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The Greek Debt Crisis. A Greek or a European Problem?
- John Sakkas, Department of Mediterranean Studies, University of the Aegean, Rhodes
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Within this paper I intend to provide an analysis and assessment of the Greek sovereign debt crisis, and to examine alternative solutions to the problem. In order to put the current fiscal predicament of Greece in perspective and discuss how the Greek debt crisis might possibly be resolved, I will first provide a detailed account of how the sovereign debt of Greece was accumulated. I will then proceed with an account of how the international financial crisis led to a destabilization of Greece’s sovereign debt, and with an assessment of the adjustment programs that have been applied since 2010. The crucial question is whether the current program is sufficient for the resolution of Greece’s debt crisis, a crisis which is not only economic but also structural. How the Greek political system took shape after 1974 and what relations did it develop with its citizens? How the political elites managed to dominate in the so called ’state economy’? Why the private sector remained so underdeveloped? Moreover, I will discuss the intentions of the new left-wing government of Greece, their opinions about Europe, and their willingness to implement the measures on a society which already faces a deep humanitarian crisis. I will conclude by referring to the decisive reaction of the EU to the Greek crisis and the prospects for the recovery of the Greek economy. Understanding the nature, scope and depth of the Greek crisis becomes crucial for full evaluating the extent to which the current political and social transformations taking place over recent years will lead to further integration or fragmentation within the EU.