The 3 things most at stake during the months of negotiations over Greece have clearly (and alliteratively) been The Project, EU Principles; and Politicians' Pride. The state of the Greek People has figured but little. No one really knows where things go from here but at least the Greek tragedy has answered the long-standing question - What's the point of having a national government when you've got a supranational government plus the IMF and the ECB? Surely Greece could save itself millions, if not billions, by showing the way and dumping all its domestic politicians. Which is one reason why David Cameron might change his position of wanting to keep the UK in the EU. The wind has changed. And got stronger. And colder.
As we wait on events . . . A couple of comments from others:-
- The heavy handed German approach has triggered a backlash.
- Germany has made humiliating and intolerable, demands, meant to drive Greece out of the euro.
- Germany has tried to rule Europe with diktat like this before. The EU was set up to stop this.
- The talks were a crucifixion.
- These are the most brutal negotiations I have ever seen.
- There is an element of humiliation that will poison the atmosphere for years to come.
Finally, here's our Ambrose being rather acerbic on the subject.
Another new-to-me Spanish word (with HT to my friend Jennie):- Ser un muermo. 'To be boring, A wet fish, A drip'. Tener un muermo: 'To be bored. Jennie feels this might be old-fashioned but a Spanish friend assures me it's quite the opposite now.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper is leaving for a Portuguese team, after 17 years with the club. From the rection of the Spanish media, you'd think it was The Second Coming, rather than just A Footballer Going.
So . . . I went to the Social Security office yesterday to seek a European health card. The lady was charm itself but, having entered my ID, she couldn't get the computer to stop saying No. Finally, she apologised and told me that, as I'd never paid social security contributions in Spain, I'd have to get my card from the UK government. So, I went on line and found I needed to be a UK resident. As I'm not, I did what anyone would do in these circumstances and lied about a UK address. Then I was told I couldn't have a card because I already had one. To my surprise, this turned out to be true. Which is just as well as it appears I don't qualify for one either in Spain or the UK. Even though my friend Eamon has a letter saying the UK isssues cards for its citizens living elsewhere in the EU. My guess is the problem is that neither country wants to pay what these cards cost to their government.
Finally . . . I'm officially in love with Martina Hingis, even though I can't remember anything of her the first time round. Mind you, she was only 16. And - now that I've looked at the fotos - she looks a lot better at 35.
Serious Footnote: If you need a European health card(EHIC), here's what the UK government says: If you are living in an EEA country and you receive a UK State Pension or long-term Incapacity Benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You'll need to apply for a certificate of entitlement also known as an S1 form. You can apply for your form via the International Pension Centre on 0191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with the relevant authority abroad. Once you have registered your S1 in the country you are moving to, you will be entitled to apply for [where?] and use a UK-issued EHIC to access state-funded necessary medical treatment when you visit other EEA countries.