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‘Crisis, What Crisis?’ On the Virtues of Muddling Through in European Politics

‘Crisis, What Crisis?’ On the Virtues of Muddling Through in European Politics | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

There can be little doubt that the EU faces a political crisis. But is this really an existential crisis for the European project, as many claim? Writing in a personal capacity, Henry Radice argues that muddling through a serious crisis, however unsatisfactory it might feel at the time, can be a sign of institutional resilience and strength, not weakness.

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Some interesting points developed.

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Germany’s weak point is its reliance on exports

Germany’s weak point is its reliance on exports | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

One of the biggest misconceptions about the eurozone has been a belief in the innate strength of Germany – the idea that competitiveness reforms have transformed a laggard into a leader. This is nonsense. The German model relies on the presence of an unsustainable investment boom in other parts of the world. That boom is now over in China, in most of the emerging markets, in Russia certainly. What we saw last week is what happens once the world returns to economic balance: Germany reverts to lower economic growth.

 
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Time to get serious about forced labour in supply chains

Time to get serious about forced labour in supply chains | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

We now know that our shopping carts are full of forced labour. So why are governments and industry doing so little to stop it?

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China swoops in on Italy’s power grids and luxury brands

China swoops in on Italy’s power grids and luxury brands | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Italy’s business elite – senior executives from blue-chip companies such as Telecom Italia and Vodafone plus high-ranking government officials – filled a renaissance palazzo across from Milan’s gothic cathedral this summer to court one of the
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Some details about Greece and Portugal also in here.

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Chinese investors surged into EU at height of debt crisis

Chinese investors surged into EU at height of debt crisis | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

As investors fled Europe in the worst days of its sovereign debt crisis, China-based companies moved in the other direction and surged in, with cash flowing from China into some of the hardest-hit countries of the eurozone periphery.

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A breakdown of Tsipras's pledges on economic strategy in Thessaloniki

A breakdown of Tsipras's pledges on economic strategy in Thessaloniki | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
In his speech at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki on Saturday, the leader of the main opposition party (SYRIZA) Alexis Tsipras reiterated his pledges on debt haircut and other measures to ease debt servicing.
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WEF report highlights weakness of Greek institutions and challenges of recovery

WEF report highlights weakness of Greek institutions and challenges of recovery | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece’s competitiveness improved by 10 spots in 2014, at an accelerating pace compared to the previous year, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) today. In 2013, Greece had gained 5 spots.
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Switzerland named as world’s ‘most competitive’ economy - FT.com

Switzerland named as world’s ‘most competitive’ economy - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

But rankings within the eurozone remain very uneven, with the WEF arguing that “while the divide between a highly competitive north and a lagging south and east persists, a new outlook on the European competitiveness divide between countries implementing reforms and those that are not can now also be observed.”

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Trade unions and global restructuring: Unravelling Capitalist Globalization

Trade unions and global restructuring: Unravelling Capitalist Globalization | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Despite the prolonged global economic crisis since 2007/2008, neo-liberal economic thought and practice continue to reign supreme. In his important book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013), Martin Hart-Landsberg makes a number of key interventions unravelling the myth of neo-liberalism as well as the dynamics underlying capitalist accumulation.

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Bundesbank shifts stance and backs unions’ push for big pay rises

Bundesbank shifts stance and backs unions’ push for big pay rises | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The Bundesbank has backed the push by Germany’s trade unions for inflation-busting wage settlements, in a remarkable shift in stance from a central bank famed for its tough approach to keeping prices in check. Jens Ulbrich, the Bundesbank’s chief
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Greece ponders how to deal with rising unpaid private debt, which hit 88 pct of GDP

Greece ponders how to deal with rising unpaid private debt, which hit 88 pct of GDP | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Unpaid private debt in Greece is estimated to have reached around 160 billion euros, which corresponds to 88 percent of GDP, but was largely ignored until the last few days, when it became a key issue in the discussion between the government and the troika.
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Credit crisis far from over for Europe’s small businesses

Credit crisis far from over for Europe’s small businesses | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
For governments and large companies, the worst days of the eurozone crisis are a distant memory. Fragmentation of eurozone capital markets – which once threatened to blow up Europe’s monetary union – has largely healed. But for small businesses in
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Central banking and the governance of the price architecture

Monetary policy will not alleviate the injustices of prices in an era of massive inequality
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Bloody excellent.

