Greece would be back in the news, if the US media hadn’t lost its collective mind in November. Grexit? Greece again on the brink as debt crisis threatens break with EU
Greece has an unsustainable debt load. They have creditors, and want relief (need relief) from those creditors. But they don’t want to face the long-term hard choices. (They are politicians, and focused on the next election cycle – which for Greece could come sooner than expected.)
Once again, time is of the essence. Shored up by a third EU-led bailout, Athens was told this week that further rescue funds would not be forthcoming until it concluded a compliance review of terms attached to the €86bn (£74bn) aid package. In July Greece faces debt repayments of €10.5bn – once again raising the spectre of default because the country just does not have the money.
One of the largest creditors is the government of Germany. Angela Merkel faces her own elections in September. And the people of Germany are listening to the folks that say they should stop funding Athens. So, in order to hold onto power, she may do what she said she would not do, stop funding Greece.
Ahead of Germany’s general election in September, Berlin’s finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has also raised the stakes with growing criticism of Greece – a tactic that has proved popular with voters who might otherwise support Germany’s far right AfD party. Earlier this week Bild, the mass-selling newspaper, stoked passions further by suggesting the German government was warming to the idea of Greece leaving the euro – a notion Schauble has openly supported in the past.
Trump has tweeted in the past that Greece is wasting its time in the Euro, and should leave. (Which has been my position all along.)