Following the victory of Syriza in the Greek elections on January 25th, policy-makers, economists and concerned EU citizens are scrambling to understand the causes, modalities and consequences of a possible Greek default in order to anticipate and prepare for what is likely to unfold in the coming weeks and months. The debate on the sustainability of Greek public finances has often been characterised by a lack of clarity and even a certain degree of confusion. This brief note focuses first on the cost that Greece faces in servicing its debt and then asks whether this is a manageable or a Sisyphean task. It concludes by reflecting on the political implications of the new government’s announced intentions and whether these are being taken into account in the current debate over debt restructuring.
Cinzia Alcidi is LUISS Research Fellow and Head of the Economic Policy unit at CEPS. Alessandro Giovannini is Associate Researcher at CEPS.