Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

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Greece is a perfect example of how to turn a bad economic situation into something even worse. As Reuters reports,

Rescue funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund saved Greece from bankruptcy, but the austerity and reform policies the lenders attached as conditions have helped to turn recession into a depression.

As a result, the poverty rate in Greece almost doubled (between 2008 and 2015), rising from 11.2 percent to 22.2 percent.

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And average (per adult) GDP has fallen below what it was three decades ago.

Meanwhile, IMF and European institutions are demanding further austerity measures (equivalent to 2 percent of gross domestic product) before agreeing on a new deal to aid Greece.

Apparently, mainstream economists are trying to shrug off the label of the “dismal science.”

On this side of the Atlantic, we have the spectacle of Martin Feldstein asserting that GDP statistics are deceptive and the economic situation in the United States really is better than it appears.

And then, across the pond, there’s Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s vice president for the euro, arguing things in Greece are just fine. In his view, the Germany-sponsored rescue program “itself is on track. The Greek economy is recovering.”

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It just so happens Dombrovskis was the Prime Minister of Latvia, from 2009 to 2014, who led the imposition of the Draconian austerity program in his home country.

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Meanwhile, unemployment in Greece remains at 23 percent, well above the Eurozone average. And the IMF and European institutions are demanding further austerity measures (equivalent to 2 percent of gross domestic product) before agreeing on a new deal to aid Greece.

It’s as if nothing has been learned in the past eight years—which means the outlook for Greek workers, like those in the United States and Latvia, can only be described as dismal.

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