Greece debt crisis

'The IMF acts as the bailiff on behalf of Wall Street'

Do bailout programmes do more harm than good?
The International Monetary Fund's latest $56 billion loan to Argentina is at risk of failing again. The Argentinian peso has slumped and opposition leader Alberto Fernandez wants to ditch the austerity conditions attached to IMF bailouts that have so far failed to reduce inflation, stabilise the currency or halt recession. 

The Washington-based multilateral organisation monitors the global economy and fights the world’s financial fires. But as Argentina struggles to keep its economy together, it appears the IMF has tough questions to answer about its effectiveness.

The BBC's Nigel Cassidy spoke with Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister and the prominent US economist Ken Rogoff, who used to be the chief economist at the IMF.

(Image: Yanis Varoufakis. Credit: Getty Images)
Outgoing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. Photo: 7 July 2019

Mark Lowen

BBC Turkey correspondent, Istanbul

The outgoing prime minister seemed like the figure of change in 2015 but he hopelessly overpromised.

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2015: A street artist's graffiti guide to debt crisis
Street artist Cacao Rocks explains what the increasing graffiti in the Greek capital tells us about the political climate in the country.
Alexis Tsipras resigns in 2015 and calls early elections
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced he is resigning and has called an early election.

Is Greece out of the woods?

Greece has exited its bailout programme. What does the future hold?
Greece exited its bailout programme last week. It's the culmination of nine years of reliance on huge loans from international finance bodies and stringent budget cuts. Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, heralded it as a day of liberation.

In the course of the country's economic crisis, youth unemployment rose to nearly 50 per cent and 40 per cent of the working age population was left at risk of poverty. Pensions were frozen and public sector salaries slashed.

David Aaronovitch speaks to guests about what successive governments have had to do to turn things round and what impact years of austerity have had on the day-to-day life of the Greek people. And although the economic indicators have improved somewhat, how confident can the Greek government be in its future and in its ability to stimulate longer term growth?


Michele Kambas, Athens bureau chief at Thomson Reuters

Roman Gerodimos, founder of the Greek Politics Specialist Group

Chloe Hadjimatheou, BBC journalist

Professor Kevin Featherstone, Director of the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics

Producer: Tim Mansel.