Thursday, July 23, 2015

Readings on the Greek/Eurozone Crisis

This is a compilation of good and recent commentary on the ongoing Greek/Eurozone crisis (starting from the negotiation of the current agreement, 13 July 2015). I'll update from time to time (and please feel free to tweet me suggestions). Note that I do not necessarily "agree" with the arguments in each reading, but I think each makes an important argument that those wanting to understand the crisis and its future should take seriously.

"The Agreekment that Could Break Europe" by Harris Mylonas: Argues that the current crisis has exposed the 'dual integration crisis: European and national' troubling Europe today.

"Saving Greece, Saving Europe" by Barry Eichengreen. Economist criticizes the German position on the latest agreement for creating an economic and political disaster.

"Greece should seize Germany's botched offer of a velvet Grexit" by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Another article critical of the new agreement.

"Greek Crisis: A Fundamental Political-Economic Trilemma" by Erik Tillman (sorry!).  Argues that the Eurozone will either need to embrace deeper political integration or break up to escape its current predicament.

"Finland Shows Why Many Europeans Think Americans are Wrong about the Euro" by Neil Irwin. Makes the argument (by Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb) about the political importance of the euro for many smaller, peripheral countries like Finland.

"Finland is the poster child for why the euro doesn't work" by Matt O'Brien. A rebuttal of sorts to Irwin's piece. A comparison to non-euro Sweden shows that using the euro gave Finland no real advantage during the early years but has substantially hurt it since 2008.

"There is more to the Eurozone than the division between 'North' and 'South'" by Daniel Kral. Notes that post-communist Eurozone members have been strongly opposed to Greek bailouts due to their own political-economic conditions and experiences with adopting the euro.

"This is what economists don't understand about the euro--or the US dollar" by Kathleen McNamara. Argues, with evidence drawn from US political-economic history, that currency and fiscal unions are forged through contentious political compromises.

"Moving on from the euro" by Kevin O'Rourke. Argues that the euro is fundamentally flawed, and it would be better to end the project since the political will to make the necessary reforms is absent.

"This is why the current eurozone plan is going to fail" by Sheri Berman. Argues that the core problem is that the Greek state lacks the legitimacy to effectively tax its citizens, and the current agreement (if anything) will make that problem worse.

"The left must put Britain's EU withdrawal on the agenda" by Owen Jones. Argument by a left-wing commentator that the EU has become too incompatible with social democratic goals to justify continuing membership.

"It's time to end the Eurosceptic illusion" by Cas Mudde. Argues that the EU is fundamentally a neo-liberal and transnational project, so those on the left must come to terms with what this means rather than offering false promises to voters.