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Save'em or Leave'em? How Greece should be dealt with

Updated on May 25, 2015

Save'em or Leave'em?

Today I read an article from the UK Telegraph in which Boris Johnson, a leading columnist, described the chaos in Greece as a choice between swallowing the German medicine - and therefore staying part of the eurozone - or relinquising their membership and re-introducing their national currency, the Drachma. The choice is of course up to them, as we in Europe could easily survive economically without them. However, with all the internal struggles the EU has gone through over the last couple of years - from a surging wave of extremism to several members complaining about the excess legislation - we should certainly take the Greek possibility of exit with precaution.

Although the financial case for keeping Greece inside the eurozone is rather feeble, the case for unity and integration is one the Eurocrats and leaders should not overlook. If, and I suspect this won't occur unless the Greek decide otherwise, Greece is doomed to return to its pre-membership years, then it might catapult in a domino-like effect whereby other countries wish to re-proclaim their sovereignty; if this may seem extreme, a Grexit may at the very least shake the metaphorical walls of the EU and further weaken its united status.

No country so far has joined then left this almighty, supranational organization that is the European Union - if one country were to do so, only imagine what the future holds.. thoughts will creep in people's minds and if Greece were to survive by itself then anxieties towards the EU and its single currency may deepen larger. We must be wise not to underestimate the effects of a Grexit, and be prepared for the worse.

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    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      Germany, one of the richest country in Europe is trembling because Greece is about to default and also because its 10-year bond fell-off. The concern reposes not on the fall but on its speed underlining extreme volatility. Can I remind you that Germany is part of the Troika?

      Why would the richest European country tremble for so little? Could it be because its financial institutions are not as strong as we thought they were? Again, the presence of quantitative easing displays openly a weakness.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      I don't see in what way Europe is a paradigm of economical success?

      "Impressive financial case for prosperity". The last time I recall Europe was thriving was during its industrialization and its empires' expansions. Even England suffered during its so-called glorious Thatcherian years, I still recall its violent demonstrations....

      It's not speculative but realistic. Which European bank therefore country holds liquidity? Even an insignificant country like Iceland felt the 2008 financial crisis. And what did they do? Jailed the culprits and 7 years later, it is thriving...

    • Alexanderjwright profile image
      Author

      Alexander James Wright 2 years ago from Brussels, London, Shanghai

      England is the United Kingdom for a start and my position is completely in line with the British reasoning: we need to finalize the Single Market, calm down on integration but appreciate what some of the elements in the Treaties have brought in terms of benefits.

      I'm not sure what your question is.. I do know that the US applied a similar scheme of quantitative easing to bail-out states who run huge streaks of debts and it seems to be working so don't get your argument there.. but then again I think you're vastly superior to me when it comes to discussing economic policy.

      It's speculative to think that if Greece collapses so will the rest of the EU. Don't forget four of five years ago we were virtually convinced the Euro would crash - as far as I'm concerned, the sweetly-tasting, richly-creamed donuts I bought this morning were made with Euros (yes I live in Europe atm).

      Let's see what happens - but let's not machinegun an organization which, and this cannot be refuted, presents a quite impressive financial case for prosperity if and when growth is restored.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      Yes sure recession implies growth... Especially with austerity economical measures... Enough of those lies based on a so-called model of success that is to say capitalism or renewal of capitalism...

      England that always refused to be part of Europe? Are you joking? Answer my questions first instead of digressing.

    • Alexanderjwright profile image
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      Alexander James Wright 2 years ago from Brussels, London, Shanghai

      Again you are viewing the whole organization on purely monetary grounds. You forget that, and this works even for you who suggests everything related to the Euro, that a common currency and the ability to share goods, services and capital at little or no cost is an ingenious idea and an example for countries with strong commercial ties. Yes the Euro has been a calamity over the last couple of years - let's not forget, though, that the eurozone crisis was causes by the financial and economic crisis that shook the world in 2007+.

      The EURO was perhaps too early an invention and eurocrats may have underestimated the risks. But recession will lead to growth, and growth will be multiplied when the single market is finalized (i.e when all custom checks etc are removed).

      The EU is also more ambitious than that: it wants to turn a previously divided continent into one - whether that's a good thing is a matter of personal opinion. As a British citizen, I think the integration process needs to grind to a halt: however, I am proud, as a European, of the immense and untold benefits it has so far provided

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      Europe is a failure. Cite me one country that is thriving? Only Northern Europe is stable. Which country has a strong economy? Recently the European Central Bank has adopted quantitative easing, it is used when the usual monetary policy applied is inefficient. What does that mean? That it is supplying money where there should be. It only shows that a problem does exist and to the example of the US, it will be creating money out of thin air. Somehow banks are lacking liquidity. If Greece collapses, the rest will collapse.

      We like to think that Greece is the bad example, but, again, you forget that the debt comes from the top not the people. All European banks that followed the US financial paradigm will collapse. And, when it will happen, everyone that has a bank account will experience what the Americans experienced in 1929.

      But the Euro is the continuation of the European Union... And who had this idea if not the US?

    • Alexanderjwright profile image
      Author

      Alexander James Wright 2 years ago from Brussels, London, Shanghai

      Thanks to both for your comments. I would say, however, that European Politicians' support for Greek membership isn't only triggered by influence from the US - as you maxom.. is saying - but by their stubborness to accept that an old member no longer fits the criteria for continued membership. They are afraid of the risks it will have on other countries - hence the "domino effect". That was essentially the point I was making. Regarding who's to blame in Greece - the state or the people - is one I'm not in a position to make.

      Regarding Europe being a failure, I certainly think you're wrong on so many levels. The basic four freedoms (goods, capital,..) are an absolute necessity and have allowed Europe to flourish in a way it couldn't before. Don't mix the Euro with the whole EU project because you're dismissing all other policy areas where MS have made good and steady progress

    • CHRIS57 profile image

      CHRIS57 2 years ago from Northern Germany

      Indeed, Greece should leave the Eurozone, return to Drachme. It is another question of Greece staying in the EU.

      So - why should Greece leave the Eurozone? Simply because Greece is not competitive enough to keep up with the rest of the bunch. And this lack of competitivity is only about producing industry but even more about admnistration.

      So make a Grexit, write off the 300 Billion. I am absolutely sure, from day one one after Grexit, after total haircut, Greece will immediately start piling up new debt. Greece - that is government, industry, consumers.

      Europe will struggle for a year or so to swallow the haircut. For example German government debt is likely to increase by 5%, so for 4 months no more new autobahn :-), there is debt brake over here.

      Better a year of struggle than decades of lies.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      What you consciously forgot is that the Greek debt belongs to the elite not to the people. Why would the people pay for the mistakes of a minority. The Greek government is already betraying the people that elected them by allowing to pay the debt through pension funds.

      You are not honest in your paper when you insidiously refer to the European "unity". Every country belonging to Europe wants it out. Only politicians play the game pushed by the American agenda. NATO, led by the US, needs a "united" Europe to attack Russia or encircle China.

      The Euro is a failure, Europe is a failure. It is time that Greece defaults for its survival. If it listens to the Troika, it will go deeper into debts, its national assets will be pilfered. Enough of those institutions that have for unique goal to pauperize countries like the IMF, the World Bank...

      Every European country has to regain its sovereignty, its independence, its identity... Indeed, it will have a domino effect and why is it so? Because Europe doesn't work for European interests. Why is it that the head of each important European or worldwide institution is Americanif not to promote their interests? No to the supremacy of Anglo-Saxon interests!

      Do you really think that the predicament of Greece won't affect you? Think twice...

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