I am very grateful to John Redwood's always shrewd observations in his daily diary. He observes and thinks, and thereby makes me pause and think. There has been a great deal of sympathy extended to poor little Greece because she is being portrayed as the victim of a rampant, bullying Germany. There is an element of truth in this because, as we all know, money-lenders are never very soft at heart! However, it shouldn't be forgotten that most of the blame for Greek misery lies in Greek behaviour. Their politicians are a bunch of creeps and crooks and are collectively unfit for purpose. However, Greece is a democracy and these poltroons were voted in by the Greek people. Thus, my sympathy for these Greek 'stoopids' is very limited.
Meanwhile, Mr. Redwood points an accusing finger at the Greek military which appears to be a great fat, festering boil on the national finances:
The Greek military comprises around 170,000 active personnel paid by the state, with a further 280,000 in the reserve forces. [...]
The Greek navy has around 80 warships. The army has more than 1200 tanks. The airforce has around 1000 planes and helicopters.
Crikey! I wish we could afford armed services of that size. According to Mr. Redwood, the Greeks justify this because of their doubts concerning their neighbours. Obviously, their eyes rarely stray from watching Turkey, their ancient enemy, but as Mr. Redwood points out, Greece has security guarantees from the west - not least because she is a member of NATO. The eastern Mediterranean is a key area of strategic interest to the west and I doubt that Greece need fear invasion.
Of course, given the track record of Greek generals in the fairly recent past, it will take a brave politican to suggest deep cuts in the armed services!