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The Greek paradox

Karamouzi, E., (2013), “The Greek paradox”. In LSE, The Crisis of EU Enlargement, London: LSE !deas.

In recent years, Greece’s place in the EU has been ferociously debated as Athens’ financial and economic woes continue to trouble the stability of the euro and rattle the Eurozone markets. Contemporary press and European political elites alike engage in a seemingly endless blame game over the political origins of the Greek financial crisis. The fact that former President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who was instrumental in welcoming Greece to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1981, recently admitted that it was a mistake to support Greece’s membership in a roundtable with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, further rekindled interest in the story of Greece and Europe. The focal point in what follows is Greece’s accession to the EEC and in particular the political discourse that took place within the institutions of the European Community from June 1975, when Greece lodged its application, to February 1976, when the Council of Ministers accepted the Greek application without preconditions. In reconstructing the story of the Greek talks, this contribution will not follow a strictly national approach, examining the influence of domestic economic, political and social determinants in the development of Greece’s European policy. Rather, the behaviour and attitudes of the member states towards the Greek enlargement will take centre stage in order to explore the deeper question of why the EU expands.

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