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19 March 2012

Euro breakup is not the answer for Greece

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Exiting the Euro will NOT solve Greece´s problems. An interesting article by Miranda Xafa. As is the case for Spain, competitiveness, productivity, the supply side (not the demand side) and overregulation are the problems.

Exiting the Eurozone would only add to the debt burden without resolving Greece’s competitiveness problem, which stems primarily from regulatory barriers to competition, restrictive labour practices, and red tape that raise the cost of doing business. Greece ranks 100th in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report and 119th in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, behind several sub-Saharan countries.

Greece is the most highly regulated economy in the OECD. Profit margins or minimum remuneration is set by law in a number of professions (lawyers, engineers, accountants, pharmacists), and licensing requirements impose barriers to entry in others (trucking). It costs less to transport agricultural products from Central America to Greece by ship than it costs to transport them within Greece by truck. Labour contracts set wages on automatic pilot due to seniority clauses and other benefits unrelated to productivity, profitability, or performance. No amount of devaluation will get rid of these distortions.

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Starting January 30, 2012, I decided to put the random (economic) thoughts that I was posting on Facebook, in a blog. In this site you will be able to read all Facebook notes going back to 2008, (without my Friend’s comments, unfortunately), but we will only maintain the new thoughts. If you want to check out the old comments, they are still posted on Facebook. If you want to comment on them, you have two options (1) Become a Facebook Subscriber. Since all the posts will also appear in Facebook, you will be able to comment there. (2) Comment on Twitter, as each post will also be announced in Twitter.