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Greece managing debt well, but not yet in the clear

Steve Chiotakis Aug 6, 2010
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Greece managing debt well, but not yet in the clear

Steve Chiotakis Aug 6, 2010
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Steve Chiotakis: International inspectors say Greece has been making required budget cuts and managing its debt. A far cry from where it was just a few months ago. It’s eligible to receive international bailout money. But it’s not home free. From Athens, Joanna Kakissis reports.


Joanna Kakissis: It’s the best financial report card Greece has gotten since the crisis began. The country is nearly $400 billion in debt, but inspectors say the country’s tax increases and government cutbacks are working. They say Greece will make its deficit-cutting goal this year through a crackdown on tax evasion, and spending cuts at all levels of government.

Dora Bakoyannis, a member of parliament and former Athens mayor, says the crisis is an opportunity for Greece to change its long history of political corruption.

Dora Bakoyannis: We made a lot of mistakes. But this country has a lot of potential, hidden potential, where we politicians have not been able until now to allow it to grow.

But while this week’s grades are good, graduation may be a ways off. The country’s economy is expected to shrink by 4 percent because of the withdrawal of all that government spending. And labor unions say unemployment could hit 20 percent this year. Unions are planning more demonstrations this fall, when Greeks start feeling the cutbacks in their own pocketbooks.

In Athens, I’m Joanna Kakissis, for Marketplace.

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