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Lisboa, Portugal
Nasci no dia 11 de Junho de 1964 na cidade da Beira, MOÇAMBIQUE.

A Estação dos CFM, Beira

A Estação dos CFM, Beira
Ex-libris da cidade, 1966

The Euro, as a single currency, should be abolished

Another black and white motion statement leaving me no option but to choose No.
While I agree to the first part I am not prepared to contemplate the idea that the Euro should get abolished.
Abolished? Then what?
All 17 countries now sharing the single currency would revert back to their old monies?
Or a new version of yesteryear's currencies?

Simplistic as I made it out to be packed in a few odd questions, every single serious economic, financial and social consequence is inextricably wrapped up within each.
That is where the stakes are high enough to ensure that the Euro is given a new lease on life.
It calls for closer European integration.
What form and shape this will take is for policymakers and far-sighted politicians to grasp and propose.

It would seem to me that the Euro has many underlying strengths but will not - contrary to the founder's beliefs - assure convergence between all the economies it services. How could it?
The divide has been felt acutely lately (1-2 years) the logical consequence of relevant economic under-performance among member-countries.

There has obviously got to be a political solution rooted in realistic economic fundamentals.
The road traveled so far proved artificially smooth during the first 10 years I dare say but unsurprisingly very bumpy in the last 1-2.
It could not have been otherwise given the structural differences setting these countries apart. And excessive spending pursued mostly by a few Southern European States who could not see beyond the present.
Adherence to the Maastricht criteria never again seemed to be taken seriously once countries landed themselves inside the Euro club. Not to mention Greece that never fulfilled the criteria in the first place or ever bothered to balance its books.

Very disappointing to admit but the Euro Zone is indeed right in the middle of a storm testing its main crews to the limit.
The latest summit decisions seem to indicate that where there is a will there is a way.
It may have just been one first small step in the right direction.

The specifics are very hard to work on.
Yet it would seem to me that the 17-member Euro Zone and the larger EU can hardly afford shooting down the Euro.
The broader picture needs to come into full view.
An hypothetical demise of the single currency would deal another severe blow to Europe's economic fortunes.
Its relative decline vis-a-vis the rest of the world would get a further boost.

I do not like misplaced calls for solidarity from Southerners but would rather see the stronger half of the dividing line realize where their medium-to-long interest lies.
To that end many balances across the Euro Zone need to be restored at the earliest.

Europe agrees a "shock and awe" bailout for Greece

A rescue package of epic proportions, epic challenges for the Greek government and people, epic uncertainties and epic stakes for the single-currency.

It was the Euro's defence that ultimately forced politicians from Germany to Malta to perform a hard balancing act whose overall success is far from assured.Each finance minister has enough reasons to fret and grumble about.It being the Euro as a common currency, because of Greece despite Greece.
Up to now every 'least damaging' approach failed miserably to cool down the financial markets that remained as unimpressed as ever throughout.
For its part Greece is effectively the main winner in this high-finance gamble.The country bought time the markets were not willing to give it once confidence vanished.Precious time desperately needed to restore credibility and good governance at home.
A daunting internal fix with daunting external implications.
Three full years is what the government and Greek society top-down and bottom-up now have to set the record straight in so many ways.
Literally and figuratively.

For the other 15 Eurozone countries - each facing own troubles to varying degrees - keeping fingers crossed would be mild to describe the monitoring of Greece's performance over the coming 36 months.Potentially they are all losers, starting out by losing simply to avoid bigger losses!
There are so many relevant questions that might be asked to which full answers ought to be provided.
They won't get asked or get answered.
Tellingly, each and every single one of them would now seem rhetorical or at best an exercise for academia.

The spectre that haunts Europe

I am still hopeful that Greece will not require a bail-out in whatever form pinning my hopes on the PM's own words.

He did sound very bold and brave in the face of such overwhelming odds but until a deal is actually in place I would rather believe the Greeks can and will take care of themselves.

