greekislands

Greece is in the news again, will it leave the euro, is that a bargain in the making for those who want to move to the Greek Islands? Pierre Moscovici is in Greece. He is one of the EU's top economists. The EU wants Greece to make painful reforms, cutting state pension payments for example and raising taxes.

But here is the rub: the IMF says, Greece needs more money.

The EU grandees are saying ‘no thank you, we have given quite enough’.

The thing about Greece is that many people liken it to a can that keeps getting kicked down the road. The last time it was kicked it went quite a long way, but all economists who had been to the 'University of Seeing the Obvious' could see that it would not work. Its one-time finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, made the terrible mistake of telling the truth, telling the great and powerful across the EU what all could see. But he was met with the response, that burying your head in the sand is a much more prudent policy.

But now Greece has to find 7.4 billion euros by the summer, alas it has already searched the back of the sofa, and indeed sold the sofa, so what can it do?

But Greece's lenders say another 91 billion euros is available, but only, repeat only, if it can make the summer payment first.

Gerry Rice, the IMF spokesman on this matter said: "I think we would agree that Europe has provided extraordinary support to Greece. And we would agree that it's encouraging that Europe reiterates that it will stay by Greece for the long term, but it's also important to say this also: That support is not unconditional."

And it's the conditions that are the problem.

And the problem won't go away because no one seems to want to recognise their role in the Greek tragedy. Greece isn't making the reforms, but the EU won't recognise that the time frame it has for Greece, which has to be met for the extra money to be released, is not realistic.

But Greece can't make reforms without the money, it goes so far, leading to a nasty hit on the economy, making it harder to meet the demands of the creditors, leading to popular discontent.

Last year Citi, the very same bank that boasted within its staff, Willem Buiter, the economist who came up with the word Grexit: a word that spawned the word Brexit, said that it thought the odds of Greece leaving the euro were so remote that it had dropped the word Grexit – ceased to use it.

But Greece is not the only country facing the threat of popular discontent, as you are no doubt aware, elections are coming up in Holland, France and Germany. Maybe, supporting Greece is not consistent with the new mantra: Holland/France/Germany first.

In Greece, the Euro itself remains popular. But there is a growing feeling in European quarters that maybe Greece would be better off with its own currency.

Maybe Greece can then default, and off the back of a cheaper euro: start regaining confidence.

But here is a thought for people who hold the dream of owning a property, or maybe a bar/taverna in Greece: Grexit may be followed by bargains.