Thursday, February 4, 2010

Greece's Money Problems

As many of you are already aware, Greece is in some deep shit financially and needs a bailout. I received a few emails about this, but I haven't been blogging about it because the story isn't terribly interesting to me. Greece wasn't ready to join the euro when it did in 2001. Everybody knew they weren't ready. The books were cooked, but people held their noses to keep the European project moving forward. Perhaps the financial crisis and economic sluggishness exacerbated the problems, but unlike other places where they made decisions that look poor in hindsight (See: Iceland), Greece has pretty much been making bad decisions all along that everybody knew were bad. It has dysfunctional political and economic systems. So, the crisis is not at all surprising to FLG and fundamentally uninteresting.


arethusa said...

I don't know why anyone is surprised about this. The EU makes it so attractive to join, why wouldn't a country lie and keep on lying to get in and stay in?

(Gives a Hellenic shrug.) What do you expect? It's Greece!

The Ancient said...

When Franklin claimed "there is a lot ruin in a nation," he wasn't thinking about two millennia.

In Kolonaki, the Athenian version of the Upper East Side, there are plaques on nearly every street corner memorializing the specific women and children machined-gunned at that particular place by communists during the Civil War.

I doubt any Greek under 40 knows those plaques are there.

Alpheus said...

In 48 B.C. (or soon afterward) Julius Caesar pardoned the Athenians for their support of Pompey in the Civil War, but asked -- and I paraphrase -- "How often, Athenians, will the fame of your forebears save you from destruction?" His implication was "not so very much longer."

But 2058 years later, the Greeks are still drawing from that well.

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