Europe, which the EU is supposed to represent, is fighting a double war that could ravage it beyond recognition - against Greece within its own borders, and against Russia in Ukraine.
An exhibition in Rome could not - inadvertently - be more graphic in defining the zeitgeist: "The Age of Anxiety - from Commodus to Diocletian." Well, Roman emperors could barely imagine it would get much worse under the EU.
The tantalizingly tense face-off between Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem and new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has set up the battlefield; the EU won't accept a "unilateral" Greece, and Greece won't accept a bailout extension or the diktats of the troika (EU, ECB, IMF).
Legend has already taken over; after Varoufakis was firm on the "no troika" talk - as in no more economic terrorism - at the end of their press conference in Athens, Dijsselbloem murmured something in his ear that Greek officials have interpreted as a Pulp Fiction
-style "I'ma get medieval on your ass."
So now it's all-out Athens against the Masters of the Universe (the EU division). Independent observers would be tempted to see it as post-modern Perseus trying to slay the EU Medusa
- a monster so frightful that no living thing could behold her without being turned into stone.
The Medusa is now the troika. Medusa Queen Merkel and her minions - like Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble ("
we won't be blackmailed"), plus the usual faceless officials using sub-Homeric metaphors such as "tied to the mast of confrontation" - are ramping up the pressure with no debt reduction. After the Dijsselbloem-Varoufakis face-off, it would be up to the European Commission (EC) bureaucratic nightmare to come up with a feasible alternative for a Greek debt write-down.