Beware the hype that trumpets this as a great success story, a tribute to solidarity and a commonsense approach that has restored economic stability and prevented Greece from being the first country to leave the euro. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Greece has been a colossal failure. It is a tale of incompetence, of dogma, of needless delay and of the interests of banks being put before the needs of people. And there will be long-term consequences . . .

It is no real defence for those who so avidly embraced austerity to point to the return of growth as evidence that they were right all along. All economies recover eventually: the question is whether a less damaging approach could have been adopted. To which the answer is yes. The recovery from the deep downturn of 2008-09 would have been faster and more sustainable had different policies been followed.

. . . the old social contract between leaders and people has been stretched almost to breaking point. Voters once believed that if they worked hard, they would earn a decent wage and the state would look after them if times were hard. If that belief no longer holds, what happened in Greece these past eight years has much to do with it.

Larry Elliott, “Greece's bailout is finally at an end – but has been a failure”, in theGuardian.com ; London : Guardian News and Media Limited, 19 august 2018 (excerpt La Litera información)


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