Thursday 6 May 2010

"The party is well and truly over"

"Yet Athenians were also saying, with wistful smiles, that it had been a good party while it lasted. The backdrop to the riots was that, in a mixed mood of resignation, black humour and bitterness, Greeks were bidding farewell to a decade in which everything good and bad about their country grew feverishly. There were sporting and cultural extravaganzas, starting with the 2004 Olympics. Archaeological sites were spruced up, new buildings erected. The middle class grew larger and more sophisticated. And many people at the lower end of the pile breathed a bit easier, if only because immigrants from poorer places came to harvest their olives and work in their restaurants."

Paul Krugman thinks that Greece will eventually leave the Euro.

I wonder whether the tone of these articles is going to change once this starts to happen in other European countries as well, which are only slightly better off against the Greek backdrop. Hearing economists talk about how there is a chance that Greece is going to be able to pay back the debt if it sticks to the rigid austerity policy, but not mentioning the political consequences of a good part of the citizens losing 30 percent of their income at once is both entertaining and sobering at the same time.

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