The election results caused yet more stress for the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who is now facing considerable external pressure from key international financial institutions as well as France and Britain to issue ‘Eurobonds’ as a means of resolving the crisis, a move which, should she agree to it, would spell certain electoral suicide at home in Germany, who would interpret the step as giving the rest of the Eurozone a blank cheque, with which to continue their profligate ways.
Either way, to resolve the Greek crisis, what is needed is firm and decisive leadership, and fast. Whilst I have some sympathy with the suffering the Greek people are enduring as a result of the austerity measures required to reduce their country’s debt, this is the only way that they will be able to remain in the Euro – a desire the majority of Greeks want, despite having voted for anti-austerity parties. For Greeks to reject austerity measures, while insisting they remain in the Euro, is the equivalent of demanding to ‘have your cake and eat it’ (or should that be baklava). Either the Greeks accept that they want to stay in the Euro and get on with the austerity measures or they reject austerity imposed by the troika and leave the Euro.
This latter option is increasingly being seen as the better option for Greece by many external commentators but I can’t help thinking that the law of unforeseen consequences will come in to play if Greece does exit, whether effectively pushed out or by leaving voluntarily. Until the election on 17 June the markets will no doubt continue to be turbulent so let’s hope that there will be resolution one way or the other after 17 June, and swiftly, for all our sakes.