Margaret Thatcher is credited with this terse truism: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
The Greeks have finally come up against this cold, hard reality. Or have they? That depends. Given the craven nature of most of Europe’s leaders over the past generation, I’d say there’s a darn good chance that those who work hard(er) in Europe will continue to have their taxes pay for the Greek Early Retirement scheme.
The Eurocrats, led by Frau Merkel and M. Hollande, may well blink and get the European Central Bank (and other sources of other peoples’ money) to keep bailing the profligate Greeks out of their self-inflicted misery. I’m hoping they will not.
But I’ve a strong feeling that, just as the Eurocrats have been able to skimp on their own defense for well over 50 years they will cave on this as well. After all, nothing must interfere with the European Union scheme of a single currency with ever-increasing loss of national sovereignty of the member states. It’s the Brussels Way, people.
One problem in yesterday’s referendum, besides the notion that most Greeks haven’t a clue as to what might have caused their predicament, is that the “No” vote (όχι) in reality means “Yes” (ναί). Meaning, sooner or later, Greece will say “yes” to whatever terms the ECB dictates as the price for continuing to bailout Greece. Feels good to vote on a matter over which you have zero control, though.
There are two likely outcomes for Frau Merkel and M. Hollande: first, they will be voted out of office by their angry electorate for the foolishness of throwing German and French taxpayers’ money down the Greek rat hole. Second, it will give pro-British Britons the incentive to win their upcoming referendum (in 2016) on whether the U.K. remains in the EU. If Britain leaves, there goes the entire ill-conceived enterprise of a European “Union” of surrendered national sovereignty.