Serious money, Greek tragedy

United in debt

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Will they, won't they? A week ago it was all stern words regarding the Greek economy from the rest of the EU. It was generally seen as a Greek problem. They got into the mess, they could get out of it, tough love stuff. What was being said by member state politicians was very different from the comments of EU politicians. The former was for the domestic audience while the latter, well, what was it for? One cannot imagine that Barack Obama wasted sleep on this and the world's financial markets and traders were not fooled either.

So stern words behind us now, for the Greek economy is to be saved. It does not require an in-depth knowledge of the EU to see that the Greeks will be punished for this. The considerations here are, who will gain and will the Greeks accept their punishment? No doubt the Germans will do all they can to 'protect' their share of the Greek debt but on the other hand, had they been really smart, German banks would not have bought so much of it in the first place. The Germans have their own energy deals and gas pipe lines with Russia, they also 'share' a currency with Greece. As "an ever closer union" is the EU mantra perhaps Germany will come to regret its change of mind on helping Greece.

Whatever the outcome of the EU plans, it's also hard to see the Greek in the street being happy; they are already burning the EU flag. Another country watching all this will be Ireland. First they vote NO on the Lisbon Treaty, then followed the ritual humiliation of any nation that dares do such a thing. Forced to vote again they buckled and did it 'right' this time. They also went ahead, unprompted, to introduce their own measures to correct problems with the Irish economy. Now if the Irishman in the street thinks the Greeks have 'got away with it', he will be one very stroppy man.

Then to the UK. What is this to do with us? We are not even in the Euro. But in the run-up to a General Election keeping Gordon Brown off this stage will be hard. The man will sign anything that gives him a bit of publicity. Finally to China. While the Greek tragedy is being played out China overtook Germany as a world exporter. To the average Chinese worker, same currency, same people, same problem. And, yesterday's people too.