22 Jan 2015

Grexit 2015: A primer

Daniel Gros

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In the run-up to the Greek elections on January 25th and the subsequent renegotiation of the country's economic adjustment programme with the troika, Daniel Gros writes in this Commentary that "nobody officially wants Grexit": not Syriza, which wants Greece to stay in the euro. It is ‘only’ asking for a reduction in Greece’s official debt and an end to austerity. The German government also does not favour Grexit because European unification remains the central project for German policy-makers across all mainstream parties. Only some protest parties and vocal economists think Greece (and Germany) would better off with a new Drachma.

In his view, the substantive issues are thus the demands for a reduction of the official debt of Greece and an end to austerity, both of which he describes as eminently fudgeable. In any event, change in policy will be minor if a Syriza government is as successful in fulfilling its promise to spend as the previous government was in promising not to spend.

Daniel Gros is the Director of CEPS.