Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stepped down as prime minster of Greece amid the country’s financial struggles but is it too little too late?  After his idea on a national referendum on the new EU bailout flopped Papandreou seemed to have lost the confidence of not only the people but the government as well.  The global markets have been reeling as this small country has been on the verge of collapse.  The fear is that if Greece fails it could pull down the value of the Euro and throw the other members of the EU into further financial difficulties.  

The beginning of the end for former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou happened when he stated that he wanted to put the latest EU bailout up for a national referendum.  This was not acceptable to the EU because if the people voted against the bailout Greece would most likely collapse relatively quickly throwing the world into further economic decline.  The Greek people did not like the strings (or conditions) attached to the new bailout.  Public sentiment seemed to be that they should reject the bailout.  Papandreou was caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  Either he could thumb his nose at seemingly the only people who could keep his country afloat or retract his offer to let the people speak.  

He chose the latter and the Greek people did not respond well.  ”The public in Greece is concerned about the stringent austerity measures being imposed as a condition of the bailout.  The most recent plan includes civil service pay cuts, job and pension cuts, higher taxes and a 50-billion-euro privatization plan across a wide range of enterprises, ranging from ports to utilities to the state lottery.”  SOURCE   The problem is that everyone wants help but they do not like it when those helping place requirements on those receiving the aid.  Many in Greece say that the EU is too controlling and that Greece should pull out.  

That would only serve to further drive Greece into the ground since their debt far exceeds what they bring in.  On a smaller scale look at the entitlement programs in the US.  After years of having housing, food and even medical expenses offset or even totally paid, many have become dependent on the government.  If the government tries to place new restrictions or conditions on these programs the recipients claim they have no compassion for those in need.  

The entitlements in America are unsustainable as are the bailouts in the EU.  The EU has the right and the obligation to other member nations to place these external restrictions on Greece as a condition to the bailout in order for Greece to turn the financial crisis around. So is it too little, too late for Greece?  Time will tell but it was an important step to renew the government as well as the country’s resolve to avert future crisis.

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