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Last Updated:[01-03-2010 22:23:16 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Greece Needs Pragmatism not Post mortem



tradenews Greece, the EU member state, which is experiencing a severe economic crisis, has literally become a thorn in the flesh to the Union. Initial analysis on the ongoing crisis indicate a likely domino effect on the Eurozone, and the resuscitation of Greece economy now hinges on the rescue mission planned by the EU commission.

Germany’s non-committal on bailing out Greece after initially declaring support also signals that the EU would not hesitate to jettison its family member as there are already differences in using tax-payers money. On account of several polls and going by the words of Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the Eurogroup of ministers that oversee the Eurozone, Germany, Belgium or Luxembourg are not prepared to correct Greek fiscal policy mistakes.

The economic woes of Greece began after it hit upon a budget deficit of 12.7 percent of its GDP in 2009, four times more than the allowed EU limit. Though the government claims that it would slash 4 percent by the end of this year to eventually reach the EU limit of 3 percent by 2012, with current measures it seems insurmountable.

This year Greece needs about €54bn, and until now, it has raised around €13bn. The country has about €23bn in debt payments to be made in April and May. As counter measures, Greece has announced austerity initiatives and sale of another €3bn to €5bn debt.

However, in January, Greece sold five-year bonds amounting to €8bn, and within days the value of the bonds fell dimming hopes of future such offerings. Unless the government rolls out some tangible financial support mechanism, even this door will be perpetually shut.

Greece to avoid being outlawed and to tide over the crisis, it is learned that it has to shrug off its false pride and formally seek assistance from the EU or even the IMF without engaging in blame game. The Papandreou administration has accused the past regime’s mismanagement of finances and failed policies as major factors for the snowballing of the current crisis.

Starting from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens to the previous government’s decision to dismantle its anti-fraud department were pointed out to be some of the areas send the country crashing with debt. Furthermore, the country’s defence outlay beyond threat perception and unnecessary expenditure on expensive eaves-dropping street cameras were also blamed.

Incidentally, though the Greek economy is not large enough to cause any damage to the EU economy, but it is feared any SOS response from the Union may set precedence to other countries including Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy which are in similar situations. It has been understood through recent turn of events, unless an effective, efficient and transparent roadmap to rescue Greece is not made available soon under the tutelage of the EU, not just the collapse of a nation but also the unity of the region and its currency would be at stake.

By Jose Roy




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