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Eurozone Crisis

Greece is on the brink of meltdown due to spiraling debt, and the deficit crisis is continentally contagious. Last year, the International Monetary Fund bailed out Greece to the tune of 110 billion euros, contingent on the implementation of strict austerity measures. On the heels of this dramatic action came bailout packages for Ireland and Portugal. And the Greek tragedy is far from over as the debate over whether to accept debt-forgiveness conditions upended the government in Athens. Furthermore, other debt-laden European nations risk going under.

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Dozens of Puerto Ricans opposed to a proposed crude oil tax hike demonstrate outside the Capitol building in San Juan December 1, 2014. The sign reads, "Poorer than ever." Mass transit users in San Juan expressed relief Monday morning that the transport was working, a day after an eleventh-hour deal was announced by the governor to halt an expected shutdown, but said a planned crude oil tax hike would hurt. Reuters

Both Greece and Puerto Rico need to engage in belt-tightening to restore balance to their respective budgets. It is only with such supply-side economic reforms that those economies might have the hope of growing out from under their substantial debt mountains.

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European policymakers must be alert to the heightened risks that now face the European economy following the Spanish elections.

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Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis delivers a speech during The Economist conference on "Europe: The comeback, Greece: How resilient?" in Athens May 14, 2015. Reuters

Changing course in Greece will require the maturity, resolve, and courage to tell Greek voters the truth — and to do the right thing for their country.

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In a letter to the editor of the Financial Times, Desmond Lachman suggests that a Greek exit from the euro would be beneficial if default and capital controls are perceived to be inevitable.

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Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at an European Union leaders summit in Brussels April 23, 2015. Reuters

There is almost no chance Greece’s European partners will provide Greece additional financing without requiring basic policy reform. As a result, the ruling Syriza party ought to prepare seriously for plan B: an orderly Greek exit from the euro.

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The European Central Bank stands to suffer severe losses on its balance sheet should Greece default on its debt. The political fallout from such an event could limit the ECB’s role as lender of last resort just when Europe would need it most.

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“The amount of monthly purchases have resulted in a larger-than-expected market effect, with further declines in yields and spreads, an acceleration in the depreciation of the euro and a boost for stock markets.”

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As a result of thwarted economic expectations, parties on the far-left and far-right are gaining influence in Europe at the expense of the political center.

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In a letter to the editor of the Financial Times, Desmond Lachman argues that “Grexodus” is the more appropriate term with which to refer to Greece potentially leaving the euro.

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The Greek electorate has put the country on a collision course with its German paymaster that is almost certain to result in Greece being forced out of the euro before year-end.

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