I nearly dropped my copy of today’s London Evening Standard in amazement at the 2/3rds of a page comment piece by Financial Editor Anthony Hilton. He’s got a strong track-record for saying moderately sensible stuff when it comes to European Union affairs, but even so – this is the Standard, a paper that was until a few months ago owned by the same lot who run the rabidly europhobe* Daily Mail, and has tended to continue the old regime’s knee-jerk anti-EU attitude on the rare occasions it bothers with the EU at all.
So this, on the Greek crisis and the Eurozone, came as a rather pleasant surprise. Sums up my take pretty much spot on:
“by modern standards Greece does not need that much money. A loan of €20?billion would do the trick — which is significantly less than we in Britain had to put into either Lloyds or Royal Bank of Scotland. Bailing out countries is a lot cheaper than bailing out banks, so the idea that the euro is under threat from Greece’s domestic problems is absurd.
“After all, in the United States individual cities and states go bankrupt and default on their debts on a fairly regular basis — California doing so quite recently — but no one says it will destroy the dollar. And California is a bigger economy than Greece.”
As I keep saying, context is everything. I’m glad to see that there are at least some British journalists who still get that.
Oh, and good stuff from the LA Times – should California try to join the EU?
Update: This from Eurozone Watch from a year ago, looking at the prospects of bailing out a Eurozone member state, is well worth a re-read
* a phrase I don’t use lightly