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At this point, I bring up the question of the 'unexpected' survival of the Euro.

Years ago at the height of the crisis, I was surprised to see many ET regulars agree with Anglo-Saxon analysts like Paul Krugman that a break-up of the Euro or at least a Grexit is imminent. I don't live in the Eurozone so I felt unsure about my judgement and kept silent, but I thought that getting out of the Euro would seem such a step back for a significant part of the population that they will tolerate the austerity measures even if those hurt them and prove to make no economic sense at all. (I lived through enough austerity programmes to be cynical about how much can be forced down people's throats.) As I remember the concern over the Euro was then indeed the key factor in ND's late resurgence and Syriza's failure to win the last elections.

This might prove key again this time: will the introduction of a new currency be an option Syriza can offer to voters? On one hand, there might be many who realised that they would have been better advised to take the risk of Euro exit in 2010 and vote for Syriza to let them play that hand now. On the other hand, with the crisis appearing to be bottoming out, people might have become more risk-averse again. (I emphasize again that this has nothing to do with economic realities or the actual relative merits of the different policy choices, but public perceptions and groupthink.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:47:55 AM EST
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In theory, Greece could exit the Euro if it has a primary surplus. Which it does since earlier this year. However... Greek statistics are back: Primary deficit presented as surplus, with Eurostat's seal of approval (April 24, 2014)
Eurostat has just approved the Greek statistical service's (ELSTAT) figures on the general government's primary surplus of around 0.8% of GDP. Were that true, it would have been of great significance. Not because Greek debt would have, magically, become sustainable but, rather, because it would have meant that the Greek government would have acquired great leverage in its negotiations on the impending restructuring of Greece's public debt. Put simply, it would mean that the government could, at least in theory, suspend debt repayments to the troika while the negotiations are continuing , without having to renege on its payments of salaries, pensions, and suppliers. Alas, the Greek government's 2013 primary surplus is a statistical mirage. Moreover, it is a mirage purposely concocted by Eurostat and ELSTAT under the watchful, and conniving, eyes of Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels. Mindful of how weighty these charges are, I list my evidence immediately below.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:58:54 AM EST
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