EU Must "Ask More" From Athens (5/9)     Print Email

Even if rumors about a Greek departure from the eurozone have been deflated, the recent flurry of speculation should not obscure the hard facts about what Athens needs to do: shrink the country’s defense spending, privatize more public-sector activity and collect more taxes from companies and wealthy citizens. These are the conditions for energizing the country’s economy and businesses.


They are also the price that Athens must pay to get what it needs from Europe: more help and an agreement to discuss restructuring its debts. Both of these steps -- which are unavoidable -- will involve sacrifices for the rest of the eurozone, and Greeks can only expect such help if it does much more to help itself than it has done so far. This blunt message comes from Georges Ugeux, a Belgian-American international banker whose blog featured by Le Monde newspaper is entitled “Talking Simply about Finance: Markets and Ethics."