Comparing economic woes in Puerto Rico and Greece

AP News
Posted: Jun 30, 2015 6:08 PM

The governments of both Puerto Rico and Greece are facing financial crunches in which neither has enough money to make payments on mountains of borrowed money.



—Both the U.S. territory and the European nation struggle with widespread tax evasion, government corruption, a dearth of good statistics and a lack of transparency in public finances.

—Neither can devaluate their currencies to strengthen their economic competitiveness.



—Debt per capita in Puerto Rico is less than Greece's, and economists say the Caribbean island's economic crisis is not as complicated or profound.

—Puerto Rico's economy is fully integrated into the U.S. and it receives large infusions of federal funds, including Social Security and Medicare payments, while Greece does not get as significant flow of funds from the European Union.

—The island does not have a legal venue to declare bankruptcy, while Greece has the option to exit the EU's euro currency and has access to the International Monetary Fund and other institutions for emergency lending.

—Puerto Ricans can move to the U.S. and easily send money to relatives back home. Greeks have the same freedom within the EU, but can be discouraged by the language barrier.