NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's good news about the European economy, and it only helps the bargaining position of the European Union in its showdown with Greece.

The region's purchasing managers' index rose to 54.1 in June, up from 53.6 in May, and the highest level since 2011. This performance shows the increasing strength of the eurozone economies even amid all the news coverage about a potential Greek exit from the euro. For the leaders of the European Union, the timing of this information could not be better.

"France's manufacturing sector recorded its strongest performance in more than a year, giving hope that the eurozone's second-biggest economy was starting to pick up pace," the Financial Times reported. "Excluding France and Germany, the rest of the region's economies included in the PMEs together had their best performance for eight years."

For Greece, things are not so good. The Greek economy, which was starting to grow before the current leftist government was elected earlier this year, has returned to recession territory. The momentum achieved from the efforts of the previous Greek government has all been lost, and now the country faces the uncertainty and distrust created by five months of arguing and name-calling.

During that time, the position of eurozone officials has become stronger and that of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has gotten weaker. The negotiating tactics used by the young, inexperienced Greek leaders have just worsened their relative position in the discussions.

In fact, some now fear that the conditions of any deal being signed might just exacerbate the situation in Greece.

The probability of a deal seems to have increased. Even so, a Financial Times article Tuesday said, "there are widespread doubts among analysts that the measures will do much to address the deep-rooted problems of the economy that have contributed to the crisis. If anything, many Greece-watchers fear the heavy focus on fiscal consolidation and tax hikes may trigger a repeat of what has happened over the past six years."

The deal currently being discussed does very little to address the reforms and restructuring that are necessary to modernize the Greek economy. Without these changes, analysts don't hold out much hope of a real Greek recovery.

The reality of the situation is that countries that rely on fiscal and monetary gimmicks within their own national sovereignty to keep their economies going ultimately have to face the fact that they cannot compete in a world that is going global.

France and Italy are trying to adjust to this reality, and there is some indication that they are moving in the right direction. Ireland, Spain and Portugal have made much progress along this path, and things seem to be going in their favor now.

Other countries that dwell on their sovereignty and place all the blame for their ills on others while failing to discipline themselves, seem to be living within their own misery. These include countries such as Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina.

The European Union has had no options to bend for Mr. Tsipras and his ideologues. The European Union must become unified and competitive, politically as well as economically. The EU could not lower its standards to accommodate one wayward child if it were to continue on its road to becoming a full player within the global community.

 

  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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