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Former EC President Says Greece Can Only Blame Itself

Greece’s problems can be laid at its own door and the country needs to provide a clear commitment to reform to reach an agreement with its creditors, Jose Manuel Barroso, the former president of the European Commission, told investors in Hong Kong.

“The Greek people went through extremely difficult moments, hardship. But these difficulties of Greece were not provoked by Europe,” Barroso said in an address at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

“It was provoked by the irresponsible behavior of the Greek government.”

“The situation of Greece is the result of unsustainable debt that was created by the Greek government, mismanagement of their public finances, huge problems with tax evasion and tax fraud [and] problems of the administration,” he said, noting that the country had also misled the European Union by filing false figures on its economy.

Greece’s place in the euro zone has been hanging in the balance since the anti-austerity Syriza Party won elections this year.

Athens’ new government has sought to renegotiate the austerity measures imposed on the country as part of its 240 billion euro bailout package. Recent talks over Greece’s debt and European Union imposed fiscal austerity have become increasingly tortured.

Barroso was generally unsympathetic to the Greek stance.

“There is nothing that condemns Greece to be in a difficult situation. There are reforms they can make and they are as able as any other country to do,” he said.

via CNBC [1]

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza [6]

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse [7]
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza
Alfonso Esparza

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