All posts by Paul Ge Grauwe

The Greek Election 2015 – Revolt Of The Debtors

paul-degrauwe

Professor Paul De Grauwe is the John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy at the LSE’s European Institute. Prior to joining LSE, he was Professor of International Economics at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He was a member of the Belgian parliament from 1991 to 2003.
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This article has been posted in the Social Europe Journal:
http://www.socialeurope.eu/2015/01/greek-election-2015/

The Greek debt crisis that erupted in 2010 is back and again threatens the stability of the Eurozone. That crisis was the result of two factors. First, an unbridled spending drift of both the private and the public sectors in Greece during the boom years of 2000-2010, which led to unsustainable levels of debt. Second, reckless lending to Greece by Northern Eurozone banks. At no time the Northern bankers asked themselves the question of whether the Greeks would repay the loans.

The European Union chose to resolve the debt crisis by punishing the Greeks and by saving the Northern banks. A punitive austerity program was imposed on Greece, whose effects are now visible everywhere in this country. A decline in GDP of close to 25% since 2010, a rise in unemployment to a level we have not seen since the nineteen thirties, and impoverishment of large parts of the Greek population.

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