Thursday, January 7, 2010

The failure(s) of Europe

I’ve already covered most of the East European countries, the US, UK and Spain, as well as, of course, my birth nation Sweden. However, there are several other fun places at the moment. Let us take a little look at Greece as another example.
Greece has massive debt problems and has been said to represent the most serious test of the Euro since the common currency came into existence 11 years ago. That some statement and says a lot of the dire situation for the Greeks.

The public debt is 90% of GDP but they still managed to throw a 28 billion euro stimulus crap into the fire. This while Greece is not self sufficient, and has to depend on external finance to fund a current account deficit of around 15% of GDP. Government debt ratings have been downgraded in Greece by all three major international rating agencies, and the market seem fixed on bullying the Greeks into submission, this according to the mainstream media that sees ‘the market’ as the main culprit for some reason.

There are fears that further market attacks on Greece could have a knock-on effect on Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain, whose economies are all also in trouble, and which account for 36% of the total European debt.

The Greek government has proposed a cut in public finances and other measures to counter their decline. However, the consequence of this is more than likely much more of the large-scale social conflict that has been hitting the headlines now and again. They are doomed if they don’t and they are doomed if they do.

Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and his band of marry bandits has no leverage at all. There is no way to raise more money, they cannot borrow, they cannot print, and they cannot change interest rates, partly thanks to being member of the EURO-zone. The screws are very tight and whatever the course of action, upheaval is to be expected.

So what do the future hold? Well, as we’ve seen in the Baltic States, Ukraine and Iceland we can make a pretty good guess. However, the Greeks, as well as many others, are facing their uphill struggle when the rest of the world (well, most of it anyway) are about to go apeshit at the same time. Things are looking so horrible at the moment in so many countries, there’s so many things that have been propped up, inflated and looking more ghastly per the minute that when that famous fan get hit we are going to need to look in the book of revelation to find proper adjectives.

The Greeks may have started down that path before many of us, but they can at least comfort themselves that the rest of us sheople are soon to follow.

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