The details have been well covered here on globeandmail.com. It is Papandreou's conclusions about the future that merit thinking about next. “Are we too weak to deal with the financial and banking system?” he asked. “Are we too weak to deal the need for transparency in the financial markets? Are we too weak to deal with the ratings agencies? Are we too weak to fight tax havens?” He noted that bond rating agencies could destroy Greece's financial plan with a single additional downgrade. They have more power over the future of Greece than its people or its Parliament, “and that is totally unacceptable.”
Precisely so – which is why responsible social democrats in all jurisdictions are, and should be, allergic to excessive reliance on debt to finance government.
This is in stark contrast to conservatives in their modern form, eager as they are to finance tax cuts for their friends and other reckless spending through public debt. Doing so provides a perfect pool shot from their perspective. The rich get richer, and government is destroyed. Perfect!
But what we are seeing on our television screens from Athens is the inevitable consequence.
Certainly in Canada it has been the Conservatives who have been most irresponsible with deficits. But no one beats the champion George W. Bush, jr.
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