Not a day goes by without a flood of comments on Greece and its debt problems. They seem to come from everywhere. Some are later denied while others are left to stand, accompanied by a continuous string of worrisome data. In the process, even greater disorder is gaining hold of the country’s debt markets, with credit spreads exploding in an ever more alarming fashion.
There is a risk that all this could serve to confuse rather than illuminate the key issues that should be on the radar screen of many, whether they are policymakers or normal citizens. I can think of five such issues.
First, there is a good reason why Europe’s current approach to Greece’s problems has not worked well. Indeed, many, including me, believe it will not work any better going forward. Meanwhile, the costs and risks are growing exponentially.
Despite a year of large sacrifices on the part of Greek society and exceptional financial support from neighbors, Greece is still very far from regaining economic and financial stability. Output continues to collapse, unemployment is rising, the budget deficit remains alarming, and the already excessive debt burden is increasing further.