06 Oct 2015

Where is the credit crunch in Greece?

Daniel Gros

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Author: Daniel Gros

Series: CEPS Commentary   No of pp: 5

Greek policy-makers like to make the point that their economy cannot recover because of a lack of credit and that this affects exports, in particular. Austerity is an easy explanation for the weakness of domestic demand, argues Daniel Gros in this CEPS Commentary, but it is more difficult to see why Greek exports have stagnated in recent years. The author considers the argument that the Greek economy could not recover via export-led growth because of a credit crunch. The overall availability of credit was higher than GDP, and interest rates remained relatively low. There is some indication of a misallocation of bank credit, but the responsibility for any mistakes in this direction must lie squarely with the government and the Troika, given that the Greek banking system has been under government control since 2012.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.