In these days of 24 hour news, one can be forgiven for not caring at all about what is happening elsewhere. It all becomes tedious at some point. We are constantly bombarded with breaking news and occasionally some obscure academic is trotted into the studio where he delivers some vague logic about what he thinks is happening. If you happen to be watching BBC you are treated to the most boring monotonic delivery ever, courtesy of Robert Peston and a clichéd cut away to some pretentious trader in the City. At this point I usually just flick over to Dave, home of witty bunter or just home of the rerun.
Until now I hadn’t paid much attention to all this doom and gloom. It all changed when I sat and listened to my Greek friend talk of the chaos in the streets of Athens. I sat there listening to my friend telling his story and reality hit home, the Euro crisis has caused real and lasting damage and if Dave and George don’t get their act together, we are in trouble.
The rest of Europe has been admonishing Greece for all its woes. The amount of cuts they are supposed to carry out are just incredible, the consequence of these will be felt for years to come. I understand my friend’s anger; it’s hard to see a bright future when you see those demonstrations on TV. The pain is real and it is here for a while.
Eventually politicians will sign the austerity package and the creditors will get their money, but what about the people? What happens to them? These are the questions no one is talking about, the rest of the continent has painted the Greeks as irresponsible and lazy tax dodgers and now they will most certainly throw them to the dogs and push them out of the Euro. This will cause untold pain and suffering to innocent citizens just like my friend.