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Holding Spendthrifts Responsible

Posted on March 1 2010 8:00 pm
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Vasko Kohlmayer

“Greece on Friday unleashed a fierce attack on its European Union partners,” reported the Financial Times. The outburst was occasioned by the country’s rapidly deteriorating fiscal situation. In a televised message to his cabinet, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou accused EU countries of sending “mixed messages about our country… that have created a psychology of looming collapse which could be self-fulfilling.”

This is a strange way of looking at the situation. For one thing, the “looming collapse” is not a psychological phenomenon, as the Greek prime minister tries to imply. It is a cold inescapable reality delineated by hard figures. Running budget deficits of nearly 13 percent GDP and carrying public debt of more than 110 percent, the Greek government has run the country into a fiscal hole.

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