ギリシャ支援 危機回避へ延長が不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Extension of bailout program for Greece essential to avoid European debt crisis
ギリシャ支援 危機回避へ延長が不可欠だ

Can a possible flare-up of the European sovereign debt crisis be prevented? Tensions are building over the current situation.

A meeting of the 19 finance ministers of the eurozone on how Greece can meet its debt commitments ended without an accord.

European creditors asserted that Greece would apply to extend the current bailout program for six months on condition that it would maintain tight budgetary discipline.

But Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis rejected this, saying the current bailout program had failed to stabilize the Greek economy.

Eurozone creditors plan to hold more talks with Greece, possibly on Friday, to reach an agreement, but the views of Greece and other eurozone nations remain far apart.

At this point, it is uncertain whether the current bailout program, which ends on Feb. 28, can be maintained.

Should the bailout be discontinued, Greece will face a lack of funds, raising the risk of the country defaulting on its debts.

If the sovereign debt crisis worsens, not only would the Greek economy go bankrupt but the economy of the entire eurozone would eventually plunge into a financial quagmire. Extending the bailout program is essential to avoid seriously affecting the world economy.

Greece must endure the pain of tightening its budgetary belt in return for financing from other eurozone countries, which helped Greece pay the price of its own loose fiscal discipline over many years.

The Coalition of the Radical Left, led by Alexis Tsipras — now prime minister — won the general election last month and came to power after adopting an anti-austerity position.

By honoring its campaign pledge, the ruling coalition may have no other recourse but to reject the austerity program presented by creditor countries.

Lack of strong industries

Except for tourism and agriculture, the Greek economy has had no strong industries for many years, while the ratio of public service workers to the total working population is high.

As a result of the Greek government’s handling of the economy, which relies heavily on fiscal spending, its society lost much of its vigor, with its debts mounting due to increasing expenditures and sluggish tax revenues.

To revitalize Greece, there is no other way but to restructure the nation’s fiscal discipline in accordance with the bailout program of the European Union and other entities, while drastically reforming its inefficient economic structure.

In some other eurozone countries, political parties advocating “anti-austerity” stances are gaining public support, as was seen in Greece.

Worried that loose fiscal discipline may spread to countries in southern Europe and elsewhere, the EU is strongly pressing Greece to toe the austerity line.

Should the bailout talks collapse completely, Greece’s departure from the eurozone will become a real possibility. As this would undermine confidence in the euro system, such a situation must be avoided.

The EU should explore compromises such as easing the terms for repayment, while maintaining, in principle, the current bailout framework.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 18, 2015)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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