The Greek failure to successfully address tax evasion should prove instructive to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who in 2014 pledged to crack down on tax cheats. Greek measures to tackle evasion with enforcement have resulted in only small improvements. An enforcement only strategy should not be the model Ontario follows for tackling the underground economy. Relying on enforcement and punishment squeezes legitimate businesses who are already faced with high compliance costs and tax and regulatory burdens.
Greece does not have its own currency to devalue to gain economic relief. And so the nation's debt problem can't be fixed by issuing more loans with conditions that kill economic growth. If truth be told, there has never been a bailout designed to bail out the Greeks. The aid issued to date has been all about buying time to play musical bondholders.
Wall Street melts down in 2008. Greece announces financial troubles and borrows €110 billion in 2010. It isn't enough, so a second bailout package brings the total loan to €246 billion by 2016. In early 2015, Alexis Tsipras of the radical left Syriza party is sworn in as the new prime minister with a plan to refuse any more loans. On June 28, the Greek government announces bank closures. Two days later, they miss an IMF payment and default on their debt.
A Greek crisis cannot be good for the world right now, and we cannot/should not be mute spectators. Here are some reasons why we in Canada in particular, and the rest of the world in general, have to cautiously monitor the current events in Greece, and should try to guide or help Greece get out of the crisis before it becomes contagious. Canada already has internal financial stresses, just like many other countries around the world do, at this moment; this Greek crisis can add to external stress for many countries, and this really is bad timing, and an unwanted occurrence for the world economy.