Professor Peter Bofinger, one of Angela Merkel’s council of “wise men”, says that whilst he has some sympathy for the Greek’s position, he believes that austerity is not the answer to Greece’s problems. Instead, he suggests that the most important action is to develop a grow trajectory for Greece which is realistic.
Professor Bofinger goes on to add that if Angela Merkel were running the US economy, the world would be in a depression now.
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Francois Hollande, the current favourite to win France’s presidential race, is telling everyone that growth, and not austerity, is the answer to Europe’s economic woes. As Gideon Rachman in the FT points out, this is easier said than done.
“If building great roads and trains were the route to lasting prosperity, Greece and Spain would be booming. The past 30 years have seen a huge splurge in infrastructure spending, often funded by the EU. The Athens metro is excellent. The AVE fast trains in Spain are a marvel. But this kind of spending has done very little to change the fundamental problems that now plague both Greece and Spain – in particular, youth unemployment.”
As such, “Hollande’s talk of growth is not an alternative to austerity”. Click here to read on.
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