Greece is a symptom of Europe’s crisis

Greece is a symptom of Europe’s crisis

Both sides have been clinging on to the wrong policy choices for far too long.

By Guy Verhofstadt

Let’s first of all recognize that the Greek “conundrum” is a shared responsibility. We are in this mess because the Greeks never made a real reform package, or a clear break with their mistakes from the past. But also because Europe has followed wrong policies — policies of pure accountancy that slowly but steadily choked the Greek economy. Everybody can make the wrong policy choices, but we have been clinging on to them far too long. The IMF itself has made it clear that the current strategy could never deliver a long term solution. Instead of acting like children on the playground, we should all take responsibility for our failures.

The only way out of this crisis is a completely new and comprehensive approach which provides solutions to Greece, but also to the rest of the EU, so that these dramas cannot re-occur. The European people, both in the North and in the South, deserve better than what we have seen up until today. They deserve a stable eurozone: to work in, to invest in, to live in. What they do not deserve are bickering politicians in a paralyzing stand-off. They don’t deserve panic stories by leading German politicians about the installation of a “technical government” in Greece, or a Grexit accompanied by the re-introduction of the drachma. Such alarmists should know they cause harm to our economies and they should think twice before opening their mouths.