Analysis: Effort aside, Europe fails to staunch debt crisis

Press quote (Reuters)
Simon Tilford
09 May 2011

"From the start they have misdiagnosed the problem -- they haven't come clean about what the problem is and hence the medicine is all wrong," said Simon Tilford, chief economist of the Centre for European Reform in London. "Quite clearly, the problem in the case of Greece, Ireland and Portugal is that investors have justified doubts about the ability of those countries to grow sufficiently quickly to service their debts," said Tilford. "In Portugal, the EU sees this as a liquidity crisis, but it's really a solvency crisis. At the end of the day, I don't think there's any real way around the restructuring of the debts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal," said Tilford, adding that the EU would probably take some time to acknowledge this. "They'll try to push it down the road, there'll be soft restructurings first and then harder ones, but one way or the other, that's what they'll have to end up doing."