‘Pigs might fly; Greece will pay its debt to EU’
Greece refused to back the EU’s statement on Ukraine on Tuesday. Following the move, Athens was accused by the EU of diverting from the block’s official stance on that issue. European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that he “was appalled to see Greece abandon the joint position of the EU.”
On Thursday, EU foreign ministers voted to extend the anti-Russian sanctions over the situation in Ukraine till September.
RT:Greece wants a chunk of its debt cancelled, but would that be fair given that billions of taxpayers' money has been sent there, particularly from your country?
Hugh Bronson: I believe [German Finance Minister] Wolfgang Schauble and the Troika, and everyone else involved have no chance but to negotiate a new deal with Mr. [Alexis] Tsipras. There will be a haircut, there is no question about it, and the only question is when. If you look at Greece and just the figures, you have a country of 11.5 million people, who managed a GDP of €208 billion in 2013. They are burdened with a national debt of 175 percent. That country was given a bailout loan totaling €240 billion. No national structure is able to cope with that amount of debt. This money is a write-off. Pigs might fly; we can say good-bye to this loan, there’s no question about this.
RT:Greece with a new government doesn’t want to follow EU policy on sanctions anymore. Where do you stand with that fact?
HB: I believe Greece right now has much more serious problems than joining in on sanctions, which are very questionable. They are looking at rebuilding their economy. They want to regain their competitive advantage in the global market. That is the number one priority. Also the main party [which is] in power right now, Syriza, certainly will look twice before it agrees on sanctions against Russia. First of all, they have to deal with their own national problems before they join in any big mashes on an international level.
RT:You are talking about a haircut and the fact that they can’t pay off this money because they simply don’t have it. However, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out forgiving Greece's debt. What do you make of that?
HB: Of course he is going to say that. What else is he going to say? But on the other hand, there are other serious people, serious experts. Take Philippe Legrain, the former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission who quite clearly said [that] Greece needs a haircut. Greece’s debts are unsustainably large. What is the Troika, what is the eurozone is going to do? If Mr. Tsipras and the government simply refuse to continue with the austerity measures, if they, what they’ve started already, if they are rehiring fired public sector workers, and simply ignore the demands from the eurozone .The only position they have – to renegotiate.
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