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脱离欧元区:希腊离婚闹剧

作者:未知 来源:未知 2015-06-28 我要评论( )

My big fat Greek divorce

希腊离婚闹剧


IT IS never pleasant to watch a relationship founder. Greece's prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has charged its creditors with trying to humiliate the country; he has accused the IMF of “criminal responsibility” for Greece's suffering. Prominent euro-zone politicians are saying openly that, without a deal to release rescue funds in the next few days, default and “Grexit” loom.

目睹一段关系破裂从来都不是能让人高兴起来的事情。希腊总理齐普拉斯控告债权人试图羞辱他的国家,还指责国际货币基金组织对希腊的受苦受难负有“刑事责任”。欧元区的高管显贵公开表示,没有了一项可在今后几天内发放救助资金的协议,违约和“希腊退欧”已经隐约可见。

The urgency is because of a repayment of €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion), which Greece seemingly cannot afford, to the IMF on June 30th and because Greece's European bail-out expires that day. Cue the last-ditch negotiations that have become a Euro-speciality: just after The Economist went to press, finance ministers were to assemble in Luxembourg; leaders may meet over the weekend; a European Union summit is scheduled at the end of next week. It may come down to a head-to-head between Mr Tsipras and Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor. A deal is still possible, but the sides have come to loathe each other. If this were a marriage, the lawyers would be circling.

形势紧迫,一是因为一笔希腊可能无力承担的、在本月30日对国际货币基金组织的15亿欧元(合17亿美元)的偿付,二是因为希腊的欧元区救助将在那一天到期。已经成为一项欧元区专利的最后时刻谈判再现江湖:就在本报付印后,欧元区财长们将齐聚卢森堡开会;各国领导人可能在周末碰头;一场欧盟峰会已经定在下周末举行。最后,这可能演变为齐普拉斯与德国总理默克尔之间的面对面交锋。协议仍存可能,只是双方已经开始恶语相向。如果这是一场婚姻,律师们会蜂拥而上。

Divorce would be a disaster—for everyone. The trouble is that, unless Greece and the euro zone change the terms of their relationship, staying together would not be a great deal better.

离婚会是一场灾难——对每一方都是如此。问题是,除非希腊与欧元区更改他们关系的条款,再在一起过下去不会是一个更好的办法。

Exit Greece, stage far-left

开除希腊,极左登台

To see why, start with the results of a default and Grexit. After arguing on and off for five infuriating years, some have begun to welcome the prospect. They are making a mistake.

欲知原因,先来看看违约和希腊退欧的结果。在你来我往地争吵了令人发疯的5年后,有的人已经开始欢迎这种前景。他们正在酿成大错。

For Greece the gains from defaulting would be slight, and the costs potentially vast. True, the country could walk away from debts of €317 billion, or almost 180% of GDP. But that is worth less to Greeks than it sounds. Although the debt is huge, it is at bargain-basement interest rates and repayable over decades. Interest payments until the early 2020s are just 3% of GDP a year. Even for Greece, that is manageable. Nor would leaving the euro do much good. In theory, with a new drachma and its own central bank, Greece could devalue and gain competitiveness. But Greece's trade is modest. And it has already lowered nominal wages by 16% without a boom in exports.

对于希腊,违约的收获会微乎其微,而付出代价可能是巨大的。诚然,这个国家能够甩掉3170亿欧元的债务,这差不多等于他们GDP的180%。但是,这并不像听起来那么划算。虽说债务庞大,但是其利率已经低得不能再低了,而且能够在数十年间偿付。直到2020年代早期,利息偿付都仅为一年GDP的3%。即便是对希腊来说,这也可以应付的。再者,离开欧元区不会有太多的好处。从理论上讲,有了新德拉克马和自己的央行后,希腊能够让货币贬值,从而赢得竞争力。但是,希腊的贸易规模不大,而且它早已将名义工资降低了16个百分点也没有带来出口的红火。

By contrast, the cost of Grexit would be exorbitant: bust banks, slashed savings, broken contracts and shattered confidence. Politics could be devastated. Syriza, Mr Tsipras's hard-left party, is anti-market and anti-enterprise. Neo-fascist Golden Dawn and the Communists, with a combined 12% of the vote, would thrive. Most of the parties in the middle, already discredited, would struggle. This week Mr Tsipras was due to play footsie with Vladimir Putin in Russia. Ejected from the euro, and possibly the EU, a country with a history of coups would risk becoming violent and even more corrupt.

