Depending on your point of view, your holding of Greek debt, and whether or not you live in Greece, here is a humorous (or not so humorous) Google Translation on the Past and Future of Greece.
Based on official data from the Eurostat in 2009, when was the last census that pushed the deficit above 15%, Greece’s debt was 127% of GDP. Today, the Government is making earnest efforts to pull Greece out of the crisis according to statements of Chancellor Angela Merkel, mortgaging much to get the debt-to-GDP ratio to 120% by 2020.
And the obvious question that arises for all is, what is so much effort for a decade? To get to where we were in 2009?
The numbers and figures, unfortunately, speak for themselves.
Eurostat census estimates real unemployment will reach 20% by the summer of 2012, Greece will close 183,000 companies, increase cuts in wages and pensions, and over-tax all its citizens just to get 2020 debt to 2009 levels.
All Pain and No Gain
The author, George Kouros perfectly describes the ramifications of stretching out debt for a decade in pretense that a 50% “voluntary” haircut on bonds will solve anything.
Greece surely does need structural reforms, but the average Greek on the street sees all pain and no gain.
A hard default and debt forgiveness of 80% by the EU would show Greek citizens they were at least getting something in return for forced (but badly needed) structural reforms and austerity measures.
Instead, the average Greek understands everything is being done to protect German and French banks, and anything that helps Greece is nothing but a fortuitous accident.
Moreover, by fooling itself, the EU hurts itself. The longer the EU pretends haircuts are voluntary, that Greece can pay back these loans, and that Greece can be competitive with Germany, and there will be no hard default, the worse the crisis will become.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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