Tri rešitve za Grčijo: the good, the disastrous, and a compromise

The Economist ima v članku Go ahead, Angela, make my day (spet) zelo razumen predlog rešitve grškega vprašanja. Najbolj razumna rešitev je seveda, da Trojka naredi odplačevanje dolgov Grčije znosno (delni odpis, podaljšanje obdobja odplačila) v zameno, da Tsipras izvede strukturne reforme (trg dela, deregulacija gospodarstva, boj proti korupciji). Glede na trdoto nemških stališč in potrebno soglasje prav vseh parlamentov držav evrskega območja glede olajšanja dolžniškega bremena Grčije, zna biti ta razumen predlog politično “prekratek”. Sledi seveda “dizaster scenarij” z grškim izhodom in postopnim sledenjem ostalih perifernih držav. Če bo Merklova še naprej trdovratno zavračala vse predloge glede omilitve varčevanja, zagona gospodarstva in zaustavitve deflacije, skupna valuta evro ne more preživeti. Izgubili bodo vsi, predvsem pa Nemčija.

Hence this newspaper’s solution: get Mr Tsipras to junk his crazy socialism and to stick to structural reforms in exchange for debt forgiveness—either by pushing the maturity of Greek debt out even further or, better still, by reducing its face value. Mr Tspiras could vent his leftist urges by breaking up Greece’s cosy protected oligopolies and tackling corruption. The combination of macroeconomic easing with microeconomic structural reform might even provide a model for other countries, like Italy and even France.

A very logical dream—until you wake up and remember that Mr Tsipras probably is a crazy leftwinger and Mrs Merkel can barely accept the existing plans for QE. Hence the second, disastrous outcome: Grexit. Optimists are right that it would now be less painful than in 2012, but it would still hurt.

In Greece it would lead to bust banks, onerous capital controls, more loss of income, unemployment even higher than today’s 25% rate—and the country’s likely exit from the European Union. The knock-on effects of Grexit on the rest of Europe would also be tough. It would immediately trigger doubts over whether Portugal, Spain and even Italy should or could stay in the euro. The euro’s new protections, the banking union and a bail-out fund, are, to put it mildly, untested.

So in the end, Greece will probably force Europe to make some hard choices. With luck it will be towards the good outcome outlined above. Greek voters may be living in a fool’s paradise if they think Mr Tsipras can deliver what he says, but the Germans too have to look at the consequences of their obstinacy. Five years after the onset of the euro crisis, southern euro-zone countries remain stuck with near-zero growth and blisteringly high unemployment. Deflation is setting in, so debt burdens rise despite fiscal austerity. When policies are delivering such bad outcomes, a revolt by Greek voters was both predictable and understandable.

If Mrs Merkel continues to oppose all efforts to kick-start growth and banish deflation in the euro zone, she will condemn Europe to a lost decade even more debilitating than Japan’s in the 1990s. That would surely trigger a bigger populist backlash than Greece’s, right across Europe. It is hard to see how the single currency could survive in such circumstances. And the biggest loser if it did not would be Germany itself.

Vir: The Economist

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