My stance is wholly based not on immediate needs triggered by the Western financial meltdown that led to the economic downturn.This in turn led to a collapse in tax revenues across countries caused by economies shrinking badly.

To a large extent Greece is indeed a one-off case-study for the worst reasons, its latest fiscal deficit the sum total of profligate spending, widespread cultural-rooted tax evasion, underbudgeting, creative accounting, weak notion of public service and duty, etc - all conspiring over decades to bring the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

I am sure many Greeks will have seen it coming and warned their governments in years past.To no avail as even the present government was elected as recently as late 2009 on a platform to increase spending.

According to EMU rules public finances were clearly to remain national responsibilities.A considerable chunk of sovereignty for States to manage through their democratically-elected governments of the day.
Would the Greeks have liked their Finance Ministry to be ruled or dictated to from Brussels or Frankfurt just so the Maastricht-agreed criteria could not have been so despondently ignored?

Current turmoil is the Euro's hardest test ever but one that will also represent a defining moment in the single-currency's future.

It is a fact that Southern European countries are faced with similar issues though not on the same scale and urgency.Others in Northern Europe, the US and Japan also recorded their biggest fiscal deficits and added up noticeably to their debts in 2009.
Each one has its own track-record, however.
This is exactly what sets Greece apart from the rest.
Each country is unique in its own way, there being obviously overlapping between them.

International rating agencies must make the effort to closely monitor and register those differences and then advise financial markets.

After all it is sovereign countries and sovereign debt one is dealing with.

There is much more at stake than strictly soulless bundling of nations.

Arquivo do blogue

quarta-feira, 30 de junho de 2010

TEc "Rudd on the tracks" Australia's PM exits forced out by his own...

I can't help feeling sad to see Kevin Rudd go in a manner that does no justice at all to whatever positives - there were many - he brought to Australia.
The rug was fully pulled from under his feet by his own colleagues in ways reminiscent of Mrs. Thatcher's Conservative Party send-off in 1990/1.The difference being, besides every other, her fall from grace came after 12 years of exercising government through thicks and thins aplenty.
I am not versed enough on the inner workings of Australian politics, power bargaining and balances.
Mr. Rudd, however, who always stood out as a decent man pushing decent causes remarkably successfully within a short timespan does not seem to have hit the right notes of the Australian psyche lately.
His climbdown on the earlier much fought for climate change policy - to my mind rightly presented as the greatest moral challenge of our time - does not seem to explain KR's sudden loss in popularity.
Then again, not living in Australia or closely tracking its domestic issues, makes my comment a great deal more difficult.
Julia Gillard takes over inheriting a generally good legacy not least on the real vote-winner in any society: the economy.
It is fundamentally sound making the best of Australia's rather privileged condition as a sophisticated resource/industry/finance based Western economy - richly endowed by Nature unlike many - in an increasingly buoyant Eastern (Asia-Pacific) environment.
As for Julia being Julia - well, it should be a non-issue even in hitherto male-chauvinistic, perceived if not real, societies.

TEc "A model of mistrust" - Weighing in on Flanders and Wallonia

Most countries seem to have a divide of some sort.Mostly along a North-South pattern as reflected by economic and social indicators.
None appears as divided as Belgium though, neatly cut along a horizontal borderline separating the northern Flanders and the southern Wallonia regions.
Also, this 'Belgian dispute' runs deeper because unlike most it carries the weight of culture, language and tradition.
The strains of an uneasy relationship since Belgium's independence have never before looked so obvious.
Which makes the case for whether or not there is any sense of national unity despite not trivial political skirmishes regularly fought.
It is quite ironical that this country - having Brussels as its capital and the EU's - should still face such existential questions.
Perhaps one should not underestimate Belgians' commitment to their country as a single entity.It could be far greater than divisive forces would let us believe.
The European Union has never faced a range of challenges as impressive as current ones.
As a 27-member bloc as well as the varied internal troubles of many individually.

quinta-feira, 24 de junho de 2010

BBC Blog Network "Was Obama right to fire Gen McChrystal?" - I am in no doubt he was!

