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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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If the IMF and the European Union truly want Greece to succeed and not to become a failed state, they would do well to support an orderly Greek exit out of the euro.

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A Greek exit could impose considerable economic and geopolitical costs on the United States: (a) strong dollar appreciation; (b) a possible dent in household and investor confidence; and (c) the possibility of a failed Greek state coming into Russia’s orbit.

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American Enterprise Institute

The ECB’s tightening of monetary policy in 2008 and 2010-2011 seem to have not only caused two recessions but sparked the sovereign debt crisis and gave teeth to the austerity programs.

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At the heart of Greece’s economic collapse has been the application of draconian budget austerity within a Euro straitjacket

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A protester carries a placard that reads "Stop to new and old bailouts" during an anti-bailout demonstration in Athens, Greece June 25, 2015. Reuters

Recent economic and political developments in Greece suggest that it is only matter of time before that country both defaults on its large public debt and imposes capital controls.

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In a testimony  before the Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance, Resident Fellow Desmond Lachman discussed the implications of Greece’s economic and political crisis.

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Whatever the outcome for Greece, the crisis underscores the European Union’s failure to achieve its central objective of a more closely integrated Europe, economically or politically.

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (front) is welcomed by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker for a meeting ahead of a Eurozone emergency summit on Greece in Brussels, Belgium June 22, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is soon to find out that it is one thing to agree on an economic program with Greece’s official creditors in Brussels and it quite another thing to get the Greek parliament to implement that agreement at home.

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While the euro can very well survive without Greece, it is difficult to imagine how the euro could survive if Italy were to eventually follow Greece out of the euro.

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