The next Greek bailout (or not)

Greek top leaders stand next to honor guards in historic uniforms
Athens, Nov. 5, 2016: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (2L) and President Prokopios Pavlopoulos (2R) attend the swearing-in ceremony for Greek cabinet ministers (source: dpa)
  • Greece insists it is reforming but has done much less than the Troika demanded
  • Overregulation and a bloated public sector generate inefficiencies that Greece cannot afford, but neither Athens nor Brussels seem ready to acknowledge the problem
  • Another flawed bailout deal is on the cards for 2018

In late October 2016, the European Union authorities declared that the low yield on Greek public debt (currently about 1.5 percent on short-maturity bonds) shows that the country does not have a debt problem. Therefore, creditors should not worry – at least for the near future.

One should note, however, that these low rates were achieved thanks to massive purchases and guarantees by EU agencies. The yield on 10-year Greek bonds remains close to 8 percent, which means that many investors believe that a major crisis is still possible. And for a good reason: since the last time Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to introduce drastic measures to fix the country’s budget, not much has been accomplished.

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