Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How the Catastrophe in Greece Could Have Consequences for Us; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How the Catastrophe in Greece Could Have Consequences for Us; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Keith Hann

HOW would you feel if you woke up tomorrow and found that Britain had ceased to exist, and become part of another country? You would be a touch surprised, I imagine. Yet within living memory, on June 16, 1940, just such a development was announced by no less a patriot than Churchill himself: "France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations but one Franco-British Union."

Desperate times call for desperate measures and this was Britain's last throe to keep France fighting Germany.

It did not work. The French capitulated and the "indissoluble" union was consigned to the footnotes of history.

Why bring this up now? Because we are similarly balanced on the edge of a precipice and might find ourselves rudely shocked by the speed and radicalism of the proposed solutions.

We watch the unfolding catastrophe in Greece in much As the crisis Channel deepens, maintain a on our current the same detached way as most people in Britain observed the Czech crisis of 1938, memorably described by Prime Minister Chamberlain as "a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing".

Yet what is going on in southern Europe now has the potential to cost us far more financially than the Second World War ever did, and it is not just money that is at stake. If governments default, banks collapse, wages cannot be paid and cash machines stop working, it does not take a particular pessimist to see the potential for civil unrest on a scale that will make last summer's riots look like a school sports day.

It is particularly galling that all this was deliberately set up by the euro enthusiasts who realised that their dream of a single European state could never be realised through democratic consent. So they decided to build it by creating a monetary union that they knew full well would be inherently unstable, but could advance the cause of political union through "beneficial crises".

As crazy Bond villain master plans go, this one has worked an absolute treat - to the extent that we even have traditionally Eurosceptic politicians in the UK urging closer union on the members of the Eurozone as the only way to resolve their problems. …

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