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Keynesian approach might have helped.

I'M afraid Mr Roberts has shot the wrong fox ("EU imposed harshest policies of austerity", WM letters, September 20).

The UK is not member of the Eurozone, whereas Greece is, and he is confusing two issues.

The British choice of austerity was a response (mistaken in my view) to the sub prime mortgage crisis in the USA whose tentacles spread contagion around the world's entire banking system.

With Greece, though, the issue was something rather different. It was caused by excessive sovereign debt after years of economic mismanagement (Varoufakis rather absolves successive Greek governments of responsibility in this), made much more difficult to manage of course because of its membership of the Eurozone which he likens to the old Gold Standard. He himself admits this, stating that Britain had a "lucky escape" by not joining.

Ioannis Oikonomou, a very well respected commentator and expert on the Greek economy, does admit that in managing this Eurozone crisis mistakes were made. He concludes, however, that on balance the response helped rather more than hindering the Greek road to recovery.

This is questionable, I think, and here Mr Roberts may have a point. After all, can one question British austerity as a response to a financial crisis, while at the same time absolving similar actions in the Eurozone? A more fruitful approach to the Greek problem (and the UK's) might have been rather more Keynesian; after all, Varoufakis himself is a massive fan of Keynes.

The Euro was as much a political process as economic. The Eurozone is not the EU and the UK is well out.

Robert Morgan Efail Isaf, Pontypridd

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 21, 2018
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