What a wonderful, pie-in-the-sky ideal, Europe coming together speaking with one voice. One Land, One People, One Leader. Hang on, we've heard that before...where did that come from? Ah Germany! Right...über Alles, eh what? And what did it bring? Well, the same as previous failed attempts. Ask Hitler, ask Napoleon, ask Charlemagne, ask the Romans. The same attempt to stitch together economies which took thousands of years to develop, based on the foundations of their own peculiarities, impose on them ludicrous constraints which may make sense in Germany (as indeed does eating pickled cabbage) and the same disaster when things that work in Germany do not work in Greece. And why should they?
Add to this the idiotic venture to stitch together twenty-eight nations in a few decades, when the project should have taken well over a century to implement, if not more, and add to this the creation of a Eurozone within the European Union with clear opt-in rules but no idea of how to conduct an opt-out and we have a clear idea of what the EU project is.
It is a project based upon Deutschland über Alles, a Jerry version of "Germany Rules the Waves", creating markets for German goods, catering for German jobs and wealth in Germany at the expense of fishing fleets, farms, factories and employment elsewhere.
Nobody has any clear idea of how a country can disentangle itself from the spider's web of the Eurozone, nobody has any clear idea of how a country can change its currency from Euro back to a New Drachma or whatever, or conduct a dollarization, or allow different currencies to circulate. How stupid and shortsighted is that?
Common sense says that if you implement a plan, you write in the conditions for the plan's dissolution. Common sense also says that if usury has been slammed as unethical and immoral since Biblical times, then you do not practice it and impose it on a people.
For those who claim that Greece's payback on its loan is not that high, I have one word: Bullshit! The interest payment on the loan is currently costing Greece 2.6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product. So how is the country supposed to grow with this stone around its neck?
So if we are going to blame anyone, let us not blame the Greek people for the mountain of 317 billion Euros of debt they are landed with. The Greek people? Yes, you know, the ones among whom only some 15 per cent of the unemployed receive any subsidy. The Greek people, whose youth unemployment rate stands at over fifty per cent, whose general unemployment rate is a staggering 26 per cent of the workforce.
And what was the wonderful and enlightened answer from the wonderful and enlightened European Union that caused this situation in the first place? Why more austerity, of course. As if poisoning the roots, pruning back the stem to one millimeter above the ground and stamping on it, then depriving it of water and refusing to feed it, is going to help the plant to grow. Only in the wonderful and enlightened European Union.
So let us not blame the Greek people, let us blame the system which led Greece into the European Union, the politicians from the PASOK and New Democracy Parties which have ruled Greece since the Dictatorship of the Colonels was overthrown in 1974, let us blame the European Union, whose constraints have left Greece with no room to maneuver, and let us blame those who lent Greece money with horrific tails attached (financial and political usury).
It was German bank loans over time (using Germany's huge trade surplus), credit default swaps sold to Greece by Goldman Sachs allowing the Government to hide its deficit, and NATO's nonchalance in selling military equipment at inflated prices which created the imbalance and poisoned the foundations. It was the global capitalist crisis from 2007 which constituted the tsunami and the Eurozone straightjacket depriving Greece of a lifejacket that put the people of Greece in the hole they are in today. It was not the Greek people.
The best way out for Greece would be for its creditors to allow Greece to sort out its problems on its own terms - Greek solutions for Greek people - allowing the country and its people space and not prying into its internal affairs inflicting misery on the people, who as we have seen are not to blame any more than today's Germans can be held responsible for what the Nazis did seventy-odd years ago.
Is that going to happen? Hell no. Everyone seems to have forgiven the Germans. As for the Greeks...
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. He is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights.