SPIEGEL: Only Bankruptcy Can Help Greece

Posted by in Economy

 What a disappointment for Greece’s creditors. That fact that Samaras three-party coalition government plans to ask for a two-year extension to adjust its fiscal targets seem to throw the country’s lenders into deepest depression. They allegedly cannot eat or drink neither can they enjoy their vacations. The lenders, not the Greeks. More or less this is what German weekly DER SPIEGEL claims, putting on the table a Greek exit from the euro zone.

 Greece Before the Abyss - Only Bankruptcy Can Help Now

Greece has disappointed its creditors yet again. Now its government plans to ask for more time — and needs billions more in aid. But Greece’s euro-zone partners are unwilling to provide any more help, meaning that the only hope now is to admit defeat and let the country make a fresh start.

Officially, at least, everything is going according to plan. In September, officials with the troika — made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — are planning to travel to Athens to check on the progress that Greece has made with its cost-cutting program. Then, according to the plan, they could disburse billions more in aid out of the second bailout package for Greece, which the euro-zone countries and the IMF agreed on in February.
 
But, in reality, it is rather unlikely that all of the €130 billion ($160 billion) in the bailout package will ever be paid out. And what is even more unlikely is that the money would keep Greece from going bankrupt.

 The assumptions on which the current program was based in February are no longer valid. At that time, it was thought that the Greek economy would only contract by 4.5 percent this year, but now it appears that this figure will be closer to 7 percent. This would mean even fewer tax receipts and even more social expenditures. What’s more, given these circumstances, it’s almost irrelevant that the Greek government is expected to ask for a two-year extension, to 2016, of the agreed austerity plan.

One thing is clear: In addition to more time, Greece also needs more money. And those who have been financing it thus far — primarily the major euro-zone countries and the IMF — are either unwilling or unable to give the country any more. In political terms, that is completely understandable: One can only imagine the earful that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would get if she were to present a third aid package for Greece before the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. In fact, the members of her own conservative coalition would probably chase her out of the building.

Truth be told, Merkel only has herself to blame for the fact that she is stuck in this pickle. She dug in her heels too much in insisting that the problems of Southern European countries could only be solved by drastic belt-tightening, and that what the Greeks were really lacking was the will to do what was necessary. Now she can hardly abandon this way of interpreting the crisis.

“Delaying the inevitable and necessary” Der Spiegel stresses, pointing to a glorious and thunderous official bankruptcy. (Full article SPIEGEL ONLINE)

As Der Spiegel commentator does not included in his argumentation also possible failures and inefficiencies of the bailout program itself, I wonder whether it is a sober approach of the problem or just the analysis of a German government mouthpiece.

Then how could ever a country pay back its loans if there is no the slightest provision for growth and development but just 1001 austerity measures that the only thing they boost is recession.