Whatever the reason and whoever the culprit, the Greek people are suffering economically. Jeremy Bentham must be unhappy. Institutional deadlock seems to prevent change. Neither recent Greek governments nor eurozone institutions have been able to turn things solidly for the better in Greece. If I were Greek, I would consider calling Britannia for constitutional advice.
Britain is a European country known for pragmatism, common sense, and economic perspective. More than that, Britain has a long and broad experience with different societies and has built institutions in very different cultural contexts across the globe. This includes Cyprus.
It also includes my home country Germany after Europe’s deepest crisis in the 20th century. Should the Greek people after Sunday’s referendum seek a new European partner to break the deadlock, it might want to consider the United Kingdom as a broker or even as an institution builder. As a country that is both performing well and decidedly not part of the eurozone, Britain might broker a deal leading Greece to a new start that may include leaving the eurozone with dignity. If Britain were to demonstrate its ability to deal more flexibly with a crisis than current European Union institutions, it could be a big moment for both Britain and Europe.
Dr Patrick A. Puhani, Professor of Economics, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany and Foundation Scholar, Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK