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Intransigent Bundesbank: Mr Jens Weidmann’s surreptitious campaign to bring back the (greater) Deutsch Mark

Intransigent Bundesbank: Mr Jens Weidmann’s surreptitious campaign to bring back the (greater) Deutsch Mark | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Any fair minded reading of the Bundesbank’s latest Constitutional Court deposition must lead to one of two conclusions: Either the Bundesbank has failed to recognise the existentialist threat to the Eurozone (that was placed in suspended animation during the past eight months or so), or the Bundesbank has intentionally opted for a strategy that will, sooner or later, see the disbanding of the current Eurozone. Loath to assume naiveté on the Bundesbank’s part, I opt for the latter. Here is why:

Jamie Jordan's insight:

We will have to wait and see, but the Bundesbank has been at the forefront of obstructing initiatives which have been seen to be to the advantage of the eurozone during the crisis.

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ETUI report underlines the costs of austerity

ETUI report underlines the costs of austerity | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
By Steve Coulter, LSE Just out from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) is ‘Benchmarking Working Europe 2014’, the ETUI’s annual stock-take of macro
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Always a good report.

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Eurozone at risk without banks overhaul, warns OECD - FT.com

Eurozone at risk without banks overhaul, warns OECD - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The eurozone will be at risk of renewed financial market turbulence unless it stabilises its banks and makes progress on structural economic reform in both debtor and creditor countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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Daniel Gros asks why the Greek economy remains mired in recession?

Daniel Gros asks why the Greek economy remains mired in recession? | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The news from Greece these days has been dominated by the announcement that the government achieved a primary budget surplus in 2013. But another, much more important news item has received much less attention: Greece exported less in 2013 than in 2012.
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Why is political science not in crisis as a result of the crisis?

Why is political science not in crisis as a result of the crisis? | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Economics is beginning to rethink many of its presuppositions as a consequence of the financial crisis, but political science sails blithely and complacently onwards
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Political Economy continues to shine a beacon of light in the otherwise murky world of Political Science. I can get on board with that assessment.

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Greek ‘social dividend’ distribution plan is out

Greek ‘social dividend’ distribution plan is out | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The Greek government has now decided how to use the 2013 primary surplus to pay out as a ‘social dividend’ of €525m to be distributed by May 9. Here is the list, as provided by Kathimerini.

 
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Greek government and troika reached accord

Greek government and troika reached accord | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Greece and the troika stroke an agreement yesterday to unlock the next loan tranche. The hope is now that the disbursement of at least €10bn in loans will be approved at an informal Eurogroup meeting in Athens on April 1.

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Eurozone sovereign debt sales stabilise.

Eurozone sovereign debt sales stabilise. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Once volatile eurozone peripheral government bond auctions, which often sparked market-wide sell-offs at the height of the single currency crisis, have stabilised this year as investor worries shift towards emerging markets. Bond prices around these
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Things are 'normalising' apparently!

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The shocking health consequences of austerity cuts in Greece

The shocking health consequences of austerity cuts in Greece | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Studying the impact of spending cuts on the Greek health system, academics from the UK found evidence of rising infant mortality rates, soaring levels of HIV infection among drug users, the return of malaria, and a spike in the suicide count, the Independent reports.

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Portugal the surprise hero of eurozone growth as exports and tourism prosper

Portugal the surprise hero of eurozone growth as exports and tourism prosper | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Tearful farewells have become a common sight at Lisbon’s Portela airport. Three years of punishing austerity and deep recession have triggered an exodus where an estimated 200 young graduates and other emigrants leave each day.

 

But nearby, the airport’s busy cargo terminals and bustling shopping malls reveal a less familiar aspect of the painful economic adjustment Portugal is making as part of a €78bn international bailout agreement: record levels of export growth and tourism have helped make the country the surprise hero of the eurozone recovery.

 
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Income inequality and the downward wage push

The most dangerous ‘imbalance’ at the heart of the UK economy is the disproportionate bargaining power that firms have over labour
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Very good piece.

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Europe’s ‘structural reform’ agenda is little more than a fairytale

Europe’s ‘structural reform’ agenda is little more than a fairytale | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The policy response to the Eurozone crisis has incorporated a number of different elements, including the structural reform of European economies. Aidan Regan argues that this ‘structural reform agenda’ has been defined in exceptionally vague terms, and that it is still unclear precisely which reforms would lead to tangible economic improvements in European countries. He writes that with the European Parliament due to hold elections in May, there may be an opportunity for opposition parties to politicise the issue and subject prevailing policies to proper scrutiny.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Not sure I quite agree that the structural reforms are quite as mystical as he argues in relation to the supranational institutions, they bail-out documents are pretty unequivocal. 

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Crucible of Resistance: Class struggle over ways out of the crisis.

Crucible of Resistance: Class struggle over ways out of the crisis. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Many commentators make Greece and other peripheral EU members responsible for the sovereign debt crisis. People in these countries would have lived above their means and it was only right that they should tighten their belts now, the argument goes. Having postponed the necessary restructuring for too long, austerity would be the only solution to enforce liberalization and deregulation from the outside. In their impressive book Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World EconomicCrisis (Pluto Press, 2013), Christos Laskos and Euclid Tsakalotos challenge these understandings and reveal the class dynamics underlying the crisis. In this blog post, I will provide a critical review of this book including also a discussion of potential ways out of the crisis. I will argue, in contrast to Laskos and Tsakalotos, that successful resistance may well start at the Greek, national level rather than the European level.  

