As largely circular and aimless talks continued at the EU summit, I received this from a Greek contact:

‘Behind the scenes there are aspects of life in Greece that, put
together, highlight just how dire the situation is. We hear that doctors
in the health service are now forbidden to issue more than a certain
number of prescriptions a week. Queues at surgeries have grown as those
who previously paid for medicines try to obtain them on the reduced
payment prescription system. Many are unable to obtain one and cannot
afford the full price…if the pharmacy has the item in stock.Given that there is no money to pay the state pensions
for July (paid on the 22nd June five days after the next elections),
coupled with fading healthcare through the state, another huge social
problem arises.’

Pretty hard to argue with that. So it’s a little disconcerting to see the sledgehammer subtlety on famous blogsite MarketWatch, where a suggestion is proposed that if the “Grexit” takes place, Turkey should replace Greece in the Eurozone. The post says,

“If Greece ends up leaving the Eurozone, as the nonstop flow of ‘Grexit’ rumors suggest might just happen, Turkey should take its place. Now, there are all sorts of historical reasons—wars and outright hatred and whatnot—for why the Aegean neighborhood would not take kindly to such musical chairs.”

Yes, it’s all a bit of a jolly jape as the writer evaluates his own recommendation as ‘an attractive idea’, adding that ‘Europe needs more than that hardline fiscal austerity stuff, but Greece ‘doesn’t have much of the growth factor.’

If that makes you wonder about moral compasses and elephant-hide sensitivity, try this for size from another part of the MarketWatch site:

‘UK banknote printer De La Rue  UK:DLAR +0.65% is bucking recent market trends and has been moving higher, points out Richard Gilhooly, U.S. director of interest rate strategy at TD Securities. The gains have come, in part,  amid speculation that a Greek exit from the euro could spur printing orders for new drachmas and that the government might need to outsource some of the work.’

No doubt during 1943, somewhere on this bizarre planet we share, somebody was assessing the effect on the gold price of extracted Jewish teeth. I doubt, however, if they’d have dared to air such a thought.

Then and now, you see. It’s all about then and now.