ギリシャ危機 破綻回避しても課題は山積

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 23, 2012)
Greek default avoided, but many problems remain
ギリシャ危機 破綻回避しても課題は山積(3月22日付・読売社説)

The Greek government, which has fallen into a fiscal crisis, has managed to get through a major bond redemption, avoiding a chaotic debt default.

We welcome the progress made in efforts to contain the eurozone crisis, which has plunged the world into turmoil.

But we must not fall prey to optimism that the crisis is over. The Greek government should not ease its watchfulness but do its utmost to revive its economy.

Disarray in the massive bond redemption was avoided as the Greek government was guaranteed the funds it needed for the redemption, thanks to a second rescue package worth up to 130 billion euros (about 14 trillion yen) from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, together with a debt reduction by private creditor banks.

These makeshift measures to rescue the Greek government, at least for the time being, appear to have worked.


Global markets rebound

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average has been hovering above the 13,000 mark, and Tokyo stocks have recovered to above 10,000. The euro, which had plummeted, has turned upward against other major currencies.

Apparently responding positively to a recent upturn in the U.S. economy, a sense of reassurance seems to be spreading in the markets.

Yet there remains a mountain of problems.

The Greek government has faced the possibility of default many times, rocking Europe and the world. It must not cause such turmoil again.

First and foremost, the government must steadily implement the strict fiscal measures it promised, including cutting the number of civil servants and their wages, and tackling fiscal reconstruction and economic revival.

The new administration, to be chosen in a general election slated for late next month, will assume a heavy responsibility. It must contain public opinion opposing strict fiscal management and will also be tested as to how well it can foster internationally competitive industries.

The Greek government's debt ratio is a massive 160 percent of its gross domestic product. The government aims to reduce this to about 120 percent by 2020 through fiscal reconstruction.


5th year of negative growth seen

As the domestic economy has been deteriorating, however, Greece is expected to post negative year-on-year growth for the fifth straight year in 2012. It is difficult to achieve both fiscal reconstruction and economic expansion.

Should the government blunder in its handling of fiscal reconstruction, Greece may need additional assistance from outside. In Europe, there are other causes of crisis, as seen in the continued high yield of government bonds of Portugal, which continues to face fiscal problems.

The problem is that chiefly due to opposition from Germany, progress has been slower than expected in expanding the scale of lending of the European Stability Mechanism, which the EU will establish in July. Expanding the funding base of the IMF has also been put off.

To dispel future concern, it is vital to reinforce the safety net to prevent the market from falling into turmoil. The eurozone must recognize the reality of the crisis, reconfirm its solidarity and prove itself through concrete action.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 22, 2012)
(2012年3月22日01時26分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2012-03-24 06:54 | 英字新聞

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