The Great Debate UK

Is a queue forming at the EU’s fiscal soup kitchen?


copelandl- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Back in the prehistory of the euro zone, I wrote an article in the Times trying to work out how the game currently being played out in Europe would end.

Re-reading it, I think on balance I stand by my 1997 forecast.

Of course, back then it seemed far more likely that the major default threat would come from Italy or Belgium – Greece wasn’t even a member (and seemed unlikely at that stage to be admitted), but otherwise the endgame still looks the same to me.

The situation is as follows. Greece’s national debt is over 110 percent of its GDP, a figure which is growing by 12 percent or more every year (we cannot be sure, because there is widespread suspicion that the government is understating its deficit).