No one forced Greece to take on heavy debts

No one forced Greece to take on heavy debts

 

Sir, Mark Mazower insists that rules should not necessarily be obeyed to salvage a country and preserve the cohesion of the EU (“Berlin’s outdated devotion to rules harms Europe’s union” (August 3).


Germany is at fault, he implies, when it stubbornly enforces the rules of the European institutions and the Maastricht treaty. It is surprising, however, that Professor Mazower does not pay any particular attention to the causes that brought Greece to the brink of economic collapse. And it is not the first time in its modern history.


If the country is in danger of losing part of its sovereignty it has only itself to blame. Nobody forced Greece to indulge in a policy of heavy debt for the purpose of distributing funds to its citizens — money, however, that had never been earned. It is a different question if, instead of destroying the market and the private economy, Greece and its creditors had turned their efforts to the public sector aiming to reduce it and substantially lower its expenses.


It is the Greek political authorities’ fault that the country, after five years of austerity, still confronts the menacing spectre of economic bankruptcy.


Andreas Andrianopoulos


Director, Institute of Diplomacy and Global Affairs,