Speaking to CNN the American president said that «you cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression».
At some point he said «there has to be a growth strategy so they can pay off their debts».
Referring to Greece Obama said that there is no doubt that the Greek economy was in a dire need of reform. Tax collections was famously terrible. In order for Greece to compete in the world markets they had to initiate a series of changes.
He stressed however, that «It is very hard to initiate these changes if people’s standard of living is dropping by 25%. Οver time the political system and the society cannot sustain it».
«My hope is that Greece remains in the Eurozone, and I think that will require compromise on all sides», he said.
I think there is a recognition on the part of Germany and others that it would be better for Greece to stay in the Eurozone than be out, Obama.
The American president expressed his concerns about growth in Europe.: «Fiscal prudence is important, structural reforms are necessary, but what we’ve learned from the US experience …is that the best way to reduce deficits and restore fiscal soundness is to grow».
«There has to be a growth strategy and not simply the effort to squeeze more and more out of a population that is getting worse and worse», Obama said.