Eurozone crisis

“Europe, not Greece, is the problem”

Published on 14 June 2012 at 12:36

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In the run-up to Greek elections on 17 June, Le Soir has published a special briefing on the euro crisis and the strategies that might resolve it.

For Béatrice Delvaux, the editor in chief of the Brussels daily, the case of Greece is a symptom rather than the cause of the malaise that is now affecting Europe —

The country has gone astray. But the treatment it has been obliged to endure, which has been confined to belt-tightening, takes no account of the fatally long time and the resources required for a fundamental overhaul of the country. […] If the Greek thorn in its side had been better managed, Europe could have avoided much of the chaos that has reigned in recent months.

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There is no denying that the Greek crisis has put a burden on the Union, but it would be simplistic to ignore the wider context. “It will be a crucial moment, but the stakes for Europe are more important than the Greek issue, which has brought them to the fore,” notes Béatrice Delvaux. Adding that Europe has lost its appeal amid complex challenges that make it difficult to understand, she argues that a new momentum is sorely needed —

Democracy and politics have never been more ineffective at a time when solidarity between European countries is more necessary than ever before […] We will have to find renewed political courage and a faith in powerful ideas if we are to follow a common path towards a prosperous future. If we prove unequal to this task, democracy will collapse along with the euro. And this necessity will subsist even if the Greeks ‘vote properly’ on Sunday (read: for the parties that are willing to accept reforms). It is worth repeating: Europe’s problem is not Greece, but Europe itself.

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