On the crisis in Greece and Syriza’s failure to resist the eurozone
he Greek crisis has provoked a predictable mixture of indignation and self-satisfaction in Europe, alternatively lamenting the harshness of the settlement imposed on Athens or celebrating the last-minute retention of Greece within the European family, or both at once. Each is as futile as the other. A realistic analysis has no place for either.
That Germany is once again the hegemonic power in the continent is no news in 2015: it has been clear for at least twenty years. Nor is the reduction of France to its handmaid, in a relationship not unlike that of Britain to the United States, a political novelty: since de Gaulle, the reflexes of the French political class have reverted to those of the early forties, not only in accommodation, but admiration for the superior power of the day, first Washington and then Berlin.
Least of all is there any surprise in the outcome to date of monetary union. From the start, the economic benefits of European integration — taken for granted by bien-pensant opinion across the board — were very modest.