Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Greek elections settled nothing

As best as I can make out, the elections in Greece settled nothing.  The Greek electorate are divided, but at least voted against leaving the Eurozone, however the divided results could likely result in the "winning" New Democratic Party not being able to form a coalition government.  

The voters are divided: some agree that austerity is needed, some think less austerity and more government stimulus is needed.  Either way, they want the Germans to pay, and how long the German voters will go along with that notion is anybody's guess.

The primary symbol of the division, I think, is the division between Germany and France's new socialist president, Hollande.  Germany wants austerity and accountability as a condition of loans, whereas Hollande wants Keynesian government stimulus, but, of course, the source of the stimulus funds will ultimately be Germany.

The financial industry seems to hold to the belief that clever tinkering will keep it all afloat.  It gets so tangled, but I don't see how one of the two endpoints doesn't eventually happen: the Eurozone breaks up so that sovereign nations can have their own currency as well as their own fiscal policies and keep their sovereignty, or they all cede their sovereignty to an appointed aristocratic entity that dictates the fiscal policies of them all.  Both seem impossible, but the forces of ever continuing financial crises may eventually push them into one of those end games.  

I think there may be a deep, centuries old acceptance within the European mind that looks to and accepts rule by aristocracy.  A faceless, unelected bureaucracy in Brussels setting fiscal policy for all of the Eurozone may be how it ends up.