Greece, the euro and la-la-land economics

British taxpayers have one, small mercy to be thankful for this weekend: after David Cameron’s victory in Brussels, at least we won’t pay any extra through the EU towards bailing out Greece.

That is to say, no more than the ‘mere’ £1billion we’re contributing through the International Monetary Fund. Not upfront, anyway. Not just yet.

Forgive us if we restrain our cheers. For let nobody believe the multi-billion pound rescue signed yesterday, the second in two years, brings down the curtain on this grimmest of tragedies.

David Cameron declared that Britain won't be paying any extra to bail out Greece

David Cameron declared that Britain won't be paying any extra to bail out Greece

On the contrary, the deal merely postpones and aggravates the coming pain, channelling yet more loans to a crippled nation that will never repay them, like pouring more ouzo down an alcoholic’s throat.

Indeed, the shambolic Greek economy, searingly described on Pages 12 & 13, is incontestable proof of the failure of the euro experiment, which sought to yoke the fit and the lame into a single harness, to the incalculable detriment of both.

Grown idle and corrupt on cheap money from French and German banks, half the population rely on the state. Incredibly, the average wage on the EU-subsidised railways is £60,000.

Bribery is endemic, millionaires treat taxes as optional — and hairdressers and masseurs are among those in more than 600 ‘arduous and perilous’ professions allowed to retire at 50, with a state pension of 95 per cent of final salary.

Through the lunacy of the single currency, all this is at the expense of the hard workers of northern Europe, their children and grandchildren.

Yet in Brussels, the EU leaders did nothing to tackle the root cause of the disasters afflicting Greece, Ireland and Portugal, with a contagion now spreading to Italy’s banks.

Instead, they cling to the fiction that this time, Athens will adopt the austerity measures it promises and the sloth will miraculously transform into a gazelle.

Truly, this is the economics of la-la-land. For inevitably, Greece will default. The only question now is when.

But of course the single currency was always about politics, not economics.

The ruling elites of the EU see it as an essential step towards a European superstate, in which they will be free of the bonds of public accountability.
In the history of this insidious campaign to abolish the democratic nation state, we fear Mr Cameron’s ‘victory’ won’t merit so much as a footnote.

Vote for Miliband

These are words you won’t often read in the Mail: Ed Miliband is right.

To be effective, an Opposition leader must indeed have the power to appoint his Shadow Cabinet, instead of having it foisted on him by the votes of MPs.

Credit: Ed Miliband has come out fighting of late when questions have been asked about his shadow cabinet

Credit: Ed Miliband has come out fighting of late when questions have been asked about his shadow cabinet

In his new (slightly unconvincing) Schwarzenegger role as the tough guy, will he now slap down the preposterous Harriet Harperson’s suggestion that one of the two top posts in his party should always be held by a woman?

More fuel for the fire

In the week when the Mail published the devastating facts about Ofcom — the £115million media regulator, packed with overpaid, backscratching, metropolitan New Labour cronies — we now expose the sickening antics of another superfluous quango, living high on the hog at our expense.

As we report on Page 10, in a shamelessly dishonest attempt to justify its existence, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority fictitiously claimed to have uncovered a child slavery scandal.

We repeat: when will David Cameron get round to lighting that long-promised bonfire of the quangos?