Can Greece stay afloat without an EU bailout?

(China News Online)    10:51, January 28, 2015

The troika (the EU, ECB and IMF) seems to be a thing of the past for Greece now that the radical left Syriza bloc - which has pledged to end the troika's bailout program - has won the national election.

The EU bailout program imposes a series of conditions on Greece: the country has to enact tough austerity measures - drastic spending cuts in public spending. Since the outbreak of the crisis in euro zone, the Greek economy has shrunk by 25% and unemployment has soared to more than 25%. The country has borrowed 240 billion euros from the troika, equivalent to 175% of GDP.

The Greek people’s opposition to austerity triggered the emergence of the radical left Syriza bloc which pledged before the election took place to end the bailout programme if it came out the winner. Greece's volatile politics are likely to trigger market turmoil, including a slump in stock market and soaring bond yields.

A Greek exit from the euro zone will not of itself extract the country from its predicament. According a report issued by IMF in March in 2012, an exit will result in currency devaluation and fuel inflation, and undermine competiveness. It will lead to a further exodus of investors. The political risks of the exit will be high. It does not seem feasible that the radical left Syriza could renegue on Greece's debt. It is expected that European politicians will make the compromises necessary to keep Greece in the euro zone. But it remains to be seen whether other countries will follow the “Greek example”.

This article was edited and translated from 《靠别人久了 希腊能否自立?》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, Author:Yang Ziyan

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Yuan,Yao Chun)

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