Forecast came false

Greece will survive, but will the euro or the EU?
29 june 2015

Brussels may win the battle, but lose the war

Shutterstock/leoks
Santorini will still be standing, but will the European Union?
 Whatever happens with the bailout talks, the one certain thing is that Greece will survive, in or outside the eurozone.

One of the most beautiful countries in the world in an incredibly strategic location, it will remain a world-class tourist destination and a sought-after ally.

In the past century alone, the country has survived Nazi occupation, civil war, military dictatorship, and decades of a political class riven with corruption.

It will survive European Union’s austerity policies, or Grexit, or default. So don’t cry for Greece — the country has been there for millennia and it’s not going anywhere.

What is far less certain is whether the euro EURUSD, -0.6627% and the EU will survive.

This artificial construct foisted on a European public by a political elite far less idealistic than it pretended is wearing out its welcome.

With its bloated and corrupt bureaucracy in Brussels, the craven submission of its political leaders to a dominant reunified Germany, its increasingly obvious disrespect for democratic principles, the EU has strayed far from the founders’ concept of a free-trade zone designed to contain a defeated Germany.

It is not just about Greece — or Portugal, which MarketWatch columnist Matthew Lynn identified as the next country to fall, or Spain, or Italy — but about the whole concept of political and economic integration across the entire continent, the so-called “European project.”

It is difficult to see how Britain can retreat from Prime Minister David Cameron’s rejection of the “ever closer union” enshrined in the EU treaties as he seeks torenegotiate the terms of his country’s membership.

And without this goal — or without Britain — how can the EU hope for anything but sliding back into a loose trade confederation?

The British are so done with the EU, as the Greek debacle confirms all their worst fears about the ever closer union and the joint currency.

Last week, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont celebrated his decision in 1991 to opt out of the euro in an op-ed titled “The euro was doomed from the start.”

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