Greece Approves $8.8 Billion in Austerity
By Marcus Bensasson and Maria Petrakis - Oct 2, 2011 6:04 PM GMT-0300
Greece’s government approved 6.6 billion euros ($8.8 billion) of austerity measures including firing state workers, to show it can trim its budget deficitenough to secure a pending aid payment and a second rescue package.
The measures will help reduce the deficit to 6.8 percent of gross domestic product, or 14.7 billion euros, from 8.5 percent of GDP this year, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based Finance Ministry last night. That is more than the gap of 6.5 percent for 2012 and 7.6 percent this year agreed with the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, the so-called troika, to secure emergency loans to prevent default.
Comment: What really matters is not debt per se but whether a country and its government are capable of facing the challenge. Challenge and response. Greece is actually doing much better than most commentators like to admit. With a little bit of luck Greece will accomplish its turn-around.