Greece, tragedy or a marathon!

It has been quiet for the holiday period, so now all the politicians are back, it must be time for a summit or a crucial meeting.  The subject matter for the meeting is not something new, it will be concerning extra money to go to Greece.

The debate will be between the hawks, ( Germany) and the doves,(France). The decision will of course be put back until further meetings, simply continuing the agony for all sides.  But surely, the real debate here not about Greece at all, it is growth versus austerity.  We are all aware that the Greek economy was, how can I phrase it, generous to a fault.  However, this is a fact that most people are unaware of concerning Greece.

Pressure from the EU and the IMF has forced Greece to slash expenditure and raised taxes worth the equivalent of 20 percent of GDP , which dwarfs even what Ireland went through. And that is not all, this has happened in a very severe recession.

It is not just in Southern Europe where the debate continues about growth & austerity. In the Netherlands, a general election is rapidly approaching, where the anti austerity party, the Socialists, are currently running neck and neck with Mark Rutte’s  VVD, Christian Democrat coalition. Mr Rutte, has been a strong supporter of Chancellor Merkel, so the possibility of  Germany losing support from The Netherlands for austerity packages, could well reflect on the overall decision on Greece. Everything in Europe is interwoven, no matter what any politician might say to the contrary.

So as the Summer comes to an end, Europe has to look at a far wider picture that just Greece and Spain and Italy. The question they have to answer is simple. Is it still more austerity, which will increase the chances of sovereign default, or will they be brave, and go for some  growth package to enable countries to come out of the recession.

So, what started off as a tragedy, ended up as a marathon, it could only happen in Greece.

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