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What euro crisis watchers should look for in 2014

What euro crisis watchers should look for in 2014 | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The euro crisis is not over, but one important shift has taken place. The policy debate has concluded.
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Four Years of Austerity in 40 Pictures | VICE United States

Four Years of Austerity in 40 Pictures | VICE United States | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Dimitris Michalakis' series depicts the social impact of austerity in Greece, and serves as a snapshot into almost half a decade dominated by headlines about social polarity, debt, and economic crisis…
Jamie Jordan's insight:

This is a wonderful, if extremely sad, article about the plight of ordinary Greek people. An absolute must read/view.

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Europe’s banks load up on sovereign debt - FT.com

Europe’s banks load up on sovereign debt - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Europe’s banks hold more sovereign debt than at any time since the eurozone crisis, fuelling worries about the potentially destabilising interdependency between the region’s financial institutions and national governments. Eurozone banks have added
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What you should know about Greece’s present state of affairs – an update

What you should know about Greece’s present state of affairs – an update | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

“It takes a passionate disregard for the truth to suggest that Greece is recovering.” That was my verdict last December upon being asked to comment on Greece’s rumoured recovery. Almost three months later, it is time for an update. The gist of today’s update is depressingly simple: Still, no sign of Greek-covery whatsoever. Indeed, every single indicator (including the ones that are presented as evidence of light at the tunnel’s end) points in a sadly negative direction…

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Some devastating analysis for the establishment.

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Greek MPs get briefed on reform bill today, vote scheduled for Sunday

Greek MPs get briefed on reform bill today, vote scheduled for Sunday | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Anxious lawmakers who have yet to see the details of Greece’s deal with the troika are due to be briefed Thursday on the details of the government’s multi-bill containing the agreed reforms, with changes to the rules on fresh milk and pharmacy ownership being two of the most contentious issues, writes Kathimerini. A total of eight lawmakers (five from New Democracy and three from PASOK) have indicated they will not vote for all the multi-bill’s provisions.

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The Greek crisis we don’t see

The Greek crisis we don’t see | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The economic impact of the Greek crisis has been well publicised. A recession that began in 2008 has led to GDP contracting by a quarter, while unemployment has risen above 27 percent. Greece’s fiscal consolidation effort has also received much attention. A general government deficit of 15.6 percent in 2009 was transformed into a small surplus in 2013 – one of the sharpest adjustments the world has ever seen.
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Some very sad statistics in here.

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Unveiling DG ECFIN Thinking On Competitiveness

Unveiling DG ECFIN Thinking On Competitiveness | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
This Wednesday, the Commission will publish its new series of country in-depth studies with the aim of identifying those member states in danger of suffering from an excessive macroeconomic imbalance. The novelty here is that Germany as an economy recording huge external surpluses will also be examined by the Commission. Whether the Commission will seize …
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'Competitiveness' unpacked further here.

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Whither the Euro?

Whither the Euro? | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Historians may wonder how it came to be introduced in the first place!


The euro area economy is in a terrible mess!

 
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A solid overview of the situation in the eurozone just as more commentators claim that the situation is normalizing!

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Five risks to Portugal’s bailout success

Five risks to Portugal’s bailout success | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Talks this week between Portugal and its bailout lenders are expected to be strained after Lisbon rejected a call for further wage reductions and dismissed concerns that the country’s export growth may be unsustainable.

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Greece in danger of repeating familiar mistakes with Golden Dawn

Greece in danger of repeating familiar mistakes with Golden Dawn | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Barring any last minute upsets, Golden Dawn will officially become Greece’s third-largest party when local and European Parliament elections are held in May. At least that is what opinion polls have been indicating for some time. It would represent another milestone in the shocking rise of the Neo-Nazi party, which has proved a challenge Greece’s political system has been unable to tackle.
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An insightful piece on Golden Dawn.

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German law professor says MoU’s 'in breach' of EU human rights laws

A German law expert studied the austerity programmes agreed with the troika and concluded that some of the measures are in breach of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to the EU Observer.

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Worrying predictions for Eurozone living standards

Worrying predictions for Eurozone living standards | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Here is a startling prediction from the European Commission. In the absence of comprehensive economic reforms, living standards in the eurozone, relative to the US, will be lower in 2023 than they were in the mid-1960s.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

Not usually one for all this prediction malarky, but thought this was interesting.

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Exploitation in the Global South and North: lessons from the aluminium industry.

Exploitation in the Global South and North: lessons from the aluminium industry. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The production of aluminium is based on the destruction of the environment and exploitation of workers in the Global South and North alike, reported Frank Meyer, the Director of ARBARK, the Archive and Library of the Norwegian labour movement, to the transnational labour project at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo. In this blog post, I will provide an overview of Frank Meyer’s key points in relation to his comparative case study of Porto Trombetas in Brazil and Årdal in Norway and reflect on the possible involvement of trade unions in resisting exploitation in the aluminium industry.

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