If a country/economy/society wants to enjoy products & services, it must produce the products & services which it desires. If it doesn’t or cannot do that, it must import those products & services from other countries. If it imports those products & services from other countries, it needs to give those other countries something in exchange. Ideally, that would be products & services which those other countries like to have. If it is incapable to give other countries, in exchange for products & services received, those products & services which other countries desire, then it has no choice but to give other countries promissory notes in exchange. Promises to pay later. In short: debt.Luckily, Greece has a service which other countries enjoy having almost without limitation – tourism. Unluckily, tourism alone is not sufficient to pay for all those products & services which Greeks like to import from other countries. Other countries no longer accept promissory notes in exchange. In logical consequence:
There is no way for Greece to return to prosperity other than by coming up with products & services which other countries like to have!
Foreign creditors could forgive Greece its entire debt and domestic banks could forgive their borrowers all their debt – if Greece does not manage to increase its productive capacity, the standard of living will ultimately sink to the level corresponding to the low productive capacity which Greece has (instead of corresponding to the level which Greece would have with a greater productive capacity).
In short: it’s the productive capacity, stupid! That Greeks are willing to work hard and produce has been proven by Greek guest workers all over Central Europe. The guest workers had to travel to places where the productive infrastructure was and send home the money which they earned. What Greece needs to do now is to bring the productive infrastructure to the country.