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Reply #40: The Greek Tragedy Is All about Politics Now [View All]

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. The Greek Tragedy Is All about Politics Now

Greeks in the streets, as they have been in the tens of thousands almost daily, have brought Europes debt crisis to a new and highly volatile stage. Austerity plans are political now, and theres no stepping back from this truth...There have been protests around Europe before last weeks sometimes-violent clashes in Athens. But nothing before these latest Greek demonstrations brings the point home so plainly: There are limits to the spending cuts and structural reforms that any government can impose without a clear display of shared sacrifice.

Immediately at issue in the Greek crisis is a 12 billion ($17.2 billion) tranche of funds from the European Union that Greece needs by next month if it is to avoid a calamitous default. This is part of a 110 billion rescue package Prime Minister George Papandreou negotiated with the EU and the International Monetary Fund last year. In Athens this week, Papandreou has to get a fractious, tippy ship of state behind his promised reforms as he negotiates not only his next installment but a new rescue package worth an additional 100 billion

It can work, although as of Tuesday morning European finance ministers were still trying to negotiate specific bailout terms. No one on either side sees any benefit in a Greek default. But the key to success now is winning sufficient faith from the Greek people that they are not bearing the full burden of a crisis they did not create while lenders elsewhere reap large benefits from it by way of handsomely high returns.

Anyone who has gone into Greek securities over the past two years has enjoyed high-risk premiums, says Alfred Steinherr, chief European economist for the Globalist Research Center. It seems obvious now that they should share the responsibilities.
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