OPINION

Two sides to Greece?s salvation

There are a number of reasons why the United States, Germany, France and possibly a plethora of other countries are all willing to help Greece stand on its own feet.

This was apparent in the July 21 agreement in Brussels as well as in the fact that they keep giving Athens more time and wiggle room, despite the delays, inactivity and inadequacy of the state machine.

It is obvious that Greece still represents a systemic threat to the global economy. Maybe not to the extent that it did last year, but there is little doubt that the possibility of a complete breakdown and bankruptcy is nothing short of a terrifying scenario.

Reliable analysts have calculated that a Greek default could cost the world economy a trillion dollars, even though no one is willing to set a ceiling to their predictions. As some point out, the collapse of Lehman Brothers made them realize that such predictions are of no merit because there is always a lot more to any given situation than meets the eye.

At the same time, there are also various geopolitical reasons that make the United States and major western European powers so eager to assist Greece, the first of which is the fact that our country is a bastion of stability, a traditional western democracy and a buffer against a highly volatile environment.

Neither the United States nor Germany are too keen on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan?s hegemonic tendencies — on the contrary, they are now treating Turkey and the country?s grand strategy with no small amount of suspicion.

This is already evident in the position adopted by both the Americans and the Germans in regards to Cyprus?s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), even though the honesty of their support will be put to the test when and if Turkey escalates pressure regarding the neighboring country?s plans to drill for oil and gas in the area.

All of this is one side of the story, however. The other side is immensely worrisome.

For starters, foreigners have gotten to know us by now and know exactly what is going on in every small bank, how expenses got derailed and why three ministers refuse to privatize a certain state owned company.

They don?t exactly like what they see, because although they are by no means saints, nor first-timers in difficult countries for that matter, they are terrified by the depth of the corruption and inadequacy in Greece. They see a broken justice system that cannot get around to doing its job, not even investigating major cases, a state machine that is a complete shambles and politicians whose way of dealing with anything that might cause pain is to sweep it underneath the carpet for it to be taken care of at a later date.

Technocrats with a genuine love for this country have one simple complaint. No one, they say, has ever before been given this kind of money in order to be saved. But, at the same time, it cannot be accepted, they say, that after all this time you are still not showing signs of real change as a state, political system and ultimately, as a country.

This means that Greece is constantly testing its partners? patience and endurance, considering them inexhaustible.

As mentioned above, there are practical and geopolitical reasons why saving Greece is a pressing need.

There will come a time, however, when the Americas, the Germans, the French and all the others will decide that you cannot prop up a country that can?t tie its own shoe-laces and expect it to stand on its feet.

In the words of one veteran Western diplomat, you can save a country if the country itself wishes to be saved. If it does not…