One would hope that setting economic policy in the 21st century would not come down to a game of “chicken.” And yet that seems to describe the perilous game being played by some Greek politicians and officials of the 17-state “eurozone,” the troubled inner circle of the European Union.
If you’re not aware of “chicken,” the game involves two fast-moving objects, usually automobiles, hurtling head-on toward each other, until one driver turns aside to avoid a collision. It’s a daredevil game, assuming that someone will swerve to avoid the deaths or injuries of two or more human beings—yet the act of turning aside is deemed an indication of cowardice, so the one who swerves assumes the shame of being the “chicken.”
It seems that some in the eurozone are now employing the “chicken” strategy. “I dare you—you wouldn’t dare” is the way some have characterized the politics of Greek leaders.
For months, Greece has been the worst offender in terms of economic breakdown. Its budget deficit is way above the maximum decreed by the European Union. In fact, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal are all sailing well above the limit.
The immediate problem, though, involves Greece, with its weak economy, inability to narrow its deficit and poor fiscal reporting. The frustration of many Greeks is that they are weary of the tough austerity measures that have been imposed on them by Brussels, but they also don’t want to exit from the eurozone. There is no sign that Europe, though, led especially by a strong Germany, is going to back down from its demands that these weak countries be more economically self-disciplined, no matter how painful it is.
So, will Greece exit the EU, or will the EU continue to give it aid? Who will be the chicken? Will it be the Greeks, or will it be Europe?
Or will there be, perhaps, some temporary “muddle through” compromise? Time will tell, but something has to give. World economists are watching and holding their breath, fearing a contagious spread of the same problem into other weak economies, such as Spain’s and Italy’s.
One thing is for certain: Bible prophecy indicates these tensions are not going to go away. Sometime between now and the second coming of Jesus Christ, tensions in Europe are sure to erupt, with a new and different kind of economic system taking the place of the present liberal free trade alliance. Prophecy refers to “the beast” that will arise and impose an involuntary economic system on the world, a system that will be an affront to God—and a threat to the saints of God.
Revelation 13:16-17 foretells, “He [the beast] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
We need to watch developments in Europe—they are pieces of a puzzle that will come together as part of the prophecies for the end time, which you can read about here on Life, Hope & Truth. We live in momentous times, and there is more to come!
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Ralph Levy.