Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it obviously tolls for Greece.
Things were just getting interesting last fall in the Euro Union, with Greece, Italy, and Spain about to fall like dominoes into the fiscal/economics abyss, when the European authorities managed to come up with just enough bailout mojo and voluntary bond swaps to appease the markets for a time and keep Greece afloat.
Despite the "Peace in our Time" claims that went along with the recent rescue packages, it was abundantly clear that absolutely nothing was solved. No one was addressing the fundamental problems: Greece is far less productive than other countries in its currency union, Greece's government can't create money because of that currency union, and Greece's government can neither pay its bills nor borrow more. The actions taken amounted to slapping bandages on someone who's still in the process of being mauled by two grizzly bears.
And now, it looks like it's all coming home to roost. Everybody's finally owning up to the possibility of Greece being ejected from the common currency and being left to fend for itself ... which is to say, allowed to go bankrupt, default on its government loans, and convert to a new Greek Drachma that will immediately lose half its value and further impoverish the Greek people.
This story is taking over the news. The UK Telegraph is always great for this kind of international economics porn.
How's this all different from last October? Seems to me the European establishment for the first time now is talking openly about the real possibility of Greece being forced to leave the Euro-zone, whereas they were refusing to go there a few months ago.
I think of a Facebook correspondent who gets quite upset at any mention that Greece should or will leave the Euro. People who think Greece should exit the Euro, he says, are obviously from a younger generation that doesn't remember the horrors of World War II ... yada yada.
Yes the Euro currency union is a lot more politically correct and idealistic than German Nazis massacring Greek partisans in the hills. It's nice that's not happening nowadays. But that doesn't mean Greece and Germany should share the same currency.
I've never quite grokked these parliamentary systems, and now with Greece's paralysis and fecklessness in a time of crisis I've come to believe they're fairly idiotic. Like the currency union itself, I suspect the insistence on using parliamentary governments is an over-reaction to past abuses (read: Germany). But at a time when commanding leadership and decisive action are desperately needed, Greece can't form a government and do anything at all.