Nearly a month ago Greek voters rejected more economic austerity as a condition of another European bailout. Today Athens is implementing an even more severe austerity program.
Few expect Greece to pay back the hundreds of billions of dollars it owes. Which means another economic crisis is inevitable, with possible Greek exit (“Grexit”) from the Eurozone.
Blame for the ongoing crisis is widely shared. Greece has created one of Europe’s most sclerotic economies. The Eurocrats, an elite including politicians, journalists, businessmen, and academics, determined to create a United States of Europe irrespective of the wishes of European peoples.
European leaders welcomed Athens into the Eurozone in 2001 even though everyone knew the Greek authorities were lying about the health of their economy. Economics was secondary.
Unfortunately, equalizing exchange rates cemented Greece’s lack of international competitiveness. Enjoying an inflated credit rating, Greece borrowed wildly and spent equally promiscuously on consumption.
Greece could have simply defaulted on its debts. However, Paris and Berlin, in particular, wanted to rescue their improvident banks which held Athens’ debt.
Thus, in return for tough loan conditions most of the Greek debt was shifted onto European taxpayers through two bail-outs costing roughly $265 billion. Greece’s economy has suffered, and the leftwing coalition party Syriza won Greece’s January election. Impasse resulted at the end of June as the second bailout expired.