Opinion: Reckless gamblers

POSTED: 06/15/11 1:33 PM

We’re confident that most people living in the Netherlands do not belong in the category of seasoned poker players. They’re more like reckless gamblers who don’t give a rat’s behind about the outcome of their bets.

Point in case: a survey that shows that 70 percent of Dutch citizens object to contributing to a new loan for the bankrupt state of Greece. The reasons they come up with are, in part, reasonable, and for another part based on the good-old adagio why help other countries if we have to tighten our own belts as well.

The reasonable part of the argument is the expectation that the Greeks won’t be able to repay the loan. We’re confident saying that you can take that one to the bank – no kidding.

Greeks and paying back loans go as well together as William Brooks and Willy Haize. It’s not gonna happen.

But what is the alternative? Dropping Greece now will almost certainly lead to economic chaos on the European continent, and that mess will come home to haunt those who are now opposed to giving Greece another loan.

The odds that refusing to help the Greeks will have a favorable outcome for the Netherlands are poor – very poor. While everybody is fully aware of this, a majority of the people still think it is a good idea to keep those euros in their own pockets and to face the imminent economic disaster afterwards with expressions of disbelief on their faces.

We could also argue: if the Dutch are so willing to bail out Greece, why aren’t they shipping some more dough to their cash-strapped autonomous Kingdom partners in the Caribbean? The result would be the same – the Netherlands will never see the money again, but at least they will have invested it in their own Kingdom.

Hmm.  If the choice is between helping the Greeks and facing total financial disaster, what’s the smart thing to do? Considering that helping the Greeks now will have consequences as well, most Dutch apparently believe it is better to drop those darn overspending Greeks and to worry about the disaster that may come from this decision later when the you-know-what hits the proverbial fan.


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