Greece prolongs the agony
“...there's a specialAs Hamlet defied augury, he submitted to the inevitable: matters of life and death are beyond man’s control. It is God who determines such matters, and in these words he echoes those of Jesus:
providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
readiness is all.”
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father."As with the sparrow, so it is with the Greek euro. There is an inevitability about its fall: ‘if it be not now, yet it will come.’ Whether now or in the future, Greece will leave the euro because her people will not bear the burden of interminable years of ‘austerity’. Chancellor Merkel of Germany all but ordered the Greeks to vote to stick to their agreements and remain in the euro: “I can only warn everyone against leaving the currency union,” she said. “The internal cohesion of the euro zone would be in danger." In this she was joined by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Euro Group, who lectured: "If the radical left wins - which cannot be ruled out - the consequences for the currency union are unforeseeable."
And so the choice was that of a rock or a hard place: between the austerity-supporting New Democracy party on the right, or the liberating austerity-rejecting Syriza party on the left. This election was essentially a referendum on euro membership and the rebirth of the drachma. For the EU, ‘ever closer union’ precludes any restoration of national sovereignty. But if democracy is seen to be subverted by external forces – in this case Berlin and Brussels – we are only storing up and civil unrest, political upheaval and revolution.
A New Democracy coalition – a very unstable one with the centre-left Pasok socialists – is now likely between the pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-austerity majority. If not formal coalition, there will be enormous pressure for ‘cooperation’ to save the euro. The quest will be led by Antonis Samaras, who hailed the election result as a ‘victory for Europe’. He will lead, he says, a government of ‘national salvation’.
And so the nightmare continues: more renegotiation of terms, more loans from the EU and the IMF, more debt, more recession, more burden, more bailout, more austerity, more job cuts, more salary cuts, more pension cuts, more unemployment, more poverty, more homelessness, more suffering, more social tensions, more protests, more civil unrest, more lectures from Berlin and warnings from Brussels.
There is nothing new under the sun: the sparrow will fall, as providence decrees.