Greece could blossom after euro - and set an infectious precedent
Opinion digest: upside of a Greek default, Leveson inquiry and conservative family myths
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GREECE’S EXIT MAY BECOME EUROZONE ENVY
ARVIND SUBRAMANIAN ON GREEK RECOVERY
Default is regarded as disastrous for Greece and Europe, says Arvind Subramanian in The Financial Times. But "the real, more existential threat to the eurozone might be Greece’s successful recovery". In the short term, there’s likely to be financial chaos. Existing contracts would need to be redenominated and renegotiated and fiscal austerity might increase as Greece dealt with its primary deficit, especially if IMF and EU funding vanished. But the resulting depreciated exchange rate could boost exports and set in motion a growth surge. South Korea, Indonesia and Argentina - countries which defaulted and devalued during the economic crises of the 1990s - all experienced subsequent growth rates of over five per cent. In fact, Greece’s success might create an infectious model for austerity-raddled Europe. Then miserly Germany, which benefits greatly from the eurozone "would have to offer its partners a much more attractive deal”.
LEVESON SEARCHES FOR SMOKING GUN
IAN KATZ ON ANDY COULSON
The issue of Andy Coulson's security status boils down to one question: why was he subjected to less strenuous vetting than most (perhaps all) of his predecessors, says Ian Katz in The Guardian. After some unconvincing responses at the inquiry, Lord Justice Leveson has requested a list of previous press secretaries and their vetting status "if only to demonstrate that there isn't a smoking gun here". Many have been shocked that Coulson was not fully cleared for access to high security material and meetings. But for months, Downing Street has responded with increasingly tetchy variations of: "Move along, nothing to see here." There may be an innocent explanation for the decision not to vet Coulson at the same level as his predecessors, but if No. 10 wants to prove there is no smoking gun, it will have to be more convincing with its answers.
MORAL DECAY’S A MYTH. FAMILY LIFE IS BETTER THAN EVER
GEORGE MONBIOT ON FAMILY VALUES
The current Christian cult of the nuclear family is both unbiblical and ahistorical, says George Monbiot in The Guardian. For a long time, the Church favoured chastity over family life. Throughout history, sex before marriage was common and dozens of societies, across many centuries, have recognised same-sex marriage. The nuclear family, as idealised today, is an invention of the Victorians. Even then, extramarital affairs were common and children were abused and forced to work. Other conservatives hark back to the golden age of the 1950s, but they in turn fetishised the Victorian era. The traditions conservatives invoke are fantasies, fabricated from their own anxieties and obsessions. "Far from this being, as cultural conservatives assert, a period of unique moral depravity”, family life and parenting is better now than it has been in the past 1,000 years.