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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I'm not one to draw metaphysical parallels between sports and sociopolitical events. But the latest results of the European Cup are just too surreal. Greece is out (and Portugal can be safely written off), and Germany, Spain and Italy fight it out . . . seriously?
Poor Germans, they seem destined to fight the rest of Europe, and occasionally the world.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
I expected the day of Spanish bank bailout, Greeks will ask for two years' extension in meeting the bailout conditions. Germans, for the
nth time, refused.
It'd be a Black Swan if the European Union Summit on Thursday could produce anything meaningful; the infinitesimal chance has just been further diminished (ok, "higher order infinitesimal" for you math types) by the fact that the new Greek prime minister, Georgios Samaras, conveniently had a surgery that prevents him from attending, as noted in this
article from Reuters. I don't expect the Greek delegate, led by the new foreign minister and the outgoing finance minister, to accomplish anything except timidly muttering the request and then quickly proceeding to get beaten up.
But Greece is so before semi-final; the market has moved on already. The 100-billion-euro rescue for Spanish banks lasted a few hours before the market saw through the utter meaninglessness of it. Now that Spanish officials have realized the market has realized the problem, they'll ask for not putting the bank rescue on the government books, which would put it on the European Financial Stability Facility's books, which would open a whole new can of political and credit-rating worms.
In the meanwhile, Italy's Monti
was quoted in the Wall Street Examiner as saying Italy doesn't need a bailout, which of course means, just like Spain, they'll need one very soon.
The eurozone leaders just can't do anything right, can they? The problem, of course, is not that they are incompetent; I'm sure they're all very capable individuals. It's that the system is set up for failure -- no authority, no accountability, no responsibility.
And when it eventually fails, it'll go down in history textbooks as a purely manmade disaster. The solution has been there all along but they choose not to take it: come back to reality and break up the Euro.
Even if, against great odds, they announce some sort of banking or fiscal or even political union, such a manufactured social entity would not last unless some degree of homogeneity is achieved through a few generations' dictatorial rule. Germany, France, Northern Italy and southern Europe have had centuries of persistently different lifestyles, outlooks on life and levels of productivity. Unless and until they bridge such deep-rooted cultural gaps, a political union will not last, at least not within the democracy framework.