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A More Ambitious Agenda Needed to Combat Greek Debt

Hyppolite, Paul-Adrien, Roussille, Nina, (2015), “A More Ambitious Agenda Needed to Combat Greek Debt”, Economonitor, 14 November.

The July 12th euro area summit ended with a last minute agreement that avoided an imminent ‘Grexit’. Even before negotiating the third bailout program, the Greek government accepted several conditions imposed by its European partners. Among these, the most debated is the creation of a fund to monetize €50bn of public assets through privatizations and other means, so as to reduce the public debt[1]. To date, no official estimate of the total market value of Greek public assets exists. Therefore, it is hard to know whether the target is realistic. This question is critical because it determines the level of debt relief necessary to achieve public debt sustainability. We argue that current uncertainty surrounding the feasibility of such a target, coupled with the absence of an up-front deal on debt relief, undermines prospects for recovery.

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