Greece crisis – Europe has learned

Greece Smart by crisis

An important news threatens to drown in the noise of the asylum dispute: This Thursday, Greece should be released into economic freedom. After eight long years of nocturnal rescue attempts, bad words, broken promises, German austerity dictatorships and Greek suffering, a little edifying chapter in the young history of the Eurozone is slammed. All 19 euro countries will be independent again. And, what is particularly important for the future, the decisive lesson has been drawn.

Attempts had been made to solve the Greek crisis by trial and error because there was no better solution. Much has been tried, most discarded. It is no coincidence that Germany and France, just as they grant Athens their sovereignty again, present a reform agenda for the monetary union that renounces austerity. Saving alone does not make a troubled country stand up, it will soon need reforms and financial support, so the message of Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron can be summarized. It can be read like a confession of guilt. All the proposals suggest that a history of suffering such as the Greek one should not be repeated, which was accompanied by mass unemployment, pension cuts, economic decline and constant new elections.

Europe has learned a few things: Saving alone does not bring a troubled country to its feet

It applies the old knowledge: Who wants to drive a different course, must realign the tax. Therefore, it is right that Merkel and Macron want to rebuild the euro zone in such a way that it can react quickly and unbureaucratically in the future. They want to create a budget for the Eurozone, which helps governments in bad times to invest in education and training or in keeping with age. If a country unexpectedly gets into trouble, as it did in the financial crisis Ireland and Spain, short-term loans with a modest reform requirement should help alleviate the consequences. In addition, another safety net for savings deposits is provided.


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Like the CSU, it is now possible to complain that they are basically only other European pots of money. And that this is any incentive for reform is taken. However, those who argue in this way must also ask themselves the opposite question: If the Greek crisis had become so dramatic for the citizens and so expensive for the lenders, would one have already had the opportunity to counteract this, which the new money pots offer? Certainly not.

If there is anything fundamental to criticize, it is the fact that it took so long for the Euro-rescuers to wake up; especially those in Germany. Angela Merkel, the only reigning politician who was instrumental in the process from the very beginning, has come a long way from her beginnings in 2010 when she demanded in Brussels to withdraw voting rights from states beyond their means. Or the loan commitments for Athens postponed, because they wanted to win only the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia – which went wrong. She was also the one who put through a haircut for banks and insurers, which in consequence brought other euro states such as Italy in the trouble, because the safe believed government bonds were no longer safe.

Greece has earned a leap of faith

It is not without irony that, even in the Greek crisis, cooperation with Paris was very close, albeit in a different way. France always jumped to the side of Athens when it came to preventing the worst. Remember the summer of 2015, when it came to the showdown between Berlin and Paris. Germany demanded the exclusion of Greece from the euro. France vetoed. Merkel came out face-to-face because she allegedly enforced harsh conditions with the Greek government on a dramatic night last night. For example, a privatization fund, which should be filled with 50 billion euros. And the financial contribution of the International Monetary Fund.

Both positions Merkel silently vacated. Nevertheless, Greece is still in the euro, the country will end the third loan program. Is that all good? No, this conclusion would be negligent. Greece spent half of its life with the euro under the thumb of lenders. The first steps to freedom will be tedious, one does not know if investors trust the country to be solid on its own. This is also clear to the lenders, which is why they provide Athens with a financial cushion. It will be enough to pay all financial liabilities until 2022, ie beyond the next federal election. You can criticize that again. Or interpret it as an advance of trust. Athens, for its part, can prove that it deserves it.

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