Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Except he wouldn't get it because Greece isn't Ireland.

I keep saying this, and you keep not hearing it: Ireland's economy is fundamentally in reasonable shape: favourable demographics and infrastructure. The achievement of austerity was stopping it growing - its almost certainly made measures like debt/GDP ratios and unemployment much worse than was necessary in a world where the place wasn't being run by econo-religious maniacs.

The Greek economy is fundamentally fucked: poor demographics and crappy infrastructure. All austerity is doing there is killing people.

The fundamental difference is that Ireland spent enough EU money wisely to build an infrastructure to support growth. Greece did not: too much of it ended up being siphoned off by corruption. Obviously lots of EU money was skimmed in Ireland too, but it's the difference between 30% and 60%.

What Ireland needed was enough support to rebuild its banks and tide us over through a rough patch. Instead we got manic cutting that caused a five year depression and what, 16% unemployment at peak?

The excuse that the government were too stupid, too clueless, too craven or too powerless to challenge the maniacs isn't a very good one.

Even now we've ended up paying as much in interest on loans as we spend on education while we're cutting support teachers from vulnerable kids and telling the sick elderly that they're going to have to pay more, faster for nursing home support.

Allowing the economy to take its head out of the bucket of ice you've been holding it in doesn't deserve praise or thanks. Grateful electorate my arse.

Greece needs help to reorient itself and it needs help rooting out corruption and building infrastructure that should have been built over the last twenty years. More austerity will just kill it.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:27:22 AM EST
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