Saturday 16 December 2017

Good politics are needed to belatedly save the euro

'A new twist on Ancient Greek tradition' cartoon
'A new twist on Ancient Greek tradition' cartoon
John Downing

John Downing

The 'pretend and extend' Greek eurozone fix is no longer an option. It has only taken five years, three prime ministers, six months of extreme brinksmanship, a landmark referendum, and a fortnight of the Greek banks being closed for business amid tight currency controls.

The delays and foot-dragging do not reflect well on anybody involved. The deviations into low-grade and pointless stereotyping - dictatorial Germans and lazy Greeks to cite but two - has degraded all kinds of important relationships inside the 28-nation European Union and its inner chamber, the 19-nation eurozone.

There is ample blame to be shared around and no shortage of time to consider such matters - once some tenable remedies have been put in place. Two previous bailouts, and an impending third, leave Greece with debt it cannot sustain. Political leaders in Athens never intended to keep the promises they made at their various meetings in Brussels.

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