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Will the EU Let Greece Go?

The conservative leader in the European Parliament, Martin Callanan, said today that the European Union must plan for Greece’s “orderly withdrawal” from the eurozone. At long last, a European leader is acknowledging Europe’s habit of “fudging.” Each new “solution” designed to “fix” Europe’s problems has in fact been a distraction, as layer upon layer of temporary measures and ineffectual compromises fail to tackle the source of Europe’s financial problems.

Said Callanan: “European politics is no longer anchored in reality. EU summits are becoming a political ritual, divorced from the real world—nobody believes that the latest package will save Greece.”

Callanan is unusually outspoken, but other European leaders are increasingly saying behind the scenes that Greece, and the euro itself, could be beyond rescue. As the murmurs of doubt grow louder, summits and compromises may no longer be enough to cover the mess.

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  • Jim.

    Politicians so often forget that, while horse manure can help roses grow, just because you have loads of horse manure doesn’t mean you’ll get armloads of roses.

    It doesn’t mean there are any ponies at these summits, either.

    Reality is such a harsh mistress to these utopians.

    While the US’s share of world trade has, amazingly, held steady over the last decade, Europe’s share has collapsed, with China picking up the slack. It was only a matter of time before the weakest of the Eurosocialist countries fell; how many of the rest can survive that collapse remains to be seen.

  • James

    Unfortunately, I wouldn’t read too much into these comments. Callanan is not the “conservative leader in the European Parliament.” Rather, he is the leader of the UK Conservative Party in the European Parliament.

    Because of their euroskeptic views, the UK Conservatives are not aligned with the main (europhile) conservative group in the European Parliament – the European People’s Party (EPP), which includes Merkel’s CDU and Sarkozy’s UMP). Back in 2005 or so, David Cameron pulled the UK Conservatives out of the EPP and formed a new euroskeptic grouping (the European Conservatives and Reformists) along with the main right-wing parties in Poland and the Czech Republic. The split actually caused a lot of discord between Cameron and Merkel, with Merkel refusing to meet with Cameron for quite some time while he was opposition leader.

    The point of all this is to say that comments by a UK Conservative MEP carry precious little weight in the EU. Merkel, Sarkozy, and their allies in the EPP firmly remain in denial.

  • Luke Lea

    How about Ireland and Portugal? Are they fixable? Does it all come down to debt and deficit ratios to GDP and their impact on a country’s borrowing costs?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Finally, one of these Boobs points out the reality of their situation. When they admit that it’s not just Greece, and that just letting Greece go, is just kicking the can down the road, then they will be coming to terms with reality. Neither the EU with all it’s inefficient red tape, subsidies, and carbon BS, nor the monetary union Euro without political and financial union, are sustainable.

  • Corlyss

    @ Luke


  • Andrew Allison

    @2 Yup, another slip on the part of my favorite blog. That said, it being clear that Greek is incapable of implementing the policies they have adopted, Greece must go.
    @3 Ireland yes, Portugal no, Spain maybe. It all comes down to:
    “My other piece of advice, Copperfield, said Mr. Micawber, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, andand, in short, you are for ever floored. As I am!”

  • Eurydice

    As the nature of the EU is understood now, the answer is yes, it’s all about economic numbers. As long as they focus on the debt to GDP ratio, they can ignore what’s actually happening to the actual people within the great European family.

    Portugal is being a good little member, keeping all promises and timetables, trotted out as the poster child for well-behavior – yet, it’s ratios are going up instead of down. But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if the health of the country is poor as long as it dutifully makes the minimum payment on its Visa card. These kinds of countries are useful to the EU and its investors.

  • Eurydice

    Oops – my response was to Luke #3. And sorry for the typos.

  • EvilBuzzard


    Yes. It all comes down to some pretty simple mathematics. You either have the money to finance the lifestyle you desire or you have to live in a greater degree of poverty than you would probably appreciate. This is what will happen to S. Europe unless the Norhtern and Central Europeans feel inclined to further immiserate themselves to prop S. Europe up.

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