OPINION

Rescuing Greece, rescuing Europe

?he debt crisis is now spreading across the continent. Washington, and some European governments, are urging Berlin to take swift and decisive action to avert a meltdown of the common currency area.

Many analysts believe that Germany will ultimately agree on a united European banking system or some form of integrated and coordinated lending. However, no safe prediction can be made. Most people are horrified at the memories of the financial crash 83 years ago, deeming that the roots of the current woes lie with the extremely dysfunctional decision-making and crisis management of the 27-member European Union.

Amid all that panic, however, Greece runs the risk of being left out of a European rescue program for the southern nations. Warnings are coming from all directions: Greece, it is often said, does not have the political and administrative capability to do what it takes to stay in the euro area.

Unfortunately, the above is not some sound bite on the lips of Northern European politicians; rather it?s a widely shared view among the European and global elites. It?s very sad to hear officials in key posts, who have in fact helped Greece in the past, admit that no one really has the patience and energy to deal with our country anymore. Comments of this sort are, of course, extremely worrying and — combined with most states? technical preparations for a Greek euro exit — they indicate that we will have to try extremely hard to defeat the most prevalent scenarios.

There are two things that really frustrate those outside Greece — be they our friends or critics. One is the undying power of populism and our small-caliber politicians. The second is the complete unraveling of the country?s state apparatus on all levels. Moreover, foreign officials cannot help being struck at our refusal — the refusal of our state, our politicians and our unions — to accept well-meaning assistance for the state?s regeneration. ?You ask for help, but when we send you help you turn it down — often in an offensive manner,? a European official said the other day.

It would be a pity, if not a crime, if it turns out that Greece went through all that fiscal adaptation and suffered all that social turmoil only to fall off the rescue boat right when the Europeans were about to launch a bigger rescue operation.