mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Greece: Behind Schedule and Running Out of Cash

ECB chief Mario Draghi’s last-minute euro rescue plan lies in shambles and Italian PM Mario Monti warns of the “psychological dissolution of Europe.” Now the Economist is reporting that Greece is far behind on its committments to international investors and may not implement all of the promised reforms for years, or even decades:

Greece has performed badly on many measures. On privatisation, the troika has set an ambitious goal of €50 billion in revenues. But this year’s target of €3 billion has been slashed to €300m. Only two disposals are likely to be completed by December: the state lottery and the former international broadcasting centre for the 2004 Athens Olympics, now a shopping mall. Almost 80 legislative and administrative measures will be needed before the next six deals can go ahead. . . .

An overhaul of the tax administration, including closures and mergers of 200 regional tax offices, was due to be completed in June. Little progress has been made, and no new deadline has been set. Corruption among tax inspectors is rife, according to the state auditor. Only €10 billion of some €40 billion of outstanding taxes can be collected, a government adviser says. Officials are likely to keep reforms on a back burner, fearing that revenues would plunge if they attempt to transfer or sack taxmen. Several hundred big tax evaders have been identified, yet so far none has been convicted or imprisoned.

The government is quickly running out of money and won’t get any more unless the reforms are put in place on time, which is looking increasingly unlikely. Some predict that the state could go broke as early as September, with a possible Euro exit to follow shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, the list of countries facing imminent bankruptcy grows longer every month. If these countries follow Greece’s lead in their handling of European rescue packages, there is real reason to doubt whether the euro will last.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Anthony

    This topic has proved to be interminable (as has been said before).

  • alex scipio

    People need to turn the page and close the chapter and book on europe. It’s done. Willingly and voluntarily over. It had a good run, but now it’s finished. By CHOICE.

    That so many otherwise-intelligent people are spending so much time and money on this decaying, failed demicontinent is beyond me.

    Here’s the deal: european nations – and the IMF – are pretending that giving europe more money will change their cultures (it won’t), thereby ensuring their survivability. The foundation of helping a nation survive is to ensure it remains viable and is, basically, still here tomorrow.

    All this hand-wringing is to decide on how, whom, why to ensure these people have a future. This is foundationally absurd.

    Newsflash: Not ONE european nation has a total fertility rate of 2.1 (flat) or above. NONE of the citizens/subjects of europe’s various nations believe in the future enough to populate it… so this entire how-do-we-save-europe kerfuffle is just that – a total waste of time and resources spent trying to figure out how to help peoples & naitons survive…. WHO DO NOT WANT TO SURVIVE.

    Skip all the nonsense about this week’s or last week’s fiscal aid package. Ignore all the blather about balanced budgets. None of it matters.

    Europeans don’t WANT to survive. They ahve made that choice, consciously, likely since the Somme, but definitely since 1945.

    Money – ANY money – spent on them is just throwing good money after bad. Given that they DON’T WANT TO HAVE A FUTURE, why we keep worrying ABOUT that future just boggles the mind.

  • Andrew Allison

    Quelle surprise!

  • dave from boston

    Neither Greece or Italy will change until they are bankrupt. They are both playing chicken and are convinced that Germany will backdown.

  • Lorenz Gude

    It’s deja vu all over again. Prediction: the deadline will be fudged yet again and the evil day put off once more. I’ll keep making this prediction until I’m proved wrong or die – whichever comes first.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service