For too many years the Greek government spent far beyond its ability to pay back loans extended to it in part to improve its infrastructure and for other purposes. But Greek unions' demands for higher wages, benefits and a retirement system that might have been the envy of the world if it had been sustainable brought the tiny nation, the size of New Jersey but with less than half its GDP to its knees; and there it has remained, struggling to remain in the EU while threatening to leave. Typical of Greece: it has eaten its baklava yet insists on having it too.
Now the mighty Greek mouse roars at Titan Germany claiming all manner of entitlements arising from the latter's WWII occupation and ravaging of Greek culture and economy. At stake are claims by Greek Jews, a forced bank loan to Germany during WWII, and various other claims. But, interestingly, Germany settled its war debts in the 1960s with all parties, including Greece. Assuming that the EU agreed to forgive all of Greece's loans, it would be less than a year before Greece would be in crisis again owing to its lack of national objectives and self-discipline.
I am not a fan of Germany and in fact have genetic roots in Greece. I appreciate good Greek food, cheese, grapes, wine and bread. But I appreciate less the country's present tempestuous belligerence toward Germany which despite a crushing defeat in WWII has arisen to economic preeminence and leadership in the European Union. No doubt Germany deserves to walk quietly and humbly given its ignominious past. But humility does not include being walked upon like a doormat.
Greece lived large for a number of decades at the hand of a tolerant European Union (read Germany). Now, the EU is demanding that Greece rein in its national spending as a condition of further loans. On the other hand, unless its fiscal demands are granted, Greece is threatening to unleash jihadists on Europe. Such a threat is both ill considered and could prove disastrous unless it is a bluff... and Germany does not bluff easily. Greece would be well advised to ease up and do some serious introspection and careful analysis before jerking that "tiger's tail."
Geopolitically, Greece must walk a fine line between the EU, Russia and Turkey having long standing religious ties with the latter's Russian Orthodox Church. So, because the EU balks at underwriting the Greek loan, Greece cozies up to Putin in a dangerous game that could cost it more than its carefully guarded midday "siestas." It could easily be caught in a three way vice between Islamic Turkey that is no friend of Orthodox Greece and would not hesitate to reestablish Ottoman rule given half a reason; Russia, which wouldn't blink a second in exacting repayment in kind if need be; and the EU which has the Greek albatross tightly wrapped around its neck and would be happy to be done with it. But imagine Greece as a client state of Russia...not good.
No doubt Greece is in serious trouble and for which there is no quick or easy solution. The way out of its dilemma demands strong leadership, careful planning, incisive thought and hard work to resolve. One solution would be to lay out a plan that has realistic and definitive economic milestones. Devise a revenue plan that supports the objectives, then go hat-in-hand and request EU support. Assuming agreement, make recovery a National program with regular progress reports to the people. As the trite expression states, "Failure is not an option" and the best way to avoid it is to cool off, get serious, don't threaten and assume a sense of national responsibility and pride. Then engage in the difficult work and challenges that confronts the Greek Nation. To do otherwise or less bodes national and personal catastrophe, i.e. those who remember WWII "ain't seen nutin'" yet!