Greklands överkonsumtion, krisen i ett nötskal 6

Rosa Luxemburgstiftelsens hemsida, engelsk information finnsSaknar du också en enkel introduktion till Greklands finanskris? I en serie inlägg som publiceras här på bloggen diskuteras många av de frågor och påstående som Greklandskrisen givit upphov till. Vanliga påstående granskas och sätts i sitt sammanhang. Texterna är hämtade från «Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks»: 20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis, utgiven av Rosa Luxemburgstiftelsen. Texten utgår från Tysklands roll, men mycket av det förekommer i den tyska diskussionen har förekommit i svensk press också.

«THE GREEKS HAVE BEEN LIVING ABOVE THEIR MEANS»

The facts: For years, the government in Athens has been spending more than it has been bringing in. Between 2000 and 2007, its budget deficit lay between four and seven percent of GDP.

Context: Almost every government «lives above its means», that is, spends more than it brings in. As such, the budget deficit of the German government between 2000 and 2007 was between 1.6% and 4.0 % of economic performance. The problem with Greece was not so much the new debt, but the fact that the financial markets started to speculate against Athens at some point, pushing the interest rates for new loans to an unaffordable level in the process (see Greece has to much debt (tidigare inlägg)). This can also happen to a country without a large deficit, which is shown in the example of Ireland, which did not have deficits but mostly surpluses in its budgets of the past decade – and yet it still fell victim to the financial markets and had to be rescued by the EU and the IMF to the tune of 85 billion euros.

«Germany also has high debts, but we are able to pay them off … because we always save part of our income for a rainy day», the BILD newspaper wrote (1). The BILD is mistaken if it wants to apply this argument to the level of the state. The German government has also run up a net debt situation and has not «saved» in the past. If we look at the economy as a whole, however, there is some truth in it: The German national debt of around 2,000 billion euros is balanced by total assets of around 7,400 billion euros (2) However, these are not «our» assets, but are mainly concentrated in the hands of a few rich people. This would only be of some use to the state, if it had access to these funds – that is, if it taxed them. However, this is not going to happen, as property tax was abolished in 1997.

13 BILD newspaper, 5.3.2010

14 DIW weekly report, 50/2010

Engelsk text: Stephan Kaufmann: «Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks»: 20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis, utgiven av Rosa Luxemburgstiftelsen. Sid 8

Greklands kris är en kris för hela Euro-samarbetet. Om valutan ska vara stabil förutsätter det att de länder Euron vilar på också är stabila. Därför påverkar utvecklingen i Grekland framtiden för hela Euro-samarbetet. Ovanstående text fokuserar på Tysklands roll som är den största aktören inom EMU. Men alla länder inom EMU tvingas ta ställning till hur krisen ska lösas och det finns flera alternativ. Om detta har Erik Bengtsson, skrivet två omfattande inlägg: Grekisk hjärngympa och uppföljande Mer om Europas kris här på bloggen.

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