This week on Utalk, Sarah from Dublin asks:
“How much has Greek debt crisis cost European taxpayers?”
Gregory Claeys, an economist with Bruegel, a Bruxelles based think-tank replied:
“For the moment, the Greek debt crisis has cost European taxpayers nothing. The reason is that the help given by the European partners to Greece has been provided purely through loans.
Basically, European partners have been borrowing money from the financial markets and then lend that money to Greece.
They have even made profits on these loans because the interest rate they charged Greece is higher than the one they pay to the financial markets.
Another interesting question we can ask ourselves is ‘What would happen if Greece defaulted fully on his debt?’
Then European taxpayers would pay on average 600 euros per citizen and this would be varied as different countries have participated in the bailout differently, according to GDP and population size.
For example, it could be as high as 1,000 euros for a citizen of Luxembourg and as low as 75 euros for an Irish citizen.”
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