On 25 January Greece will hold elections. As far as we can read the future it seems likely that Syriza will win those elections and as Syriza have campaigned on an anti-austerity platform the new Greek Government will engage with the European Union in an attempt to persuade the EU to mitigate its austerity policies. If the EU fails to do this then it is likely that Greece will leave the European Union.
Greece has suffered from an economic depression for nearly eight years, so it is unsurprising that the Greek people want to try something different to see if they can return to prosperity.
It is very hard to know cause and effect in economics. The financial crisis of 2008 affected most nations at the time and all nations eventually because so much in finance is based on confidence and so little on reality. The United States now has a stronger more vibrant economy apparently, and the dollar is now very strong against the Euro and oil prices are low.
Some ascribe the US success (and the relative success of the UK economy, to quantative easing, which the Eurozone has not yet tried. I expect that the EU will see if quantative easing can help economies of member nations, particularly Greece, becasue although the majority of European nations are taking a stance of “if Greece wants to leave let them go”, if nations start to leave the European Union and having left find their economies becoming improved, it will have repercussions on every European State.
Greeks had their own national vision – the Big Idea – which dreamed of a Greek nation in which all Greeks were united in the Eastern Mediterranean. After a few wars Greeks left the coast of Asia Minor and the Big idea became a smaller idea.
The European Union is another big idea based on the political unity of Europe. It was opposed by left wingers in many nations in the 1960s and 1970s because, taking the lead (or some say instructions) from the Soviet’s communists, it was considered that European Unity would be a threat to socialism. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall the European Union has become largely a socialist dream – a big idea of all European States being centrally administered according to socialist principles, and that seems to be what we have how,
Greece leaving the EU will be a real threat to the EU’s stability, as a political unit; as we have seen with the Soviet Empire, once states start to leave it becomes very hard to hold the empire together.