For whom the bell tolls

Keith Hudson

In the business supplement of my newspaper this morning is an article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, one of those economic journalists who seems to have high-level contacts almost everywhere.  As he’s an apostate . . . believer in the ultimate necessity of the gold standard, I don’t always agree with him, but I always read his articles with great care.

I won’t attempt to summarise what he thinks is going to happen today about Greece when all the EU’s finance ministers meet together. (My guess is that he thinks that Greece has probably decided already to leave.)  His article is entitled “Politics not economiics will decide Greece’s euro fate”.  Given that what he calls politics is what I call culture, I can agree with him.  To show that he actually means culture, let me quote his final eloquent paragraph:

“The relevant questionis whether can Greece pursue its own course within the euro, or whether tragic events have shown that it should retreat to the drachma for the sake of its sovereign soul.”

The article is very good but the most perceptive comment within it is the one given by Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister. (I don’t know precisely when the following comment was made but it suggests to me that their mind to leave has already been made up.):

“If some think or want to believe that that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake.  I would suggest that they read Hemingway’s masterpiece, For whom the Bell Tolls.”

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