Around a coffee in Bucharest is debated the future of Greece; so close to the Balkans in spirit and fact.
It’s interesting how the Greece crisis is perceived in various parts of the world. It happened that I spent these events in Bucharest, a country at the receiving end of the EU funding where traditionally everybody has an opinion. I read various articles in the American papers and in spite of different points of view many realize that Greece’s debt is un-payable. Surprisingly even the IMF stated the fact.
European Union was not a marriage of love and will hardly become one at least of acceptance for a long time. The centuries of disdain, suspicion or even hatred combined with the opposite mentalities had to make space in less than 20 years to love and understanding in a climate that is less affluent than in the second half of the 20th century. If you ask people from various European countries what their personal opinion about the European Union they mention more the divorce than the union. Of course none would want to lose the freedom of movement and some commerce facilities but the common currency is deeply hated, minus its convenience. According to them, from the French to the Greeks, euro brought poverty across Europe, but is really hard to pinpoint the role of the currency itself versus the new competition in the market that may be the real culprit. It’s hard not to be the king of hill after you have been one. Of course a lesser union would send the continent to a minimal role on the global market that changed way faster than the more relaxed European spirit.
The EU expansion toward the Eastern Europe was neither a humanitarian act nor a charity. The German and French economies needed new markets to absorb their products, poor markets that can be easily controlled politically. Their domination and their will is perceived as overburdening in Romania where the majority of supermarkets, malls and businesses that can bring jobs and good salaries comes from them. The persistent lack of business sense and attitude of the local population that is wideapread in these new integrated Eastern European countries made the foreign corporation task much easier, adding to them also an aura of beacons of civilization.
However the Greek PM’s speech at a time when the entire world listened made many aware of the profound anti-democratic way the continent is ruled. It is mind-boggling to understand that all the laws are generated by an un-elected commission, ruled by an un-elected president that are sending the packages to a “sort of elected” parliament who mainly rubber stamp the decisions. At least in Romania, the country allotted seats in the European Parliament are strongly coveted assuring their future politicians a salary that is unmatched in the local market. If you speak with people from various European countries all are complaining about this system that remind the Eastern Europeans of the orders coming from Moscow during the cold war.
Unfortunately the solution for Greece is a no-solution, a process of kicking the can down the road, for the Greeks with a tragedy and for the EU with lots of patting on the back and congratulations that would be passed in oblivion when the next payment phase will come. Because is no way that the Greeks would be able to pay back a debt that is way bigger than the country’s mentality can ever produce.