Saturday, 11 July 2015

Tragedy? Comedy? or Farce?

I can't quite make up my mind on the latest move by the Greek government. It seems they have said 'NO' to the Troika's proposals on the grounds that they were 'bad' for Greece and 'democracy' and have now come back to the negotiating table with a set of proposals for the reform of their economy, benefits, pensions and so on that look amazingly like those they said 'no' to just a week ago. How anyone is able to keep a straight face on it is beyond me.

So it looks as if the Greeks will be staying in the €uro. I suspect there will be no end of disappointment in the UK Media and certain US based news media, all of whom have spent the last week telling us how 'evil' the proposals were, and how a 'Grexit' was the only way forward. I imagine they weren't too impressed by the tens of thousands that besieged the Greek Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday demanding that Greece STAY in the €uro and secondly, that their government sort things out. I suspect that may have given Mr Tsipras a bit of a message.

Reading the Telegraph, the FT, The Spectator and the Washington Post articles on the crisis, one could be excused for thinking they were actually trying to orchestrate an exit and would like to see the €uro swept away. That made me wonder why? What is it about the EU and the €uro these commentators are so afraid of? Or is there some other agenda?

Reading Christopher Clark's monumental works Iron Kingdom and The Sleepwalkers, I begin to suspect there is a deep seated fear in sections of the British populace and perhaps mindset, that cannot accept the thought of a powerful and successful European unit, whether we call it a 'Union' or a 'Federation'. It is interesting that Prussia was one of our principle allies until 1871 and the unification of the German States. From the moment of unification onward, the British Press briefed against Germany, and slowly incited a mindset that equated the German people with enmity. It led to an arms race, diplomatic attempts to isolate Germany and finally war. It is amusing to note that one aspect of this misfired spectacularly. Parliament demanded that all German goods had to be labelled 'Made in Germany' and got it. The idea being that this would encourage people to boycott such goods. The opposite happened. The Label Made in Germany immediately became the stamp of quality.

What has this to do with the current Greek farce? Simply this - reading the UK and US Media reports on it, the EU has become synonymous with 'Germany' - and of course, that means it must be bad. The fact the EU was the brainchild of the French, Dutch, Belgians and one or two others seems to have escaped them. They have forgotten that it began with the 'Benelux' countries forming a Customs Union, which then expanded. The German were then divided between West and East Germany, and only the West German Federation was initially a part of the enlarged EU. Funny then, that so many today in the UK media seem to be convinced that the entire EU project is the brainchild of an expansionist Germany trying to take over the world by stealth.

It would be funny, if it wasn't so small minded and frankly stupid.

For the moment, however, it looks as if the Greeks will now accept the proposals they originally rejected, but are now proposing as their own. They'll sort out their economy (they say) and behave from now on. So, to the disappointment of many anti-EU commentators we will not see the €uro 'unravelling' or the EU tearing apart.

Never mind, there's bound to be some new thing they can whip up a storm about in a week or so ...

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