EU finance: Greek comedy and French tragedy
Greek theatre was known for its tragedies and French theatres and playwrights have a tradition for comedy, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.
The Greek debt crisis has kept Europe busy for a number of years. But Greece’s economic problem is virtually ring-fenced so a Greek exit from the euro - a ‘Grexit’ - or a Greek default would not rock the European boat anymore.
The behaviour of Greece’s newly-elected government, people who have nothing to lose, can be seen as a comedy from a European perspective.
It is a joke for Greece to claim reparation payments from Germany, which is already lending Greece billions of euros which obviously cannot be repaid. Germany’s position to refuse to cut the debt Greece owes while Greece refuses to implement absolutely necessary reforms is unarguably right.
The Greek population is and will unfortunately suffer. But giving in to blackmail from the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would not improve life for them. Real reforms, less government, less bureaucracy and hard work are the solutions.
France has been given another two years to reduce its deficit by the European Union. France's problems cannot be ring-fenced or isolated because of the size of its economy. The French government, for ideological principles and political expediency, has a very lacklustre approach to reforms.
The French situation contains all the ingredients for a financial and economic disaster with catastrophic repercussions for the entire eurozone.
The current behaviour of the Greek government can be viewed as a dark comedy, but France’s policy of insufficient reforms is leading to a French and European tragedy.