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April 8, 2010 8:11am EST
By Dimitri Kanellopoulos,
What's in the future for Greece?
NEW YORK (BuyActive) - Rumors are on the rise again and investors' confidence is shaky as the spreads widen. Greek/German 10 year bond yield spread hits 456 bps, a record difference of over 4 percentage points. This interest rate gap or spread, only makes it more expensive for Greece to borrow funds once again.

The joint European and International Monetary Fund agreement reached in March 2010 helped create a "safety net" for Greece. However, it also raised more unanswered questions. Although it was agreed in principle that Greece would get the help it needed, getting a loan would be difficult, since the conditions were not clearly spelled out. Also, the interest rate charged would be at market rather than at a lower preferential rate.

The problems faced by the Greek economy are not as unique or as catastrophic as the world may think. These issues must be addressed and resolved immediately because they will soon be faced by other countries as well. Portugal and Ireland are next to face the possibility of default and then Spain and Italy. Having a shared common currency does not permit Greece the opportunity to devaluate its currency as is common in such situations.

The government of Greece has already put deep cutbacks in place but needs some time for these measures to be effective. These structural changes will lead to a decrease in the budget deficit from 12.7% to 8.7% of the GDP this year alone, leaving Greece with a stronger economy and better bond spreads down the road.

In the meantime, Greece will be trying to sell its bonds in the U.S. in the hopes of raising more capital. So far Greece has been able to raise about 23 billion Euros out of a possible 53.2 billion needed for 2010.

Greece has survived many obstacles during its glorious past and I am confident that once again, this issue will be resolved and placed in the history books.

Dimitri Kanellopoulos,

Uri Dadush, director of the Carnegie International Economics program in Washington, talks with Bloomberg's Susan Li and Paul Gordon about Greece's debt crisis. Greek government bonds fell after the government revised its budget deficit higher, fueling concern the nation may default on its debt if it doesn’t get help from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

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Dimitri Kanellopoulos
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