ANALYSIS – Is the current Greek crisis going to be Europe’s Lehman moment, and if so how will this affect how Europe is seen by the rest of the world? Ironically, for the most of the last decade, the European Union was seen by the United States as her only serious economic rival. The problem was, said Henry Kissinger, knowing which phone number to use. Today, Germany and France are exercising their minds and their people’s patience with the best way to solve Greece’s catch-22 – if she is allowed to sink, what will this do to the confidence investors would have in the Euro, and if she is allowed to continue on as before then the black hole is only going to get deeper and deeper.
Europe’s army, Nato, is currently engaged in operations in Afghanistan and Libya, where it has not performed well. The best that can be said of these campaigns is that at least her soldiers are getting some combat experience, which should hold them in good stead should another crisis flare up in the Balkans – few of us will ever forget how useless they were when faced by Milosevic during the break-up of Yugoslavia.
Then, the Americans intervened to preserve Nato, as they have done in Afghanistan and may have to do in Libya.
Trouble is, America will not be able to get Europe out of its current economic crisis.
That appears to be left to China, and she has already indicated which phone number she will be using first – namely that of Germany.