The latest reports have the UK facing a potential Â£3.2 billion bill to help find another bail-out to help Greece out of its latest financial mess.
It is reported in The Mail that Greece is about to come cap in hand to the EU for Â£53 billion in order to prevent a financial catastrophe. This is on top of the Â£100 billion it obtained last year.
The repercussions for the UK are that it would be automatically liable for Â£800 million of this through commitments to the International Monetary Fund. But the rest, some Â£2.4 billion, could have to be made if the EU enforced the deal signed by the then Labour chancellor Alistair Darling just prior to the coalition being formed.
At least it seems that the loan would be secured on Greek government owned properties.
Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell, has pointed out already (thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23948221-british-taxpayers-face-call-to-bail-out-the-greek-economy.do) that the EU always wants more money and that the bail-out money the UK has provided has already outpaced any austerity savings the country has made. "Of course Brussels will ask for more. They always do." Carswell said "Bail-outs for the Irish and Portuguese already dwarf all the savings to tackle the deficit over the last year. A Greek bail-out on top of that would be astonishingly unfair on British taxpayers and pensioners."
Now, there is an old adage that goes something like 'if you borrow Â£500 that's your problem, but if you borrow Â£5 million then it's the bank's problem'! The UK is in danger of becoming the bank with the problem, if it isn't already.
The UK is in debt up to the proverbial eyeballs. Therefore any further money to help bail out any other country, even in the form of a loan, has to be found through internal cost savings (UK austerity) or more borrowing. The first means less services, the second means paying more loan interest. A sort of 'lose or lose' situation. And with no actual guarantee of ever getting the money back.
Another point to realise is that a 'debt restructure' is really a technical default, as the lender in all probability gets less of a return from it and may well lose out.
But due to the great god of globalisation all countries and big banks are tied together these days in one huge 'too big to fail' ring of dominoes. So money is perpetually having to be found (borrowed) to ride on the money merry-go-round as debt pays off other debt that pays off other debt ad infinitum. And now everyone in power is too afraid to get off. In fact they can't get off without bringing the whole lot down.
And just as Greece has done, do not be surprised if Ireland and Portugal are also forced to take the 'Oliver' walk and say 'Please sir, I want some more'.