For as long as the euro’s architecture remains incomplete, Greeks get to decide whether to pay or not. It’s called sovereignty.
Greece has escalated the European debt crisis, hoping that austerity would be reduced and debt forgiven as we approach the brink. Indeed the downside risks of a Grexit far outweigh any imagined benefits: Creditors would lose all loaned taxpayer money, and reverse the direction of European integration for the first time, precipitating furthercalamities down the road. But for as long as creditors resist deeper integration of theeuro area, with 19 euro members retaining their economic sovereignty, the blackmailing will go on. Not following the rules is the very essence of economic sovereignty. Greececan free-ride while weighing the costs and benefits of following the rules or not.
The solution to this is not self-defeating austerity, and we hope European leaders willbe too risk-avers to risk Grexident. The answer must be a decisive deepening of the single currency to render the euro sustainable.
Greece did not submit a new reform proposals at the Eurogroup meeting today and it was a wise decision.
Eurozone finance ministers should not decide on something that is no longer a financial/economic matter. There was just an inspired politician among Finance Ministers, but he did not speak the same language of the others and he is no longer there. Finance Ministers have been speaking out too much when they should have probably kept silent and let politicians and prime ministers take the lead and the responsibility that comes with it.Continue reading →
The European Union has been founded on a set of values: “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities”. Those values are not only common to the Member States but are also considered to be “universal”, meaning that they should be applied to all human beings. As Europeans, we would interpret that as the willingness to promote and apply those values to all human societies in the world. Unfortunately, when it comes to money and power, European decision makers are not even able to apply such values at the European level. In that context, how can they pretend that our model of society is universal if we are not even able to apply it within our own borders? Continue reading →