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Crisis in Greece shows EU is a union in name only

Published 09/07/2015

THE Greek referendum has produced a resounding rejection of the proposed humiliating EU rescue package. It looks as if Greece's exit from the euro is inevitable unless there is substantial financial intervention from the European Central Bank, a proudly independent institution which will have difficulty sustaining that independence.

When the euphoria subsides, we may witness the unedifying spectacle of Greece being engulfed in a wave of economic and political instability, with the consequence that the whole European single currency enterprise may become dysfunctional.

The EU has been described as a burning building with no exits, a potential disaster from the start. Greece joined the union ill-prepared, without the financial systems and institutions to support the level of innovation needed to sustain the implementation of the requisite policies and practices. The referendum has been divisive.

Destabilising Greece's relationship with the EU would be a laudable pursuit if the intention and the outcome had been focused on human wellbeing, rather than on the political futures of politicians.

Any significant change in the way Greece conducts its affairs will require the exercise of human imagination in full flight. There can be nothing short of a far-reaching transformation of the way the economy is managed, so that inward investment is encouraged.

What the Greek crisis says, above all else, is that the EU is a union only in name. There seems to be no risk-sharing mechanisms, or a centralised budget, to help absorb the shock of unpredictable fluctuations in individual members' economic fortunes. Sadly, much pain lies ahead for the Greek people.

One can only hope we are not witnessing the seeds of a significant humanitarian crisis.

PHILIP O'NEILL

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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