Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Are there obvious comparison countries with similar economies (maybe in the Balkans?) who have steered clear of the Greek problems by not being in the Eurozone? I think that kind of example would help clarify some of your explanations of the problem.

(Or maybe I just need more sleep and then more caffeine before I re-read them...)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 12th, 2010 at 10:59:46 AM EST
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maybe in the Balkans?

Maybe Central/Eastern Europe outside the Euro?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 12th, 2010 at 11:03:10 AM EST
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That country would need to have an economy that was dominated by something totally external (shipping) and be a big tourist destination. In other words, that country doesn't exist.

Please don't take this as wishing Greece left the eurozone (I hope beyond hope that it doesn't happen) but Greece with a devalued drachma would do very well because of currency conversion from shipping income and rise in tourism as a cheaper destination.

Greeks in the country would experience less of a ruckus in their lives, but they would once again have a lower standard of living relative to their European peers. But sometimes a lower standard of living isn't so bad when you're eating well, have a stable job, etc. Greece would not be backsliding either since tourism and shipping aren't going anywhere for the near future. This would only mean that Greece is giving up the dream of becoming the next Hong Kong. With EU help, is that in the cards?

by Upstate NY on Fri Feb 12th, 2010 at 11:50:24 AM EST
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