Greek summer stops posting…

Dear Reader, You may have noticed that my posts have ceased over the past week. Summer is responsible. A wonderful Greek summer, spent mostly on a tiny boat in the Aegean. Back in mid-July, with posts mostly reflecting my total immersion in the writing of my next book, entitled EUROPE UNHINGED: The next phase of the global crisis (to be published in New York by Nation Books). Till then, an image (of partner Danae & friend) to go with the spirit of the moment…

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A European New Deal financed by the EIB, with ECB QE-backing, is the optimal policy: Now recommended also by W. Münchau

Faced with deflationary forces in its core, and a lasting depression in the periphery, the Eurozone requires a major investment drive. One of the Modest Proposal’s policy recommendations is that the European Investment Bank (along with the European Investment Fund) embarks upon a massive investment drive (up to 8% of Gross Eurozone Product) without any national co-funding. These investments could be funded through 100% issues of EIB-EIF bonds, with the European Central Bank purchasing, in secondary markets, sufficient quantities of these bonds to ensure that their yields stay well below 1.5%, thus making a European New Deal not only possible but also self-financing – and off the books of national budgets. Continue reading

James K. Galbraith on The Modest Proposal, Europe and Greece

JamieIn this Q&A with a Greek journalist, on the occasion of the launch of the Greek translation of the Modest Proposal, James K. Galbraith argues that Italy and Greece can play an important role in changing the terms of the European ‘conversation’, so that rational, minimalist solutions like the Modest Proposal can have a chance of saving the Eurozone. He also explains that the Greek implosion was always a political choice by Berlin and Frankfurt; and that if the troika squeeze is lessened, it is due to SYRIZA’s success – not to the success of the austerity program. Finally, he answers an important question on the Chinese government’s investment strategies in Greece and in the rest of the Eurozone. 

“The Modest Proposal requires a change of thinking, not a change of European Treaties.”

“If Greece has been declared a success, it is largely due to the success of SYRIZA – not of the austerity program”

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The Modest Proposal (in Greek) – presented tonight, in Athens, by Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis & George Krimpas

Πρόσκληση στην βιβλιπαρουσίασηIf you happen to be in Athens tonight (Tuesday 17th June), come to the Byzantine Museum (2 V. Sofias Avenue) at 8pm for the launch of the Greek translation of our Modest Proposal for Resolving the Euro Crisis 4.0. It will be presented by Yanis Varoufakis (who will speak to the proposal itself), George Krimpas (who will place it in a broader context) and Alexis Tsipras (who will speak to it as Leader of the Official Opposition and, primarily, the European Left party’s candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission). (Unfortunately no translation will be available.)

 

A proposal for Federal Unemployment Benefits in the €-Zone: By EU Commissioner László Andor

LaszloLászló Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, has recently given a speech (at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, 13 June 2014) entitled Social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union: What lessons to draw from the European elections? It is a good speech, well worth reading carefully, that outlines a proposal for a federal-like Eurozone-wide unemployment insurance scheme. While I have my concerns regarding its feasibility, and in particular the notion of fiscal transfers without democratically elected Eurozone federal insitutions, Mr Andor’s speech marks a third category in our classification of proposals to save the Eurozone: Federalist Anti-Austerians. For Commissioner Andor’s speech… Continue reading

The Metaphysics of Money – Guest post by Paul Tyson

cashRecently I was at a coffee shop, and to test a metaphysical hunch I asked a few of my fellow caffeinated confreres this question: “What is money?” They all gave answers along the following lines. Money is an arbitrary symbol of exchange value that we just make up in order to facilitate trade and investment. Money itself isn’t any thing but it is a collectively believed in fiction which operates as a very useful means of exchange.   Continue reading

Whither Europe? The Modest Camp vs the Federalist Austerians – in Open Democracy

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 4.02.33 PMby JAMES GALBRAITH and YANIS VAROUFAKIS

