Economists call for Greek debt to be written off

22 Jan 15
Economists from across the world are calling for Greek debt to be cancelled, arguing that there is historical evidence of the ‘futility and dangers’ of imposing unattainable debt and repayment conditions on debtor countries.

By | 22 January 2015

Economists from across the world are calling for Greek debt to be cancelled, arguing that there is historical evidence of the ‘futility and dangers’ of imposing unattainable debt and repayment conditions on debtor countries. 

In April 2010, the troika – consisting of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – agreed an initial bailout package of €110bn for Greece after the cost of its government borrowing rose to unsustainable levels.

Greece has since received another €130bn from the troika in 2011 and a private sector debt write-off of more than €100bn.

The letter, which was signed off by 35 economists, said: ‘We urge the troika to negotiate in good faith with the Greek government so that there is a cancellation of a large part of the debt and new terms of payment which support the rebuilding of a sustainable economy. This settlement should mark the beginning of a new EU-wide policy framework favouring pro-growth rather than deflationary policies.’

Signatories included: Malcolm Sawyer, an emeritus professor at University of Leeds, Yu Bin, director at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Alan Freeman co-director at Geopolitical Economy Research and Education Trust, and Eugenia Pires, an economist and member of Portuguese Citizens Debt Audit.

They went on to urge Greece to abandon its austerity program that was crushing economic activity and to adopt a more expansive fiscal policy setting.

Furthermore, Greece has being asked to launch a fully independent investigation into the historic and systemic failure of the Greek public financial management process, including any evidence of corruption, which led to the accumulation of debt.

The open letter and the full list of signatories were published by the on Tuesday. 

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