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Greece – two alternative views

Mitchell, B. (2014) “Greece – two alternative views“, Bill Mitchell Blog, Modern Monetary Theory… Macroeconomic Reality, 24 December.


When I was in Europe recently, I had interesting discussions about the future of Italy, Greece and Spain with various people, particularly in relation to trying to understand the apparent dissonance between the strong support for the euro and the devastation that membership of the common currency has created in these countries. It is, of course, a very complex issue that goes well beyond economics (as most things do). I formed two alternative views from what I was heard from those on the so-called progressive side of the debate. Either they are kidding themselves or that they have crafted a plan to force Germany (mainly) to break up the currency union. The alternative scenarios was also quite distinct along national lines with Italians more likely to be in the former group and Greeks in the latter group, although my sample sizes were relatively small.

Relevant to this blog is the UK Guardian article from yesterday (December 23, 2014) – Syriza’s chief economist plots a radical Greek evolution within the eurozone – which I consider supports my dichotomy.

The article focuses on the “chief economist of Syriza”, the progressive party in Greece which in all likelihood will gain power as a result of the resolution to the current political instability. At least, that is what a lot of Greek-watching psephologists are saying. Me being just a Greek-watching economist!

Syriza is otherwise known as the – Coalition of the Radical Left.

The political signs are positive though. In the May 2014 – European Parliament – elections, Syriza triumphed moving from having 1 seat in the previous election to 6 seats in the EP and garnering 26.58 oer cebt if the vote. They are now the dominant Greek party in the European Parliament.

But then the Greeks also gave 9.4 per cent of the vote to the three successful neo-nazi Golden Dawn candidates to place it in third place overall.


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