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Privatizations and Debt : Lessons From The Greek Fiascο

Manasse, P., (2014), “Privatizations and Debt : Lessons From The Greek Fiasco”, EconoMonitor Blog, 02 January. In the midst of the European Debt Crisis, it is tempting to think that high-debt countries could alleviate the recessionary impact of the budget consolidation process by selling (poorly managed) assets and stakes in their state owned enterprises (SOEs), and by using the proceeds to buy back their debts. In addition to providing a …Read More

A Eurozone Report Card 2013

Weeks, J., (2013), “A Eurozone Report Card 2013”, Social Europe Journal, 23 December. Three and one-half years ago the infamous Troika (IMF, European Commission and the European Central Bank, with the German government in close attendance) began its unsuccessful attempt to contain the crisis of the Eurozone, with a draconian austerity program for Greece. Subsequently, the Troika would add Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain to its list for the austerity …Read More

Debt relief or debt restructuring for Greece?

Bastian, J., (2013), “Debt relief or debt restructuring for Greece?”, MacroPolis, The Agora Blog, 08 December. The two economic adjustment programmes for Greece from 2010 and 2012 as well as the sovereign debt restructuring from April 2012 and the debt buyback initiative in December of the same year have had a significant impact on the debt profile of Greece as a sovereign debtor. Greece’s creditor structure in 2013 compared to …Read More

The Re-Division of Europe

Papantoniou, Y., (2013), “The Re-Division of Europe”, Project Syndicate, 06 December. As the eurozone debt crisis has steadily widened the divide between Europe’s stronger northern economies and the weaker, more debt-laden economies in the south (with France a kind of no man’s land economy in between), one question is on everyone’s mind: Can Europe’s monetary union – indeed, the European Union itself – survive? While the eurozone’s northern members enjoy …Read More

Greece’s Reforms Have Only Cracked the Surface

Hatzis, A., (2013), “Greece’s Reforms Have Only Cracked the Surface”, The Wall Street Journal, 05 December. Last week Ángel Gurría, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, visited Athens to present the OECD’s latest economic survey of Greece. Since 2010, the report said, Greece “has made impressive headway in cutting its fiscal and external imbalances and implementing structural reforms to raise labor market flexibility and improve labor …Read More

The Faux European Recovery and Youth Unemployment

Weeks, J., (2013), “The Faux European Recovery and Youth Unemployment”, Social Europe Journal, 03 December. Suddenly the media is a buzz with the prospect of a recovery in the euro zone.  After four grim years of contracting GDP, unemployment and falling real wages, we read that country after country has turned the corner. Austerity worked and now we can reap the benefits. Before we become too overjoyed, it is worth …Read More

Greece Needs a Fresh Start

Hatzis, A., (2013), “Greece Needs a Fresh Start”, The New York Times, Room for Debate Column, 01 December. During its tumultuous history modern Greece has always managed to be part of the winning alliances. Right after its independence Greece was attached to the powerful British Empire. In the two world wars Greece was an energetic ally of the western powers. After a ferocious civil war it saved itself from becoming …Read More

The Greek Budget Myth

Feldstein, M., (2013), “The Greek Budget Myth”, Project Syndicate, 27 November. Recently, newspaper headlines declared that Greece would have a balanced budget for 2013 as a whole. The news came as quite a shock: Recall that when Greek officials came clean about the true state of their country’s public finances in 2010, the budget deficit was more than 10% of GDP – a moment of statistical honesty that triggered the …Read More

Interview of P.Thomsen at ‘Kathimerini’

Thomsen, P., (2013), Interview at ‘Kathimerini, Kathimerini, 24 November. Why has the IMF been repeatedly too optimistic on growth, and how do you see the outlook for the economy now? During the first year of the program, in 2010, the economy was on track with program projections. However, growth began to disappoint in step with growing political uncertainty and instability, which prompted fears of euro exit and drained deposits from …Read More

Global and Eurozone imbalances: A question of civic capital?

Bützer, S., Jordan, C. and Stracca, L., (2013), “Global and Eurozone imbalances: A question of civic capital?”, VoxEU, 23 November. Since the advent of the Eurozone sovereign-debt crisis, economic commentators have drawn attention to macroeconomic imbalances within the Eurozone. This column presents evidence on the link between macroeconomic imbalances and differences in culture – or more specifically, interpersonal trust. A conservative estimatation suggests that a one standard-deviation increase in trust …Read More