Use stereotypes to save time

The EU blunders its way through one financial crisis to the next. This of course is of no surprise. Europe is old. Indeed, this may not strike you as a particularly exciting point, nor a topical one.

However, bear with me on this. Europe is old, it also has habits. For example, Greece has always been rubbish with money. Italy too.

When these countries used their own currency, frankly it was better to buy goods over there with monopoly money such was the chronic and rampant inflation. We Brits used to joke that as soon as you went to Italy you became a millionaire. Considering that a newspaper and a cup of coffee would cost 20,000 lire, you could see where we were coming from.

The German economy was a force to be reckoned with once they stopped trying to rule the world and make people wear leather shorts. The Germans were a sensible bunch really. Despite their inexcusable admiration for the music of David Hasselhoff and their predilection for scatological pornography, you pretty much knew were you stood with them. They could make really good stuff, cars, stereo systems and anything that required a degree of precision.

The French? Well, there is a mutual antipathy between the UK and France. We’ve never really forgiven them for sending the Normans over in 1066. Since then, we’ve had wars a plenty, mocked their ways, and insulted each other on the world stage. Saying that, I do like French people, love the language and their films.

So, it is no surprise to see that the Euro is dying, that the politicians of Europe cannot come to an agreement that would make everything fine and dandy once more. Interestingly, it seems that the old stereotypes are coming to fruition. The French and English can’t get on together, the Germans are cross that other countries wont see their point of view and the Greeks, Spanish and Italians  stare blankly at the economic figures, shrug their shoulders and say ‘meh’. This of course annoys everyone apart from the Irish who blame the UK for everything.

Which of course begs the question, what on Earth were they thinking trying to merge all their different cultures and currencies together? In the old days, we used to just have wars. Much cheaper in the long run too. Not necessarily fun of course, but it’s always nice to do a Basil in front a German chap.

 

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End of the world? Sounds Marvellous.

The continued Sovereign debt crisis causes me no end of pleasure. Hysterical headlines, prophets of doom and the internet news forums engaging in endless debates about either the end of capitalism or the futility of socialism. Why, it’s a marvellous time. I’m particularly keen to see what happens to Greece given that it has decided to hold a referendum on whether or not the population should become voluntarily poor for the next 50 years. I find it interesting too that the moustachioed Greek PM has sacked all the heads of the military and put in place generals whom are more ‘sympathetic’ to his policies. I’m visiting Greece in April next year, so I will try to find out what the word in the Taverna is.
Will we see the rise of autocracy, theocracy or plutocracy? Will we really see the end of the welfare state and the return of real poverty in Europe?
I seriously doubt it to be honest, but I am strangely compelled to see it happen and watch the results.
Certainly in a European context we’ve had a marvellous run since the end of WW2, but nothing is permanent in life or the universe.