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[Joseph E. Stiglitz] European Union’s last act?

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Ph.D

By Joseph E. Stiglitz (original source The Korea Herald)

“The European Union leaders continue to play a game of brinkmanship with the Greek government. Greece has met its creditors’ demands far more than halfway. Yet Germany and Greece’s other creditors continue to demand that the country sign on to a program that has proven to be a failure, and that few economists ever thought could, would or should be implemented.

The swing in Greece’s fiscal position from a large primary deficit to a surplus was almost unprecedented, but the demand that the country achieve a primary surplus of 4.5 percent of gross domestic product was unconscionable. Unfortunately, at the time that the “troika” ? the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund ? first included this irresponsible demand in the international financial program for Greece, the country’s authorities had no choice but to accede to it.”

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