The following article was published in The Guardian Weekly (05.02.10) by Joseph Stiglitz
Don’t leave Greece to die
Greece has been condemned by European officialdom for its huge deficits. “No government or state can expect from us any special treatment”, comes the warning Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank. But Trichet failed to note there had been a double standard: one for the large and powerful countries , another for the smaller and less powerful. Of course , Trichet may claim there is difference between what Greece and the many other countries that have brokent the limits have done. Greece’s large deficit has implications for the future of the citizens of Greece, but not for the stability of the euro-unlike a similarly large deficit on the part of one of the larger countries.
A large part of Greece’s deficit is the result of the global recession. Unfortunately, European leaders have compounded Greece’s problems. ……..
Instead, they should have welcomed the efforts of Greece’s new government. At least it has come clean about the dishonest accounting of its predecessors…… But Greece’s new prime minister George Papandreou, has always stood for transparent government. Europe should be coming to the assistance of this kind of leader, not making his life more difficult.
Greece is among the poorest of the European family. Part of the basis of the success of the European project is a sense of social solidarity, which entails coming to the assistance of those who are less fortunate. ………
Economic downturns often affect those in the periphery much worse – they are victims of their neighbours failures………….
For the sake of European solidarity and democracy, Europe should support Papandreou’s effort in every way it can, not turn its back on the people of Greece who must be convinced that supporting the government’s austerity measures is in everyone’s best Interest.
Υ.Γ H εφημερίδα Γκάρντιαν είναι πάντα πιο φιλική (λόγω ιδεολογίας) στους κατατρεγμένους αυτού του κόσμου.
P.S. Αt the end of the day, we didn’t kill people but rather ‘money’ ;)
UPDATES : An epic task for Greece by Matina Stevis at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/08/greece-george-papandreou-austerity