Monday, June 28, 2010

Greece Gets IMF Smiles, Spain Next

Attention Euro-folks!  Prosperity awaits if you'd just follow Greece's lead:

Greece will overcome its huge debt crisis with its austerity plan, an IMF official said Sunday as a poll showed a majority of Greeks fear that unpopular pension reforms will be in vain. 

Poul Thomsen, the head of the International Monetary Fund mission dealing with Greece, told To Vima daily that Athens is making progress on its "ambitious" programme of cuts.

Okay, maybe calling it prosperity is a stretch.  Solvency, maybe.  Survival?  Okay, maybe that too.  The rest of Europe, notably Spain, got the memo but doesn't want to read it just yet:

Now, governments across Europe say they have little choice but to pull back on social benefits, at least for now. Tax revenues are falling; populations are aging and rising deficits are everywhere, threatening the euro.

The reforms, however, may be politically explosive. In Spain, they come at a particularly hard time. The austerity measures are hitting a population that is already reeling from the highest unemployment in the euro zone — 20 percent over all, 40 percent for its young people.

Maybe the IMF should give the Spanish a little pep talk in the press or something.  How about a lollipop or something similarly sweet to make them eat their greens first?  I must be way more mature than than Europe's leaders, because years ago I abandoned any hope of anyone giving me something for free.