Greeks Paid Heavy Price During Debt Crisis, Says Merkel

Greeks paid heavy price during debt crisis, says Merkel

Athens, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 29th Oct, 2021 ) :Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday ended her final official visit to Athens by acknowledging that Greeks had paid a heavy price with austerity policies imposed to resolve its debt crisis.

Greece faced a rolling financial implosion from 2009, and Merkel and her ministers demanded huge budget cuts, civil sector layoffs and drastic tax hikes in exchange for their support for bailouts of more than 300 billion Euros.

"I've always stressed my awareness of the impositions and challenges that the Greek were faced with related to the euro question," Merkel said after meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

But the chancellor insisted that the adjustment would have been less brutal had Greece and several other EU states undertaken key reforms during times of prosperity.

Der Spiegel magazine wrote on Friday that the Greek crisis was "a period of hysteria" where EU solidarity began to fray.

Greece admitted in 2009 that it had massively underreported its public deficit, leading to a panicked sell-off of government bonds and rising costs of borrowing that spread to several other eurozone countries.

"I think we were all very shocked about the susceptibility of the euro for external speculation," the chancellor admitted Friday.