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European Political Economy
Sources closely related to my own research on the eurozone crisis
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Why Portuguese parties have survived austerity, whereas Greek parties failed

Why Portuguese parties have survived austerity, whereas Greek parties failed | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Greece and Portugal have been two of the hardest hit countries by the Eurozone crisis, however the political consequences of the crisis have been radically different in each state. While the economic problems in Greece led to the country’s two major political parties losing substantial support, Portugal’s largest parties have largely retained their appeal. Alexandre Afonso assesses the reasons behind this disparity, arguing that the absence of ‘pork barrel’ politics in Portugal, and the inability to place the blame for austerity on any one political party go some way toward explaining why Portuguese parties have survived (for now).

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Some sound analysis here.

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Globalisation in a time of transition

Protection is the dog that did not bark. Despite a huge financial crisis, the trend towards integration of the global economy has continued. This is surely remarkable. So why has this happened? Will it last?
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Some interesting comments on recent trends.

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OECD iLibrary: Statistics / OECD Factbook / 2012 / Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a key element in international economic integration. FDI creates direct, stable and long-lasting links between economies. It encourages the transfer of technology and know-how between countries, and allows the host economy to promote its products more widely in international markets. FDI is also an additional source of funding for investment and, under the right policy environment, it can be an important vehicle for enterprise development.

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Definition of FDI.

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Growing opposition to evictions in Spain: Andalusia takes the lead

One of the biggest components of opposition to the austerity measures in Spain has centred around housing, with the harsh mortgage laws having led to mass evictions. In a recent development in Andalucia, Izquierda Unida has been instrumental in passing a law to expropriate repossessed houses from the banks. Elsewhere Spanish workers are refusing to cooperate with evictions. 

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Amid the misery in Spain, it is wonderful to see acts of support for those who are the most vulnerable. 

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Eurobonds: A change of gear

The Autostrada del Sole, which joins Italy’s north and south and was completed in 1964, was as much part of the country’s postwar revitalisation as Fiat 500 cars and film stars wearing Gucci loafers.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

'As banks continue to struggle, capital markets are expecting a surge in demand for the funds needed to power growth'. Very interesting piece on the FT

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Troika returns to Athens with sticks-and-carrots agenda

The troika is to return to Athens today. Kathimerini has seen a draft plan of the revised memorandum, according to which new austerity measures will be required if Greek authorities fail to meet revenue targets and to plug a funding gap of over €1bn, mainly due to debts of the country’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Imagining that there will be more sticks than carrots!

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EUROPE UNHINGED - Article in the European Financial Review

EUROPE UNHINGED - Article in the European Financial Review | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The Eurozone was designed for a global economy in which the United States played a crucial role in recycling global surpluses, thus generating the requisite demand for net exporters around the world. When the 2008 financial storm hit, and the United States economy lost its capacity to recycle the net surpluses of the Rest of the World (including Europe’s), a monetary union lacking essential stabilising devices was bound to be profoundly destabilised. Can Europe’s leaders agree to a redesign that will help Europe survive in the brave new world unleashed by the financial crisis? Will they?

Jamie Jordan's insight:

One of the better things I have read recently on why the Eurozone crisis occurred, and continues to persist.

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The EU’s incremental adjustments to the eurocrisis may not be enough to meet the coming challenges to its governance and democratic legitimacy.

The EU’s incremental adjustments to the eurocrisis may not be enough to meet the coming challenges to its governance and democratic legitimacy. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Since the beginning of the eurozone debt crisis three years ago, the member states have been forced to change the governance of the eurozone in a long period of crisis management. Daniela Schwarzer looks over the major changes to the EU’s governance structure, arguing that the European Council, Germany, and the European Central Bank have moved to the centre stage, often leading to the marginalization of other supranational actors and smaller member states in decision making. She argues that while the eurozone has shown a remarkable capacity to adjust thus far, it may need far more fundamental reform to its institutional set-up if it is to cope with looming problems of governance and legitimacy.

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The fiscal implications of the ECB’s bond-buying programme

The fiscal implications of the ECB’s bond-buying programme | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The connection between fiscal and monetary policy is currently under scrutiny by the German Constitutional Court in the context of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Outright Monetary Transactions bond-buying programme. Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Ji argue that most analyses are deeply flawed by the misapplication of private-company default principles to the central bank. ECB bond-buying transforms public bonds into monetary base, and sovereign-default risk into inflation risk. The real question is: What is the non-inflationary limit to money-base expansion? This depends upon the economic situation and is much higher in the current liquidity-trap setting.

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The Death of Direct Bank Re-capitalisation: Europe’s (newest) day of shame

The Death of Direct Bank Re-capitalisation: Europe’s (newest) day of shame | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The idea was to de-couple the banking from the debt crisis. The reality is that they propose to do nothing of the sort. In June 2012 Mario Monti had demanded that banks in need of capital injection...
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The rise of governments led by technocrats in Europe illustrates the failure of mainstream political parties.

The rise of governments led by technocrats in Europe illustrates the failure of mainstream political parties. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The Eurozone crisis has led to a perceived rise in ‘technocratic’ governments, led by unelected bureaucrats. Duncan McDonnell argues that caretaker governments are often used as a synonym for technocratic ones by the media, but that not all caretaker governments are led by technocrats, and nor are all technocrat-led governments caretakers. He writes that when governments are composed of technocrats, this occurs with the consent of mainstream parties who can no longer carry out their core business of government. This leaves the door open for anti-establishment parties who promise to restore responsive democratic government.

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The toxic legacy of the Greek crisis

Two and a half thousand years ago, Greece shaped the western mind. More recently, it shaped the response to the financial crisis. Greece suffered a calamity – and others’ fear of following it justified the shift to austerity.
Jamie Jordan's insight:

Martin Wolf is always a good read, and this is no exception.

