COMMENT

No going back on our word

The debt crisis is spreading across the continent, creating the need for a pan-European solution. There are growing calls for Berlin and Brussels to change the fiscal policy mix for the nations of the south. However, it would be a criminal mistake to believe a decision to ease the austerity measures would allow the next Greek government to break its commitments to its creditors. Whoever cultivates this impression will be making a major faux pas -- equivalent to George Papandreou?s ?The money exists? comment.

Changing the policy mix would only be a possibility after Greece has sent clear signs of cuts and reforms. We should not expect God-given gifts simply because the crisis is spreading across the eurozone. Regardless of what happens in the rest of Europe, Greece will have to form a strong coalition government and restore some of its credibility before it can claim some fiscal easing or a serious package of economic incentives.

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