Alexis_Tsipras
Image: © Пресс-служба Президента России via Wikimedia Commons

Greece ditches austerity

PM Tsipras says he’s had enough of cuts and from now on it’s spend, spend, spend.

Alexis Tsipras says he’s had enough of cuts and from now on it’s spend, spend, spend.

What it means: After eight years of austerity, or big cuts to public spending on everything from wages to pensions to building new roads, Tsipras says Greeks deserve a break. He’s promised backdated pay rises, lower taxes and increase welfare benefits.

Greece’s bailout program ended in August, which means the EU and IMF think its economy is now good enough that they no longer have to give Greece money to pay its debts. They’re unlikely to be happy about Tsipras’ plan to end austerity though, as they think the reason Greece got into trouble in the first place was that its wages were too high, its taxes too low, and its welfare too generous.

But Tsipras says the extra spending will boost the economy, and plenty of economists would agree with him. They point out that one person’s spending is another person’s income, so the more money Greeks have to spend the more jobs and business will be created to make and sell stuff for them to spend money on.

Brits, who have also spent the last few years being told that austerity measures are the best way to make them all richer, should be watching Greece’s spending experiment closely.

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Reader Comments

  • ClawV23

    So they’re more or less becoming homeless on purpose and taking advantage of people’s kindness? That’s very disappointing, I’ve always imagined myself walking on the path of the monk but my idea of a modern monk was to achieve a level of independence at which I can grow my own food on a piece of land I own, make my own hemp clothes and live in a small log cabin somewhere outside civilization instead of begging people for a bowl of food.