Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Greek debt: talks continue
Hercules slaying Augeas for non-payment of debt - the promised fee for cleaning the Augean stables. The statue, by Lorenzo Mattielli, stands outside the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
At least Hercules had an excuse, having done some honest work, though to my eyes this particular depiction makes him seem simply a violent fat thug. What, by contrast, have the EU, international banking and the lucrative intermediation of Goldman Sachs done for Greece, aside from shoehorn the country into a club it should never have been allowed to join?
Euro MP and UKIP leader Nigel Farage has just told it straight yet again, to a parliament in which notable figures pointedly chat to each other while he berates them: the EU has driven poor Hellas to desperation and worse is to follow.
This chaos was foreseeable; my wife and I were in Corfu in May 2010 - the month in which three innocent Athenian bank employees were burned to death - and the goldsmith at Roda told us there would be a revolution within a year. Now, a whole government has been removed by outsiders and democracy is, apparently, merely an optional extra for peripheral nations.
Anyone who know the Greeks knows they have a historical memory like the Irish. This will go deep and will not be forgiven.