President Obama, or any other under the same circumstances, was left without any option.

The key point is that military commanders - operatives no matter how high ranking - report to a civilian administration topped by the President who inherently is the supreme commander-in-chief.
They are therefore expected to show respect and exercise discretion and restraint when referring to members of the Administration.

I would have expected - at the very least - that a situation like this would never have arisen.
Not in the US armed forces who've seen most of their requests met by politicians time and again.
Also, they enjoy support and remain a major source of pride for the American people.

It is disgraceful that the media should fascinate enough that even a seasoned militaryman like Gen McChrystal could so naively fall prey to.

The US mission in Afghanistan will necessarily absorb his departure and replacement as it must.
Any war action is a collective effort by definition.
It goes well beyond single individuals no matter who or what their rank.

BBC Blog Network "Should UK troops leave Afghanistan?" - open question?

I hope the BBC is not suggesting British troops should leave Afghanistan because another numeric milestone has been hit. 

While the blood and treasure price of any military conflict is by no means subsidiary the ultimate question remains unanswered.
What is the main objective of this campaign and when will it be considered achieved?
Answers have been provided on different platforms by different politicians and military staff.
However, there appears to be a huge question mark hanging over Afghanistan regarding whether or not this war is at all winnable on any of the relevant measures.

A point in time will be reached when a final decision will have to be made on the substantive issue.
Unless, of course, it is already acknowledged that the war waged there is the first line of Western defense against international terrorism.

In such a case the burden of Afghanistan will have to be carried for the foreseeable future.
With every misery and death it entails.

quinta-feira, 17 de junho de 2010

BBC Blog Network "What do you think of BP's action?" a few thoughts below:

Aren't we all affected by the spill?

I think we are no matter where we live in any corner of this big wide blue Planet.
Those directly affected are sustaining immediate economic and financial loss they will be compensated for and recover from.

The huge question mark in the aftermath of the ongoing technical failure - now partially addressed - is about the development model we find ourselves trapped in.And of course the technical means available to handle this kind of event.
BP is taking the full brunt for the accident and its consequences to the environment.
Ultimately, however, we need to reflect on the carelessness of our ways in pursuit of maximum profit.
Legitimate profit no doubt without which no enterprise can survive, no business can thrive, no wealth is created.
But the need to find balance has again been made starkly clear.
Safety cannot be elevated to disruptive extremes but should never be compromised on essential points either.
It seems that this is where BP as an organization did badly perhaps after successful previous deep-sea drilling.Overconfidence hinging on complacency built into work practice routines with regard to critical safety standards.
Engineers will determine what went wrong with the BOP whose function is precisely to plug the flow of ascending oil.

I still believe BP's technical staff should be allowed to carry out their job without unnecessary external pressure being brought to bear on them.
President Obama can turn up the heat on BP by doing what he has been doing.
He should not, however, go beyond measured speech until such time as oil has stopped coming off that well-head completely.
The next vital point the President has made is to draw the attention of fellow Americans to the country's oil addiction.
If this cannot be changed quickly the accident and ensuing environmental mess is an opportunity to be cleverly seized.
Politically there's a lot that may be accomplished from the misfortune of an appalling disaster.

BBC Blog Network "Has BP damaged Britain's reputation?" Utter non-sense, according to me:

It doesn't take a genius but only rational cool-headed reasoning to put everything in perspective.

Disallowing overblown thoughts and comments from coming into play.
Unhelpful and at the very least distasteful, ultimately irrelevant.

BP will in the short run remain a soft target, from politicians to common folk who wish for some distraction.
They will generally fall wide off the mark in their assessment of the situation.
This accident has been serious enough that attention should focus exclusively on overcoming the direst consequences in the shortest possible timespan.
That is indeed the one and only challenge facing the company - a private concern whose ownership is varied and international - and politicians who must ensure public interests are duly safeguarded throughout.

Media hype and language furore from politicians are only a consequence of the age we live in.
They do not add or detract from the focal point which is to stop the underwater leak using every available technological tool and know-how.
A technical job for a team of technicians to accomplish.

