Greece matters because it has brought the eurozone to a crossroads: allow the southern members to exit or form a euro sud; continue to transfer income to them; or form a fiscal union with Brussels controlling the tax and spending policies of the eurozone member states.How true, how very true and how many times have we told them so?
For now, the policy is to keep Greece afloat until something turns up, some language that will make a default not a default, and some definition of "voluntary" that will allow Greece and others to coerce lenders into extending loans at below-market rates. George Orwell long ago warned that slovenly language "makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts".
Not that Britain is going to escape the troubles and, indeed, we know that already.
That seems to describe what is going on at the highest policy levels in euroland. And lest you think this has nothing to do with Britain, think again. The euroland 27 can outvote the 10 European Union members who decided to stay out of the eurozone. The 17 meet to set economic policy without consulting the 10 euro-shunners.And if you think that wonderful new "eurosceptic" intake of Conservative MPs will save us, think again.
They are already calling for more relaxed EU regulation of banks' capital requirements but more stringent regulation of the parts of the financial sector in which Britain excels. Staying out of euroland no longer ensures avoiding the consequences of its flawed structure.