Are There Any Nonpolitical Options Left for Greece?

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By J Maslow

iStock_000056322848_SmallI am beginning to suspect that a lot of the Greek drama in the Eurozone is already priced into the euro. It is already baked in, seriously. How much worse can it get? The only real source of surprise would revolve around how Greece resolves its problems.

As I have written earlier, the Syriza ultra-leftist party is really between a rock and a hard place. It is in an impossible position. On the one hand, it wants to collect on the benefits of the European union bailout of Greece. On the other hand, it has based its election on campaign promises that it would resist and not implement the austerity measures that the bailout money is based on. Do you see how ridiculous this situation is? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Something has to give.

The euro and the global stock market has probably already priced in the possibility that Greece would be leaving the European union. However, there might be another complication that may trigger a huge sell-off. This complication might come out of left field. Moreover, it can also give warning signs to other economies in the Eurozone that are struggling with the same perennial budget discipline problems facing Greece. I am, of course, talking about military coup.

If you think this is ridiculous, just look at Greek history. It was only since 1974 that Greece wasn’t ruled by a military dictatorship. Spain was under the military dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco for several decades. While Europe is normally synonymous with freedom and liberty, make no mistake about it, many of its Mediterranean countries have long histories with dictatorship. Unfortunately, the seeming impossibility of Greek politics nowadays might make an extra-political or nonpolitical solution attractive. In the eyes of many people, it might seem to be the only option left on the table.

A military dictatorship will solve many things. First, it will impose and stick by the austerity measures required by Greece’s creditors. Second, it would have credible discipline and political will to maintain those loans. Third, it effectively neutralizes political debate. “What is there to debate about? We live in a dictatorship.” That would be the standard line.

I know this is surprising. I know this comes out of left field. But never be surprised by nonpolitical solutions. Considering how tough the position Greece is in on both a political and an economic level, don’t count out the possibility of a military solution. With martial law however, this may prove devastating to the world economy. This might trigger all sorts of problems, at least as far as short-term market performance is concerned.

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