Austerity can be justified, but 8 percent interest rates on a debt that amounts to more than 100 percent of gross domestic product is just crazy. They will have to restore their public finances and then pay back this huge debt at the same time — and Greek debt amounts to so little when you compare it to what was needed to bail out the banks [last year]. Not only is this not going to help growth, it’s going to end very badly, politically speaking. Taxpayers cannot accept this in the long run.
~Thomas Piketty, professor and founder, Paris School of Economics, as quoted in "Deflation Could Stall Efforts to Revive Greece in Debt Crisis", NYT.com, May 2nd, 2010