by Steven Rattner
New York Times
July 15, 2015
In dominating the debate over how to address the Greek crisis, Germany has shown that economic success brings political influence, which it wielded last weekend to brush away requests from France and Italy for more lenient treatment of their neighbor.
Not everyone loves German rigidity, but Europe should be grateful for it. While we don’t yet know whether the latest accord will stick, let alone succeed, the requirements are necessary to bring the Aegean country back to economic health and to save its participation in the common currency.
Too often, the debate over Greek economic policy is oversimplified into a classic macroeconomic tussle between “austerity” and “stimulus.”
Prudent fiscal policies are, of course, central to a well-functioning economy. What has gotten less attention — but is equally important — is the need for structural reforms in Greece’s inefficient, overregulated economy.