Structural imbalances in the Eurozone

A joint article – entitled ‘Austerity could only ever bring Europe so far’ – has been published in the Guardian newspaper (and elsewhere).  It is signed by the Hungarian EU Commissioner for Employment, a French MEP, an Irish government minister (Joan Burton), a former Belgian politician (and current OECD official) and the French president of ...

Armaments, corruption and debt

A recent report found that “the governments of countries of lending countries – like Germany and France – are emphatic on the priority of [Greece] settling outstanding bills with arms suppliers…, while at the same time insisting on swingeing cuts in public spending and other austerity measures”, despite the fact that there is evidence of corruption ...

Is the response to the crisis simply stupid?

Much current discussion of the euro crisis focuses on the seeming irrationality or incompetence of decision makers.  For example, Guardian economics editor Larry Elliot says that “there is a failure or an unwillingness to grasp a basic truth about the single currency: it doesn't work”.  While this may be true to a certain extent, one ...

The Greek ‘Bailout’

As Greek politicians in the midst of post-election turmoil are told that they must implement the ‘bailout’ programme agreed with the EU and IMF it may be timely to reflect on that programme.  Added topicality arises from the fact that Charles Dallara is speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) in Dublin ...

A growth pact?

The recent post by M.L.Paris discusses the possibility of a 'growth pact' arising from the election of Francois Hollande in France.  But part of the problem in analysing this issue is the ambiguity about what 'growth' means (and how best to promote it).  Consider the following statement from the Swedish Minister for Finance, speaking to ...