The Greek government has rejected the latest austerity and reform proposals from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF. It has declared a national referendum, scheduled for Sunday, and urges a "No" vote. "We ask you to reject it with all the might of your soul, with the greatest margin possible," says Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Greek banks, which have been hit by an accelerating run, are to remain closed until after the vote. Yet rumors swirl of behind-the-scenes talk and a last minute deal.
don’t yet know what lies ahead—default? Exit from the euro? Exit from
the EU? Some kind of muddling through with a parallel currency and a
declaration that any default is “only technical”? Answers to those
questions will come only after Greek voters make a choice.
here are some program notes and links to background material that
should help place the Greek crisis in the context of similar episodes
How Tough has Greek Austerity Really Been?
hear Greeks tell it, their country has undergone a deeper slump and
tougher austerity measures than any other European country. Some of
their EU partners, on the other hand, portray the Greek government as
unwilling to take moderate, common-sense measures that everyone else has
already successfully implemented. What do the numbers say?
published at the time of the elections that brought the radical left
Syriza party to power, shows that the Greek perception is largely
correct. The slump in Greece, as measured by the gap between current and
full-employment levels of GDP, has been catastrophic, a plunge of more
than 20 percentage points. At the same time, budget cuts and tax
increases have moved the best indicator of austerity—the underlying
primary budget balance—nearly 20 percentage points toward surplus. Those
movements far exceed what has happened in the United States or in any
other European country. Read more