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Can Greece shake off its political passivity?

Petsinis, Vassilis, (2016), “Can Greece shake off its political passivity?”, European Council of Foreign Relations, 27 May The public mood in Greece has gone through three stages since January 2015: optimism, agony, and passivity. The first stage, optimism, corresponds to the first months after Syriza’s victory in the elections of January 2015, when a positive turn for Greece seemed possible in spite of the critical situation in the country. The second …Read More

Poul Thomsen, Greece And IMF Cynicism

Munevar, Daniel, (2016), “Poul Thomsen, Greece And IMF Cynicism”, Social Europe Journal, 16 February For the casual reader, Poul Thomsen’s recent piece on the role of the IMF in the bailout review negotiations taking place between Greece and the Troika would seem balanced and reasonable. At the end of the day, as he has argued elsewhere, the numbers simply need to add up. For that, there is a trade-off between …Read More

Greece: Toward a Workable Program

Thomsen, Poul M., (2016), “Greece: Toward a Workable Program”, Blog iMFdirect, 11 February. Having successfully pulled Greece from the brink last summer and subsequently stabilized the economy, the government of Alexis Tsipras is now discussing with its European partners and the IMF a comprehensive multi-year program that can secure a lasting recovery and make debt sustainable. While discussions continue, there have been some misperceptions about the International Monetary Fund’s views and role in …Read More

The Varoufakis Effect?

Varoufakis, Yanis, (2016), “The Varoufakis Effect?”, Project Syndicate, 26 January In his end-of-2015 missive, Holger Schmieding of the Hamburg investment bank Berenberg warned his firm’s clients that what they should be worrying about now is political risk. To illustrate, he posted the diagram below, showing how business confidence collapsed in Greece during the late spring of 2015, and picked up again only after my resignation from the finance ministry. Schmieding …Read More

The Left in government again: Principled politicians and pragmatic policies – A lesson on how to square the circle

Sourvanos, Dimitris, Nanou, Kyriaki, (2015), “The Left in government again: Principled politicians and pragmatic policies – A lesson on how to square the circle“,  LSE blog, 24 November Last week Euclid Tsakalotos gave a talk at the LSE discussing from his own experiences – as (the current) finance minister in Greece and as a lifelong Marxist – the difficulties that left-wing parties are faced with when governing under severe constraints. Relevant Posts Cowen, T. …Read More

A More Ambitious Agenda Needed to Combat Greek Debt

Hyppolite, Paul-Adrien, Roussille, Nina, (2015), “A More Ambitious Agenda Needed to Combat Greek Debt”, Economonitor, 14 November. The July 12th euro area summit ended with a last minute agreement that avoided an imminent ‘Grexit’. Even before negotiating the third bailout program, the Greek government accepted several conditions imposed by its European partners. Among these, the most debated is the creation of a fund to monetize €50bn of public assets through privatizations and other means, …Read More

Alternative measures of government indebtedness

Dias, Daniel A., Wright, Mark L. J., (2015), “Alternative measures of government indebtedness”,Voxeu, 13 November. Measured as a percentage of its GDP, Greece’s debt is higher than that of Portugal and Ireland. This column discusses a range of new techniques for measuring the debts of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. It argues that plausible alternative measures of indebtedness suggest that Greece is anywhere from as much as 50% more indebted than Portugal and …Read More

Greece as an example of “post-politics” in the eurozone

Chatzistavrou, Filippa, Michalaki, Sofia, (2015), “Greece as an example of “post-politics” in the eurozone”, EPIN Papers, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Commentary No. 28, 9 November The past six months of negotiations between Greece and the EU/IMF have tested the unity, limits, stamina and financial interdependence of eurozone member states. Greece has emerged wounded from the fray, but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has established beyond doubt his dominance in Greek politics, against all odds, …Read More

New Countdown For Greece: A Bank Bail-in Is Looming

Minenna, Marcello, (2015), “New Countdown For Greece: A Bank Bail-in Is Looming”, Social Europe, 4 November. The debt crisis may no longer be in the spotlight but the financial situation in Greece remains complex. Greek banks continue to survive at the edge of bankruptcy, kept afloat only by Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) from the ECB and by still-enforced capital controls. After the August “agreement”, the Troika has promised the Greek government €25 billion …Read More

Three days to save the euro

Traynor, Ian, (2015), “Three days to save the euro”, The Guardian, 22 October Late on the afternoon of Friday 10 July, as European finance ministers were packing their bags for Brussels to attend yet another meeting on the Greek debt crisis, a shocking email from Berlin landed in the inboxes of a very small number of top officials. Earlier that week, the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, had been given an …Read More