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Portugal is the pupil that gets good grades for learning bad lessons

Portugal is the pupil that gets good grades for learning bad lessons | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

While the negotiations over Cyprus’s bailout agreement have been extremely controversial, this month also saw the EU and IMF relax the terms of their financial assistance to Portugal. Alexandre Afonso details some of the main reasons why Portugal has been treated much more leniently in negotiations. Despite falling short of economic targets, the country has been praised for its determination to implement austerity policies. However the extent to which the crisis has encouraged emigration by young Portuguese citizens may pose a future problem for the sustainability of Portugal’s welfare state.

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Some good analysis of the situation in Portugal.

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European Political Economy
Sources closely related to my own research on the eurozone crisis
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Chinese step up investment in European finance

Chinese step up investment in European finance | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Say Fosun or Anbang to most Europeans and they will probably shrug. But this could be about to change as the two acquisitive Chinese groups continue to snap up assets across Europe’s struggling financial services sector.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

More details of how Chinese firms are at the forefront of investing in Europe during the crisis, this time in Portugal with the potential purchase of the country's third largest bank. 

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Five Years On, Doctor and Patient Split on Greek Cure

Five Years On, Doctor and Patient Split on Greek Cure | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece and its international lenders both agree that the Greek bailout program flopped, but they disagree diametrically on why
Jamie Jordan's insight:

A good oversight about the mistakes that were made in implementing the memorandum. By Marcus.

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Alexis Tsipras’ article in Le Monde newspaper: Europe at crossroads

On 25th of last January, the Greek people made a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the one-way street of the Memorandum’s tough austerity, and to seek a new agreement. A new agreement that will keep the country in the Euro, with a viable economic program, without the mistakes of the past.

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A Finance Minister Fit for a Greek Tragedy? - NYTimes.com

A Finance Minister Fit for a Greek Tragedy? - NYTimes.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it


Yanis Varoufakis knows when he will go. “I’m not going to humiliate myself, and I’m not going to become compromised in terms of principles and in terms of logic,” he told me in early May. The Greek finance minister had just returned to Athens from a hopscotch tour of European capitals, during which he warned his fellow European leaders that they faced a Continental crisis: If they didn’t lend money to his ailing country soon, Greece might end up forced to leave the eurozone. And yet Greece wouldn’t accept many of the conditions they were demanding in return. He sounded angry. “I’ll be damned if I will accept another package of economic policies that perpetuate this same crisis. This is not what I was elected for.” He would resign, he said, rather than push the Greek people deeper into economic despair: “It’s not good for Europe, and it’s not good for Greece.”

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Good profile of V for Varouakis.

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Austerity Is the Only Deal-Breaker

Austerity Is the Only Deal-Breaker | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece’s government is eager to implement an agenda that includes all of the economic reforms that its creditors expect, and is uniquely able to maintain the public’s support for a sound economic program. What it will not do is embrace a cure – deeper austerity – that kills the patient.
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Ch. Kydona: The Community Clinics and the left Government

Ch. Kydona: The Community Clinics and the left Government | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
“We will keep doing our job...”     Christina Kydona   Those of us who founded, staffed and strengthened the Community Clin...
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The Impossible “Honorable Compromise”

The Impossible “Honorable Compromise” | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

For Syriza, embracing an “honorable compromise” means abandoning the platform that brought them to power.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

If Greece ends up leaving the euro through their own choice, this is the article through which it will be possible to frame the discussion of whether this was a sensible choice or not.

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Why Greece is Different

Why Greece is Different | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
With Greece’s economy tanking again, the country’s government is convinced that the terms of the bailout deal it made with its international creditors, including continued austerity, must be renegotiated. But austerity is not Greece's problem; exports are.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

Gros: 'Its inability to export its way out of the crisis'. This is compared to Portugal.

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Public admin shrinks by 11 pct during crisis, share of employment stays below EU average

Public admin shrinks by 11 pct during crisis, share of employment stays below EU average | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece cut its public administration workforces from 2008 to 2013 by 11 percent according to research and figures published last month by Eurofound, the EU’s research agency for social and labour-related issues.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

Contrary to what most would believe the Greek state, in terms of public administration, is understaffed, and this is having a direct effect on the ability of organisations being able to implement necessary changes. What is important to note is that the problem of the Greek public sector does not come from being too bloated in absolute terms compared to other EU countries, but is bloated because it is unable to generate the revenue to pay for it in this relative sense. 

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Greek companies: after the storm - FT.com

Greek companies: after the storm - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
What happens to Greek companies if the country leaves the currency union? The question has received little attention, perhaps because non-bank companies operating mainly in Greece are small in global terms, with a total market capitalisation of $31bn
Jamie Jordan's insight:

Some good insight into the structure of Greece's economy, and some of the problems its firms face in the case of an agreement not being reached.

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Dwindling pensions a sticking point in Greece bailout talks - FT.com

Dwindling pensions a sticking point in Greece bailout talks - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Michalis Akrithakis, a retired civil servant, is preparing to leave Athens to spend the summer at his family home in Crete, where his living expenses will be minimal. “Vegetables from the garden, eggs from my cousin’s chickens and backgammon in the
Jamie Jordan's insight:

A good basic insight into the highly problematic pension system in Greece.

