Big Fat Greek Tragedy (Now with Added Bailout!)

by Ryan on May 7, 2010

in Economy,Europe,International Relations

Greece is in a terrible mess.

More union/socialist-led youth violence continues to plague a nation which passed an austerity measure yesterday.  Three people have died in violence this week.  The austerity measure would cut back benefits and spending in order to make up for their massive debt.  The EU will put up 80 million euros while the IMF promises $143 million in loans to bailout the small European nation, whose solvency issues could threaten the euro itself sending ripples across the world… perhaps even here (just look at the jittery stock market yesterday!)

Cutting back spending and entitlements coupled with a major bailout should help Greece get through this crisis for a while.  However, the players involved in this tragedy are who they are, meaning that mere numbers and formulas fail to consider the human element:  the Greek street doesn’t seem content with trimming the goodies which the government can no longer afford.  Though the austerity bill has been passed, what will it mean when the cuts take effect and the welfare state recipients don’t see that full check in the mail?

I can’t sit here and write with a straight face that I believe this bailout will solve the problem in Greece.  Unfortunately, I think that the political pressures brought to bear on this current Greek parliament will force them to abruptly change course in the next 6-8 months or force a major shift in Greek politics towards the left in the next election (which will help no one).

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