A Final Stop on the Farewell Euro Tour

Today’s issue of The Daily Reckoning features the third and final installment of the “Farewell Euro Tour” — a collection of on-the-street conversations with ordinary folks in Europe about the Greek crisis, and about what this crisis portends for the euro zone. The tour began in the Netherlands, then moved south to Switzerland and then to Italy.

Generally speaking, support for “saving Greece” was lukewarm. That said; the “bailout-receiving” folks of Southern Europe were noticeably more enthusiastic about saving Greece than the “bailout-financing” folks of Northern Europe.

The Dutch, for example, expressed some exasperation with the process and felt that they had already contributed more than enough of their taxpayer euros to the Greeks and to the other PIIGS nations. Furthermore, the Dutch also expressed a strong preference for their old national currency: the guilder. The Germans and French voiced a similar sentiment.

Notwithstanding the simmering discontent of many Northern Europeans, the public voice of Europe remains unified in support of the Greek/euro rescue. As the G-20 nations conclude their meeting in Cannes, France, a bevy of European leaders are reiterating their support of the “rescue plan.”

But one thing is clear, the larger the cost of the rescue plan grows — and the longer no visible benefits materialize — the faster public discontent will grow. To repeat, based on our interviews, popular support for rescuing Greece is already very shaky…and it appears to be growing shakier by the day.

As we observed a few weeks ago (immediately after concluding our man-on-the-street interviews in Europe), “The EU’s bailout schemes seemed to have captured the minds of Europe (like a hostage), but very few hearts. Resignation is the dominant emotion, not resolve.”

So please pull up a chair and enjoy the third and final installment of the “Farewell Euro Tour.”


Eric J. Fry,
for The Daily Reckoning