相比之下,希腊退欧的代价会高得离谱:破产的银行,大幅缩水的存款,违约的合约,破碎的信心。政治可能会被摧毁。齐普拉斯的强硬左翼政党Syriza,反市场,反企业。亲纳粹的金色黎明党和共产党,加起来共有12%支持率,会大行其道。大多数身处其间的政党,因为早已名誉扫地,日子会很难过。齐普拉斯已经定于本周在俄罗斯同普京进行秘密交易。在被从欧元区,继而可能是被从欧盟驱逐出来后,一个有着政变传统的国家会冒让自己变得暴力,甚至是更加腐败的风险。

That is one reason for the euro zone to think twice before ditching Greece. A failing state on the Aegean would be the EU's problem regardless of whether its politicians accepted bribes in euros or drachmas—indeed, it would be a greater and less tractable problem than Greece is today. In addition, monetary union was supposed to be irrevocable. If, in fact, its members risk ejection, then contagion will be more likely to spread to other vulnerable economies, such as Portugal and Cyprus—if not in this crisis, then in the next.

这就是欧元区应当在踢开希腊前三思的原因之一。且不论该国的政客是用欧元收受贿赂还是用德拉克马收受贿赂,爱琴海上的一个失败国家会是欧盟的麻烦——实际上,这个麻烦会比当前的希腊问题更大,更不易处理。再者,货币联盟理应是不可逆转的。倘若其成员实际上是在冒被开除的风险的话,传染传播到葡萄牙和塞浦路斯等其他脆弱国家的可能性将会增大——就算不是在这次危机中,也会在下次危机中。

Some people, including possibly Mr Tsipras, have concluded that the price of Grexit is so high that Greece can count on the euro zone giving ground at the last minute. But that is reckless. If the euro is to endure, its rules must be enforceable. So long as the monetary union is forged between sovereign states the principles of irrevocability and enforceability are contradictory. Yet you can be sure there is a limit to what the euro zone will tolerate—even if nobody knows where it lies.

可能包括齐普拉斯在内的一些人已经认定,既然希腊退欧的代价这么高,那么希腊就可以指望欧元区在谈判的最后一刻做出让步。但是,这是不计后果的结论。欧元延续下去条件就是规则必须是可以强制执行的。只要货币联盟是由主权国家打造的,不可逆转和可以强制执行的原则就是矛盾的。然而,能够确定的一点是,欧元区的容忍将是有限度的——即便没有人知道这个限度在哪里。

Till debt do them part

直到因为债务而分手

The upshot is that Grexit is a process, not an event. Even if talks fail, even if Greece defaults, even if it introduces capital controls and the government starts to issue paper IOUs because no more euros are left—even then, a referendum or a new government could still offer Greece a way back.

[由此的]结论是,希腊退欧是一个进程,而不是一个结果。就算谈判失败,就算希腊违约,计算该国实施资本管制、政府因为欧元告罄而开始发行代币券——就算如此,届时,一场全民公投或是一个新政府也仍然能够让希腊迷途知返。

But a deal is a process, too. Though it would doubtless be hailed as a triumph, it would mark only a step towards the eventual restructuring of Greek debt. Trust is so low and Greece's reluctance to honour its pledges so evident, that each slug of new rescue money will depend on Greece showing that it has kept its side of the bargain. Such conditionality is necessary and economically desirable, but in today's poisoned environment comes at a high cost. Relations between the euro zone and Greece are defined in terms of the “concessions” each has screwed out of the other. The marriage may endure, but even more unhappily than before.

