Friday, 4 November 2011

euro crisis: is Greece the only guilty party?

bullied out of a referendum: read moreIt’s fashionable to blame the Greeks for the crisis facing the Euro and Europe, probably because their culture of graft, lies and tax evasion has pulled their country and many others towards the void to an extent unparalleled in peacetime.

Fashions, however, can hide a multitude of sins. Nicholas Sarkozy’s is the latest siren voice on the crisis: "Euro spells Europe…Europe has meant 60 years of peace on our continent."

Mr Sarkozy’s forecasts might have seemed more than bravado had he found his voice somewhat earlier – last May, to be precise, when European economists began to realise the danger toxic Greek debt posed to the countries of the EU and international financial institutions. But, responding to protests that quickly grew murderous, European politicians reverted to type and surrendered to protesters’ demands, granting the country more time before emergency measures were imposed and its fitness to remain within the Euro assessed.

Having let the moment slip, EU leaders later found their backbone and pressured Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou into cancelling a referendum on the bailout. This is, as the Daily Mail’s Nick Wood indicates, an act of bullying, and more: the EU’s antipathy towards referendums reflects in microcosm its general abhorrence of democracy – why else heed the barricades but refuse ballot-boxes?

The EU originated with the European Coal and Steel Community, a visionary body founded in 1945 to maintain peace between Fance and Germany, whose territorial ambitions erupted in fury in 1890, 1914 and 1939. Harmony between these two countries is what has kept (western) Europe safe for 60 years, not the Euro, nor "Europe", nor the sinister machinations of unelected mandarins.

We must let Greece go its own way. Anything else is tantamount to the sort of empire-building that has taken Europe into the abyss too often.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

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