Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Party's Over

''We have destroyed ourselves. We are angry
at what is happening now, this is why people are on the streets
screaming 'thieves' at the parliamentarians.

''We are also grieving the end of an era,
the end of a 30-year party. We are staring into an abyss now
and no one knows where we will land.
We have absolutely no idea where we are headed.''

That is how Kostas Argyros, presenter of the weekly television news program The Correspondents describes what has befallen his native Greece. The bachannal is over, the purse is empty and now comes the hangover. From the Syndey Morning Herald:

...with the passing on Thursday of austerity measures that raised taxes and loosened employment laws and will slash the budget deficit from 13.6 per cent of gross domestic product this year to less than 3 per cent by 2014, the social contract that has held Greece together since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974 is finished.

In return, Greece will receive loans worth €110 billion ($158 billion) from its European Union partners and the International Monetary Fund to save it from bankruptcy.

''We are all expecting Greece to become Argentina, or worse,'' said an Athens financial consultant, Nikos Kontodimos.
Imagine, a country that has run out of easy options, that will now be forced to live within its means. The rubber meets the road.
Greece, however, is but one of several Western countries sinking in debt. They're not like their big brother mega-debtor, America, because their creditors don't need them in the same way they need the USA. That leaves them highly vulnerable to their creditors and those who would "game" their debts.
Maybe, just maybe, the 30-year binge much of the West has been on is drawing to its inevitable end. Perhaps we're witnessing the beginning of a new era of reality. What a change that would be.

1 comment:

LeDaro said...

I thought Kostas Argyros was talking about Canada.