SADC Correspondent | Oct 30, 2018 | 0
Greece bailout must happen now
Greece manages its own affairs very badly and is now in big trouble. And so is Italy, the USA and Spain. It is unclear at this moment what the EU, and especially Germany and France, will do to rescue Greece.
Tension is mounting all over the world – if Europe fails, the world is in huge trouble. The ‘commoners’ in European countries are highly alert; it is their money that will be put to good or bad use, depending on their individual views on the Greece people and their government.
Is it the first time in history that a country has to be bailed out? No, it is not. There were many countries that needed help from other countries and most often, this was done without any public protest. We as Africans know this very well. It is a rather ‘normal’ that African countries managed their affairs in such a way that the European countries had to help them. What flowed into Africa since the times Africa became ‘independent’ has been an astronomical amount of money; most of it written off.
Compared to the money that flowed into Africa, the amount Greece needs is small.
Do the Europeans not know that the EU is at stake? Helping Greece is helping the EU, it is helping the Euro and helping the world, and if the reasons for establishing the EU and the Euro are still valid today, Greece has to get money and that on realistic terms. Greece is not a poor country; the problem of Greece was and still is its management. Many other countries do have the same problem.
It is not that the ability to manage well is the problem per se; the problem is to convince the people that good management is a necessity for every nation that would like to be independent. A beggar is not independent, a beggar has to ‘shut up’, to listen and obey.
It is the citizen who has to pay for the services a government renders; no one else will do it for him. When the problems started, the people of Greece said ‘we refuse to be made Germans’. This is a mental block and this block has to be shattered for the good of Greece. The State has to get its share; the State’s coffer must never be empty, you have to pay your revenue. Not only Greece has to learn this little piece of wisdom to which disciplined and knowledgeable people adhere; we Africans and Africa could do much worse than to learn it too.
Europe’s mistake was most probably the Euro, the currency of all its member states. A common currency has to be controlled and its use regulated by one authority only. Too many too different economies and fiscal policies were involved, too much greed used and too many loopholes available, it seems.
Sharp and effective control over the economies was and still is not possible; the enthusiasm to have and be part of an united Europe overwhelmed any ‘common sense’. Now we see the result of that ‘blunder’. However, it is not too late to correct it. If it is not possible to do that, the EU’s future will rest on fragile foundations. What happens in Europe now could be a good example for us, who live in southern Africa. Our dreams are to go in the same direction; we should dream with open eyes.
I. (Goofy) Newton