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As Greece's Decision on Austerity Nears- Debt Forgiveness Must be Considered

The clock is ticking down to Sunday's referendum in Greece with regards to a "no" or a "yes" vote on reforms proposed by its creditors. The Greek decision will determine the depth of austerity policies the nation would have to institute as a pathway back to financial health. 

The choices facing Greece are to either accept the austere plan put forward by the European Commission, the European Central Bank(ECB) and the International Monetary Fund(IMF) in a proposal on June, 25; or to reject the plan, to seek greater debt relief, to run the risk of exiting the euro zone and to possibly face more uncertainty due to the troubling debt and the difficulty securing new credit. These are all tough choices, but the Greeks must decide.

Whatever the decision, one thing remains clear: Greece needs debt relief to survive. It needs some loans forgiveness as part of any package toward its financial health. Should Greece adopt any proposal for assistance without considerable debt relief, it would amount to yet another prolongation of its financial saga and the quick return to today's conditions of smothering in debt.

Greece was one of 20 countries that forgave and restructured huge German debts at the end of World War II, and as reported by the Associated Press(AP), such forgiveness and restructuring favoring the Germans, allowed for the German economy to prosper. Yet, it remains ironic that Germany has appeared adamantly opposed to any forgiveness of Greek debt in 2015.

Therefore, on the concurrence of the Greek people in referendum, Athens, after Sunday, must proceed expeditiously to seek considerable debt forgiveness from creditors. Fees and repayments paid by Greece to the IMF on loans in the past five years amounts to over $3.9 billion. Greece just missed a $1.8 billion payment to the IMF. 

So after Sunday in Greece, international bankers will still have the opportunity to ensure Greece's prosperity as part of the euro zone, or to push Greece farther onto itself and into new alliances with whomever it deems necessary to sustain the cultural identity that is Greek.