How the EU’s Greek Tragedy Became a British Farce – by James K. Galbraith

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[Originally published in Zocalo]

British citizens took to the polls to cast their “Leave” ballots—and their grievances—in the now-infamous Brexit vote last June, seeking to escape the overarching power of the European Union. Their triumph stunned British and global elites, but shouldn’t have; the odds were stacked in the Leave camp’s favor.

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PSOE’s Penchant for Repeating PASOK’s Disappearing Act – El Diario (English & Spanish texts)

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Pedro Sánchez: No me da vértigo ser presidente del Gobierno. Me da respeto

el PASOK mordió el polvo por participar en el derrocamiento de su líder y, curiosamente, el PSOE ha tomado el mismo camino. EFE

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[For the El Diario site click here]

History may repeat itself but never as quickly or as mindlessly as it does within Europe’s social democratic family. Spain’s socialists jettisoned Pedro Sánchez to allow Mariano Rajoy to form government as if in a bid to replicate the disappearing act of their Greek counterparts, the once formidable PASOK. Continue reading

The Universal Right to Capital Income – Project Syndicate op-ed

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Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 14.29.27.pngATHENS – The right to laziness has traditionally been only for the propertied rich, whereas the poor have had to struggle for decent wages and working conditions, unemployment and disability insurance, universal health care, and other accoutrements of a dignified life. The idea that the poor should be granted an unconditional income sufficient to live on has been anathema not only to the high and mighty, but also to the labor movement, which embraced an ethic revolving around reciprocity, solidarity, and contributing to society. [To read on click here.]

Europe’s Ugly Future: A review of Varoufakis, Galbraith & Stiglitz – Foreign Affairs

Muddling Through Austerity

In This Review

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How do you solve a problem like Europe? Interviewed by Eurofinance

Friday 23/9/2016 (click here for the Eurofinance site & here for a related Keynote speech)

How long can Europe go on like this? In mid-July Germany sold €4.038bn of 10-year zero-coupon bonds with a yield of minus 0.05 per cent. This added a few more billions to the more than €4.25 trillion euros-worth of euro-zone government bonds that now carry a negative yield. These yields and the ECB’s €80-billion a month quantitative easing policy have now infected non-government markets. According to Bank of America, the highest-rated euro-denominated senior and secured debt of non-bank companies maturing in one to three years yield an average minus 0.08 percent. And there’s no obvious way out: at the ECB’s July meeting the bank kept the main refinancing rate and the deposit rate at record lows of zero and minus 0.4 per cent.

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Impressive list of elected DiEM25 Coordinators & Advisors has been announced

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Linguist Noam Chomsky, novelist Elif Shafak, artist/musician Brian Eno, activist Zoe Gardner and fashion designer/environmental activist Vivienne Westwood are amongst those elected by DiEM25’s members to coordinate the movement’s activities. (See full announcement at DiEM25.org). Continue reading

Transparent Budgeting at its best – the City of Barcelona is showing the way

Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 23.30.14.pngImagine a city or state budget where citizens could see at a glance where every euro, pound or dollar went or came from, which services were paid for by their taxes or rates, the distribution of the tax burden across different regions etc. You don’t need to imagine it. The City of Barcelona has delivered it. Click here for the OPEN BUDGET and here for STRATEGY & FINANCE. Europe’s rebel cities, adopting DiEM25’s transparency campaign, are leading the way! Continue reading

The Independent on my Brexit proposal: Trigger Article 50 and agree a 5yr Norway-like transition period

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Yanis Varoufakis has told the UK government to get a move on with triggering Article 50 to begin a “robust debate” on what a post-Brexit Britain could look like.

In an interview with the BBC’s Today programme, the former Greek finance minister, said the discussion prior to the referendum was of “very low quality”, adding that once article 50 is invoked Britain should use the negotiating period to prepare itself as nation. Continue reading

Apple, Brussels, and Ireland’s Bruised Sovereignty – Project Syndicate op-ed

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ATHENS – Despite their unequivocal Europeanism, the Irish have been serially mistreated by the European Union.

When Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon in 2008, the EU forced them to vote again until they delivered the “right” outcome. A year later, when private Irish banks imploded, threatening their (mainly) German private creditors with severe losses, Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Central Bank’s then-president, immediately “informed” the Irish government that the ECB would shut down ATMs across the Emerald Isle unless Ireland’s unsuspecting taxpayers made the German banks whole.

To read on click here