I have written about the decline of Europe and the European Union, and in the wake of the Greek debt crisis, it seems like Europe's slide into irrelevance is being expedited. Timothy Garton Ash, in The Guardian, writes about how "Europe is sleepingwalking to decline" and the need for "a Churchill to wake (Europe) up".
The Greek debt crisis might have been temporarily resolved for now with the guarantees and loans from the European Central Bank, but the problem is far from resolved as Greece's underlying problems have not been tackled adequately and other countries in Europe such as Spain and Italy are also in vulnerable positions like that of Greece. Such stop-gap measures would at best probably only postpone the Armageddon that will eventually come for the Euro and EU. The writer suggests that "either the eurozone move towards fiscal union", which would be problematic for many countries to implement stringent standards as they lose even more sovereignty, or "some of the weaker member states default, either inside the eurozone or by leaving it altogether", of which default in the eurozone would be the Armaggedon for the whole of the EU while kicking out defaulting member(s) might be palatable to all-along fiscally prudent countries like Germany but Armaggedon nonetheless for the defaulting member(s).
In addition, the writer reiterates more signs of Europe's decline, as discussed in my article written in March, such as the EU's failure during the Copenhagen climate change summit to effect real change. In essence, the Greek debt crisis seems to cement Europe's decline from the global arena vis-a-vis the continuing rise of emerging powers, now moulded into blocs in the like of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) or BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India & China) or IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa)
So is there any saving grace? The EU "is still the world's largest economy" though "it punches far below its weight". The factors that drove the establishment of the EU post-WWII / Cold War, such as the communist threat, have been greatly diminished, and "most Europeans have never had it so good" in terms of standard of living and quality of life. But as the writer insists, things need to change "radically" so that "things may remain the same". He claims that we'd need another Winston Churchill, legendary British wartime Prime Minister, to explain the threats to Europe, instead of the current slate of leaders. He does not really establish how we could find such a leader, but I guess the most important thing right now is for Europe and the EU to really wake up to the realities of today's world and do something fast before it sleepwalks into the quicksand and sinks.