Greece: How Much Pain Compared To Ireland And Italy

Includes: EIRL, EWI, GREK, IRL
by: Constantin Gurdgiev

Today, I took part in a panel discussion about the Greek situation on NewstalkFM radio (here is the podcast link) during which I mentioned that Greece has taken a unique amount of pain in the euro area in terms of economic costs of the crisis, but also the fiscal adjustments undertaken. I also suggested that we, in Ireland, should be a little more humble as to citing our achievements in terms of our own adjustment to the crisis. This, of course, would simply be a matter of good tone. But it is also a matter of some hard numbers.

Here are the details of the comparatives between Ireland, Italy and Greece in macroeconomic and fiscal performance over the course of the crises.

Macroeconomic performance:

Fiscal performance:

All data above is based on IMF WEO database parameters and forecasts from the April 2015 update.

The above is not to play down our own performance, but to highlight a simple fact that to accuse Greece of not doing the hard lifting on the crisis response is simply false. You can make an argument that the above adjustments are not enough. But you cannot make an argument that the Greeks did not take immense amounts of pain.

Here are the comparatives in various GDP metric terms: