There is a lot of anger in Greece and Italy right now, and understandably so. The Greeks may have been criticized for not paying their share in taxes, and for being unproductive and engaging in debt. However, do they deserve to be punished so that the creditors do not have to take a loss? Is austerity for the people and bailouts for the bankers really the best solution?
Every loan comes with a risk. Part of the reason that a loan pays interest is to compensate for that risk. The loans should probably not have been made in the first place, but now that they have been, is it fair to expect the taxpayers of Germany and France to pay the price for that mistake? Should the people of Greece be punished for the next 10 years, or should they default so that they can start afresh?
This article from the BBC covers the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi:
Silvio Berlusconi has resigned as prime minister of Italy, after dominating the country’s politics for 17 years.
President Giorgio Napolitano accepted his offer and is likely to appoint technocrat Mario Monti his successor.
Mr Berlusconi lost his majority amid an acute debt crisis that threatens the eurozone. He promised to go once MPs had approved new austerity measures.
Crowds celebrated outside the presidential palace, shouting “buffoon” as he entered.
The BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome says Mr Berlusconi’s last journey as prime minister was an undignified one.
Police struggled to control a large, hostile crowd which booed and jeered as his convoy swept by, and after his resignation he left by a side exit to avoid the protesters.He said he felt “embittered” after hearing the insults.
Mr Berlusconi is Italy’s longest-serving post-war prime minister. His premiership has recently been marred by many scandals.
He is a consummate survivor, our correspondent says, but he was overwhelmed by the scale of the financial crisis which has engulfed Italy.
After losing his parliamentary majority on Tuesday, Berlusconi promised to resign when austerity measures, demanded by the EU and designed to restore markets’ confidence in the country’s economy, were passed by both houses of parliament.