Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In her opinion piece "Questioning Greece’s future from the other side of the Atlantic", Eleni Louri-Dendrinou (Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece, Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics of the Athens University of Economics and Business and Research Associate at the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics and Political Science), argues that "Greece has the potential to recover faster than many people in the other side of the Atlantic think possible". 

Louri-Dendrinou writes at the end of a series of lectures she delivered in the last four weeks at various institutions in Canada and the US on the issue of adjustment of the Greek economy, and in particular the banking sector within the changing governance of the Eurozone. In addressing various aspects of the process, she raises the question of whether the "Eurozone’s obsession with more austerity in order to fix fiscal problems is self-defeating, in the sense that it creates a deeper recession than forecast", making the prevailing fiscal problems "unsurpassable". 

According to the author, "Greece is more likely to make it", in the sense that not only do conditions exist for economic growth, but also on account of the enormous amount of adjustment that has already taken place in the last five years.

So what are the prospects for Greece’s future in the Eurozone? She argues that the new adjustment programme -approved by Parliament last August and expected to bring in up to €86bn in financial assistance by 2018- combined with policies enhancing competitiveness (such as the opening of product markets), the maintenance of financial stability and of a politically stable environment, is "capable of pushing Greece back into positive growth", especially if a first positive assessment of the programme implementation leads to opening up negotiations on debt sustainability and restructuring.