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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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The real challenge this week is to save the eurozone — FT.com

The real challenge this week is to save the eurozone — FT.com | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Europe’s leaders will have the unique opportunity to commit two mistakes in a single week. On Monday, Europe’s leaders will decide on the future of Greece. On Thursday and Friday, they will meet again to discuss, among other things, the future governance of the eurozone. The latter is more important in the long run: a healthy eurozone may even withstand a Greek exit from the single currency and prosper. But a crippled eurozone would be no less crippled if Greece were to remain a member. A dual failure would be a disaster.

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Pretty pessimistic analysis by Wolfgang Munchau (FT) on Grexit and the future of the eurozone

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How Greece Got Outmaneuvered - The New Yorker

How Greece Got Outmaneuvered - The New Yorker | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Once Wolfgang Schäuble, the flinty German finance minister, realized that Varoufakis couldn’t play the Grexit card, he knew that he had him where he wanted him. The German government point-blank refused even to consider a Greek request for an end to the bailout and a new bridging loan, and it quietly encouraged the E.C.B. to issue a series of warnings to the Greeks. And then, a couple of days ago, after Varoufakis had reversed course and asked for an extension of the current bailout, Schäuble rejected that request, too, forcing the Greeks to make even more concessions.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Another very good analysis of the Greece-EU deal.

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The ECB Has Shaken The Eurozone's Utopian Foundations

The ECB Has Shaken The Eurozone's Utopian Foundations | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The 4th February late-night decision by the European Central Bank to reject Greek bank collateral for monetary policy operations will, I confidently predict, precipitate not just a run on Greek banks; not just greater price instability across the Eurozone – but ultimately, the collapse of the fantastic machinery that is the ‘self-regulating’ economy of the Eurozone.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent must-read analysis of the ECB's attack on democracy and Greece.

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Syriza can transform the EU from within – if Europe will let it

Syriza can transform the EU from within – if Europe will let it | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Syriza has repeatedly declared its intention to keep the country within the economic and monetary union, and to avoid unilateral actions. There is little doubt that its leaders are committed Europeanists who truly believe that they could help transform the EU from within.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent article in the Guardian on the political crisis in Greece and its implications for the EU. Must-read article to counter all the scaremongering which EU elites will launch to sabotage Greek democratic vote.

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IMF Report Offers Bleak Outlook for Greece

An International Monetary Fund staff report warned that Greece's loan program faces exceptionally high risks and said Athens may need further debt restructuring and additional financing that Europe should cover.

 

This IMF report does not square with all the reassuring comments from EU leaders Van Rompuy and Barroso that Europe has turned the page and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Seems to me there might still be a lot of pain and sacrifice before we reach the end of this tunnel.

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Greece should reject the Troika and default on its own terms

Greece should reject the Troika and default on its own terms | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It's national debt is unpayable - why tear apart the country in a futile attempt to repay?

 

Excellent alternative analysis of the Eurozone crisis by the New Economics Foundation.

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Who is taking over Europe? Technocrats or Goldman Sachs?

Who is taking over Europe? Technocrats or Goldman Sachs? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

French online magazine Mediapart.fr has an intriguing analysis of the new "technocrats" who will have to save the Euro and the European Union. All three, Lucas Papademos, Mario Monti and Mario Draghi (ECB) have worked or are connected to Goldman Sachs, the bank which helped cook the books of Greece to enter the eurozone.

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Greek debt crisis is the Iraq War of finance

Greek debt crisis is the Iraq War of finance | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Guardians of financial stability are deliberately provoking a bank run and endangering Europe's system in their zeal to force Greece to its knees
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One of the best article on the real hidden agenda of the EU's financial elites. 'The EU is worried about political “moral hazard”, about what Podemos might achieve in Spain, or the eurosceptics in Italy, or the Front National in France, if Syriza is seen to buck the system and get away with it.'

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Coppola Comment: Greece and the EU: a question of trust

Coppola Comment: Greece and the EU: a question of trust | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
This, in a nutshell, was the obstacle. Syriza wanted a new arrangement in which the rest of the EU would trust it to deliver on its promises. The rest of the EU wanted Syriza to prove its trustworthiness by completing the current programme. Deadlock.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Balanced and interesting analysis by Frances Coppola of the deal between Greece and Eurozone leaders. But by trying to win trust from the austerity elites, could Syriza lose trust of its voters?

Seems to me, the endgame has just been postponed by four months.

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Greece: Syriza close to office, elites close to panic

Greece: Syriza close to office, elites close to panic | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Greece could be about to elect the most radical government of the left in Europe since the 1930s - the outcome could shape European society for decades to come
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great article on the importance for the Left of a Syriza victory in Greece and its impact on other EU countries.

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What Today's Euro Elections Mean for Energy

With new leadership in France and Greece, energy funding and development in Europe could see some changes and challenges on the horizon.

 

Interesting analysis by Forbes of the possible impact for nuclear in France and solar in Greece.

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A proposal for Greek financing: Self-help with ‘reconstruction bonds’

"Even with the latest bailout and debt restructuring, Greek debt is still projected to be 120% of GDP by 2020. With no access to foreign markets, Greece will have to fund any future deficits by calling on more funds from foreign governments or international institutions. This column suggests a novel solution: force ordinary Greeks to save some of their earnings by purchasing government bonds." (Source: VoxEU.org).

 

Very interesting article about solutions to Greek crisis.

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Rx for Greece: A dose of Thanatos

Rx for Greece: A dose of Thanatos | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Good article by Dan Bednarz on the links between our energy descent, limits to economic growth and Greece's financial crisis and its impact on the country's health system.

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Brussels discusses Greek ‘solar bailout’ | EurActiv

Brussels discusses Greek ‘solar bailout’ | EurActiv | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
EU’s energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger, the director general for energy Philip Lowe, and the head of the EU’s Athens task force Horst Reichenbach have discussed the idea of enabling Greece to repay some of its debts to EU member states, such as Germany, by providing them with solar energy.

 

Interesting approach which has the advantage that it indirectly connects the financial crisis with the sustainability crisis but several questions remain: is this in the interest of Greece or of Germany? Could solar energy become the new resource curse?

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