Greece at a Crossroads

by Ryan on November 2, 2011

in Economy,Europe,International Relations,Social Unrest

Greece has been in economic and social turmoil for nearly 18 months because of the crumbling of their welfare state.  Facing possible expulsion from the eurozone, Greece has a choice — accept the bailout and the severe austerity measures which come with it, or become an economic pariah.

Yesterday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced his support for a national referendum on accepting the bailout measures.  If the Greek people are to be subject to such measures, Papandreou wants the people to accept it.

Expectedly, the European markets and politicians have flipped out as the prospect of a Greek expulsion from the eurozone could snowball through Italy, Spain, and Portugal.  As the most critical test the eurozone has ever faced, some fear this economic chaos could spread all over the world.

But, as of now Greece is at a crossroad:  will the Greek people choose to accept tougher measures in order to stay in the eurozone and get on the path to real solvency, or will they embrace the road to collapse?  Put another way:  will the children of the welfare state choose to grow up before its too late?  As of now, few believe they will.

UPDATE:  Turns out Papandreou himself doesn’t trust his own people to do the right thing.

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