Proposals for resolving the Eurozone crisis, and re-designing its architecture, are multiplying – especially as evidence mounts that the crisis is continuing, despite all the official announcements of its end. Our Modest Proposal  was the first to have been tabled, along with Breugel’s Blue Bond Proposal, back in 2010. In this review article, J.K. Galbraith and I argue that, while there is now a plethora of proposals for ‘fixing’ the Eurozone, there are only two competing camps. One is our ‘Modest Camp’, whose policy recommendations would re-configure the Eurozone immediately, using existing institutions, and without cumbersome federal moves that would legitimate a permanent Austerity Union. The other being, what we described as, the Federalist Austerians’ Camp.  Click here for the OPEN DEMOCRACY site

Europe’s Crisis and the Rise of the Ultra-Right is the Left’s Fault

Nazis riseEurope’s appalling  handling of a euro crisis that was always going to happen, given its faulty architectural design,[1] has triggered an electoral result in the recent European Parliament elections that is a clarion warning that Europe is decomposing. And it is decomposing precisely because of the Left’s spectacular failure to intervene both during the construction phase of Europe’s economic and monetary union and, more poignantly, after the latter’s crisis had begun. Continue reading

Solitary Subversives: from the WdW Review

3. Stepping OutSolitary Subversives is about the Power of One in the face of oppression. About how one person’s refusal to succumb to authoritarian lies can make a difference. It begins with an almost forgotten Greek film, that I vividly recall having made an impression upon me along such lines, and then relates two other stories highlighting the capacity of one person to resist against all odds. 

Solitary Subversives is our sixth article for the Witte de With Review (an initiative of Rotterdam-based Witte de With Center for Contemporary Artof which we, vitalspace.org and I, are their…  ‘Athens Desk’). Click here for the  Witte de With Review site which contains several photos missing here. Or read on… 

Stepping Out/In. Photo by Maria Papanikolaou (with the assistance of Dimitris Lazoulos), vitalspace.org

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Preface to the Finnish edition of the Global Minotaur

MinotaurFinland, like my homeland, Greece, is a small country at a treacherous geopolitical crossroads that traditionally inspired great anxiety amongst its people, but also instilled into their character considerable resilience. Unlike Greece, from the mid-1990s until fairly recently Finland succeeded in turning itself into a net exporting nation, ostensibly capable of powering its way into the ‘core’ of Europe’s monetary union. So, when in 2010 my country sank in a sea of debt, Finland ended up as one of the countries that, reluctantly, guaranteed the gigantic loans afforded to countries like Greece. Soon after, Finland fell into the second ‘dip’ of its post-2008 recession, where it still languishes today. Continue reading

Italy, Greece and Europe after the European Parliament elections: An interview with Alessandro Bianchi

ITALY_GREECEHow the current policies of the Brussels-Berlin-Frankfurt triangle are based on a propaganda campaign reflecting continuing Crisis Denial and why they constitute an attempt to create a new financial bubble  – Why SYRIZA is a pro-European progressive party, in contrast to UKIP and Ms Le Pen’s FN – What should we expect of the new Italian government and why there is important room for an alliance between Italy and a SYRIZA-led Greek government. In conversation with Alessandro Bianchi of L’Antidiplomatico (click here for the Italian version) Continue reading

A lesson in democracy for Mrs Merkel (and her merry Merkelites around the Eurozone) by Alexis Tsipras, SYRIZA’s leader

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Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s largest political party (SYRIZA), and the European Left’s candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, has just given Mrs Merkel (and her merry disciples around the Eurozone) an important lesson in democracy.

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A Europe of One Extreme: Interviewed by Thomas Fazi on the European Parliamentary Election outcome

Europe went to the polls last weekend. Here is my take on the election results – in an interview with Thomas Farzi (author of The Battle for Europe: How an Elite Hijacked a Continent – and How We Can Take It Back).

- What’s your general take on the results of the European elections? Continue reading

A Review of the Global Minotaur (2nd edition) from an Australian perspective; by Paul Tyson

German CoverIs there Life After Money? A Summary, with comments, of Yanis Varoufakis’ The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the future of the world economy, Zed Books

By Dr Paul Tyson, Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham.

[Note that the cover displayed here is of the German edition. Click here for the main page on the book.] Continue reading