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United Daily News: Greece's debt tragedy

United Daily News: Greece's debt tragedy

More than 61 percent of Greek voters rejected previous austerity demands by the country's creditors in a referendum on Sunday. This was an attempt by the Greek people to end a five-year austerity tragedy in Greece, but whether this will lead to a bigger tragedy is a question hard to answer. What can be certain is that Greece's debt will not simply disappear. The spendthrift Greek government is largely responsible for the country's debt problems. But the ill-conceived euro system is another major reason why the crisis has spiraled out of control. Over the past five years, Greece's economy has declined 25 percent due to one austerity agreement after another. Now, more than 60 percent of Greek voters have expressed their opposition to austerity, but what if the European Union does not compromise? First, Greece will likely be forced to exit the eurozone. It is not something the Greek people wanted even though they rejected the European Union's austerity plan, and they are in fact afraid of this scenario. But unless each side takes a step backward, such a nightmare will be inevitable. Second, Greece should offer the first compromise. The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should stop engaging in brinkmanship and instead put forth a strategy that allows a win-win scenario between Greece and the European Union. Third, the European Union should keep calm and continue to negotiate with the Greek government. An exit of Greece from the eurozone will definitely impact the euro. And an exit of Greece will set a bad example for those countries that are enduring austerity measures. If the two sides hold talks again, they should include a new way of thinking. With new debt piled onto old debt, Greece will never be able to pay off its obligations, and there should be a debt reduction plan. Some people also think that Greece needs funds to invest in increasing productivity to allow the country to be reborn. (Editorial abstract -- July 7, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-27 19:31 GMT+08:00