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The Grim Reaper Knocks on Greece's Door
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PARIS – As the squalid drama of Greece’s bankruptcy unfolds, many alarmists claim the European Union is about to disintegrate. British and Americans are cheering the ills of the EU. On top of all this, it’s a blazing 39.8 C here in the City of Light.

In spite of all the bad news from Greece, we must not lose sight of the miracle on the Rhine.

Having covered 14 conflicts and observed the world’s problems and woes for decades, I never forget that the greatest miracle I have ever seen was the profound reconciliation between historic foes France and Germany. That was a real miracle. I say, “death to all borders.”

Millions of soldiers died along the Rhine River that divides parts of France and Germany in the wars of 1870, 1914, and 1940.

In August of 1914, huge mobs here in Paris cried “on to Berlin” and “re-conquer Alsace-Lorraine.” France’s then prime minister, Raymond Poincaré, drove France into war against Germany to recover his beloved native Alsace-Lorraine, which France had lost to Germany in the foolish 1870 war. France had annexed German-speaking Alsace-Lorraine (or Elsass-Lothringen in German) over the two previous centuries.

The vanishing of the France-German border was entirely due to the creation of the European Union, a process that began in 1951 by the forming of the European Steel and Coal Community that linked France, Belgium, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Today, the European Union has grown to 507 million citizens in 28 nations, the world’s most important economic zone. In spite of much legitimate criticism over its bureaucratic overload and constant bickering, the European Union leads the world in civilized government and concern for human and animal rights, and environmental protection.

The EU’s biggest mistake to date has been its too rapid expansion to encompass nations that were not ready for membership or association. Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania were prime examples. Greece used Goldman Sachs to cook its books to meet EU minimum membership requirements. So, apparently, did Italy.

If Greece decamps the EU, or is kicked out, the union will not collapse. Greece is only 2% of the EU’s gross domestic product. Because Greece makes little and exports even less, its people have been living on borrowed money and not paying taxes. The bankers and high officials who leant so many billions to Greece should be fired.

The financial Grim Reaper has now arrived.

This weekend, Greeks will apparently vote on whether to remain in the EU under draconian conditions of austerity and restraint – realistic economics – or quit the EU and return to the old days of the ever-wobbly drachma, a notorious Mediterranean funny money worthy of Zorba the Greek.


One hopes the Greeks, an intelligent, patriotic people, will decide to further tighten their belts and remain in the EU. Slovakia, a nation of 5.4 million, did just this, and is now thriving. Unfortunately, Greece’s current far-left government appears to be ready to commit Hellenic hara-kiri rather than end or curtail cherished socialist programs and start seriously collecting taxes.

So what if Greece stumbled out of the EU? Initial panic from always volatile financial markets and a Greek chorus of doomsayers. But Europe would quickly return to normal once the shock had abated. A European-wide bank crisis is unlikely since most of Greece’s zillions in debts are now owed to amply-funded EU institutions rather than individual banks. The US and Canada have hardly any exposure to the Greek financial tragedy. Argentina reneged on its huge debts and lived to tell the tale.

A Greek exit would cause turmoil in Albania, which had some 200,000 guest workers in Greece (many now returning home), and in Bulgaria and Romania, where Greek financial institutions have been active. Cyprus, hanging on by its fingernails, would also be in for a serious crisis. But this is all peripheral stuff.

Bedrock Europe – Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands – would ride out the storm. In fact, some observers, this writer included, believe the EU would be better off without the bleeding wound of Greece. So do many northern European voters and taxpayers. Neither Spain nor Italy are likely to pull out of the EU because the Greeks took flight.

Britain, which has always been a US Trojan Horse in the EU, would be delighted to see the EU lessened by a Greek departure. Many Brits would also like to depart so they could be misruled by their own politicians with no interference from Brussels.

