Greece is in major debt and the ancient country is facing some very modern problems trying to get out. As a newer member of the eurozone, the European countries who have adopted the euro as their one currency, more financially stable nations like Germany and France are nervous about the implications coming to Greeceâ€™s aid.
NewsHourâ€™s Judy Woodruff spoke with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou about what his country needs from the U.S. and how Greece got into its current financial situation.
Marketplace commentator David Frum of the American Enterprise Institute falls on the side of questioning the expansion of the eurozone. He notes that the weaker countries in the eurozone are making sacrifices to stay in the club, and this approach will not help them succeed in the long run.
These governments — and others in Europe — are accepting higher unemployment in order to defend their currency…And yet, while Spain’s socialist government has seen its poll numbers drop, neither Spain, nor Greece, nor Portugal, nor Ireland is experiencing serious public pressure to quit the euro.To the leaders of these countries, the euro means Europe, and Europe means prosperity, stability, democracy, and peace.
How will the Greek crisis affect your investments here in the U.S.? Nightly Business Report spoke with foreign exchange experts on why investors here should care.
Standard & Poors analyst Alec Young:
Europe and the UK represent about two thirds of overseas market capitalizations. So anybody that owns an international mutual fund or an international ETF, there’s a very good chance, if it’s broadly diversified, that they do have significant exposure to Europe and to the UK.
Some experts say that while Greece is having trouble and there is a threat to other struggling eurozone nations, the fears about the global economy’s stability as a whole are secondary.
NPRâ€™s Corey Flintoff spoke with economist Joseph Stiglitz:
The Greek crisis has contributed to the general air of uncertainty in international financial markets… Greece is one of five euro zone countries now struggling with big national debts. “The major implications are for Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland and therefore in some sense for all of Europe,” says Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Columbia University.
The problems in the euro zone could impact the U.S., too, Stiglitz says, especially if they dampen sales of U.S. exports to Europe.