July 8, 2011
Just thought we’d highlight some interesting comments on various aspects of the eurozone crisis, given the sheer volume of pieces out there.
Leading economist Kenneth Rogoff talking about Greece on BBC Hardtalk:
“I don’t think there is any question that if you look at it narrowly from Greece’s point of view, it would be better to default now, clean it up and move on. Yes, it is painful to default, but countries grow afterwards and many countries have done it and done very well. The problem here is that Europe can’t handle it so easily because Portugal is weak, Ireland is weak, the banking system is weak. And in essence what’s happening is that Europe is bribing Greece not to default. They are giving them lots of money. Greeks aren’t paying now, they are getting new money”.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (back with a vengeance) writing in the Telegraph on the EU and credit rating agencies:
“The EU authorities are attempting to muzzle free opinion, first by threatening Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P with vague retribution, and then by drafting restrictive laws to prevent them from publishing unwelcome messages.”
“Now, if the EU institutions wish to avoid being held hostage by the robber agencies they should stop using the ratings as a basis for lending collateral at the ECB. They should create their own more rigorous method of assessing credit-worthiness, ignore the agencies altogether, and make their case directly to global investors…What the EU should not do is try to muzzle free opinion, or free speech. We are on a slippery slope.”
Nick Malkoutzis in Greek paper Kathimerini highlights the coming pain for Greece under the second bailout agreement:
“Like a Hollywood sequel which follows a dire original, Memorandum II is likely to make us want to look away in horror.”
“But as we move from Memorandum I to its potentially scarier successor, it still doesn’t appear to have sunk in either at home or in Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington, where the decision makers of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund reside, that all the slashing of public expenditure and hiking of taxes is not going to solve Greece’s problems.”
Just snippets of some good pieces, we recommend reading/listening to them all in their entirety.Open Europe blog team