Anglo-American relations will not be affected no matter how ugly this is: a major industrial accident with massive environmental consequences.
If that were to happen one might argue that international relations would permanently remain hostage to every nasty event resulting from the development model we chose to adopt.

That said, it is of course BP's stated obligation to live up to its own house rules, standards and multiple responsibilities towards the general public.
The American Administration has a lot of work to do as well.
BP is only one of many oil companies, contractors and sub-contractors operating in the Gulf of Mexico waters and elsewhere in the US.
The need to review rules and regulations - importantly their enforcement - has been made starkly clear.

If, however, it were determined that the spate of industrial accidents that have plagued BP over the years were the result of unsafe practices then an altogether different approach would be required specifically targeting the company.
Industrial safety track record does matter, not the company's nationality.
Nowadays a multinational by any reckoning.

As for anti-British feeling or Britain's reputation being tarnished by a company originating in that country - well, utter non-sense!

sexta-feira, 11 de junho de 2010

TEc "Fresh sanctions for Iran" I do not condone them generally and doubt their efficacy.

To my mind this is the sternest warning to date issued by the UN on the Iranian nuclear program.
There are a couple of remarks worth making too:
First is that China and Russia are sufficiently worried to have voted along with the resolution's proponents;
Second is the refusal of Turkey - a key country straddling the Western world and the Middle East - and Brazil a Western country whose foreign policy profile has risen steadily.
The latter stances underscore greater confidence befitting emerging countries with growing economies.
Generally I do not favour economic sanctions for their negative effects on common citizens.
More often than not it is the weakest in any given society who end up paying the highest price.
Then the question needs asking: do economic sanctions produce the desired result?
Records for countries who've been targeted before show mostly they do not.
Except for South Africa whose political and social situation was quite unique I cannot think of any other country's rulers/regime that backed down to sanctions.
SA was ripe for change that became inevitable once the internal struggle reached boiling point.
Sanctions may have helped pushing it further into the pariah State category, therefore adding to existing difficulties.
Iran is an altogether different story whose background shows legitimate ambitions as well as unacceptable threats.
The US has extended the unclenched fist to the Iranian leadership well over a year ago.Hoping it would willingly cooperate towards a settlement of the ongoing dispute.
Sanctions per se are not likely to work but the regime is again reminded that most of the world does not wish Iran to go nuclear other than for peaceful purposes.
Even the two who voted against aim for the same goal albeit pursuing a different path.

TEc debate motion "Should foreigners intervene in Somalia?" it may be the only way out however unwelcome...

If ever there was a need for individuals around the world to get a glimpse of what happens when a State fails Somalia would be a ready live example in the extreme.
Somalia's agony began long ago but it only seems to have continually worsened.
The point it's now at is so dire that while defending foreign intervention I am keenly aware of its daunting challenges and dangers.
The next question that pops up at once is whether there is an option at all.
How long can the so-called world community watch helplessly a lawless land seized by a handful of warlords flexing their power randomly at will?
There is no easy fix to Somalia.
Indeed I wish there could develop a third way out that would not involve direct foreign intervention.
Is there?
Somalia's strategic geography rounding Africa's end, the Horn, opening up to the vast Arabian peninsula in commanding position, makes it a cause for concern and a source of permanent disquiet.
At least until such time as thugs are reined in and the rule of law is returned to the land.
That day is not on the horizon yet.
As economic power shifts to the East it is likely that emerging countries might also take greater interest in the region.
The UN must seek to engage with Somalis in ways that will ultimately restore some semblance of a working State to a country in a state of utter despair.
How to achieve that beyond the scope of well worded formal documents is an immense task overcharged with apparently insurmountable difficulties.
Yet I believe that a foreign intervention of some sort backed up by a strong and clear UN mandate is unavoidable down the line.
If and when it does I can only hope it will be smart and successful.

TEc "Israel's siege mentality" - the Gaza blockade is the latest tough stand in a tough neighborhood.

