Sunday, June 19, 2016

From Grexit (almost) to Brexit (perhaps)

I didn't give much thought to the European Union (after all, I live in Asia, LOL) until the first significant crisis occurred - the Greek crisis, featuring a young, charismatic, greek PM (Alexis Tzipras) and a piquant story of how Greece , allegedly, cheated to enter the Union.

The crisis is only partially over, and there are speculative rumours that Greece is considering selling some of its beautiful islands, to cover its debts to the Union and to the IMF (international monetary fund).

And now, the referendum in Great Britain (on 23 june 2016), to decide whether the country stays in or out of the Union, has drawn a lot of attention;  especially  after the recent tragic event of a young MP being shot dead in the street. 

Personally, I'm not much in favor of a union of states or a federation of states.  I just don't think it could work. Each state, nation, has its own rhytm of life and cultural tradition. It should be let to live at its own pace and capability.  If it wants change, that should come from within, from an inner effort, not from external factors' pressure.

EC headquarters -Place Shumann, Bruxelles

However, once established, this partnership of states cannot go back without causing  a political and economical  'earthquake'. In Bruxelles (the headquarters of the European Union) they've tried hard to prevent it in the Greek crisis, and they're trying to prevent it now with Britain.

For years, the EU institutions have practically been  'playing God' to bring 28 european nations under a common denominator; a lot of funds have been invested in the econonomically weaker, southern european countries.  So far, not very successfully. 

Grande Place, Bruxelles

All bad things, both in the life of the individum and in the life of a nation, stem , in my humble opinion, from our attempts to play God (change mentalities, abilities, ways of life of other people) , and from our wrong belief that money ( pouring more and more funds) can achieve it all.


  1. I am not very much involved in GB crisis about the eu but to be honest i cannot somehow imagine eu without them

  2. Ola,

    GB is in the EU but not in the eurozone, that is, she keeps her own currency which is not the euro, but the english pound (unlike Greece), so what's her problem? Some say migration, some say the dominance of Germany within the EU. Anyway it's going to be interesting. If GB leaves, it'll be nasty to both sides.


  4. La Petite Gallery,

    As much as we distrust Germany for its bloody past, still, I believe the euro currency is in good hands with Germany as the tone giver within the EU.

  5. HI Duta, I don't really understand all that is going on to bring a union but the senseless death of Cox hit me. Why would someone take her life. As for what you said about each country having its own rhythmetc etc, I think you're right about that. Here they amalgamated a number of cities thinking it would be beneficial for all. In fact, it has had the opposite effects. Bigger is not better. Some of the cities doing well, have been slapped with incredibly high taxes to pay for poorer ones.

    Good points you brought up. Happy Week.

  6. Nikki (Sarah),

    Indeed, a very senseless, tragic death. They say, Cameroun, the PM, is against GB leaving the Union, so why did he demand a referendum? To stir emotions? Doesn't he know that there are many Brits out there that find it difficult to accept the fact that GB idsn't perhaps that great any more?
    As for amalgamation of cities - you're right; it does wrong to the better organized and quality cities.

  7. This was interesting to read because you mentioned Greece a lot, and I am part Greek myself. They have some of the most beautiful islands, and when Jess visited Greece she saw a few of them.

    Have a splendid week, Duta.


  8. Red Rose Alley,

    Oh , Sheri, the greek islands are a fascinating topic. So far, I visited Rhodes and Santorini only (many years ago); I wish to visit Crete, maybe this summer, God willing. Crete is the largest of the islands and it's closest to my country.

  9. Thanks so much for your visit and kind words. I hope you have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

  10. Martha's Favorites,

    You're welcome. Blessings to you too, and a wonderful trip to San Francisco!

  11. I have been following this in Great Britain, seems like a smart move to not be in the EU due to euro problems, immigration and overcrowding of cities, the cost of belonging and the policies. You're right, "let each nation live at its own pace and capability." Excellent, informative post, Duta!

  12. As an American, I watch this with interest. Heaven knows we have our own interesting issues right now!

  13. Pam,

    Hi Pam. I like it that you have a strong opinion on the matter. Anyway,as the referendum is approaching (on Thursday) the suspense is high. All parties involved are 'edgy'. Whatever the result, let's not forget that there are people behind it all.

  14. Pearl, Hi

    That's very nice of you that as an american you take interest in the EU and in the referendum in Britain. On the other hand, we live in a global world, so every move in some corner of this world, affects us, and we should be on the alert.

  15. I couldn't have said it better regarding the European union. Tomorrow we will know what is going to happen. If England decides to break than it will still take another 2 years before it happens but I think the euro will crash straight away.
    We will see tomorrow.
    Greece selling its beautiful islands?? I just went to one I couldn't imagen these islands not being Greek or worse fall into private hands :(

  16. Marja,

    Today is the Day. If GB decides to stay, I suppose she'll have to adopt the euro as her currency. So far, she's been playing on 'both weddings', so to speak.
    As for the greek islands,I can't imagine any greek government dare touch them in any way, even not leasing for a period of time But who knows? Debts must be paid and Greece is deeply in debt.

  17. I am surprised by the Brexit results...I hope that this is not leading to a worldwide economic catastrophe

  18. Optimistic Existentialist,

    Yes, it is kind of a surprise, especially as the PM Cameroun was openly and clearly against GB leaving the EU. As for a worldwide economic catasthrophe, I'm afraid we're already there, but financial manipulations (such as the Fed's printing of money)distract our attention from the gloomy reality.

  19. I had no idea it would shock the world economy. You pretty well said it in right in the last paragraph

  20. Hi Kim,

    Economists try to calm us all down saying it's a marginal event. First of all it's not marginal for Britain and for the rest of Europe. Secondly, we live in a global world and every event ,no matter how marginal, affects the global economy in a way or another.

  21. Very true about that "attempt to play God"
    The common people suffer due to some over expectations of a few politicians.

  22. Haddock,

    I do believe in God, and I think we, human beings, have our limitations. Not so the politicians; They think they could recreate the world, and so they drag us, the common people, deep down.

  23. I certainly do not understand the ramifications of it all. Economics is very complex. Some days I just have to turn the news off, as issues closer to home weigh heavily on me.

  24. Jennifer A.Jilks,

    Right. Of course issues close to home have priority. Globality, however, makes it difficult for us to ignore the situation in other countries.

  25. I'm afraid I've not kept up on the whole Brexit situation, but with all that is happening right now in the US with Trump and Hilary Clinton and mass shootings, it's enough to make me want to just ignore the news and what is going on close by and in the world. I know it's sticking my head in the sand and it's best to know and have an opinion but it just seems overwhelming.

  26. Alicia,

    I understand you perfectly. To me world news is a kind of escapism from the domestic scene which is quite bad. We have acts of terrorism almost everyday: knife stabbing, shootings, explosives, stone throwing, you name it.
    Well, sadly, it doesn't get anty better anywhere in the world.
    As for Brexit, it'll be interesting to see its effects on Europe.