The ‘ clientelist and corrupt bureaucracy’ that Mr. Stephens refers to in his essay are the very people that conspired with Goldman Sachs to hide the true extent of Greek indebtedness, as the in order to of more debt! This takes irony and the Neo-Liberal screeching about the ‘Greek Crisis’ to new levels of moralizing pretentiousness, not to speak of utter political desperation: the collapse of the EU waits in the wings accompanied by Podemos. Consider the what and the where of the next European anti-austerity Party! The specter of those parties keeps the whole of the editorial phalanx of The Financial Times relentlessly tapping at their keyboards!
One of the other major questions is who owns the Greek debt? We have this Greek per-election report from Bloomberg:
Or this February 2, 2015 from Bloomberg:
With Germany being bailed out four times in the 20th century as reported by Jillian Tett at the FT :
As the debt is held by other Europeans, and with Germany, Ms. Merkel being it’s titular leader- the reluctance of one of the beneficiaries of European economic largess bespeaks an advanced case of hubris, or just the contempt of the leader of the Virtuous Norther Tier against the Profligate Southern Tier: the power of this deeply held prejudice of moral superiority is the poison that will destroy Monnet’s Grand Idea, rooted in a firm belief in the marriage of technocracy and bureaucracy, with the Euro as check against Keynesian interventionism:
The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.
“It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians,” he said. “[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business.”
He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing. As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as “optimum currency area”. This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell. That doesn’t bother Mundell. For him, the euro wasn’t about turning Europe into a powerful, unified economic unit. It was about Reagan and Thatcher.
Was Monnet’s conception and early realization of the EU Neo-Liberalism avant la lettre? Or simply it’s precursor? Certainly two tantalizing questions that won’t be asked by the writer at The Financial Times!