Greek Debt Crisis

The Greek spending cuts in U.S. terms

Stephen Beard Feb 13, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: It was another tense weekend in Greece. Protestors lit buildings on fire in Athens, as lawmakers did what they had to do to get more bailout money — they passed major spending cuts and reforms.

Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The measures are exceedingly unpopular among the Greeks. Think about this: if it were happening in the U.S. Greece’s minimum wage will be cut to $728 a month; in the U.S., the federal minimum is almost twice as much. 150,000 Greek public sector posts will go; if the equivalent cut occurred in the U.S., 600,000 would be losing their jobs.

Student Anna Marie Piscapani says the extra austerity has deepened the gloom in Greece.

Anna Marie Piscapani: We’re in constant fear. We cannot depend on anything; we cannot plan anything because we do not know what’s coming. We don’t see hope.

There’s even uncertainty over whether the latest measures will win Greece a second bailout. The eurozone finance ministers are demanding some further cuts, and will meet on Wednesday to consider whether Greece has done enough.

At the European desk in London, I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.