The crisis in Greece remains … a crisis. After five years, during which time everyone who was paying attention said it was a crisis. And, of course, the crisis went unresolved. The end game may come soon but, then, who knows? But there seems to be a consensus of sorts building around the idea that it would be a bad thing if Greece were to leave the Eurozone. Bad for whom, one asks. The Greeks are in the Eurozone at present and it certainly hasn’t been good to them. Whatever their own sins – and they have been many – it is hard to see where membership is making their lives better. No money and no jobs, with a future that seems to come down to more pain.
The fault may not be with Greece so much as the whole enterprise of putting it into the eurozone with the Euro as common currency. This project was doomed from the start, as Milton Friedman said at the time. He appears, once more, to have called it.
If Greece does leave, we are told, then the whole enterprise may be in jeopardy. Which the global managers and bureaucrats cannot tolerate. Which is why, this afternoon, the U.S. Treasury Secretary:
… urged European leaders to find a solution to Greece’s debt crisis so that the country can remain within the eurozone,
Well, they had five years from the time they started noticing there was a problem. They put their best brains on it and they tried a number of fixes. Which seem to have a) postponed the day of reckoning and b) made things worse.
Maybe it is time to just let Greece go and if the Euro dies … well, nice try.
The new novel Les Événements (The Events), by the French author Jean Rolin, tells the tale of a France that has descended into a chaotic and multifaceted civil war involving jihadist, nationalist and Marxist militias, in various and fluctuating combinations, as well as remnants of the regular army.
There is an important difference between European and American appetites, in addition to those for fast foods: risk taking. “Investments in Start-Ups Pick Up Pace,” reports the New York Times after surveying the high-tech financing scene here in America. “Europe Struggles to Foster a Startup Culture,” reports the Wall Street Journal. It seems that in contrast with “multiple rounds of fund-raising [in the U.S.] in months, rather than years,” Europeans are “valuing prudence … and leisure time over flamboyant risk-taking.”
Friday morning, David Cameron returned to Downing Street as Britain's prime minister. After a campaign of unsurpassed tedium, the General Election came alive last night with the first exit poll, and a Conservative victory out of nowhere. For weeks, the incumbent Conservatives and the Labour opposition had been neck and neck.
Friday marks the seventieth anniversary of Victory in Europe, or V-E, Day, when the Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after six long years of war. No one should have savored that day in 1945 more than Winston Churchill, the wartime British prime minister.
Springtime in the Mediterranean: The skies are clear, the waters are calm, and the migrants are drowning. In 2014, the U.S. Border Patrol estimated that 307 people died while being smuggled into the United States from Mexico. So far this year, more than 1,650 people have drowned as they attempted to cross Europe’s most porous and dangerous border, the Mediterranean. In 2014, the Border Patrol “rescued” 509 migrants along the Mexican border.
As reported by the Austrian daily Der Standard, some fifty Bosnian soccer fans broke into a chant of “Kill, kill the Jews!” during a pro-Palestinian rally in Vienna’s central Saint Stephan’s Square last week. The incident appears to have occurred on Tuesday, when the Bosnian national team was in town for a match against the Austrian team.
The question as to why Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 would intentionally bring about the crash of the plane is at the source of much of the perplexity surrounding the Germanwings tragedy. Even if we suppose that Lubitz was suicidal, it is obviously one thing to commit suicide and another to do so in such a way as to cause the death of 149 other people as well.
An Iranian journalist writing about the nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran has defected. In an interview Amir Hossein Motaghi, has some harsh words for his native Iran. He also has a damning indictment of America's role in the nuclear negotiations.