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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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The head of radical leftist Syriza party Tsipras speaks to supporters after winning the elections in Athens

Both the Greek and German governments will be highly constrained when negotiating to keep Greece in the Eurozone, meaning compromise remains an elusive goal.

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With the almost certain prospect of a Syriza government, there is an even greater possibility that Greece will be forced out of the Euro. This would inflict substantial damage upon the rest of the European economy.

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Hopefully the European Central Bank’s monetary move is better terribly late than never.

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Today European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi announces a trillion-Euro quantitative easing (QE) program in the fight against deflation. Markets in the US rallied and eyes turn to the national elections in Greece this Sunday, where the anti-austerity party is expected to triumph.

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The expected QE program from the European Central Bank was built into very low or negative inflation expectations, a signal that markets expected failure. Capital Economics outlines several metrics that show this embiggened program is actually working.

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European policymakers must understand that a Greek exit is likely to trigger a Greek economic and financial market crisis that can quickly spread to other troubled countries in the eurozone.

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European policymakers look ready to cut Greece loose from the Eurozone. Unfortunately, this would be a policy mistake possibly as damaging as the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008.

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One has to hope that Syriza loses the forthcoming Greek election and in so doing spares Europe from the very real prospect of an early Greek exit from the Euro that is bound to have spillover effects beyond Greece’s borders.

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Image Credit: shutterstock

The eurozone has massive demand-side and supply-side problems. Both need fixing.

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Thanks to rising geopolitical risks, 2015 is likely to prove one of the more challenging years for the global economy.

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