Greek Leaders Are Living in the Past and Greece Will Suffer

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The relationship between Greece and the European Union seems to get worse almost every day.

The Greek leadership does not really seem to want a solution to the breakdown in the relationship, it just wants to be seen as the side that has held the "correct" position with respect to the country's problems.

One of the most insightful pictures of this Greek leadership comes from Greece, itself. Associate professor of law and economics at the University of Athens, Aristides Hatzis has written in the Financial Times that many of the leading ministers in the Greek government "live in the 1970s, dreaming of transforming Greece into a mix of Cuba and Venezuela...They cannot seem to understand how a globalized economic system works."

Wanting to be right rather than successful, this leadership resists the reform and the restructuring needed in order to modernize the economy and help it become competitive within the twenty-first century world. The European Union is attempting to bring a community that is economically efficient and effective, one that can compete with the likes of the United States and China.

The eurozone cannot effectively compete in a globalized world if members of the common currency are productively out-of-date, who still have outdated labor laws, and who still operate on patronage and personal favors. Others within the community, like Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal, and Italy have made major strides to move forward on these fronts and are continuing their efforts to advance reform every day.

The leadership of Greece contends that it just wants to help the people of Greece, the people that elected the current government to end the awful austerity the nation has faced. Yet, the historical record does not seem to be on the side of this Greek leadership.

Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds, in their prize-winning 2009 book Money, Markets & Sovereignty published by Yale University Press write, "The developing countries that have embraced globalizations, mainly in Asia and Eastern Europe, have been closing their per capita income gap with the rich world, whereas those that are actively resisting it, found mostly in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, are lagging behind-so badly, in most cases, that their per capita income gap with the rich world has actually been widening.

"The closed national economy is a dead-end street."

The Greek leadership may be retaining its dignity, but face the reality of further depriving their constituents of the life they could be leading. This is the problem when ideology gets in the way of life.

The model that Cuba and Venezuela -- and Greece -- is working with, a model of a closed, yet, sovereign, nation that can focus solely on just the problems a country's people, does not work. It is too bad that the people of these countries have to suffer so much at the hands of their leaders who want to do the best thing for them.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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