We at Foreign Affairs have recently published a number of pieces on the Greece economic crisis. Those articles sparked a heated debate, so we decided to ask a broad pool of experts to state whether they agree or disagree with the following statement and to rate their confidence level about that answer:
Greece bears the lion's share of the responsibility for its debt crisis.
CORNEL BAN is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.
Disagree, Confidence level 8
Without a doubt, successive Greek governments are responsible primarily for failing to put into place a tax collection service able to provide the country with adequate fiscal resources and to distribute the tax burden in equitable ways. Weak administrative capacity has certainly been one of the greatest failures of Greek democracy, and it will remain an area where urgent improvement is needed. However, the lion's share of the responsibility for the debt crisis itself lies with the bad economics of the troika, the design flaws of the euro, and Germany's failure to mobilize EU member states around bold pan-European countercyclical policies after 2010.
MARK BLYTH is Eastman Professor of Political Economy at Brown University.
Strongly Disagree, Confidence level 10
How two percent of the eurozone, which after six years of contraction is now 1.7 percent of the eurozone, can generate such trouble by overspending a few percentage points of a GDP the size of a U.S. Defense Department contract overrun remains forever a mystery to me. The standard view has the Greeks as a nation of crooks who deserved what happened to them. Yet if they are all crooks, we have to explain why European (French and German mainly) banks fell over themselves between 1999 and 2007 to lend the Greeks huge amounts of money. After all, you can't have overspending without overlending. Really, you can't. Now, if the genius financiers of Europe that loaned the Greeks all that cash (a fraction of the bailouts,
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