Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The social contract

Anne Applebaum explains that it's Time for Greece to Play by the EU's Rules.  She makes a compelling argument, but then adds this: 
Resistance could take forms more subtle than rioting. Athens, after all, is a city in which 364 people told tax authorities they owned swimming pools -- and in which satellite photographs reveal the existence of 16,974 swimming pools. If a tax or legal reform is perceived as a foreign imposition, will Greeks abide by it?
Makes you wonder.  It's tempting to believe that the Council of the European Union and the IMF and the US have dictated and that the Greeks have committed to change their ways.  But who believes it?  We have for so many years been told that the Europeans have a "social contract" by which everyone agrees to a certain welfare state. 

And this has always been held up as a shining example.