Beware of Greeks bearing debts.
“She’s got some gall,” the righteous citizens of
Are we to sympathise with them?
I think not, and without wishing to see Frau Merkel joining the barges on that mighty waterway.
Somewhat against my instincts – which tend to veer automatically to the downtrodden and oppressed, and no doubt on the basis of reasoning that may not be less than intellectually watertight – I find myself agreeing with Frau Merkel. Not because I admire the rigid Teutonic rectitude with which she expresses her views, but because in any language a deal is a deal.
Any loan is made on the understanding that it will be repaid at an agreed rate of interest. It is the foundation, rightly or wrongly, of the world market economy. We repay our household debts on that basis, mindful of the potentially uncomfortable consequences if we do not. And we rather resent those irresponsible fellow citizens who break the rules, thereby making life more awkward and expensive for the rest of us.
Feeling sorry for the Greeks, whose economy and budget are even more ruinous than their glorious ancient monuments, is as pointless and misguided as the Merkel crusade to turn resolutely fun-loving Greeks into relentlessly hard-working Germans – something that even relentlessly hard-working Germans are beginning to understand, if not with hearty approval.
I have no idea what
But honesty also means not defaulting on debts, either as a first or even a last resort.
As it is now, the country plainly does not belong in a club in which the bar of membership rules has been set impossibly high. As an analogy, a
Frau Merkel fears the consequences of a Greek departure, and with good reason:
Mr. Farage and Mme. Pen would rejoice, of course, but forget them and their self-indulgent xenophobic ravings. A united Europe can and must survive, with
The Greeks have to sort out their own problems, and Frau Merkel has to help them, and every other troubled member of the club.
I’m sure she knows that. She just can’t afford to come out and say so.
But until she does, the tolling will continue, becoming ever more ear-splitting.