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The Greek Crisis is about so much more than money

By Mal Fletcher - posted Thursday, 2 July 2015


'We sail within a vast sphere,' wrote Blaise Pascal, 'ever drifting in uncertainty.' That just about sums up the Greek financial crisis.

Greece appears completely adrift within the vast sphere of European and global economics.

Neither Greece nor its European partners show any sign of emerging from a state of shared uncertainty any time soon.

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In the face of the Greek crisis, much has been made of anti-austerity demonstrations.

Within Greece and beyond, would-be reformers have taken up megaphones and banners to denounce the very idea of penalties for defaulting on debts, or inducements for their repayment.

For all the noise and bluster, I don't hear any of these people presenting a serious, viable alternative model to those already on the table.

If you tone down their populist rhetoric, anti-austerity campaigners, none seem to be offering a realistic plan which might address the concerns of Greece's creditors. Nor do they proffer a practical plan to move Greece forward in terms of its fiscal management.

It is always easier to argue from an ideological perspective than it is to do so from a pragmatic or strategic one.

That's especially true when the argument is about something which, in the first instance, sounds distasteful. Nobody likes the sound of austerity - the very word itself has the ring of doom about it.

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That aside, the problems Greece will face from here on, whether it remains inside the EU or opts to move out, are more than financial in nature.

It is hard to see the Syriza regime lasting much longer, given its obvious economic cackhandedness and its devotion to party above country. Yet whichever government takes the nation forward, the two biggest challenges it will face revolve around trust and culture.

For all the good will people feel toward Greece, given that it provided the seedbed for European democracy, there is no doubt that reestablishing trust with private and governmental investors will be a tall order.

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This article was first published at 2020PLUS.NET.



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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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