As for the Greeks, self-proclaimed inventors of democracy, they have been woefully ill-served by their lousy, crooked politicians of right and left. Greece needs a financial and social revolution to clean out its Augean stables of corruption, peculation and malfeasance. They must be made to pay taxes – at bayonet point if necessary.

A worsening economic situation may tempt the Greek armed forces to seize power once again. Or the Chinese may buy Greece, lock, stock and bouzouki music.

If the Greeks were really wise, they would oust all the incompetent café socialists now misruling Athens and bring in a technocratic government of hired Swiss officials to pull them out of bankruptcy.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Eurozone, Greece 
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  1. J Yan says:

    Funny how those prospective “hired Swiss officials” stayed out of the euro.

  2. the EU is an open-borders, blooming totalitarian nightmare run by Berlin banksters and Brussels apparatchiks. Every oppressed nation within this evil scam is carrying debt in whole number multiples of GDP, including Germany. The Greeks would do well to abandon the sinking EU scow now, rather than take on more debt and be dragged down with it during the inevitable Next Crisis. And by the way, Margolis, borders are good things: they protect diverse nations and unique cultures from Judeo-globalist homogenization and destruction

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  3. Kiza says:

    I could only read a part of this rubbish. This character is becoming one of the biggest jokes of “independent” (that is the CIA) journalism. Here is some real journalism that the CIA has not signed off on:

    In particular, please observe the only graph in this piece, it says it all.

  4. “One hopes the Greeks, an intelligent, patriotic people, will decide to further tighten their belts and remain in the EU. Slovakia, a nation of 5.4 million, did just this, and is now thriving”

    Slovakia is an advanced middle-European nation with a semi-Germanic work ethic. Greece definitely isn’t.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Haxo Angmark

    How many banks have their seats in Berlin? Or doesn’t it even matter anymore if all these stereotypes applied to the Greek farce even remotely relate to the real world?

  6. It’s the oligarchs who aren’t paying taxes, but how do you control a financial elite when banksters have become feudal masters in so-called managed democracies?

    It’s the average people who will be further tightening belts with severe austerity to have bailouts pay Greece only to pay the likes of Goldman Sachs, who engineered the situation to bloat themselves further, while intentionally creating an impossible to ever pay debt. This is owe more and more, to the company store, leveraged buyout economics. Get persons or nations into crushing perpetual debt they can never repay, then use the tactic of getting their own debt to deliver up everything of value they own to the bankster class.

    Eric, either stick to military history or analysis – unparalleled – or learn about economic history and the weaponization of finance. Start with Adam Smith – who called what we are now being ruined by as his “Vile Maxim” – “More for me, less for everyone else.”

    These masters of the commanding heights care nothing for the cruelty they impose, whether it’s by profiting from dropping debt bombs, or profiting from the ones used in war.

  7. Realist says:

    The Grim Reaper knocks on the EU’s door.

  8. The following sentence is the crux of the article:
    “Because Greece makes little and exports even less, its people have been living on borrowed money and not paying taxes.”

    It’s remarkable how the author fails to ask some obvious and pertinent questions, and just blithely proceeds with a few unstated assumptions.
    Here are some natural questions to ask:
    – Why do the Greeks produce little?
    – Why do they export less?
    – Have they been living on borrowed money?
    – Have they not been paying taxes?

    But no, it’s just assumed that the Greeks are lazy etc. What a joke of an article. Here’s how it ends:
    “They must be made to pay taxes – at bayonet point if necessary.”

    Sieg Heil, Mr. Margolis!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Never waste an opportunity to draw in the Nazis. They make such excellent villains.

  10. The “choice” was between homicide and suicide. “Yes” meant nothing but unending poverty as far as the eye can see. Good for the Greeks!

  11. The creation of the Eurozone was the disastrous beginning of the whole disaster. As designed it just couldn’t work though foolish lending for which German and French banks should have suffered far more postponed reality’s trumping illusion. Goldman Sach’s everyday sleazy behaviour (very likely approved in Brussels, Paris and Berlin if not Frankfurt) was just a sideshow.

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