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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The European Union seems to have adopted a new rule: if a plan is not working, stick to it....But their strategy of denial—refusing to accept that Greece cannot pay its debts—has become untenable...
An orderly restructuring [for which the Economist advocates] would be risky. Doing it now would crystallise losses for banks and taxpayers across Europe. Nor would it, by itself, right Greece. The country’s economy is in deep recession and it is running a primary budget deficit (ie, before interest payments). Even if Greece restructures its debt and embraces the reforms demanded by the EU and IMF, it will need outside support for some years. That is bound to bring more fiscal-policy control from Brussels, turning the euro zone into a more politically integrated club. Even if that need not mean a superstate with its own finance ministry, the EU’s leaders have not started to explain the likely ramifications of all this to voters. But at least Greece and the markets would have a plan with a chance of working.
No matter what fictions they concoct this week, the euro zone’s leaders will sooner or later face a choice between three options: massive transfers to Greece that would infuriate other Europeans; a disorderly default that destabilises markets and threatens the European project; or an orderly debt restructuring. This last option would entail a long period of external support for Greece, greater political union and a debate about the institutions Europe would then need. But it is the best way out for Greece and the euro. That option will not be available for much longer. Europe’s leaders must grab it while they can.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland Europe --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010 France Germany Greece Portugal Spain
Next entry (above): Marta Andreasen—The EU’s Greek Revisionism
Previous entry (below): (FT) Flight from money market funds exposed to EU banks
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