I always thought Greece should not have been admitted to the EEC and made Romanians cross by saying so back in the late 1990s. It seems I was right.
Marx of course got it exactly wrong. Culture determines economics, not the other way around. And culture is determined by religion much more than anything else plus climate, history – genetics? We shall see if extending the EU to cover Orthodox countries will prove a good idea.
Greece is an agricultural country given an artificially high standard of living by the Americans and then the EEC and EU for geo-political reasons. Nothing wrong and everything right with agricultural, conservative countries but things are arranged in such countries by connections and families and clans, unlike in atomistic Protestant societies like the UK and USA. Plus you have the Byzantine tradition of the powerful autocratic state.
Can Orthodox or Muslim countries be modern liberal democracies and successful economies?
It’s simply a question, but a very good one. Some people mention Malaysia and Indonesia but it's early days with those two as far as democracy are concerned and it's the Chinese who drive the Malaysian economic miracle. Where else? Turkey was for long secular and undemocratic - now it may be becoming Islamist.
Obviously 'human rights' - some of which I love and some I don't - are a product of enlightenment which is a product of western Christianity, Protestant and Catholic.
This morning a friend who's a high up in EBRD told me his friends in the negotiations with the Greeks thought the Greeks would probably leave the euro.
Is this best for everyone? I suspect so but really I don't know and these matters are above me. This evening it seems like the Americans and French will force Germans to cave in.
Russia: we are not enjoying the spectacle of the Greek crisis.
This headline reminds me of Lord Whitelaw saying:
We must not gloat. It would be wrong to gloat. But quite frankly I am gloating like hell.
Meanwhile a bigger problem might well be the stock market crash in China and certainly a very much bigger problem yet is the vast influx of asylum seekers rushing into Greece and Italy To this the solution, unfortunately, is not to admit any into Europe. But the EU does nothing.