“Greece is small, but ... it has an importance disproportionate to its economic scale”
Just prior to France’s presidential elections you said, “Once again European efforts to contain the crisis have fallen short,” and, “Again, Europe and the global economy approach the brink.” Does François Hollande’s victory change your view?
I think the crucial issues in Europe have long had to do with whether reasonable growth would be resumed. If growth does not take hold, it doesn’t matter how much austerity is imposed, it won’t be enough to make it credible that Southern Europe will be able to repay its debts. And so the crucial questions were and are about growth. It may be that this recognition is sinking in, and you’ll see greater acceptance of the idea that growth, alongside financial stability, has to be a central objective in Europe. The electoral results, particularly in Greece, have to be anxiety-promoting. Greece is small, but what happens in Greece will be seen as a possible precedent for what could happen in other countries. It has an importance disproportionate to its economic scale.