Greece can unbind itself from torment

Sir, In arguing his case that Greece should not be ejected from the euro, George Pagoulatos appeals to the ancient Greek myth of the noble Iphigenia, who was sacrificed by her father so that his warships might have a fair wind to Troy ("Greece should not be sacrificed for the euro", August 16).

In Greece's present day context, one has to wonder whether it might not have been more apt for Prof Pagoulatos to have considered the alternative Greek myth about the punishment Zeus meted out to Prometheus by binding him to a rock and having an eagle eat out his liver on a daily basis.

For much in the same way as Prometheus was bound to a rock and had an eagle administer him daily punishment, Greece is now bound to the euro and has the troika administer to it daily punishment through excessively severe budget austerity that has already plunged the Greek economy into a depression of epic proportions.

Unlike Prometheus, however, Greece has in its own hands the ability to unbind itself from the euro. If properly executed, that unbinding could offer Greece a very much brighter future than the many years of further deep depression that it must expect to have under continued tutelage from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union within the straitjacket of euro membership.

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Desmond
Lachman
  • Desmond Lachman joined AEI after serving as a managing director and chief emerging market economic strategist at Salomon Smith Barney. He previously served as deputy director in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department and was active in staff formulation of IMF policies. Mr. Lachman has written extensively on the global economic crisis, the U.S. housing market bust, the U.S. dollar, and the strains in the euro area. At AEI, Mr. Lachman is focused on the global macroeconomy, global currency issues, and the multilateral lending agencies.
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