This is a blow to the EU founder's dreams, coming not even a decade after the Euro's introduction. With all the Really Smart Intellectuals™ behind the EU, you'd think that someone might have predicted trouble.
1. There is no way Greece will ever repay the $146 billion; either (a) the austerity measures if accepted and complied with will plunge the country into deep recession, or (b) the general strikes that the austerity measures inspire will cause depression.2. In either case, the Greek government will fall for agreeing to the austerity conditions, and the government that gets elected will repudiate both the austerity measures and the euro. Because the European Central Bank is not the issuer of euro notes and because that function has been left to individual countries, all Greece needs to do to "unpick" from the euro is to declare that each Greek-issued euro note (one with a serial number starting with "Y") is now a drachma note and will be exchanged 1-for-1 by the Bank of Greece.
3. Then Greece will go back to devaluing and inflating and devaluing and inflating just as it used to do.
Well, it turns out that someone did predict the trouble that Greece got itself (and the rest of the Eurozone) into. He was even a European.
Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct. The whole, or almost the whole public revenue, is in most countries employed in maintaining unproductive hands.Smart and well educated, those EU founders.Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776