In Los Cabos, on the tip of Baja California, Greece is a faraway land in every sense of the word. The results of the election take second stage to concern for Europe as a whole. The question on the minds of the nineteen heads of state and government of the world’s largest economies, plus José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy for the EU, is whether the Euro has a future, not what choice Athens ultimately made.
The former two, leaders without a state, are the ones tasked with instilling security, promising action, and guaranteeing measures to promote growth. The G20 has opened with a clear set of intentions. The Euro crisis dominates the agenda because most of the other issues seem to be resolved; the currency wars have abated, including the Chinese renminbi. Accused in the past of being kept artificially low, it has now reached a level that according to the IMF is close to its real value. The Chinese commercial machine has cut back it’s massive numbers, and now only the US electoral campaign is keeping alive discussion about the dangers of exports from the Middle Kingdom. Even most non-European economies are beginning to recover, to varying degrees, while the Old Continent remains stagnant and crippled by impotence.
The purpose of the G20 seems in fact to be the isolation of Europe. If the G8 meetings upheld the proudly arrogant assumptions of “The West and The Rest,” the new saying now seems to be “The Euro and The Rest.” Labels are being modified, and the crisis is now European and no longer global, although its repercussions are felt worldwide. “Developing” countries are now well established, and it is they, along with the United States, who are now asking Brussels and Frankfurt for decisive measures to restart their economy and reduce public debt. They demand a move that incorporates both of these goals, but European obstinacy has deemed the objective to be impossible.
Compared to the G8, the other 11 countries have made impressive progress. Their combined GDP has grown four times faster over the past decade in a performance that has put the traditional balance of power into discussion, and the creation of the G20 is not the most evident example. The now-developed countries now ask Europe to follow their example, revolving around stability and growth. They hope to see action by the state in the form of industrial politics, and promote the dynamism and reforms that they themselves have adopted, even if with different ideals in mind. Most importantly, they demand tangible results, not inconclusive summits. Many of the leaders present in Los Cabos consider the leadership of a country to be a duty, not a privilege. They do not understand, and certainly do not share, the static indecision. Balance between member states, VETI INCROCIATI, and local interests are foreign concepts to them.
Theirs is not a disinterested request; a stagnating Europe holds up their exports and shakes their financial foundations, consuming less and spreading uncertainty. Yesterday it was Greece, today Spain, and will it be Italy tomorrow? Europe is not helping itself towards a recovery; public debt itself is not the problem, but the inability to govern it. The new global players, with BRICS in the lead, are asking for new systems and governance. The first test is going to be the reform of the IMF, which is still structured based upon rights and laws of a world that has long since changed. The new economic powerhouses are calling for institutions that are more coherent with their dimensions. They are on the verge of entering the inner circle of global governments, and will not be satisfied with token powers and the uncertain results of the Greek elections.