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What Does the Greek Economy Mean for Americans?

Stephen Henderson talks with Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about the Greek economic crisis.  They talk about the EU’s political strategy, the role of Greece in the global economy, and why Greek voters rejected an EU bailout. 

  • Threats and intimidation:  Weisbrot says that Greek voters stood up to enormous threats and intimidation from the European Central Bank.  They rejected the creditor’s terms of the proposed EU bailout, including higher taxes and reduced social benefits.  He says that EU politicians attempted to convince Greek voters that voting no on the bailout would equate to leaving the EU, which was not the case. 
  • European Central Bank:  Weisbrot says the European Central Bank did not need to shut down, and that the shut down was part of a strategy to pressure Greece into a regime change.  He believes that a central bank should prevent rather than cause this kind of emergency, and says that no other central bank in history has deliberately done what the European Central Bank has done in the past week. 
  • Obama administration:  Weisbrot says that Obama, Germany, and the EU do not actually want Greece to leave the EU, but that if there is no access to liquid money, Greece may have to print its own bills.  He points out that Obama has voiced support of the current Greek administration in the past, but has not done anything during this crisis.  He believes that public remarks from the US could change the direction of the crisis. 
  • Debt will remain:  Weisbrot says that we can’t know exactly what will happen, but there will have to be negotiations moving forward.  He says that Greece will still have debt moving forward, and will eventually have another crisis. 

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Mountain

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