I am not an economist, but I have been following Greece closely for the last 22 years, ever since I traveled about the country for 10 weeks in 1993, and I spent more time there in 2009. I do have some opinions about what is going on with the Greek economy and the new government that has just taken over. As a part of the Eurozone, Greece no longer has its own money, the drachma, but is on the euro. The Eurozone is dominated by Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and the single individual with the most influence is Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor since 2005 and the de facto leader of the European Union. Merkel has been adamant about Greece incorporating harsh austerity measures that have brought Greece’s economy to its knees. Greece has a lot of problems because of corruption and nepotism as well as a business structure that is certainly outdate for our time.
But the new government has vowed to put the country on a different course to provide a brighter economic future. The new Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has vowed to be aggressive with his new policies.
The economist who seems to have the best record in predicting what is going on in economies throughout the world is Nobel laureate Paul Krugman who writes an op-ed column for the New York Times and also has a blog there. Click here for his opinion of what Greece should be doing. Here’s a link to his latest op-ed column on “Ending Greece’s Nightmare.”
This is a difficult time for Greece as well as the Eurozone. I’m hoping this new government can pull it off and return Greece to a country where the people are not suffering as they have the last few years. Unemployment is around 25 percent. I do believe Germans have a tendency to be overly ethnocentric. Greece will never be German, and Angela Merkel should wake up to the fact that her policies have not been good for Greece, and they have also not good for Europe in the current economic situation. The Eurozone could unravel.
Here’s how The Guardian sees the different scenarios playing out: