Greece… that’s a country, isn’t it? Can a country even file for bankruptcy?
Apparently it can. And if it can happen to Greece, it can happen to you.
In recent years, Greece has been forced to implement austerity measures because it doesn’t have the money to pay for various programs that its political leaders implemented to help its citizens. That is to say, help its citizens and also garner votes to bolster public support for whatever party is in power.
But Greece isn’t just acting in a vacuum. It’s part of the European Union. Its economic problems put a drain on the resources of wealthier European Union countries such as Germany and France. Consequently, those countries are pressuring Greece to cut back on its spending in order to become more economically viable.
This places Greek politicians firmly between a rock and a hard place. On one side, they face EU pressure to cut back on spending, incentivized by economic aid with strings attached. On the other side, they face a populace who is losing out on formerly promised benefits and who is suffering from high unemployment. In addition, Greek politicians don’t want to look weak when dealing with the EU, but have little bargaining power because they desperately need economic assistance.
Greece may be forced into bankruptcy. They have already received a significant amount of bailout money which has done little to help with their economic recovery. Greece also faces a May 12th deadline to pay back the International Monetary Fund 744 million euros. If they don’t receive more bailout money, they will likely default on this repayment. Bankruptcy may soon follow.
Just Like You and Me
The economic crisis in Greece is not all that different from what many of us face in our own lives. Just as with Greece, when our income is too low to pay our debts, we are often left with no option other than bankruptcy. If Greece could get its economy to grown instead of stagnate, it could afford to pay its creditors. If we could increase our income, we could do the same. But this is easier said than done.
Lot’s of people who have file for bankruptcy feel some level of shame and regret. Even though it’s the right thing for them to do, they still may feel some remorse for not being able to pay their creditors.
But think about this: if an entire country might have to file for bankruptcy, how bad should little ol’ you feel about having to file?