In today’s referendum, the Greek people voted overwhelmingly to reject the bailout offer that was presented to them by the intransigent “troika” of the IMF, EC, and ECB. With more than half the votes counted nationwide, the NO votes led the YES votes by about 60% to 40%. This result also represents a vote of confidence for the Syriza coalition government and for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who, amidst scathing attacks by troika leaders, had urged Greeks to reject the offer.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is now calling for Greece to be expelled from the eurozone. That is not likely to happen any time soon, but if it did, Greece would be the better for it. So long as the Greek government continues to balance its budget it might well be able to issue a domestic currency without inflation. It might also encourage private measures to provide domestic liquidity. Private currencies spent into circulation by trusted issuers on the basis of goods and services that are in regular demand, and mutual credit clearing associations of businesses have historically been shown to be effective in providing exchange media and alleviating economic hardship, especially when official currencies are in short supply.
Looking with sympathy on the Greece of today I can’t help loving her as the Greece of ancient times and feel gratitude to her great history. We, Europeans, are all indebted to that small corner of the world. She has presented to us so much! So, why not back her now?! Oh you, Europe, do not be so miserably stingy!
“So long as the Greek government continues to balance its budget it might well be able to issue a domestic currency without inflation.”
‘continues to balance its sudget ?’ – Surely it is the inability of the Greek State to balance its budget over many, many years that got it into this mess in the first place?
“It might also encourage private measures to provide domestic liquidity.”
Well, one can only hope. Governments however tend not to be too keen on such solutions.
Personally I still just can’t see the Greeks being expelled from anything at all, although I agree that they would actually be the better for it. The EU is, first and foremost, a political project not an economic one. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the current Greek government is very much in favour of the EU as a political entity and in reality has no desire at all to go down a path leading to the reintroduction of the drachma. In effect then, they have called a bluff, have lost, but are not prepared to follow matters to the logical conclusion of repudiation of the debt.
IMHO, unless there is a remarkable turnaround in events, history will view the current Greek government as one of the most incompetent set of charlatans and hucksters ever to seize the reigns of power in a European country.
Peter, i think it’s much too early to pass judgement on the Greek government. They are up against the most powerful syndicate ever in the world.