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Syriza must let markets and meritocracy rule - FT.com

Syriza must let markets and meritocracy rule - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The Syriza-led government caused a stir in Greece last month when it made Leonidas Bobolas, a prominent businessman, pay €1.8m in back taxes to avoid being formally charged with tax evasion. Mr Bobolas is the chief executive of Ellaktor, the country’
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By Yannis Palaiologos, on the clientelism of the Greek state and the belief that Syriza may be falling into the same trap.

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A Powerful Look Inside Austerity-Hit Greece

A Powerful Look Inside Austerity-Hit Greece | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
See a humbling, intense meditation on the fragility of social cohesion
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A set of photos that may be of use in presentations, etc.

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AdP – Águas de Portugal | Portugal Daily View

AdP – Águas de Portugal | Portugal Daily View | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The decision to include Águas de Portugal (AdP) in the list of privatisations was taken during the international lenders’ second mission of assessment, in the same line as national broadcaster RTP. However, a privatisation model for this holding valued in €1bn has not yet been chosen. Last May, Minister of Agriculture Assunção Cristas said the government was aiming to separate and privatise the company’s wasteunit “until the end of the year”, after carrying out a restructuring of the Águas de Portugal group which will enable the operation.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Some details of the water privatisation. Need to follow this up, and see what happened.

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Greece’s Pension System Isn’t That Generous After All

Greece’s Pension System Isn’t That Generous After All | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece is upcoming under renewed pressure to cut pensions, but they actually aren't that generous.
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Long term debt deal could break Greek logjam

Long term debt deal could break Greek logjam | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Running short of cash to pay public sector salaries, pensions and debt obligations, Greece's Syriza has laid out what it will and will not negotiate with its creditors, but will it be enough?
Jamie Jordan's insight:

The in's and out's of the negotiations.

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With Money Drying Up, Greece Is All but Bankrupt

With Money Drying Up, Greece Is All but Bankrupt | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Bulldozers lie abandoned on city streets. Exhausted surgeons operate through the night. And the wealthy bail out broke police departments.

A nearly bankrupt Greece is taking desperate measures to preserve cash. Absent a last-minute deal with its creditors, the nation will run out of money early next month.

Two weeks ago, Greece nearly defaulted on a debt payment of 750 million euros, or about $825 million, to the International Monetary Fund

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Bit of a regional look at the situation in Greece.

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Ending the Creditor’s Paradise | Jacobin

Ending the Creditor’s Paradise | Jacobin | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

What would you tell six hundred leading German social democrats about their party’s handling of the Eurocrisis?

Jamie Jordan's insight:

A good piece from Mark Blyth about how the Hartz reforms, i.e. structural adjustment, did not bring about the competitiveness of the German economy, and there is no reason to believe that such adjustment measures are worth pursuing in the rest of the eurozone.

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Portugal, like Europe, loses hunger for reform

Portugal, like Europe, loses hunger for reform | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
SINTRA, Portugal (Reuters) - Celebrated among Europe's elite as a model of how to reform an economy after a debt binge, Portugal's enthusiasm for change has waned as Europe loses its appetite for further
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Syriza tensions reveal political stress in debt and social justice

Syriza tensions reveal political stress in debt and social justice | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
A call to break with the leadership of Greece's ruling party has highlighted the futility of debt-led austerity and the burden it places on people on the wrong side of a banker's bad bet.
Jamie Jordan's insight:
Some good stuff on household debt here.
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Lowest income groups in Greece saw wages drop and taxes rise most during crisis

Lowest income groups in Greece saw wages drop and taxes rise most during crisis | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Lower income groups in Greece saw their tax burden increase by 337.7 percent from 2008 to 2012, compared to a 9 percent rise for higher income groups, a new report on the impact of the crisis and austerity policies on incomes, inequality and poverty in Greece has found.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

A basic overview of the paper by the two UoA Profs about the growing inequalities in Greece, and who has felt the biggest effect of austerity measures. 

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Only one in 10 jobless Greeks receiving unemployment benefits

Only one in 10 jobless Greeks receiving unemployment benefits | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Only one in ten of the registered unemployed in Greece are in receipt of any kind of unemployment assistance, according to new figures released by the state jobs agency OAED.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

The limits of the Greek welfare state in full view in this short piece.

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Greece seemingly has no Plan A or Plan B on debt

Greece seemingly has no Plan A or Plan B on debt | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
It owes around 324 billion euros. The government doesn’t seem to have a credible plan for reaching agreement with its creditors. Nor does it appear to have thought out how to default while containing the collateral damage.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

Whilst I don't think I would be a natural ally of this guy politically, I do agree with most of what is being said here. 

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Syriza rebels call for ‘rupture’ with Greece’s creditors - FT.com

Syriza rebels call for ‘rupture’ with Greece’s creditors - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Leaders of the hard-left faction of Greece’s Syriza party have called for a “rupture” with creditors in a public challenge to Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, as he moves closer to a new bailout deal. The rebels include five members of Syriza’s
Jamie Jordan's insight:

The divisions within Syriza may end up being the downfall of the Party from its current governmental position.

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Greece to become first European country to recognize Human Right to Water?

Greece to become first European country to recognize Human Right to Water? | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
(18 May 2015) A year after the popular consultation that the people of Thessaloniki organised about the plans of the previous Greek government to privatise water (18 May 2014), the President of the Greek Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou has solemnly pledged her support to the implementation of the Human Right to Water as a just societal demand. It means she will help steer an endorsement through the full Parliament. She made the announcement at a meeting of the Thessaloniki City Council and wants
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