World
11.5.16

Goodbye Greece?

The source of the photo is by http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasokphotos/3941909705/sizes/o/in/set-72157622427616356/ – The author is ΠΑΣΟΚ – From Wikimedia Commons.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, however, was it not obvious a single currency for a continent would end in chaos and disarray? Greece will not be the last victim of the failing Euro, but its position as the first will be remembered in history.

The Global Recession, beginning in 2008, has had disastrous effects on Greece. The pinnacle of Ancient European culture’s economy was reduced by approximately a quarter. Meanwhile, unemployment has been at unprecedented levels. This resulted in two bailouts by Greece’s European counterparts and 240 billion euros (£170 million) later, Greece has not made its payments. Europe has shamefully let Greece default.

Yet, we must ask ourselves how did the Eurozone’s economy fail so disastrously?

The almost universal adoption of the Euro led to an economic monopoly between Germany, France and Italy – as the Euro’s largest economies. Other smaller countries, such as Greece, could not compete with such economic forces. They were living out of their means and traditions of trade, particularly after the 2004 Athens Olympics. This has been perfectly fitting in a Capitalist society where Germany has insidiously grown. Thus, the country’s importance is unquestionable.

However, Angela Merkel has stated the futility of having talks with Alexis Tsipros (the Greek Prime Minister) prior to the referendum on the EU bailout plan, commenting, “The door to talks with the Greek government has always been, and remains, open.” Tsipros, on the other hand, urges the Greek electorate against any proposed bailouts, or “blackmail”.

Thus, has all of this ignited a disassociation with capitalism? Greece has attempted to take back control of their debt with a bailout referendum, as previously mentioned. The suggested question is:

“Should the proposed agreement be accepted, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of 25.06.2015 and consists of two parts, which constitute their unified proposal?”

A simple “no” answer could remove Greece from under the mighty thumb of Merkel and the European economic dictatorships.

And what a wake-up call for bureaucratic Europe that could be. If the Union wishes to continue and flourish, as it undoubtedly should, there needs to be change. The Greek “problem” of the last five years has shown the incredible failure of the Eurozone. We simply can’t let it happen again. The possible election of similarly left-leaning governments, such as Tsipros’ in Spain, could lead to a similar act of rebellion against higher European powers. Will they act differently?

Furthermore, the public have made attempts to similarly “take back control”. This is particularly obvious in the recent online “Kickstarter” campaign for Greece – a bailout, as described on the page, “by the people, for the people”. In six days, 96,834 people have raised 1.6 million euros. It is an incredible turn of events. Whilst it is unlikely donors will accumulate the total sum of debt, it is an incredible idea that people can take back the economy from their governments.

Thus, does the solution to economic disparity lie within the clutches of the people rather than the negotiations of the politicians?

Whatever the answer, the bailout referendum on the 5th July will undoubtedly change Greece’s position in Europe for better or for worse. Yet the Eurozone will remain in its own precarious position.

Global Seven News

Catherine McNaughton

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