Greece: 20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis

By the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Germany)

July 9, 2011 -- It’s that time again! Greece needs more loans and governments in Europe are arguing about whether it’s really necessary and who should foot the bill. There is widespread opinion in Germany that Greece itself is to blame for the problems it now finds itself in. It is claimed that first of all cheated its way into the eurozone, then the government spent too much and the governed worked too little, many believe.

Latently nationalistic interpretations of this kind have been nourished by German politicians and the media, who have no end of proposals for how to "solve" the crisis. For example, the Greeks should save more, work more and sell their public property – and if all of these measures do not help, then Greece will just have to leave the eurozone or declare itself bankrupt.

The stupid thing is, neither are the causes of the crisis that have been named are correct, nor will the proposed ways out of the crisis achieve their goal.

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has produced Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks! to explain the truth about the fallacies being spread about the causes of the Greek crisis, and who is responsible.

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung) is a German research foundation associated with the Die Linke party.

You can download the booklet (in PDF format) by clicking HERE, or read it on screen below.

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Table of contents

What is the crisis? False descriptions of the situation

1. "Greece has too many debts"

2. "The financial markets are scared that Greece will go bankrupt"

How did the crisis come about? Inaccurate research into the causes

3. "The Greeks are lazy"

4. "The Greeks are constantly on holiday"

5. "We are paying luxury pensions to the Greeks"

6. "The Greeks have been feathering their own nest well"

7. "The Greeks have been living above their means"

8. "The Greek state is over-inflated"

9. "Greece is not capable of competing"

10. "The Greeks are corrupt"

The way forward? False solutions

11. "The Greeks should start saving before we help them again"

12. "Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks!"

13. "The creditors should foot the bill!"

14. "Greece should get out of the Eurozone"

15. "Greece has to win back the trust of the financial markets"

The role of the Germans: False friends

16. "We want to be friends with the Greeks"

17. "You should help your friends – but not bail them out"

18. "No German tax euros for Greece!"

19. "We are the paymasters of Europe"

One last comment

20. "Greece cheated its way into the Eurozone – 'We are now paying the price for our indulgence'"

The text arose from the RLF-Project "Let's talk about alternatives..." in cooperation with the department for public relations of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation.


Dr. Sabine Nuss, Dr. Lutz Brangsch
Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin
Tel. +49(0)30 44310-448

Greece: 20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis

Submitted by Terry Bell (not verified) on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 21:11


This sort of material deserves the widest possible circulation and ios of great use to those of us who continue to argue for a saner and egalitarian world.