Christmas gifts for Greece that Europe cannot afford
12 Dec, 2011 07:16
Eurocrats, freshly humbled by a diplomatic failure at their Brussels summit, have been joined by bankers bearing the same old gifts of austerity, bailouts and instructions on what to do next. Is it all just feeding the flames under the Euro-kettle?
Running a business is never easy, even a small one, like this German company which produces isolation materials for gas turbines. Loans, taxes, salaries, insurance and competition – it is enough to keep any businessman's head busy.But many are wondering why the rules are different when it comes to the big buck, or in this case – the euro.“When a business takes a loan and can't pay it back, it announces its bankruptcy. I think a state which keeps accumulating debt has to do the same,” Berlin-based businessman Andreas Köchel tells RT. “It's no different from a company in that sense – you don't borrow money if you know you can't pay it back.”But for some reason, this seems not to apply to the eurozone. Let us take Greece, for example. On top of the billions of euros which have already been allocated to bail it out, EU leaders have approved yet another tranche. The aim is to help Athens pay off its 360-billion-euro debt, preventing it from going under and taking others with it.But many fear the tactic will not work.It is all about physics, really. No matter how strong a material is, with the right amount of pressure, even a piece of metal will break. Unfortunately for the eurozone, the laws of physics are called universal for a reason – and the pressure is rising.The latest EU summit in Brussels showed the economic crisis is creating cracks in the Union. Britain walked out of a deal put forward by Germany and France to revise the EU treaty and create a fiscal union with a tighter grip on finances. But analysts warn the integration leap may take too long, with some countries facing a possible referendum on the deal.“To realize these kinds of treaty amendments will take years, because all parties will have to approve them and it will not be [done] in time to address the crisis,” says Arjo Klamer, chair of economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.Meanwhile, inspectors from the so-called “Troika”, which consists of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, are looking to provide Athens with a new 130-billion-euro bailout.“I would call it a lying circus,” government business consultant Christoph Hoerstel told RT. “The process is controlled by the banks who are trying to save their necks which they put on the line with bad loans to corrupt governments, and now they're waiting and expecting European tax payers to pay their bills, especially the bonus bills.”Sure Christmas is big in Europe. But bailing out the euro for the sake of the banks is becoming one expensive present. The dozens of protests that have rocked the EU this year alone are a clear sign of discontent over austerity and endless bailouts, and it is highly unlikely the new set of handouts for Greece will be greeted with even a glimmer of festive cheer.