of the fact that they don't pay taxes. That's an attitude that filtered through to the middle classes and even the working class.

We're Greeks. We don't pay tax. Let's borrow a few billion more euros...

Not hard to see where that was going to end.

Another dead end was making tourism a pillar of the economy. The tourism industry is a mugs game, predicated on prostrating yourself before the drunken louts of the Continent looking for a cheap holiday. Mass tourism humiliated Greece long before the "troika" did.

Defaulting on the national debt will not be the end of the world. Greece is revered as the cradle of democratic norms of governance. Stepping away from the toxic trap of troika hegemony is the first step on the road to making Greece whole again.

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