Tag: Greece

Greece and the European Union

Greece and the European Union

Greece’s Debacle

A friend sends James K. Gal­braith‘s thought­ful arti­cle, “From the Destruc­tion of Greece to Democ­ra­cy in Europe” (Boston Globe, 22 August):

Last year’s third bailout of Greece, imposed by Europe and the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund, does to Greece what Ver­sailles did to Ger­many. It strips assets to sat­is­fy debts….a quag­mire of graft to sup­port an illu­sion that Greece could “com­pete” as part of the euro. Already in 2010 the IMF knew it was break­ing its own rules by pre­tend­ing that Greece could recov­er quick­ly, sus­tain a huge pri­ma­ry sur­plus, and repay its debts….…

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El-Sisi: The Churchill Test

El-Sisi: The Churchill Test

No Man of God, but Maybe Our Man…

On Christ­mas eve 1944, Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill left fam­i­ly cel­e­bra­tions and flew to Athens to medi­ate the Greek civ­il war. Com­mu­nists and roy­al­ists were fight­ing it out, but, armed with one promise Josef Stal­in actu­al­ly kept, Churchill thought he could give Greece a chance at democ­ra­cy.

(Stalin’s kept promise was the round­ly-con­demned “per­cent­ages agree­ment” in Moscow a few weeks ear­li­er, which gave Britain a sphere of influ­ence in Greece in exchange for Sovi­et spheres in pret­ty much the rest of East­ern Europe.)

Damask­i­nos with Churchill, 1945.…

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Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

It’s the 50th anniver­sary of George Orwell’s pre­scient mas­ter­piece 1984, to which end The Sun­day Times pub­lished a review by Robert Har­ris on May 31st.

But in prais­ing  1984, Har­ris finds the need to take a whack at Churchill—which he does with sin­gu­lar inac­cu­ra­cy: “Giv­en that only five years pre­vi­ous­ly Churchill, Roo­sevelt and Stal­in had divid­ed up the world into ‘zones of influ­ence’ at the Teheran con­fer­ence, [Orwell’s] vision did not seem entire­ly fan­tas­tic.”

What is fan­tas­tic is where peo­ple get such notions. “Zones of influ­ence” came up not at Teheran but at the Moscow  (“Tol­stoy”) con­fer­ence between Churchill and Stal­in a year lat­er, with the Red Army now far advanced in east­ern Europe.…

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