I do not see any good coming out from the present deadlocked situation in the ongoing never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Economist's article seems to me well balanced addressing the core issue from a neutral perspective.
Israel's hard won State - democratic, militarily powerful, economically, socially and scientifically advanced - raises its level of responsibility in the quest for a permanent political solution to the region's problems.
Will Israel ever get to the point it sees where its longer term self-interest lies?
With or without outside pressure from friends or foes I believe that aiming to keep the status quo is plainly not an option.

terça-feira, 8 de junho de 2010

TEc "Their word is not enough" South Korea's Cheonan is sunk but who did it?

The undefined nature of this article renders any comment pointless.
Nearly underwhelming to the extent that the only relevant fact is not factual!
What did indeed happen on that fateful day of the ship's sinking?
There's material evidence that a South Korean navy ship broke up in two following an explosion and sank.
Assuming all bodies have now been recovered there's physical evidence that 46 sailors were killed.
Why are so many parties interested in playing games when all there is to know is how it happened and who did it?
Given the sinister ways of the North Korean regime, the unpredictable motives of China, the often murky nature of politics in South Korea, the low-key posture of the US and the apparent indifference of Japan - one wonders if the bereaved families will ever know the full facts.
Is the Cheonan likely to fade into just another incident in the troubled relationship between two opposing regimes ruling the same people in the Korean peninsula?

BBC BlogNetwork "How has Obama handled the Gulf oil spillage?" This is what I think:

There's something sickening about the way the media seeks blood when major negative events occur.
This particular accident giving rise to a major environmental disaster should get named and be treated exactly for what it is.
I have heard some journalists/reporters linking it to Katrina.Obama's Katrina they say.
Does it need telling, least of all explaining, there is absolutely no comparison between the two whatsoever?

Ultimately politicians are responsible for whatever happens within their jurisdiction - from Governor to President - to varying degrees according to layer of responsibility and rank.
I believe President Obama has done/is doing what he can under the circumstances.

BP has taken full responsibility from day one and has been, to the best of my knowledge, using its means to address an essentially technical problem after the fact.
What the accident has shown is that there are severe limitations to the efficacy of actions directed at handling massive leaks in deep sea.
This has been a first and BP is learning from it as was acknowledged early on and became increasingly clear as operations moved on.

A technical problem requires technical expertise to solve.
The political spillover is enormous but there's only so much a President can do until such time as relevant persons and equipment have plugged the leak at source.Dealing with the core problem as first things first would demand.

Once this has been taken care of there are any number of issues calling for attention.Broadly these range from the massive clean-up effort to compensation to accident investigation and responsibilities within BP regarding the safety of their drilling operations.
Procedures may have to be reviewed.

For its part the American Administration will have to set its eyes on the workings of the MMS within the relevant Department.
For now BP bashing may be fashionable, popular or even justified.
Ensuring it remains liable for damages caused too.
But in the larger picture it is hardly enough.

TEc "Meet the boss" - Japan sees off yet another PM, what's going on?

It does look like Japan's premiership has become a revolving door that allows for quick entries, short stays and fast exits.
On the other hand, the fact the country's financial markets hardly noticed the latest movements also indicates the economy marches on irrespective of politicians.
Which is of course as it should be and the good news anywhere.
Is the American Okinawa base the main cause for the latest exit as it appears to be?
An unfulfilled election campaign promise because when in power Mr. Hatoyama woke up to the geopolitical implications?
Could Mr. Hatoyama be serious on that China, Japan, Korea line and still hope to lead his people?
Japanese politics look a bit odd and out of step with the country's challenges and priorities or is it an impression gathered from thousands of kilometers away?

sexta-feira, 4 de junho de 2010

TEc "Still everything to play for" - part of a Special Report on South Africa. My view:

