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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 

The Mad Hatter and His Rabbit Hole of Debt

Giorgos Laughs While Greece Goes Bankrupt

Will someone PLEASE stop this man before he actually manages to bury Greece for centuries to come in debt?
Given the unexpectedly higher debt, the Finance Ministry now looks more likely to borrow about 38 billion euros for 2005.--Ekathimerini, Aug. 10, 2005

Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Greece's Finance Minister, keeps telling us (and really I can't count HOW many times he has said it) "the public debt can be managed without any negative repercussions for social spending." How can the debt keep spiralling out of control and it not have any negative repurcussions? Did this man study economy or children's fairy tales in university?

I do not have the least bit of confidence in this mans skills as a Finance Minister and apparently neither did Ecofin when he was laughed out of Brussels with his budget proposals. Back then he told us that he would have Greece's economy under control and under the 3% Growth and Stability Pact Limit. Just look at what he said last September...

According to Alogoskoufis, the 2005 deficit will be around 2.8 percent. This will be managed through elimination of Olympic expenditure — which has accounted for 1 percent of GDP — from the budget, and also through additional revenue generated by tax reforms that are estimated at another 1 percent of GDP.--Ekathimerini, Sept. 6, 2004

He relied on a substantial increase of foreign investment, a substantial increase in tax revenues and privatisation to achieve his Wonderland budget plan. All of his little schemes have failed miserably.

It's also a bit late in the game to be using words like "unexpectedly higher debt" as words of reassurance to the public. As a Finance Minister, he shouldn't be getting any unexpected surprises if he truly IS in control of this country's finances. He's been in office for almost 1 year and a half and he can't keep swallowing the "red pill" aka The Olympic Debt (which he keeps revising upwards from $4 billion, to $6 billion to $9 billion and now to almost $13 billion), in order to stay in Wonderland. It's time he wakes up and faces reality that Greece needs a capable Finance Minister not the illusion of one.