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Pinto e Castro, João

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Blog Jugular - Portugal | 01/11/2011

Greeks can decide their own fate

The hefty reactions from politics and industry to the announcement of the referendum in Greece prove four things, writes economics expert João Pinto e Castro on the blog portal Jugular: "Firstly: the idea behind last week's agreement was not to cut the Greek debt by 50 percent but to ensure that 50 percent is paid. Now that the agreement is looking wobbly again the shares have plunged once more. Secondly: the German government is not the only one entitled to worry about public opinion. The Greeks have the say in their own country and their government must answer to them, even if this entails enormous risks. Thirdly: even countries in major difficulties have a certain amount of room to negotiate. It has become clear that both debtors and creditors have a problem because both made mistakes in assessing the risks and in the end both will have to give up something. Fourthly: when muscle-flexing is the only language recognised in international relations everyone uses all the trumps at their disposal to achieve the desired effect."

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