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Europe’ s supreme authority is holding an audience today

This is the Karl Marx moment of the eurozone crisis with history is repeating itself as a farce. It is another of those constitutional court moments, with public hearings today and tomorrow. For added drama, it pitches the two German representatives in the ECB’s governing council at opposite ends. A shootout is expected. The anti-climax is guaranteed. It is clear already that the court will not strike down the OMT.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

The challenge to ECB authority has finally arrived in court.

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Austerity and Resistance: The politics of labour in the Eurozone crisis.

Austerity and Resistance: The politics of labour in the Eurozone crisis. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Europe is haunted by austerity. Public sectors across the EU are cut back and working class gains from the post-war period seriously undermined (see also Reflections on the Eurozone crisis). In this blog post, I will assess the causes of the crisis, its implications for workers and discuss the politics of labour in response to the Eurozone crisis.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

More excellent analysis from Andreas Bieler on the eurozone crisis, where it came from, where we are at, and where we should go.

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keepquestioning's comment, August 1, 2013 6:29 AM
Excellent article
Jamie Jordan's comment, August 1, 2013 9:48 AM
Yeah, not bad to have him as my first supervisor!
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Germany's left is beginning to doubt the single currency

Germany's left is beginning to doubt the single currency | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Costas Lapavitsas and Heiner Flassbeck: Until Oskar Lafontaine's surprise interjection, EMU-bashing was the domain of Germany's right. Now, what can the UK left do?
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Some insights from the always excellent Costas Lapavitsas.

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Greek unions call general strike against job cuts [update]

Greek unions call general strike against job cuts [update] | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Greece's two main labor unions on Wednesday announced a 24-hour general strike to protest legislation that includes plans to ax thousands of civil service jobs so the country can keep receiving vital funds from its international bailout.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Some updates from the situation in Greece.

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Croatia joined an EU at war – class war!

Croatia joined an EU at war – class war! | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

When Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July, the country joined an EU at war. It is a class war in which capitalist forces, the Troika (the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), national governments and the new European oligarchy have gone on the offensive to dismantle the welfare state and defeat the trade union movement. Croatia’s accession to the EU will, in other words, serve some Croatians’ economic, social and political interests while it will undermine and weaken others’ – mainly those of workers and trade unions. In this guest post,Asbjørn Wahl analyses from a labour perspective the dynamics underlying the current state of European integration.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Another excellent piece on Andreas Bieler's blog.

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Portugal’s deficit jumps up to 10.2%yoy in Q1

Portugal's budget deficit widened sharply by 10.2%yoy in the first quarter of 2013, up from 7.9%, the statistics agency said last Friday.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

Due to what... pumping more money into the banks!

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The Battle of ERT as a Challenge for the Greek Left

The battle over the Greek Public Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) marks a turning point in the struggle against the austerity packages and the violent restructuring of Greek economy and society.

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France in recession, and in deepening trouble?

France in recession, and in deepening trouble? | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The new Hollande presidency is struggling with the fraught politics of austerity
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The European Commission is stronger and better equipped to meet Europe’s challenges than is often thought.

The European Commission is stronger and better equipped to meet Europe’s challenges than is often thought. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Hussein Kassim presents findings from a new book that reveals the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful international administrations. Examining the backgrounds and beliefs of officials, and how the organisation has changed over the past decade, he argues that the European Commission is stronger and better equipped to meet the challenges that confront the European Union than is often thought.

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Greece: the struggle over Public Television and Radio (ERT)

This kind of a government crisis as a result of protests against a government decision is another example of the depth of social contest and struggle in Greece. It is proof that there are still important social and political dynamics that come forward. The attack on ERT acted as the condensation of a broader range of grievances and dynamics. It accentuated the fact that Greece has been going through a major political crisis, with the potential to turn into a deeper crisis of hegemony.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

'The attack on ERT acted as the condensation of a broader range of grievances and dynamics. It accentuated the fact that Greece has been going through a major political crisis, with the potential to turn into a deeper crisis of hegemony.'

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The second Greek rescue programme was not merely late, but also insufficient, making a third programme inevitable.

The second Greek rescue programme was not merely late, but also insufficient, making a third programme inevitable. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Last week the IMF published a review of the financial assistance given to Greece during its debt crisis. One of the key limitations identified in the report was that debt relief for the country was provided far later than it should have been. Waltraud Schelkle writes on the fallout from the report, which generated angry responses from both the European Commission and the European Central Bank. She argues that while the second Greek rescue programme was undoubtedly late, it was also insufficient: amounting to a write-down of only around 33 per cent of Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio. As a result Greece is likely to need a third rescue programme.

Jamie Jordan's insight:

The merry-go-round just keeps on going, just without the 'merry' bit!

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Do not abandon the state as a site of social struggle: Lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis for the Eurozone!

Do not abandon the state as a site of social struggle: Lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis for the Eurozone! | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

In 1997, Asia experienced its own financial crisis. In this guest post, Mi Park analyzes the root causes of the Asian crisis and the current Eurozone crisis and compares the politics of the anti-austerity movements in Asia and Europe. She asks what lessons Europe can learn from the Asian experience.

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Eurointelligence - Coalition partners seek compromise with Samaras over ERT

Pasok and Dimar, the two junior coalition parties in the Grand Coalition, submitted to Parliament on Wednesday a proposal for the legislative act permitting ERT’s immediate closure to be scrapped. They said they agreed that reforms are necessary but that it should be done while ERT is still broadcasting. In their remarks the two coalition partners fall short of threatening to pull out of coalition. Kouvelis said “The government can carry on and complete its work if it can secure some common ground.”

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