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Greece shelves water privatisation plans, leaving gap in revenue targets

Greece shelves water privatisation plans, leaving gap in revenue targets | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The government’s plans to sell stakes in Greece’s water companies have now been completely shelved after the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) decided to freeze the privatisation of the state-run firm in Thessaloniki in the wake of a court ruling blocking the sale of the one in Athens.
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Austerity returns as Commission prepares to reject French budget

Austerity returns as Commission prepares to reject French budget | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The Wall Street Journal, FAZ and die Welt have the story that the European Commission is preparing to reject the French 2015 budget after talking to Commission officials. This would be the first time a budget is sent back since this procedure was installed in 2011.

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Greece primps for big China state deals

Greece primps for big China state deals | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
When Xi Jinping, the president of China, made an unofficial one-night stopover in August on the island of Rhodes, on his way to Brazil for a summit of leading emerging markets, Greece’s president and premier flew from Athens to make sure his stay
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Chinese investors play key role in Portugal success

Chinese investors play key role in Portugal success | European Political Economy | Scoop.it



Portugal, like other crisis-hit eurozone countries under pressure to sell off state assets, has sold large minority stakes in utilities and infrastructure operators to Chinese companies. As much as a gateway to Europe, these Chinese investors are also buying into what they see as a strategic hub for expanding across Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and other former Portuguese possessions.

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European Commission sees some progress in Greece's market reforms

European Commission sees some progress in Greece's market reforms | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
In its report titled “Market Reforms at Work in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece”, the European Commission (EC) has outlined that reforms of the public administration, the judicial system and those to facilitate the ease of doing business in Greece have had a positive but partial impact.
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Resist and transform: the struggle for water in Greece

Resist and transform: the struggle for water in Greece | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

A combination of opposing privatisation and putting forward practical alternatives is helping water campaigners mount an effective challenge to austerity in Greece.

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OECD report paints grim picture for Greece's labour market

OECD report paints grim picture for Greece's labour market | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
In its 2014 Employment Outlook published today, OECD retains its estimates for Greek unemployment rate unchanged at 27.1 percent in 2014 and 26.7 percent in 2015.
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The struggle against water privatisation: Victory for Greek union and social movements.

The struggle against water privatisation: Victory for Greek union and social movements. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Proposals to privatise the water company in Thessaloniki/Greece were overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum on 18 May 2014 with 98 per cent of votes against. In this guest post, his third contribution focusing on the privatisation of water, EPSU's Jan Willem Goudriaangives an update of the struggle of Greek workers against the austerity policies imposed upon them.

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The Plight of Greek Higher Education

The Plight of Greek Higher Education | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Greek higher education has been, for the past four years, under a double attack, both by crippling austerity-induced budget cuts and by an attempt to accelerate the imposition of aggressively neoliberal reforms towards an entrepreneurial model of higher education.

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The TTIP and the changing fault-lines in global trade politics

New conflicts and controversies are emerging as the remit of trade liberalisation broadens
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Students caught up in power games at Greece’s unruly universities - FT.com

Students caught up in power games at Greece’s unruly universities - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Alexandros, a final-year student, was dejectedly sipping an iced cappuccino at a café close to the downtown campus of Athens polytechnic, where anarchists mingle with undergraduates. Just as his examinations were due to start, a strike by
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Paris's return to public water supplies makes waves beyond France

Paris's move to take back water supplies inspires others* Veolia, Suez margins fall as towns negotiate discounts* EU anti-privatisation trend pushes water firms abroad* Private water firms grow quickly

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Did the Troika get it right?

Did the Troika get it right? | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Martin Myant of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) examines the forecasting record of the European Commission and finds it wanting The European
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Some good stuff in here about the development of exports in Greece and Portugal

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