I would like to compliment The Economist for this brilliant Special Report highlighting South Africa's huge complexities, problems, rags and riches, challenges and hopes.
It is obviously not easy to define a country - any country - in one word or ten or hundreds, least of all that most starkly unbalanced society that is South Africa.
Yet, that is probably - even if it sounds oppressively contradictory - the country's best hope of pulling through over the coming years to achieve a successful common destiny.
For those who've been directly hit or affected by so many different forms of violence that day is none too soon.
Indeed for many it is too late and I can only begin to grasp their fears and sense of hopelessness.
However, except for crime which absolutely nothing can fully explain, there are no responsible short-cuts to development and wealth distribution following centuries of skewed racially-based societal set-up.
The very requirement to attain higher all-round inclusiveness needs to be matched by policies prudent enough that they maintain existing imbalances to a large extent.
For instance, most people would agree that public administration at central, provincial and local level must retain and promote qualified civil servants.
Evidence shows that standards of service may have dropped because recruitment criteria have been slackened to accommodate political appointees or falsely empower blacks
(?) economically.
Yes a few thousands have been quickly rewarded but how many millions may eventually have suffered as a result?
None of it is cast in stone and I would still see the half-filled glass.
But unless the glass is seen to be filling up instead of emptying over time the obvious conclusion calls for acknowledgement and policy reversal. Or at least witty adjustment.
Where the South African State cannot waver or hesitate is in its already substantial efforts to bring down crime.It simply cannot, will not I expect, rest on statistical laurels no matter how relevant.
Every means and strategy at its disposal must be deployed to develop a culture within police forces of maximum efficacy on prime goals.
Success can only be claimed when the common man in the street finally perceives his streets are free and safe enough.
It is this perception of restored security in public and private places that will ultimately unleash the great potential in South African society.
Despite every other social/economic problem and none may be sidelined or underestimated.
As easy as words and concepts may flow for a country in permanent flux and aspirational need, sound judgement by the political leadership - in government as well as in the opposition - is absolutely paramount.
All holding public office or desiring to must realize it takes time and robust policy to deliver collective gain.
A lot of time and culture geared to good governance first and foremost despite human failings and frailties.
I strongly believe this is well within reach of most South Africans.
For now, as might be expected, South Africa's generally well-run sophisticated private sector is the example-setter.Not because it remains primarily in white hands but because it does create wealth, employment, human and material development.
South Africa combines the very best of the First World with the very worst of the Third, scoring average middlings.
The overwhelming challenge - if it should get summed up as one - is to bridge that yawning gap from the Third to the First.
Never the other way around.

TEc debate motion "This house believes the Euro area will fragment over the next ten years" - uncertainty is the key word:

As the debate winds down I feel none the wiser on key aspects that might make me vote for or against.
The motion is cast in stone enough that current multi-fold Eurozone vulnerability would be best defined as utter uncertainty.
While some argue that currency devaluation is a ready path to recovering lost competitiveness - an old recipe whose outcomes were never as straightforward in the past - they fail to see it has already happened.
The Euro has dropped by nearly 20% without the need for an official devaluation.From the onset of the Greek crisis to now trading conditions changed significantly enough that Eurozone-wide exports have become effortlessly more competitive.
Many are putting the blame at Germany's doorstep as if that country were simultaneously villain and saviour through times good or bad.
It has been obvious for a considerable length of time that Eurozone member countries demand greater integration on a fairly wide range of issues.
If anything the trying time the Euro is experiencing will force the need for closer coordination of economic policies.
The ultimate goal being that of achieving greater balance between surplus and deficit economies.
Three years - the time that has now been bought at a high price - should be enough to determine whether or not that goal is achievable.
While politics was vital defending the Euro thus far it cannot and will not on its own shield it indefinitely unless national governments do their homework responsibly.
And do it quickly and successfully.
As I see it the Eurozone is at an unenviable crossroads.
It mostly commands great potential to succeed or to fail in its present form and shape.

quarta-feira, 2 de junho de 2010

TEc "Taking a high road" - India resumes break-neck growth and I see great strides and challenges:

