Tuesday 6 December 2016

How a Chinese puzzle could enable the Greeks to have the last laugh

Published 08/07/2015 | 02:30

Senior citizens queue up to collect their pensions outside a National Bank of Greece branch in Kotzia Square
Senior citizens queue up to collect their pensions outside a National Bank of Greece branch in Kotzia Square

The other day Enda Kenny speculated aloud that Greece should follow Ireland. Michael Noonan thinks that too. Apparently, they should do what we did and, if Greece did, there'd be no problems.

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Maybe we should examine this proposal because what is on the table for Greece right now makes little sense. Is there an alternative for an inventive Greece - one that might follow Ireland's blueprint?

Before we answer that, let's examine what's on the table for Greece right now. The German/EU offer maintains that the price for staying in the Euro is possibly 10 to 15 years of austerity with no alternative industrial model. There should be no debt forgiveness and there should be years of low to zero growth as the Greeks grind out a meagre existence largely from tourist euros. Because there is no capital, this will occur at a time when Greek tourist assets will plummet and those that are worth something, such as tourist hotels, will be bought off by German and other investors for half nothing.

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