NO MATTER which way one looks at the dire political and financial situation in Greece, there is a clear message. In effect, if you want to use someone else’s currency, you must conform to the rules of the dominant economic power that controls the currency, which in the eurozone is, of course, Germany.
In other words, if Greece wishes to remain in the euro, it must relinquish part sovereignty and full fiscal control of their country. The idea that a populist party can take power whilst owing billions to creditors in a “shared” currency on a promise to independently end austerity is laughable at best and downright dishonest at worst.
What is equally clear are the Greek lessons which should be learned by the Nationalists in Scotland – as the only way Scotland could be fully independent would be to have our own currency and be outside the European Union. Given our deficit to GDP is nearly double the rest of the UK and much higher than Greece, it would make our present austerity look like a minor inconvenience compared to the measures demanded by our creditors if we had voted for independence and secured EU membership, .
Consequently, this makes Nicola Sturgeon’s threat to trigger yet another referendum rather ridiculous if the rest of the UK voted to leave the European Union whist Scotland voted to remain a member. My guess is that the recent events in Greece and our current deficit will make the SNP hierarchy desperate to avoid another referendum and to try “love bombing” the English instead.
Murtle Den Road
Bruce Crichton (Letters, 18 July) equates imposing tax increases, such as VAT, on Greece’s economy as tantamount to “state fundamentalism.” He fails to mention public expenditure cuts, pensions, benefits and significantly “selling off” public assets.
Who would disagree that the IMF’s view of economic policies is considerably different from its “founding fathers”? It can’t be gainsaid that for over 30 years or more, “free market ideology” has prevailed.
Hence the idea is that “severe austerity” will restore financial confidence and trust in a Greek market economy.
A “Keynesian IMF” would put “full employment and economic growth” as the main goals of policies. Arguably “Keynesian pragmatism” wouldn’t rule out necessary tax increases but would recognise a balance between the market and government.
Old Chapel Walk
Germany has decided to back the plan to invest another £60 billion into the failing Greek finances rather than face the prospect of Greece being the first country to drop out of the euro.
According to Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, this plan is “bound to fail”. The debt mountain amassed by Greece is unsustainable and all the additional taxes being forced on the people of Greece will only serve to make their lives more miserable. It is putting off the inevitable.
DENNIS FORBES GRATTAN