There was never such an upbeat feel about India's future as in the last few years since the crack of dawn on that day of 1947.
Following decades of largely successful nation-building amongst its many peoples the country now appears geared to ever faster infrastructural and material progress.
No small achievement for a territory that big with that large and diverse a population.
Comparisons with China are welcomed especially if they should serve to spawn a sharper sense of better governance and urgency, notwithstanding China's often overlooked vast problems too.
It is also quite obvious that the recent 'India shining' mantra of political propaganda does not appropriately reflect the true plight of a still deeply divided society in more ways than one.
When India finally nears that tipping point whereby the dominant reality is one of development and prosperity for most then only fireworks should be sent up high and loud.
At current rates of growth such a point is within India's reach over the next 2-3 decades.
In the meantime it would seem to me the country is working towards that which it most lacks: quality fixed assets to improve economic efficiency as well as the daily lives of millions.
Already impressive structures and equipment have been put into service in latter years around the country.Much more is under construction or is in the pipeline or on drawing boards for the years ahead.
Unlike China many of India's macroeconomic variables are in the red, though largely manageable in the context of a fast expanding economy.
The upside is that the country's growth has been mostly home-driven and high-value-services-driven where exports are concerned. A powerful combination that bodes well for the future sustainability of growth.
As for the all-pervasive price subsidies it is for governments of the day to decide how best to address the ongoing needs of the poorest, besides every other social policy that may be adopted.
I wish to wrap up reminding that both China and India stood mostly aloof throughout the so-called 'world' economic downturn.
A marginal growth slowdown which has now been resumed to former levels.
Both in quantity and optimism.
India's challenge is daunting as much as it is promising.

TEc debate motion "This house believes the Euro area will fragment over the next ten years" Uncertainty is the key word:

I am encouraged by the no vote crawling steadily upwards to come back post a second comment.
If that evolving result is an indication of what my vote might have been it also underpins all the hesitations stated in my earlier writing.
The debate has been varied, many contributions have added new viewpoints as to what might lie in store for the Euro.
I remain stuck as ever in agonizing doubt torn between wishful thought and unfolding uncertainty - where there should be at least a semblance of predictability.
If the original political drive to create a single-currency aimed at speeding up European union now appears out of focus, one has to wonder whether economic strains may eventually prove too great that a break-up becomes inevitable.
Too soon to tell given the many twists and turns that took place since Greece first buzzed the emergency siren.
As each of the 16 Euroarea countries grapples with internal problems overwhelmed by public finance imbalances and feeble economic growth - to varying degrees - the time has never been as ripe for doom-sayers.
Nonetheless, should the Euro pull through its lowest stretch to date and relevant economic growth return to Europe then a quick change in fortunes may be forthcoming.
As it is, the Euro's near 20% devaluation since the onset of the crisis represents a major breathing gap.
That gap which many economists traditionally favor as quick recipe to recover competitiveness already verified.
A downward adjustment against major currencies 'without a single shot being fired' or member countries getting kicked out to work that devaluation themselves in their old-new currency.
One thing though is very clear to me: no amount of political will or generous intent and gesture at the best of times will suffice to hold the Euro area together indefinitely.
If overall conditions in weaker countries should worsen instead of showing marked improvement in coming years something will give in down the line.
What this means is that the Euro area as a whole but especially its weaker links must read the current situation accurately.Mostly, their own individual predicament within the Euro club which I assume each wants to continue belonging to.
A more balanced Eurozone economy is certainly called for in the longer run.
This is in full knowledge that it is unachievable overnight.Or even over a short-to-medium timespan.
That broadly means surplus and deficit economies becoming less so.
The stakes are very high but no effort must be spared doing the right thing for the right reasons from a commonly shared objective.
For now governments appear resolute tackling the budget and taxes.
As important, if not more, is to strengthen economic growth in the years ahead.
A tough act to balance but a golden opportunity to review development and social priorities.
Many a country's direction seeking mainly self-sustaining income-earners for tangible wealth creation.
Hopefully for Eurozone's survival's sake Mark Twain will be disproved this time:
When all is said and done, more will have been done than said!