since early summer, it has been my privilege to visit all our European countries bordering the Rhine and Danube to the Black Sea at Constanta. Last weekend, I arrived home from my last visit, including a few days in Greece.
I read that the French President Mr Sarkozy has stated that Greece were not suitable entrants to the common currency as well as another tranche of quantitative easing, in other words, printing more paper money.
Generally speaking, countries bordering these huge rivers appear to be coping reasonably well, though I did observe there is still a degree of animosity between the Croatian and Serbian people.
Greece is a different picture; nice as the Greeks are as a people, their man in the street is a long way from incorporating international responsibility. In Athens I saw the roadside littered with the weeks’ accumulation of uncollected garbage, all the ferry boats were tied up in harbour due to a seamen’s strike with a two-day general workers strike in the offing, all to resist putting their house in order. No amount of printed money will cure this situation, which reminds me that during the Weimar Republic in Germany, one needed a wheelbarrow full of currency to pay the weekly grocery bill.
Let defaulters default. Germany, after being completely bombed out in 1945 thanks to Marshall Aid, is now a country to be admired. Do not forget that after Weimar, the printing money system paved the way for Hitler’s Nazi regime rising to power. We should learn the lesson.
From: Roy Bedford, Manor Rise, Walton, Wakefield.
IF all the eurozone members were racehorses, I wouldn’t be backing any of them. And yet, our representatives are staking incredible amounts of money on the race.
It doesn’t seem to matter that some of the horses fell at the first fence, they are still placing bets on them. When it’s all over, whatever the outcome, I think I know who’ll be paying for it.
From: Arthur Quarmby, Holme, Holmfirth.
REPORTS state that the Greek railways earn roughly 100m euros per annum, but that their running costs amount to 400m euros. And that the average railway worker is paid almost 67,000 euros (£58,290) p.a.
However do you put that right – and should it not be an awful warning to this country, where prudent expenditure is increasingly thrown to the winds?
From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.
ON her final paragraph, Jennifer Hunter (Yorkshire Post, October 29) gives a timely warning, though I suggest that loss of faith by the electorate is more than a possibility – it is an established fact.
Would not the prospect of an EU membership referendum result in torrents of tabloid “out, out, out” and “straight bananas” xenophobia, with our long-term future in danger of being determined by something resembling a Premier League football match?
With the same oligarchs in charge, I have a recurring nightmare of our ending up as just another Channel Island – a giant Jersey, with a low-wage, low-tax economy, beckoning bankers, tax-dodgers and money-launderers and being drawn, inexorably, into the American hen coop by a certain Liam Fox and his Atlantic Bridge acolytes.
Am I being unduly pessimistic?
From: Dai Woosnam, Woodrow Park, Scartho, Grimsby.
YOU have to hand it to George Papandreou. He has absolutely played a blinder. Completely outflanked Merkel and Sarkozy!
The Greek people will now vote “no” in a referendum. The Greeks will be thrown out of both the euro and the EU.
They will launch a new currency called the New Drachma. One ND will be worth 100 euros, and at a stroke they will absolve themselves of 99 per cent of their debt!
So imports will then be priced beyond them? So what? It will all help Greek-based home production to prosper.
And then watch other countries imitating them!