Economics and politics - comment and analysis
7. July 2015 I Heiner Flassbeck I Economic Policy, Europe

Hinweis auf einen offenen Brief an Angela Merkel (including an English version)

Im Tagesspiegel ist gerade ein offener Brief erschienen, den ich zusammen mit einigen internationalen Kollegen an die Bundeskanzlerin gerichtet habe. Hier der link.

Und hier die englische Version:

Dear Chancellor Merkel,
The never-ending austerity that Europe is force-feeding the Greek people is simply not working. Now Greece has loudly said no more.
As most of the world knew it would, austerity has crushed the Greek economy, led to mass unemployment, a collapse of the banking system, made the external debt crisis far worse, with the debt problem escalating to an unpayable 175% of GDP. The economy now lies broken with tax receipts nose-diving, output and employment depressed, and businesses starved of capital.
The humanitarian impact has been colossal – 40% of children now live in poverty, infant mortality is sky-rocketing and youth unemployment is close to 50%. Corruption, tax evasion and bad accounting by previous Greek governments helped create the debt problem. But the series of so-called adjustment programs has served only to make a Great Depression the likes of which have been unseen in Europe since 1929-1933. The medicine prescribed by the German Finance Ministry and Brussels has bled the patient, not cured the disease.
Together we urge you to lead Europe to a course correction before it is too late for Greece and for the Eurozone. Right now, the Greek government is being asked to put a gun to its head and pull the trigger. Sadly, the bullet will not only kill off Greece’s future in Europe. The collateral damage will kill the Eurozone as a beacon of hope, prosperity, and democracy, and could lead to far-reaching economic consequences across the world.
In the 1950s Europe was founded on the forgiveness of past debts, notably Germany’s, which generated a massive contribution to post-war economic growth, peace, and democracy. Today we need to restructure and reduce Greek debt, give the economy breathing room to recover, and allow Greece to pay off a reduced burden of debt over a long period of time. Now is the time for a humane rethink of the punitive and failed programme of austerity of recent years and to agree to a major reduction of Greece’s debts in conjunction with much needed reforms in Greece.
We urge you to take this vital action of leadership for Greece and Germany, and also for the world. History will remember you for your actions this week. We expect and count on you to provide the bold and generous steps towards Greece that will serve Europe for generations to come.
Yours sincerely,

Heiner Flassbeck, former State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Finance; Thomas Piketty is Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics; Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; Dani Rodrik, Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; Simon Wren-Lewis, Professor of economics, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University