“Greece will not move forward with the continuing austerity measures,” said US Presidential candidate in the 1988 elections and former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis in an interview with the Greek-American newspaper “National Herald.”
Dukakis was asked if he believed that Greece should be having snap elections, given that the country had not yet overcome the economic crisis. “It is obvious that when you push a country to adopt policies that cannot help overcome the economic depression, then the people will reach a point where they cannot stand it anymore,” he said. He also noted that he is not sure if SYRIZA will be elected, or if the country will stay in the Eurozone.
Multiple times during his interview, Dukakis mentioned that the austerity measures are horrible for the people. “A country cannot recover from an economic crisis through austerity. It is not possible,” he said, adding that the U.S. attempted a similar policy under Hoover during the 1929 economic crisis and that turned out to be the worst economic depression in history.
Furthermore, in regards to his opinion on the current situation in Greece, Dukakis noted that Europe needs to stop enforcing austerity measures and adopt new policies that will help revive the economies of southern Europe. It needs to establish integrity criteria, settle the structural changes and help make the necessary reforms in Greece. Meanwhile, in terms of the economy, Europe must invest in the country’s infrastructure and help create new jobs.
Dukakis is currently teaching at UCLA in Los Angeles and Northeastern University in Boston.