Hi everyone - I'm kinda new, and only presented myself in the intro section a few weeks ago. I've been lurking for a few months and have been checking up on this thread because I believe it to be particularily pertaining to my life at this moment. I write from one of the PIIGS (not really the nicest of acronyms, btw ) countries; specifically, Italy.NoAm wrote: It truly makes me wonder how have all these countries come to this?
I am aware of what has been happening in the US over the last decade but I read these article and just think "How, Why"?
Why does someone else always have to come to the rescue? What ever happened to accountability, self sufficiency and just plain old common sense?
Yes, I'm Italian.
Not really something to be proud of these days, though, huh? I realize that the whole world is probably asking precisely what you, NoAm, are asking yourself, as in "How, and Why?" All I can give are my (inner-perspective) two cents by saying this: the Euro and the Eurozone were destined to collapse at the first sign of global economical difficulties. The main problem we can see here is: we are different people, in different countries, with different economic "goals", different "color" governments, different histories and each complex in its own way.
There are, of course, european standards and regulations, and one can argue that those should've kept countries such as mine in "check": but what is the "consequence" of not enforcing these regulations and not meeting these standards?
Haha. A fine. "a sanction" you could call it, which will still be payed by the taxpayers, which is basically why countries don't really care for these fine (at least mine clearly didn't).
This being said, there are other problems. You were asking about self-sufficiency and accountability; well, self-sufficiency in itself is basically illegal within the European Union, meaning that if any country were to try to rely on itself only (by taxing imported goods, for example, which is also against the Treaties) it would be deeply frowned upon to say the least.
Wrapping it up: why someone else has to come to the rescue. Well, to me, the EU and the EU-partners look very much like they enjoy the good times, but, hey, everyone is on their own in the bad times. As in everything human, it can't be a one way-only route, it can't be "positive-aspects-only"; there will be downsides, sooner or later, and this historical moment is one of those downsides. And, just to be clear, no one ever actually asked for help from my country, as of yet (I mean actual financial loans; the only "help" we received, and it was in the form of a "strong suggestion", was for some austherity measures in August and October). We are trying to deal with it on the inside.
I hope this post will not violate the ZS non-politics standard, but if it does, I am sorry; it's not my intention to talk about politics, it's more of a cultural/historical/european law- thing.
And sorry for the rambliness of the post-it's quite late here. Any mistakes will be corrected tomorrow.