Those nutty Greeks are driving me nuts.
They spend themselves into near oblivion. The European Union has bailed them out more times than I can remember. They run out of money, default on their debt payment, close the banks and then call for a referendum.
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject further austerity plans and, in effect, endorse the principle of pulling out of the EU.
Then the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, goes to the EU, offers a compromise package that includes — yes, indeed — more austerity in exchange for more bailout money.
Now the Greek Parliament has approved the deal and is awaiting word from the EU whether it will accept it.
All of this forces me to ask: What was the referendum all about?
I’ve been to the country three times. It’s a beautiful place, with lovely people, priceless antiquities, breathtaking landscapes, great food and — in Athens, at least — legendary traffic jams.
They threw over their currency, the drachma, to join the EU, adopting the euro as its currency. It staged a fabulous Olympics in the summer of 2004 — and went bankrupt in the process.
I do not want Greece to relegate itself to becoming an outlier nation in Europe. Its history is too rich, vivid and important to the development of the rest of the continent.
However, I’m tellin’ ya, they’re driving this Greek-American insane watching this drama unfold.
If a bit more austerity is what it takes to pull the Greeks’ chestnuts out of the fire, then the socialists who run the place need to suck it up just a little while longer.