Nobel winner: Germany’s the problem, not Greece

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told CNBC on (last) Monday that the euro zone should stay together but if it breaks apart, it would be better for Germany to leave than for Greece.

“While it was an experiment to bring them together, nothing hasdivided Europe as much as the euro,” Stiglitz said in a “Squawk Box” interview.

The risk of a sovereign default in Greece has increased after the anti-austerity party Syriza won Sunday’s snap elections, raising concerns over the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro zone.

For the entire interview and video clip, please go to:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102367704

SYRIZA’s win will test institutions (in Greece)

nikos_konstandarasMr. Nikos Konstandaras is managing editor and a columnist of Kathimerini, the leading Greek morning daily.  He is also a contributor to The BusinessThinker.com

This editorial has also been posted in Kathimerini http://bit.ly/1yQQYaP

Greece was at an impasse, with a government that did not believe in what it was doing and an opposition that declared with passionate intensity that whatever the government did was wrong and that it would do everything right – it would share out money, annul agreements with our creditors and, at the same time, would not endanger Greece’s membership of the eurozone and the European Union. Naturally, many voters opted for utopia.

From today SYRIZA will have to face the test of reality. The party is obliged to manage the economy, keeping its promises as the treasury runs out of money, but will also have to deal with our partners and creditors, who have made clear their position that Greece must abide by its commitments. SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’s statement that the electoral result annuls the memoranda and that the troika of creditors is no longer valid is a direct challenge to the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The only way to avoid a collision is if one of the two sides blinks. Time is of the essence and it is very difficult to believe that our creditors will be the first to back down because they will pity the Greeks if our problems get worse.

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