BBC WORLD RADIO SERVICE, WORLD: Greek repayments to the IMF

The interview was taken place with: An Economist, a political analyst, and myself.


Greece slipped deeper into its financial abyss after the bailout program it has relied on for five years expired at midnight Tuesday and the country failed to repay a loan due to the International Monetary Fund, deepening fears over whether it will be able to remain in the eurozone.
With its failure to repay the roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF, Greece became the first developed country to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.
After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference late Tuesday night that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline.

My questions and answers during the interview:

Question: “What now for Greece following the failure of the IMF payment?”

Reply: “Greece, being the first developed nation in the world to miss a payment to the IMF, was quite frankly an embarrassment.  However, its not just the embarrassment that goes for Greece, but also the European Union and Central Bank,ECB, which prides its self on the notion of “stability”.
The European Union and its institutions should have done more in regards to financial aid for Greece, maybe in the form of a haircut or a reduction in interest payments on previous loans given to them, to allow for more breathing space and to give a chance for growth and employment.

Furthermore, given that Greece faces tough economic times, its worth saying that the out-of-touch political class don’t help the situation. The amateurish politics of Syriza and Tsipras not providing clarity frustrates not only Europe’s leaders but the Greek people that are still waiting for a solution.”

Question: “So what do you think should happen now with Greece? Should they default, or stay with the Eurozone currency?”

Reply: “This is the question that to be honest, I myself can’t even answer as both sides are to blame.

Lets be clear… Greece leaving the Euro currency will be a catastrophe for Greece in the short-term. However, for Europe, I think it will be beneficial as lets not forget Greece now makes up less than 2% of Euro GDP, and yet causes problems in all areas. So what do I think? Well should we leave the next day, stocks will probably improve, Europe will progress and Greece will be left behind. But for Greece, this may be an opportunity to take control of its own problems, set rates for its currency through its own independent Central Bank, and maybe get growth back on track and subsequently fix its own economic problems.
However, the short term is the problem. The loss of confidence from
investors, and from nations, that will struggle to trust Greece in the future will haunt us forever and so for generations to come.

So really the real question here is “Do we take on our duties and obligations as a nation towards Europe and our creditors, or do we turn our back on our friends that once fed us, and try and fix our own problems?”

Greece needs Europe, and its increasingly becoming fact that Greece needs Europe, and not the other way round. Hence Greece should stay in Europe, take tough decisions for the economy through austerity, and come out as true succeeders,  and with that become an example for future generations that taking the medicine can lead to a better future.”


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