Prof. Francesco Giavazzi’s essay is full of hyperbole, that first demonstrates a certain ignorance of American politics in this :
‘Imagine President Barack Obama taking part in high-level talks for months on end, where little was on the agenda except the state of Tennessee.’
One can easily imagine the president focusing his attention on Tennessee, although not to the exclusion of all other concerns, that isn’t even realistic! Or this bit of respectable bourgeois political chatter that reflects the political orthodoxy of the moment.
The jihadis of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) represent a new and serious threat to the west, as does Mr Putin’s revanchism.
This melodramatic frame puts the Greeks, ‘… a country that represents 1.8 per cent of the eurozone’s economic output.’ , into proper perspective? Putin and Isis are at the Gates, sounds like a riff on the warmed over political hysteria of Niall Ferguson. Except that we can trace the rise of militant Islam and ‘Putin’s revanchism’ to American and European political adventurism: the as if operating here is self willed blindness or self-serving dishonesty! The professor’s rather obtuse argument, such as it is, is that the E.U. must let the Greeks fend for themselves, even at the high cost of the ‘Grexit’. The Greeks refuse to give up their utterly corrupt welfare state, led by Syriza, they are like Ireland and Slovenia, not worth the money spent on the rescue attempt!
The rescue of the Germans four times in the 20th Century, from the 20’s to the early 50’s, doesn’t even figure in Prof. Giavazzi’s argument. In fact the Germans look like the deadbeats he accuses the Greeks of being! I know, as Henry Ford opined history is bunk! It’s a question of Neo-Liberal cynicism: the near panic of the possibility of the fissuring E.U. has been the idee fixe of the financial press for years. Have the Neo-Liberals conceded that the Greeks will exit? And is Prof. Giavazzi’s essay the fist of many such essays? Yet the question remains who will be next? Spain led by the Anti-Austerity Podemos? In the end, will the E.U. eventually be made up of that mythical virtuous Northern Tier alone?