this view is wrong because austerity was inevitable when Greece was locked out of financial markets in 2010 with a structural fiscal deficit exceeding 18% of GDP the previous year, and wrong because the impact of this was always going to be severe for a chronically uncompetitive economy dependent on domestic public spending.

Austerity has played the role of the useful idiot for populists and nationalists in Greece who don’t want to accept that the roots of Greece’s economic and political problems were largely home-grown: chronically weak fiscal institutions and a dysfunctional legal, regulatory and tax system that for decades prevented the emergence of globally competitive private enterprises. —Greece blames everybody but itself for its economic woes