noticed the problems that are afflicting our fellow Europeans, Greece. This is a country whose long socialist and corporatist rule has led it to a terrible financial position. Public sector wages and the size of the public sector is high. They have a huge military for an imaginary war with Turkey and a corrput private sector that pays very little in the way of tax.
As such their bonds have been under huge pressure, unable to make the grade so to speak the ratings agencies (still trusted I see despite the debacle they made of sub-prime) have started to downgrade Greek debt.
The Greeks have now, Ireland style, settled on a policy of mass austerity to try and cut out the danger of a default and of being kicked out of the euro.
The importance of Greece though is that in 2010, the issue of Sovereign debt will dominate the global news. the US, UK, Japan and virtually all major countries are trying to issue too much debt. If the great recession does not gently peter out (which is the most optimisitc view one could take), then Government debts are going to be the number one story.
Also, if these debt issues get out of control they are being used as a marker the major investment banks to mark a bnig sell-off in Stocks and shares around the world.
Greece might seem like a small country with problems far away, but they could soon be our problems and are set to dominate the agenda at home in the run up to the election.