Streams

Greek Austerity and Protest

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Peter Coy, Economics editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, discusses the spending cuts approved by Greece's Parliament and how protestors there have reacted to demands from European lenders.

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Peter Coy
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Comments [10]

Germany having been over punished after WWI lead to tremendous unrest, scape-goating, WWII, and horrible atrocities. I think the caller was pointing to unforseen possibilities that could arise from beating the Greeks into the ground in this instance. ...Not sure how that turned into "feeble sounding" "jew baiter/hater commenters." Listening with an agenda will stop you from hearing what was actually said, every time.

Feb. 18 2012 06:49 PM
JEW

Robert Plautz -- I just assumed that was the actual voice of what one of those jew baiter/hater commenters more often found crawling all over the NYTimes.com website comment sections... let's hope the rest of the commenters are as feeble sounding

Feb. 15 2012 04:07 PM
Robert Plautz from New York, N.Y.

What was the remark by a caller who compared the Greece austerity proposals with, if I understood correctly, the "overpunishment" of Germany after World War I and "look how well that turned out." Was that supposed to be tongue in cheek? Versailles brought us World War II! What was the caller's point?

Feb. 15 2012 10:44 AM
Alice from Park Slope, Brooklyn

With global climate change descending upon us, with our desire to "get off foreign oil," I've been wondering why no one has suggested we (or a private entity, or even China) invest in solar energy infrastructure for Greece. Obviously Greece is a country with quite a bit of sun. Rather than imposing austerity measures that will only push Greece into greater poverty, we could be helping Greece become a leader in the field of sustainable energy -- and make huge profits from our investments.

Feb. 15 2012 10:44 AM
jaime

When You think of it, maybe we should just buy the country and throw the greeks out. Nice real estate, good climate, but, the Greek people can not be trusted. The funny thing is if the Greek population would just follow their own laws, they could pay their bills. The sad truth is that if the United States population would just follow our own tax laws the same truth would apply to us

Feb. 15 2012 10:43 AM
Brian from BKLYN

Nobody explains what cutting the minimum wage will leave Greek workers with. If you divide the current monthly minimum wage by a 40 hour week it leaves workers with 5.74 an hour. Now the EU proposes a 22% reduction in that rate.

Feb. 15 2012 10:39 AM
RJ from prospect hts

What about the physical and psychological "wounds" of the Greek people? Don't those need to be "cauterized"? It's one thing to identify waste in a culture and another to move a culture to a healthier--for the people as well as the international economy--financing structure.

It's remarkable that he uses "individual homeowner" for the "moral hazard" argument--hasn't that been most relevant, and most identified and debated about, to financial companies and banks, those "too big to fail"?

Feb. 15 2012 10:39 AM
Hugh

Have to echo what Peter Coy said about Daron Acemoglu. The book Coy mentions isn't out generally yet, but Acemoglu has authored and co-authored many papers on these issues (along with Simon Johnson, James Robinson, and others). He and Dani Rodrik would both be great guests.

Feb. 15 2012 10:38 AM
Hugh

It cannot be overstated how much Greeks see themselves as being re-occupied by Germany. The overwhelming force behind ramming down Greek throats the draconian austerity measures is Angela Merkel and Germany.

The most striking feature of the terms imposed on Greece is the extent to which the priority is placed on protecting creditors at the expense of people. It is much like the bailout of Wall Street where the interests of Wall Street billionaires were given priority over 300 million Americans.

Feb. 15 2012 10:34 AM
Hugh

ABC reported a couple of days ago that the suicide rate in Greece is up 40% over last year.

Unemployment among Greeks under age 25 is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50%.

This is a recipe for civil war or a military coup.

Feb. 15 2012 10:31 AM

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