Despite the Greek economy suffering over 20 % unemployment and 48% youth unemployment ,the European union negotiators have persuaded the Greek political leaders in the coalition government led by technocrats to accept further rollbacks including cuts in government spending amounting to 3 billion euros, reduction in the minimum wage by some 20 % and cuts in defense spending.
The only positive news in this announcement is that politicians were successful in exempting low income pensioners from cuts in their pensions. The fact that thereby for the time being Greece will be able to meet its bond payments because of further transfers from Europe is also perhaps positive news. There are many who might argue that defaulting on its debt and leaving the Euro and returning to the drachma might be a better outcome in the long run for Greece. The economy is now into its fifth straight year of deep recession and it is an absolute guarantee that the austerity being imposed in exchange for the bailout money will not solve Greece’s problems.
I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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