The Greeks recently elected an extreme left govt (Syriza) as a kind of protest vote against the austerity measures of the previous govt. What the thinking was behind this move one can only guess at, but I think its a similar kind of mood to that which made Queenslanders recently elect the Labor party to power even though their female leader didn’t even know what the GST rate was.
The new govt is refusing to abide by the agreements that underpinned the EU rescue package for the country, and that the previous govt was trying to live up to. Greeks seem strangely unaware of the doom that will envelope them if the rescue package collapses. A recent poll showed Syriza enjoys 79% support in its resistance to EU austerity measures.
“Bankrupt but free” proclaimed a banner at a pro-government demonstration on Wednesday that drew thousands. “For the first time in years I feel proud to be Greek,” said Lena Dousiou, a 32-year-old who worked in a printing shop before being laid off two years ago. “We went to the Europeans with our head held high and told them ‘Enough is enough!'”
Far from obsessing over a potential Greek banking collapse or a euro zone exit after Thursday’s talks ended without agreement, Greek newspapers ran headlines suggesting a “bridge” deal would soon be adopted.
While many European policymakers see the Greek problem as a mostly economic issue which Greeks must resolve by following the terms of commitments they have made to secure money, for many Greeks it is a cultural issue that taps into long held suspicions of nefarious foreign interests and victimization.
The Greeks have got themselves into an utter mess with their long term infatuation with left wing ideas, where no matter what party was elected over the years, those parties followed policies deeply rooted in Keynesian socialism. There’s no nefarious overseas influence behind the country’s collapse. No conspiracy of financiers and bankers. The Greek economy collapsed because the Greeks are lazy and unproductive and they spend too much money they don’t have. Debt is a terrible trap, and socialist govts are falling into that trap all over the Western world.