One thing we may be certain will emerge from the current showdown. Greece will suffer. Greece has been made an example of, regardless of how that is done. The general consensus is that this is being done at least partly as a warning to Spain, Portugal and Italy not to seek any relief from austerity lest we do the same thing to you. And who knows, it may very well work. It may, indeed, frighten Southern Europe into submission and put an end to any further calls for a relaxation of austerity. And Southern Europe is, after all, showing early signs of recovery, so it may recovery, austerity may be considered vindicated, and no one may ever question austerity again -- or else!
But it puts an end to any sort of illusion that the EU is a community of democratic nations, acting in cooperation and harmony. The EU has thrown off the mask and revealed what it really is -- the Fourth Reich (Empire). According to the Nazis, the first German Empire (Reich) was Charlemagne's empire. The second was Bismark's. And the third was their own. Well, now we have a fourth German empire, which is what the EU now is. And it may very well be the, for the time being, Germany's economic might will cow the weaker powers into submission, and that outsiders seeking admission to the euro will blame Southern Europe for its own problems and not the euro itself. Well, if the EU is, in fact, simply the Fourth Reich, and if structural problems with the euro are contributing mightily to the current disaster, then this is not the end. The present crisis may end soon with German victory, but it will be back with the next economic downturn. And the next. And if the EU comes to be seen, not as cooperation among states, but as a German Empire, then eventually resistance to it will rise and its true nature will become ever more naked.