Comments on: Slaughtering the PIIGS Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:27:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: southmed Thu, 15 Sep 2011 16:13:04 +0000 Congratulations Ian for your magnificent, yet concise, political approach to this severe menace to Europe.
This is not as simple as the awful acronym could eventually suggest. This is not the traditional schism between the beautiful south (plus Eire) and the opulent north.
This is a serious threat to european stability as a whole.
A narrow national perspective of this problem (with a central-north european realignment temptation)is so dangerous for the entire region that all should be done to avoid it.

By: eachtohisown Thu, 15 Sep 2011 11:19:43 +0000 The Acronym, much as I love it, is unfair and it would good to drop it.
I used to think a Nord-Sud split would be best but realise now that it’s too simple.

*Let Greece go.
*Relocate all the bureaucrats busy working to bring in Serbia et al.
*Get Italy to sort out corruption. The Mafial bodies still hold many connexions – and brave Italians have to risk all to weaken them.
*Support the others (P, S, I).
(IMO, there should be a graded VAT).

You can critise Merkel – but not as much as all the others!

Finally, there’s something about a woman with a degree in Science.

By: pavlaki Thu, 15 Sep 2011 08:17:19 +0000 George Soros in an article today recognises the need for a number of countries to make a controlled default with the help of the ECB and to return to their old currencies. Many other economists also believe this to be necessary. Unfortunately Merkel and Sarcozy still trot out the nonsense that the Euro zone must stay as it is with all current members. I therefore fear a messy and dangerous forced default in future that could end the Euro for all.

By: Kon.Nikas Thu, 15 Sep 2011 07:03:28 +0000 Nearly all the major news publications make the same serious mistake about the situation in Greece.

It is not a case of the government against the people. The “people” are not uniformly against the austerity measures.

The huge number of workers employed by the public sector, with their bloated wages and ridiculous and laughable bonuses, 30 hour weeks, and 35 days a year minimum holidays, which are unattainable by the average private sector worker, are against the measures and would rather see the country destroyed than give up one cent.

The private sector workers, on the whole, support the measures, because they understand that in the long term they will improve their lot. Private sector workers are unwilling any more to work 50 to 60 hour weeks, with minimal social security and no bonuses, and 15 to 18 days a year holidays which they are often denied, just to support their public sector counterparts.

The international community MUST understand this and appreciate that just as all PIIGS are not the same, all Greeks are not the same.

By: fardarter Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:17:43 +0000 Clarity amid the fog of hyperbole–a rare and wonderful thing. Thank you Mr. Bremmer.

I wonder if analysts fully comprehend the depth of not only Germany’s commitment, but the depth of the EU’s commitment to their monetary and eventual political union.

What is at stake is their system, their new post-WWII political and social contract to avoid war and build a lasting, prosperous egalitarian society. This commitment goes to the very character of Europe and they will not crack.

Chancellor Merkel came up out of East Germany, she lived the Reunification, she understands the value of the system the Germans have built. Never, not ever will Germany abandon their grand vision, especially now when it has been proven the best political system to balance civil and market needs.

By: scythe Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:40:04 +0000 Thanks for the article, its candour has provided a measure of balance to the usual mendacious media offerings fed by greed and gloating.

By: robb1 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:18:07 +0000 Ian, simply put is like the “dollarization” of Argentina years ago… and we all know how it ended.

Considering that each of the PIGS cannot print their own uncontrolled amount of Euros, it is obvious they would be better off printing their own “old” currency and dealing with their own exchange rate and related inflation.

By: MohamedMalleck Wed, 14 Sep 2011 19:48:55 +0000 Unfortunately, what the peripherals have done so far is only applying reasonable macro-economic stabilisation policies (and even that, they are doing very, very late in the day!). What is really reuired is structural adjustment policies — what the IMF and World Bank have long been peddling to the now-emerging countries as SECALs (Sectoral Adjustment Loans/Programmes) and SALs (Structural Adjustment Loans/Programmes). What shape would these SALs and SECALs take? For one thing, the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU has long, long been inappropraite, with the peripherals getting subsidies that they thought could last forever even as the global demand/supply equation for food was overhauled by the emergence of China and India, with Argentina quick to cash-in on the bonanza and the peripherals were unprepared. Secondly the dramatic transformation of the energy market and the related transport infrastructure situation went badly out of sync with the mindset of the peripherals, whose political leaders allowed themselves to be drawn in the logic of war of NATO and its sateliite countries. Meanwhile, the same disconnect of the peripherals’ (and the Eurozone’s) financial sector from a changed international payments-settlement dynamic became more acute, without the policy-makers reacting timeously and intelligently. And the diminished role of the Euro as a means of payment-settlement and of forex reserve went unnoticed by those same policy-makers. It will be hard, even with good will from Germany, to reverse the unfavourable dynamic that these policy failures have allowed to develop so far.