但是,一项协议也是一个进程。尽管它会被毫无疑问吹嘘成一场胜利,但仍然只是标志着通向最终的希腊债务重组的一步。由于当前双方的信任度之低,希腊信守承诺的不情愿又是那么明显,以致于今后每一笔新救援资金都将取决于希腊是否展示出了它在谈判中的承诺。这种制约性是必需的,从经济上来说,是有必要的。但是,在当今这种有毒的环境中,代价是高昂的。欧元区与希腊的关系是以“让步”——这个每一方都曾经逼迫对方做出来过的条件来界定的。婚姻可能持续下去,但是,要比以前不幸福的多。

A change of mindset is needed. Both sides have bungled the Greek crisis. Especially at the outset, the creditors put too much weight on rapid fiscal adjustment, in a doomed attempt to limit the size of Greek debt. As well as needlessly impoverishing Greece (GDP has shrunk 21% since 2010), this was a distraction from the real task, which is to sort out the structural impediments to growth—rampant clientelism, hopeless public administration, comically bad regulations, a lethargic and unreliable justice system, nationalised assets and oligopolies, and inflexible markets for goods and services and labour.

心态的转变是必需的。双方都没有处理好希腊危机。这在危机刚爆发的时候表现的尤为突出。当时,在一场注定要失败的限制希腊债务规模的尝试中,债权人曾对快速的财政调整施加了太多的压力。这不仅毫无必要让希腊变得更加贫困(其GDP自2010年以来已经萎缩了21%),而且还偏离了真正的任务,即清理那些对增长而言是结构性障碍的东西:猖獗的庇护主义、让人看不到希望的公共行政、滑稽可笑的糟糕监管、死气沉沉且不可靠的司法体系、国有化了的资产和垄断,僵化的商品、服务和劳动力市场。

But Mr Tsipras has made a bad situation worse. In 2014 the Greek economy grew. Now it is shrinking again, partly because Syriza has proved incompetent and even more clientelist than its predecessors. But also because posturing in negotiations has absorbed all Syriza's attention and set the country back years. The need for a crisis to bring the talks to a head and to wring concessions from the other side has wrecked market confidence. Capital has flooded out of the banking system. Investors have kept away. Every reform has become a bargaining chip that must not be traded away before a deal and will not be exceeded once a deal has been struck. The idea that reform is actually good for Greece has been lost.

但是,齐普拉斯却让原本就糟糕情况变得更加糟糕了。希腊经济在2014年实现了增长。如今又在萎缩的,这部分是因为Syriza的确无能,庇护主义甚于前任。但是,这也是因为在谈判中摆姿态占用了Syriza的所有注意力,从而让国家出现了倒退。让谈判谈出结果和从对方那里榨取让步危机需要摧毁了市场的信心。资本一直在流出希腊银行系统。投资者一直敬而远之。每一项改革都成为一个谈判的筹码——协议达成前,绝对不会被交出;一旦协议达成,又不会被加码。改革实际上有利于希腊的想法早已不知所终。

Most Greeks want to stay in the euro. But their politicians still look to Berlin for salvation, rather than to reform at home. Greece must understand that, if this does not change, the creditors will lose patience. Avoiding divorce would be better for everyone. But this marriage is not worth saving at any price.

大多数希腊人想留在欧元区。但是,他们的政客还在盼望柏林的拯救,而不是在国内进行改革。希腊人必须要明白的一点是:如果这种情况不改变,债权人将会失去耐心。避免离婚,对所有人来说都是再好不过的结果。但是,这场婚姻不值得不惜代价去拯救。

重点词汇学习:

sovereign ['sɔvərin, 'sʌv-]
adj. 至高无上的;有主权的;拥有最高统治权的;不折不扣的;极好的n. 君主;独立国;最高统治者

triumph ['traiəmf, -ʌmf]
n. 胜利,凯旋;欢欣vi. 获得胜利,成功

concession [kən'seʃən]
n. 让步;特许(权);承认;退位

prospect ['prɔspekt]
n. 前途;预期;景色vi. 勘探,找矿vt. 勘探,勘察

adjustment [ə'dʒʌstmənt]
n. 调整,调节;调节器

expire [ik'spaiə, ek-]
vi. 期满;终止;死亡;呼气vt. 呼出(空气)

fiscal [fiskəl]
adj. 会计的,财政的;国库的

ditch [ditʃ]
vt. 在…上掘沟;把…开入沟里;丢弃vi. 开沟;掘沟n. 沟渠;壕沟

nominal ['nɔminəl]
adj. 名义上的;有名无实的;[会计] 票面上的n. [语] 名词性词

coup [ku:]
n. 政变;妙计;出乎意料的行动;砰然的一击vt. 使…颠倒;使…倾斜vi. 推倒;倾斜;溢出

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