Yes, the Greeks lied about their numbers to get into the Eurozone in the first place; but the creditor states didn’t much care. Yes, Athens should not have borrowed money like a drunken sailor, but German and French banks were more than happy to lend it to them. Yes, Greeks should not get to retire in their 50s with German-sized pensions (and without German productivity), but Greek economic fecklessness is hardly a new phenomenon Brussels was unaware of.
Finally, yes, Tsipras and his even more overrated finance minister Yanis Varoufakis are pathetically hiding behind their people in proposing a plebiscite on the creditor’s terms, rather than leading as statesmen ought to do. But the long commented-upon democratic deficit in EU institutions means such a cowardly strategy actually has some merit.
The bell is tolling for Tspiras and his Syriza party, who will surely squander the benefits of the upcoming devaluation of the new drachma relative to the euro in a series of Marxist fantasy policies, when what they ought to be doing is collecting taxes and launching structural reforms (which they will never do). Greece will become just another poor Balkan country; and that is a tragedy.
But the bell is not just tolling for the Marxist schoolboys in Athens. By failing to master a crisis that ought to have been dealt with ages ago (debt relief for structural reforms, anyone?), Europe has destroyed any claim it might have had to be the future; frankly, it now becomes an open question as to whether Europe has a future, as it surely has proven it simply cannot take effective decisions in a crisis.