During his speech at the European Parliament today, Prime Minister Tsipras, exposed a common argument heard very often from his national and international supporters: he accused the international creditors of the fact that their loans only served to payback (German and French) banks, rather than help the Greek people. (“The money that was given to Greece never went to the people,…the money was given
to save Greek and European banks.”)
Now, as a matter of logic, consider the panel below. On the left, Greece borrows from “Europe” (Tax payers of EU, ECB plus IMF) and, eventually, pays back much lower an amount. The difference in present value is a transfer from “EU” to Greece. On the right panel, Greece borrows from private (German and French) “Banks” , and EU funds serve to payback the Banks, while the debt incurred by Greece with EU will be eventually repaid on a much lower value. Is there a difference? No, by the “transitive property” both transactions amount to a transfer from European taxpayers to Greece.
|SPOT THE DIFFERENCE