"Eles vão rebentar. Reconheçam"
These economies [Greece, Ireland and Portugal] are on an unsustainable course, but not for lack of effort by their governments. Greece and Ireland have made heroic budget cuts. Greece is trying hard to free up its rigid economy. Portugal has lagged in scrapping stifling rules, but its fiscal tightening is bold. In all three places the outlook is darkening in large part because of mistakes made in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin.
At the EU’s insistence, the peripherals’ priority is to slash their budget deficits regardless of the consequences on growth. But as austerity drags down output, their enormous debts—expected to peak at 160% of GDP for Greece, 125% for Ireland and 100% for Portugal—look ever more unpayable, so bond yields stay high. The result is a downward spiral.
This newspaper has argued that Greece, Ireland and Portugal need their debt burdens cut sooner rather than later.
The big obstacle is not technical but political. Since many at Europe’s core, particularly the ECB, remain implacably opposed to debt restructuring (...)
It is time the Fund’s top brass said so publicly and, by refusing to lend more without a deal on debt, pushed Europe’s pusillanimous politicians into doing the right thing.